Jonas Gutierrez thanked fans for their support after he returned to Newcastle after more than a year away following his battle against cancer.
The winger came on as a substitute for Ryan Taylor in the 65th minute of Newcastle's 1-0 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday for his first appearance since October 2013.
Gutierrez took the captain's armband from teammate Fabricio Coloccini as he came on in a fitting moment for the Toon hero.
"I will remember for the rest of my life, the reception," Gutierrez said. "I'm really happy with the reception and the support the fans gave me and the support through the illness."
The Argentina international told the BBC: "The support I have had from clubs all around the world, they don't matter about the shirt, it has helped me keep fighting.
"For people having the trouble I have been through, you have to be positive. If you believe in the heart you can beat the problems, you can."
Newcastle boss John Carver said Gutierrez earned his place in the side.
"Jonas going on wasn't a sentimental decision," he said. "It was a football decision and it was the right decision."
Newcastle stayed with Manchester United until the final stages, when Mehdi Abeid, under intense pressure from Wayne Rooney, stabbed an ill-advised back-pass towards keeper Tim Krul, whose efforts to clear only served to tee up Ashley Young for the winner.
Carver said he was proud of the overall effort but called for a first-half penalty that was ignored.
"We don't have the same ability as Manchester United -- Manchester United have world-class players -- but we have matched them for 89 minutes," Carver said.
"But what is even more disappointing is the fact that in the first half, a blatant penalty [was] not given. Anthony Taylor is a human being, he hasn't given it. He sees it once, we see it time and time again and I saw it at half-time about five times and it's still a penalty.
"But he's a human being. He's made a mistake and I'm a bit frustrated with that."