The most feared villain of Newport County, Kevin Ellison, reinvents himself into The Exiles new unlikely hero.
The man who shall not be named. Two years ago, Newport feared the worst. Needing at least a point to finish in the League Two play-off places for the first time since the rebirth of the club in 1989. Standing in their way, was villain №1: Kevin Ellison, or nicknamed by The Amber Army as, Lord Voldemort.
Ellison just loved playing Newport. The now forty-one-year-old veteran has consistently found the back of the net against The Exiles, scoring six goals, coupled with seven assists in thirteen games.
The most remembered game being the game on the 14th September 2013. Two own goals by County’s Tom Naylor, Ellison assisting one that day, complied Newport to defeat. Ellison continued to haunt the Newport fans in the reverse fixture, winning a penalty against Tom Naylor, again, to force a 4–1 victory for Morecambe.
The End of the Curse
The hotly contested final game of the 2018–2019 season brought the Ellison curse to an end. He had enjoyed the battle on Twitter before, engaging in “friendly” Twitter arguments with Newport fans prior to the fixture. Ellison, however, could not inspire victory for Morecambe. Newport drew the game 1–1 and the midfielder failed to find the scoresheet that day. Newport would eventually embark on their play-off journey to Wembley, but ultimately lost to Tranmere 1–0, facing another year in League Two against their foe. The 2019–2020 season was largely quiet for this rivalry. Newport struggled to recapture that previous play-off form, whilst Ellison, featured largely from the bench. However, there would be another twist in this tale.
Oh, how times have changed.
Seven years on from the start of the rivalry, Newport fans were shocked by their new number 22. Released from Morecambe, Newport announced a new signing in September of 2020. Yes, you guessed it, Kevin Ellison. Once a villain, now an Exile. Could this rivalry turn into a matched made in heaven?
The Amber Army’s New Hero
21st November 2020. Newport hosted Port Vale at Rodney Parade. Ellison started on the side-lines. The tie fixed in a stalemate at 0–0 in the 85th minute. Port Vale down to ten men following Leon Legge’s sending off. Newport needed a hero. Manager Michael Flynn called on the veteran. Time quickly faded along with Newport’s hopes of victory. This was the final throw of the dice. The 96th minute, deep into injury time, Newport get a corner. Scott Twine’s corner led to a scramble in the Port Vale box. No one could get control of the ball, until it fell to the feet of Kevin Ellison, a few yards from goal. Could the midfielder be the hero? Of course. Ellison fired home, stealing victory for the Exiles to place them, three points clear at the top of the League Two table.
Mental Health Ambassador
It is not only on the pitch where Ellison is attempting to make a difference. Upon arrival at Rodney Parade, the midfielder also has a different role, being the club’s mental health ambassador. Ellison has suffered with his mental health in the past and has been committed to using his story to help others, including video calls with County fans, who may be struggling during the pandemic. Something that presumably will have a lasting impact with the Amber Army.
Lord Voldemort no more.