Ashes 2019: Headingley hero Ben Stokes offered English Premier League position by Newcastle United boss
Ben Stokes: Newcastle United's newest EPL recruit? © AFP

Ben Stokes‘ Headingley heroics on Sunday have inspired a nation and sent fans, pundits and current and former cricketers into raptures, and he has even been offered, albeit half-jokingly, the coveted position of centre-half at English Premier League football club Newcastle United.

Steve Bruce, the Newcastle United boss, watched the final minutes of England’s scarcely believable one-wicket win over Australia on day four of the third Ashes Test in Leeds before the start of his club’s 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

The win was the first for Newcastle in the Bruce era, and the embattled manager  joked that following Stokes’ epic unbeaten 135 in Leeds he would gladly have the allrounder join his team’s ranks as centre-half.

(READ: Ben Stokes etches name into Ashes folklore with astonishing century)

“I don’t know what was more nervous. The last 10 minutes of the cricket or this [match]. Ben Stokes can play centre-half for us next week that’s for sure,” Bruce told reporters. “How wonderful it was to watch. [The cricket] was just on. They [Newcastle] had gone for a warm-up and there’s nothing you can do then. I usually sit and read the programme.

Ben Stokes 135
Ben Stokes’ sensational 135* guided England to a remarkable Ashes victory. © AFP

“But how could I not watch? The kitman was running around … saying ‘We need 27, we’ve got to put it on.’ It was wonderful entertainment, worth watching. It was better than reading the programme that’s for sure.”

(READ: Stokes’ Headingley heroics thrill a nation and underline his immense belief)

Stokes, who lives in Durham, is a fan of Newcastle United. Following the club’s shock win over Tottenham, Bruce said that Newcastle did everything they could to “silence the critics”. 

England levelled the 2019 Ashes 1-1 thanks to his heroic hundred at Headingley. Former England fast bowler Bob Willis rated Stokes’ hundred as better than England legend Ian Botham’s unbeaten 149 at the same ground during the fabled 1981 Ashes series.