Thursday May 28th, 2015                                              last update 22:00 BST

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Ticket news: NUFC confirm new season ticket cards will be issued ahead of next season.

ST renewal deadline now Wed 10.06.2015


Happy shopper

MS meets MS


Pictured with proprietor Mike Searle is Moussa Sissoko, after the goalscorer had an iPhone6 screen repaired by MJS - and qualified for his reader discount.

Whether you scored the goal that kept us in the Premier League or dropped your tablet celebrating it, claim 10% discount at branches in Ponteland and Birtley now.

MJS can repair Apple and Android devices, laptops, PCs, Macs and most things in between more details here

Showing season-ending generosity, MJS have donated an I-onik Android tablet for a free-to-enter competition. 

To enter, simply email your answer to this question to (subject: Moussa)


Arriving at Gallowgate in January 2013, Moussa took the squad number 7 that had been vacant since the exit of which midfielder to QPR in August 2011?  

No purchase necessary, no age restriction, one entry per person please. The winner will be drawn at random from correct entries received on Thu June 11th and must be available to collect their prize in person from either Ponteland or Birtley within two weeks.


Ex-Magpies released by their current club include:

Darren Ambrose (Ipswich Town)
Joey Barton
Sylvain Distin (Everton)
Damien Duff
(Melbourne City)
Danny Guthrie (Reading - Fulham loan)
Steve Harper (Hull City)
Paddy McLaughlin
(Grimsby Town)
Alan Neilson (Cambridge United coach)
Oguchi Onyewu (Charlton Athletic)
Peter Ramage (Crystal Palace)
Ben Tozer
(Northampton Town)

Loan latest:
The Third Mag

Thursday evening saw Rangers lose 1-3 at Ibrox to Motherwell in the first leg of their SPL play-off final. And while Haris Vuckic played his 21st game for the Ibrox side, there was a rare outing for another Magpie. 

Four months after his loan move, Shane Ferguson made a belated senior debut for Rangers from the bench in the second half - the third of the five Newcastle loan players to do so after Vuckic and Remi Streete.

The Northern Ireland international is under contract at SJP until 2016 but hasn't appeared at club level since the final game of his loan to Birmingham City in April 2014.

The two sides meet again at Fir Park on Sunday, with promotion for Rangers - and a £500K bonus payable to Newcastle - very much in the balance.   

Regardless of the outcome though, it seems unlikely that Vuckic will remain at Ibrox after the weekend - at least if the Daily Record newspaper is to be believed.

Entering the final 12 months of his contract, Vuckic has given little hint as to his future but would be a logical signing for Rangers regardless of what league they're in.

However the ongoing boardroom discord between club owner Dave King and Mike Ashley looks to have KO'd any hopes that a deal can be done by Rangers for Haris.

Meanwhile, it's emerged that Vuckic and fellow Magpie Gael Bigirimana were close to completing loan moves to  Motherwell during the January transfer window. Instead though, the pair were dispatched to Govan with Fergie, Streete and Kevin Mbabu.


close season national service for current Magpies:

Rolando Aarons (England U20s):
Thu 28.05.2015
Morocco (n) drew 3-3
Rolando was an unused substitute as England kicked off their Toulon Tournament campaign with a draw.

Sat 30.05.2015
Ivory Coast (n)
Wed 03.06.2015 Mexico (n) 
Fri 05.06.2015 China (n)

Daryl Janmaat, Tim Krul (Netherlands):
Fri 05.06.2015
USA (h) FR (Amsterdam)
Fri 12.06.2015 Latvia (a) ECQ (Riga)

Moussa Sissoko (France):
Sun 07.06.2015
Belgium (h) FR (Paris)
Sat 13.06.2015
Albania (a) FR (Elbasan)

Freddie Woodman/Adam Armstrong (England U18): Mon 08.06.2015 Russia (a) Khimki
Wed 10.06.2015 Russia (a) Khimki

Paul Dummett (Wales):

Fri 12.06.2015 Belgium (h) ECQ (Cardiff)

Premier League:
VA Day (Victory 
over Anyone)

Newcastle  2  West Ham  0

Match report is online here

PRemier League final table - bottom six:

Pos Team Pld GD Pts
15 Newcastle  38  -23  39
16 mackems  38  -22  38
17 Aston Villa  38  -26  38
18 Hull City 38  -18  35
19 Burnley  38  -25  33
20 QPR  38  -31  30

Last day Premier League results:

Sun 24.05.2015: 
Arsenal 4-1 West Bromwich Albion
Aston Villa 0-1 Burnley
Chelsea 3-1 mackems
Crystal Palace 1-0 Swansea City
Everton 0-1 Spurs
Hull City 0-0 Manchester United
Leicester City 5-1 QPR
Manchester City 2-0 Southampton
Newcastle United 2-0 West Ham
Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool


Proud sponsors of


Mac sacked 

From the official Derby County website, Monday:

Derby County have terminated the contract of Head Coach Steve McClaren with immediate effect.

The decision follows a thorough review of the 2014/15 season by the club’s Board of Directors.

The Board believes that the appointment of a new Head Coach is required to continue the club’s on-field progress and the search is now underway to appoint a successor.

The Board remains firmly committed and driven to achieving promotion to the Premier League.

The club would also like to take this opportunity to wish Steve McClaren well for the future and thank him for his work throughout his tenure, which included a Play-Off Final appearance in 2014.

The club will be making no further comment at this time.

Reporting the story, Sky Sports claim that Derby are looking to appoint Real Madrid assistant coach Paul Clement - a man also previously linked to Newcastle.

Ex-Middlesbrough and England boss McClaren was heavily linked with the Newcastle job after the Alan Pardew's exit at the turn of the year - doing himself few favours with Rams fans and directors by fudging the question of whether he saw his future on Tyneside.

It's claimed McClaren refused an offer to take over from John Carver for the final three games of the season - a decision that didn't endear him to Newcastle. Whether his new-found free agent/compensation free status alters that situation remains to be seen.

PS: If McClaren does become Newcastle manager, then it's a fair bet that the man granted an audience on Sunday with Mike Ashley will be announcing the news.

The website of the PR company who may or may not now represent Sky Sports reporter David Craig list his achievements in breaking stories, many of which feature McClaren - including his sacking as England boss and arrivals at Twente and Wolfsburg.

Toon teens in twin
trophy triumph


There was double silverware success for Newcastle's youngsters in France over the weekend - but before anyone asks, that won't be the trigger for owner Mike Ashley to put the club on the market.... 

Monday saw United win the Tournoi International de Football U17 in the town of Saint-Andre-Lez-Lille.

After 0-0 draws with both FC Copenhagen and Dynamo Moscow on Saturday, the young Magpies beat FC Porto 1-0 in Sunday's quarter final, Callum Smith netting.

That set up a semi-final tie on Monday against Racing Club Lens and Newcastle won 3-0, thanks to a brace from Jamie Holmes and one from Lewis McNall.
FC Bruges beat Real Sociedad 1-0 in the other semi-final to face United and the 40 minute game ended 2-2. That meant that a penalty shootout was required, with Newcastle eventually running out 5-4 winners.

Squad: Ben Pollock, Jamie Holmes, Owen Bailey, Yannick Azoakonou, Callum Smith, Ben Kitchen, Mackenzie Heaney, Shane Donaghey, Dan Lowther, Lewis McNall, Nathan Harker, Kurtis Russell, Kieran Olsen, Oliver Long, Kelland Watts, Cameron Armstrong, Jai Grant.

Newcastle's U14/15 squad also returned from France with silverware on Monday, winning the Neuville Tournament thanks to a 1-0 final victory over Swiss side Servette. 

The toon bairns won six out of their seven games and drew the other when needing only a point to progress into the Quarter Finals.

Southern nights 

Update: QPR, Burnley and Hull City have been relegated from the Premier League to be replaced next season by Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich City.

And that means that fans driving to all 19 away games next season from SJP will see their round trip mileage increase by 904 miles, from 6,615 to 7,519 miles.

Norwich scored twice in the first half to overcome Boro 2-0 at Wembley on Monday, the Canaries including ex-Magpie Sebastien Bassong in their side. Fellow old boy Jonathan Woodgate remained on the bench for Boro.  

The Cherries are making their Premier League debut and will become the 46th different club we've faced in that competition, with Goldsands Stadium aka Dean Court the 53rd different PL venue to have accommodated us.

The Magpies have made three previous competitive visits to this part of Dorset and are yet to return victorious. 

A 1-2 loss in the League Cup in November 1963 saw Ron McGarry convert a penalty, while Mick Quinn netted in another 1-2 defeat, this time in the old Second Division during September 1989.

And most recently, a gallant display by crocked 'keeper Tommy Wright helped his side to a 0-0 draw in an FA Cup Third Round tie in January 1992, although United went on to lose the replay at SJP in a penalty shootout.

NUFC confirm that new season ticket cards will be issued to supporters ahead of the 2015/16 season.

Having retained top-flight status on the last day of the season, Newcastle's 2015/16 campaign will start to take shape on Wednesday June 17th when the Premier  League fixture list is published.
The Premier League begins on Saturday August 8th and the date for the final weekend is yet to be confirmed.

Here's Johnny:
Drive by hooting 

John Carver, he's never off duty
online here

Thames oil slick

The Selhurst special one granted ESPN an audience recently - here's what they asked and he answered (the above photo shows Pardew on Tuesday as he played 30 minutes for Palace in Julian Speroni's Testimonial against Dundee. Temuri Ketsbaia appeared for the visitors).

ESPN: How do you rate your season with both Newcastle and Palace?

AP: I think it is my best season as a manager. I say that because I've had two such different challenges over the course of this campaign. At Newcastle, I had a team at the bottom of the table with a crowd that was very angry at what had gone on at the club for a period of time. I suspect it will be difficult for me to top this season in the future.

(We were tenth on the day that Pardew left)

ESPN: What emotions will you feel if Newcastle are relegated from the Premier League on Sunday?

AP: I want them to stay up, of course I do. They are my players, my staff, a club that means a lot to me and always will. I hope they get the win they need and then they won't have to worry about any other result.

ESPN: Does it frustrate you that your five years at Newcastle are remembered by some for the wrong reasons?

AP: Amid all the negativity at Newcastle, we achieved some great things. Finishing fifth in the Premier League with a great team was a fine effort and we also got to the quarter finals of the Europa League and nearly got past a Benfica side that went to the final. They were great days, great nights at St James' Park and I remember them with affection. Maybe they are forgotten too quickly

(let's recall also your fine efforts in finishing 12th, 16th and 10th and losing four out of five FA Cup ties)

ESPN: You still appear to have great affection for Newcastle despite the campaign by fans to get you out of the club. Is that fair to say?

AP: I didn't listen to half of the criticism I received. I just didn't let it enter my brain. It affects people around me, but it was my job to see through that. When you are in charge of a top club, where expectations are high you have to deal with that. 

I look at Rafa Benitez in his time at Liverpool, he had difficult periods and the same goes for Brendan Rodgers in the same job now. 

These difficult periods come and you have to accept that. I did as well as I could at Newcastle.

(Ah yes, the unrealistic expectations of NUFC fans - how dare we expect a team - and a club - to actually try? And as for comparisons with Liverpool, just laughable, we have more in common with Tranmere.....)

ESPN: Was there ever a time at Newcastle when you doubted yourself as a manager?

AP: No. If I doubted myself, we would never have gone on the run we did shortly before I left. You always have to have faith in your own abilities and that has to be evident to your players.

ESPN: What did you learn from what appeared to be a traumatic experience at Newcastle?

AP: It helped me to grow as a manager because there were a lot of games at Newcastle when I was the dominant force, the focus of attention. You don't have that kind of focus at a lot of clubs, so I learned how to ram that home. I also developed a habit of beating the top teams at Newcastle and thankfully, that has continued at Palace.

ESPN: Have you been given the credit you deserve over the course of your management career?

AP: That is for other people to say. All I can point to are the facts. If we win on Sunday, I will have collected 57 points from 37 games this season. That is a hell of a return over the two clubs given the resources I was working with. During my 18 games at Palace, we are the sixth best team in the league. The facts speak for themselves.

ESPN: Where do you want to take Crystal Palace during your time as the club's manager?

AP: There is a chance here in the next couple of years to have a real go at getting ourselves into a semifinal or a final of a cup competition and maybe even win a cup, that would be fantastic. We could get into Europe as well, of course we could.

Work up a song and dance routine Alan and you'll win the bloody Eurovision Song Contest - perhaps a rewrite of the Cliff Richard ditty, "(Self) Congratulations"? Trying telling those Newcastle fans who witnessed the capitulations to Stevenage, Brighton (twice) and Cardiff just what your definition of "a real go" is.....

ESPN: You were critical of the Europa League competition during your time at Newcastle, so would you want to be in that again with Palace?

AP: I would not want to be the Europa League in the current format, that's for sure. Thursday night games are difficult to contend with given the level of physicality we deal with in the Premier League. We struggled with it at Newcastle and we were not alone in that among the English clubs. Until that issue is addressed, no Premier League team wants to be in the Europa League. That's the reality, even if some don't want to admit it.

ESPN: Looking to this summer's transfer market, what teams do you see Palace competing with to sign players?

AP: Newcastle, Aston Villa, Everton and maybe even Spurs. While we cannot compete with some of those clubs in terms of budgets, we can look to attract the kind of players they are also in the market for. If we could add that kind of quality of player to this current group, then we have a chance to push on.

ESPN: There has been a lot of talk about agents and the tactics they use in recent days following Raheem Sterling's fallout with Liverpool. How do you deal with agents?

AP: I always ask two questions when we are closing in on a deal: What currency are we dealing in and how many people are expecting to get paid as part of this transfer? I have had situations in the past when you are close to signing a player and the money involved switches from euros to pounds to dollars. It is a difficult process, but one we have to work with.

What tripe is this? The nearest you came to closing in on a deal was getting a phone call to say it had or hadn't happened - part of the reason you left NUFC.

ESPN: If you fall out with an agent, can you just cross them off your list and vow never to work with them again?

AP: Not really. If you've had a bad experience with an agent, you have to move past it. You are bound to want a player at some stage who is represented by this guy and you will have to try to work around the personality of the agent. You tend to work out what makes them tick, what they respond to. You have to have tactical plans to get a deal over the line. 

It had to be there, the phrase that pays - only in its abbreviated form, lacking the preface "we just couldn't get it....."

I have to be involved in negotiations because players have to buy into me and what I want from them if they join my club, so all managers need to be fully involved in transfers, that's for sure.

At last, something we can agree on. 

Prince in Toon
 - group offer

Former Magpie favourite Philippe Albert is heading back to Tyneside for a talk-in event next month - and there's a special bonus offer now available to readers.

The popular Belgian will appear at the Lancastrian Suite in Dunston on Friday June 19th in the company of Sky's toon-supporting presenter Pete Graves.

Tickets cost £20 per person and anyone booking a table of 10 for £200 will receive an unframed NUFC 1984 replica home shirt autographed by Kevin Keegan.

More details and bookings can be made online here (booking fee applies). Telephone bookings made on 07414 960956 in office hours will avoid booking fees. 

Hong Kong:
Fourth visit to Sevens

Once again, Newcastle have sent a team to contest the annual Citibank Soccer Sevens tournament in Hong Kong, arriving on Wednesday to prepare for the main competition that gets underway on Saturday.

The Magpies are one of 16 teams in the main tournament and are in
group A along with Singapore Cricket Club, BC Rangers of Hong Kong and Leicester City.

United begin against Singapore at 4.14pm local time, face BC at 5.56pm and round off against Leicester at 7.21pm.

Other Premier League sides taking part in matches at Happy Valley are Aston Villa, Stoke City and West Ham.

The Veteran's Sevens competition meanwhile starts on Friday and again includes a team representing Wallsend Boys Club. Former Magpies Peter Beardsley, Michael Bridges, Robbie Elliott and John Watson have been named in their squad.

2015 squad:
Bartlett*, Sterry, Laidler, Williams, Roberts, Heardman, Gilliead, Barlaser, Gillesphey, Smith, Hunter. 

(An injury suffered by Paul Woolston playing for England forced his withdrawal and replacement by ex- youth team 'keeper Adam Bartlett, now on the Academy staff).

2014 squad: Alnwick, Aarons, Barlaser, Gillesphey, Gilliead, Laidler, McKinnon, Olley, Quinn, Williams
(Eliminated at the semi-final stage)

2013 squad:
Alnwick, Tavernier, Dummett, Streete, Newton, Logan, Richardson, Inman, Sa
.Ameobi, Aarons.
Lost 0-2 to Leicester City in the final).

2012 squad: Alnwick, Tavernier, Dummett, Satka, 
Logan, Miele, Maddison, Hooper, Campbell, Inman.
(Beat Aston Villa 2-1 in the final)


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West Ham United 0
Premier League

St. James' Park
Sunday 24th May
Match report's
Never-Ending Tour
Number of Newcastle games attended by in 2014/15:



Fixtures, Tickets etc.
Season 2014/15

The ticket office is on the first floor of the SJP club shop, under the Gallowgate End towards the Strawberry.

Paid-for matchday ticket collections take place from the windows at the back of the Gallowgate End Stand, above NINE Bar.

Matchday ticket sales are from the Box Office in the Milburn Stand, just up the slope from the Sir Bobby Robson Statue.

SJP Box Office phone: 0844 372 1892*
(Open for away ticket sales and enquiries during the above Box Office hours).

* 0044 870 444 1892 from overseas

Online Box Office is available here

SJP seating plan is here

On the opening day of ticket sales, they officially commence at 10am - with any points reduction for away tickets becoming effective at the same time.

Away tickets are sold only to season ticket holders and members. All ST holders are also automatically members (a non-negotiable fee is added annually by NUFC to each ST).

A £1 administration fee per ticket applies to away sales in all competitions, with no upper limit. In addition, non-NUFC members pay the same fee on home ticket sales.

NUFC's members only away ticket policy is still in force, with only NUFC ST holders and members able to purchase tickets. 

Coming to Tyneside - or getting away?




Newcastle City guide, maps etc


Fri 29.05.2015 to Sun 31.05.2015 Hong Kong Soccer Sevens @ Happy Valley. 

2015/16 season:

(First team pre-season fixtures tbc)

Wed 01.07.2015
Pre-season training starts (delayed return for players involved in post season internationals)

Tue 07.07.2015 U21s v Corby Town (h) 
@ Little Benton, 6.30pm. Friendly.

Sat 18.07.2015 U21s v Whitley Bay (h) 
@ Darsley Park, ko tbc. Friendly. BCD tbc.

PL fixture release on Wed 17.06.2015

Sun 26.07.2015 to Fri 31.07.2015
Northern Ireland Milk Cup.

PL starts on Sat 08.08.2015

Capital One Cup Round dates:

w/c 24.08.2015
3rd: w/c 21.09.2015
4th: w/c 26.10.2015
5th: w/c 30.11.2015
w/c 04.01.2016
w/c 25.01.2016
Sun 28.02.2016

FA Cup Round dates:

w/e of 09.01.2016
w/e of 30.01.2016
w/e of 20.02.2016
w/e of 12.03.2016
Sat 23.04.2016 / Sun 24.04.2016
Sat 21.05.2016

Altoonative Travel is the public face of the Newcastle United Travel Plan, aimed to help fans attend games using the most efficient and sustainable methods available.

Confirmed NUFC UK live TV coverage:

NUFC Live on Sky Sports:
NUFC Live on BT Sport:


Tue 02.06.2015 Pavel Srnicek @ Lancastrian Suite, Lancaster Road, NE11 9JR. £25 via here (Dunston FC Benefit)

Thu 04.06.2015 Pavel Srnicek @
42nd Street, Whitley Bay, NE26 1AW. 
£5 via 07814 717161.

Sat 06.06.2015 Pavel Srnicek 
Felling Cricket Club, NE10 9XD.
£10 via Barry 07860 346905

Fri 19.06.2015 Philippe Albert @ Lancastrian Suite, Lancaster Road, 
9JR. £20 via 07414 960956 or here 

Fri 03.07.2015 Rob Lee
Wallsend Labour Club, Camberley Road, 
NE28 0PN. £15 via Rob on 07538 291227

Rugby League: 

Magic Weekend @ SJP:

Sat 30.05.2015:
Salford v Widnes Vikings (2.30pm)
Hull FC v Hull KR (4.45pm)
Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors (7pm)

Sun 31.05.2015:

Catalans Dragons v Huddersfield (1pm)
St Helens v Warrington Wolves (3.15pm)
Castleford Tigers v Wakefield (5.30pm)

Rugby Union:

World Cup @ SJP:

The 20 team event runs from 18.09.2015 to 31.10.2015 with three games at SJP:

Sat 03.10.2015 South Africa v Scotland
Fri 09.10.2015 New Zealand v Tonga
Sat 10.10.2015 Samoa v Scotland

Mark Allison aka Run Geordie Run will embark on his latest and longest charity quest - from Lisbon to Istanbul - in 2016.

Raising funds for The Children's Foundation and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Mark plans to complete the 3,580 miles in 100 days via Portugal, Spain, Andorra, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece & Turkey.

Mark is also planning further runs in 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2024 - by which time he hopes to have completed the remaining 13,642 miles of his 20K mile global lap.


International Magpies
National Service
2014/15 match date:
Fri-Sun 12-14.06.2015

2015/16 match dates:

Thu-Tue 03-08.09.2015
Thu-Tue 08-13.10.2015
Thu-Tue 12-17.11.2015 (playoff 1 & 2)


Coxy's Cockup Corner
Whoops, He did it Again...

What's this all about then? Click here  
for a rambling explanation of sorts....

On This Day in History
28th May

Born Or Died:

1908 Stan Barber born, Wallsend.

Left half whose sole senior appearance for Newcastle came when he moved up from the reserves to replace Willie Gibson during March 1928.

Sadly the Magpies were beaten 5-1 away at Burnley in that game and Barber moved on that summer to Bristol City.

Later playing for Exeter City, Stan was part of the Grecians side who won through to the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup in the 1930/31 season before losing to the mackems.

Ending his career with Brighton & Hove Albion, Barber later returned to live on Tyneside and passed away in 1984.

1909 William Birkett Forster born, Walker. (1932-38)

Right back acquired from Howdon British Legion for £25 during May 1932. 

Forster's senior debut came when deputising for Joe Richardson in a 1-1 home draw with Burnley in March 1936, with two further outings during the following season.

Joining Southend United in a £150 deal during August 1938, Billy made just half a dozen appearances for the Shrimpers that season before moving again.

Signing for Bristol Rovers, the outbreak of WW2 quickly curtailed his career however.

1914 Henry Clifton born, Newburn.

Another player who lost his best years to World War II, inside forward "Harry" made an £8,500 switch to Tyneside from Chesterfield in June 1938, having previously been rejected by the Magpies. 

Undergoing an unsuccessful trial at West Bromwich Albion early in his career, The Spireites signed Harry from Scotswood in 1933 on the advice of their North East scout Harry Dormand and he first featured at senior level on New Years Day 1935.

and collected a record transfer fee for him five years later after netting 26 goals in the 1937/38 season. He'd ended that campaign with an England callup and infamously gave a Nazi salute in Berlin before a friendly international, although he didn't play.

Making a scoring debut against Plymouth Argyle at SJP that August, Clifton then added 16 more that season as United ended up with a mid-table spot in Division Two. 

The onset of World War II however saw his career curtailed and Harry saw military service in the Middle East, guesting for Chelsea when back in Blighty.

A single England cap came in December 1939, scoring in a 2-1 win over Scotland in front of 15,000 spectators at SJP. 

Returned to SJP, Clifton played in United's two-legged FA Cup tie against Barnsley in the 1945/46 season but by the time the Football League resumed fully in 1946 though, he was a Grimsby Town player.

Later appearing for Goole Town and Sutton Town, Clifton then worked in the steel industry at Sheepbridge near Chesterfield and also for a time at Arkwright Colliery.

Harry's Spireite connections then resurfaced in March 1968, when he was made Steward of the newly-built Saltergate Club.

He died back on Tyneside in 1998.

1986 Charles N'Zogbia born, Harfleur, France. (2004-09) 

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."

Tempted away from Le Havre's junior side in a deal which was ultimately referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, N'Zogbia had made an instant impact when joining United in pre-season training.

Handed the briefest of debuts by caretaker John Carver at home to Blackburn just over a month later, the midfielder delighted and annoyed fans and team mates equally in his 154 senior games (including 40 as sub).

Capable of sublime dribbles and pinpoint crosses, Zog lacked consistency and didn't react positively when circumstances saw him forced to play at left back.

Continual talk about him moving to a London club in order to be nearer to his capital -based relatives failed to materialise into firm bids - and Charles woke up on his 22nd birthday to find newspapers linking Wigan with a move for him.

Zog duly swapped SJP for the JJB in the wake of Joe Kinnear's famous "insomnia" comment in January 2009, with Ryan Taylor coming the opposite way in part-exchange. 

The most memorable of his ten goals in a Toon shirt was probably a solo effort in the 4-1 success on wearside - a goal he almost reprised at the same end of the Stadium of plight on his Wigan debut.

Like Jermaine Jenas however, Zog is another example of a promising young talent who exited SJP having seemingly added little to their game - whether that's testament to a bad self-attitude or inferior coaching remains a moot point.

The closing weeks of the 2009/10 season saw Charles in the news for a couple of reasons - firstly turning down a move to Birmingham City and then arrested for allegedly getting a stand-in to complete the theory section of his driving test!

A first full international cap for France also came his way after 10 U21 appearances, appearing in a 1-2 loss to Norway in August 2010 - the first game after France's World Cup calamity seeing a raft of new faces drafted in by coach Laurent Blanc.

In classic style Zog returned to Gallowgate two months later, scoring twice in quick succession for the Latics in a 2-2 draw.

The final hours of the January 2011 transfer window saw United supposedly make a bid for Zog after selling Andy Carroll to Liverpool although no business was done.

Those same links resurfaced in May 2011, although he eventually joined Aston Villa, appearing 30 times but only scoring twice during a disappointing season in which the side flirted with relegation.

It was a similar story the following season although he managed one more goal in 28 appearances, one coming in a memorable 4-2 Capital One Cup win at Manchester City.

He missed the entire 2013/14 season for Villa after rupturing his Achilles tendon while on holiday in Miami, but returned to make 30 appearances the following season although failing to find the net.


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What Else?

1921 Gallia Club de Paris (a)
Aitken 3, McDonald
Scorer tbc
Crowd tbc 
United were in four team tournament action at the Colombes Stadium near Paris that would later host the 1924 Olympic Games.

Following Newcastle's game Glasgow Celtic then beat Cercle Athlétique de Paris 6-0.

1922 Copenhagen XI (Denmark) (a)
Dixon, McDonald
Scorer tbc  
The Magpies maintained their 100% win record in a post-season tour of Denmark, winning their fifth game in Copenhagen.

The Danish Capital was familiar to the Magpies, following previous visits there in 1904, 1909 and 1913.

1929 Slavia Prague (Czech) (a)
Scorer tbc  

1949 Saskatchewan All Stars (Canada) (a)
G.Robledo 4, Thompson 2, Walker 2 Milburn, Dodgin, Houghton, Mitchell, OG(Greyeyes)
Rivett 2
After win in Montreal and Toronto, United's tour party moved on to Saskatoon and a Saturday evening game at Griffiths Stadium. 

Home striker Sam Rivett netted twice in reply, but team mate Dave Greyeyes netted an OG.

1955 FC Nürnberg (West Germany) (a)
Scorer tbc
Crowd tbc 

Bobby Cowell's career in football was ended after a heavy tackle from home full back Uckow left him with knee ligament damage.

The German was sent off while Cowell was stretchered off, later telling journalists:

"Uckow had been given a hard time by Jimmy Scoular and he took it out on me."

1961 A gallant performance by the Welsh saw them lose 2-3 to Hungary in Budapest, thanks to a debatable late penalty. United's Ivor Allchurch was among the scorers.

1976 Two goals from future Magpie Mick Channon helped England to a 3-2 win over Italy at Yankees Stadium in New York City.

The friendly match was part of the US Bicentenary celebrations and also featured Mike Doyle of Manchester City - who was to have a brief unsuccessful trial at SJP in 1982 that coincided with Channon's fleeting spell in a black and white shirt.

1983 22,000 fans saw Bobby Robson's England side draw 0-0 with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park, Belfast.

England finished this Home International fixture with future Magpies Kenny Sansom and John Barnes on the field and Toon old boy Peter Withe leading the attack.

1985 Fiji FA (a)
Anderson, Gascoigne 
 (local sources claim 10,000)
The final match of United's Pacific tour was played at the National Stadium in Suva, the capital of Fiji.

After losing the first meeting of the sides 0-3 days earlier, the Magpies were deserved winners second time round, Gazza coming off the bench to net a late clincher. 

1988 Paul Gascoigne netted for England U21s as they drew 1-1 with Switzerland in a friendly match staged in Lausanne. Within weeks, the midfielder had joined Spurs.

1993 Two goals from Newcastle's Andy Cole helped England U21s to a comfortable 4-1 success in a European Championship Qualifier against Poland in Jastrzebie Zdroj.

A number of Norwegian media sources ran a story linking United to Tromso player Morten Gamst Pedersen. A year later and the links re-emerged but the striker ended up going to Blackburn Rovers.

2005 Newcastle midfielder Jermaine Jenas gained his 11th cap for England as they won 2-1 against the USA in Chicago.

2009 Following three days of talks over his future, there was still to no meaningful word from either Alan Shearer or Newcastle United as to whether progress was being made over an extended deal for the former manager.

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