Jonas Gutierrez revealed his former Newcastle United team-mates congratulated him after he won an employment tribunal against the Premier League strugglers.
Argentine midfielder Gutierrez was suing Newcastle over the manner of his departure at the end of last season, following his battle with testicular cancer.
Gutierrez said his ex-team-mates phoned him to congratulate him after hearing of the outcome.
“I have good pals from my time there,” he told the BBC.
“Players I have played a long period with, like Perchy [James Perch], Ryan Taylor, [Dan] Gosling, Robbie Elliott – we were so close and we continue talking sometimes.
“They know what things were going on. They can’t understand the way [Newcastle] treated me.
“When the court announced, they called me and said congrats because they know what I had to go through.”
Gutierrez said he wants his case to set a precedent for anyone else suffering a similar situation to him.
“For me, it was the worst period in my life,” the 32-year-old said. “I didn’t deserve that type of treatment.
“It’s important to leave a precedent for the future. No-one can go through this again – not footballers or any employees, that is more important.
“It made me learn a lot about life. Now we’re here I’m really happy about what I’ve been through. To be alive and be healthy is more important for me.”
Newcastle sit in the relegation zone, six points from safety with six games left in their season but Gutierrez is hoping they can avoid the drop.
“I want them to stay up,” he said. “The city and the fans don’t deserve to go down.
“It is a massive club. The fans are massive and they deserve to stay in the Premier League. They’re in a tough situation, but I say to the fans to be positive, to believe.
“It is for me, the best years in my career. The fans, the city make me feel so at home. Once a Geordie, always a Geordie is something that is totally true.
“Once you play in that shirt you want to support that team.”