Saturday June 24th, 2017

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Last Match

Newcastle 3
Barnsley 0
St. James' Park
Sunday 7th May
Match report

The Never-Ending Tour

  Number of Newcastle
  games attended by in 2017/18:



From the author of "Touching Distance" 
and "Tunnel of Love" author-signed 
copies are available here for £19.99 
inc. UK postage (overseas at cost)



Season ticket public sale dates:
NOW (STs not sold during 16/17)
Mon 26.06.2017 (STs not renewed for 17/18)
double date

Newcastle will return to Germany for the first time since the Schalke Tournament in 2014, with two friendlies against Bundesliga sides now confirmed as follows:

Sat 29.07.2017 FSV Mainz 05 (a)

Following visits to Hearts, Preston and Bradford, the Magpies head to the Rhineland and the city of Mainz, whose hometown team finished 15th in the table.

It's a 4pm kick-off (local time) at the 34,000 capacity Opel Arena that opened for business in 2011.

This will be the first senior meeting at competitive or friendly level between the two clubs and we've failed to unearth any player or coach with both on their CV.

Wed 02.08.2017 VfL Wolfsburg (n)

Moving around 200 miles to the North East of Mainz, United return to Lower Saxony and a game against a Wolfsburg side who finished sixteenth (level on points with Mainz) and only preserved their top-flight status thanks to a relegation playoff victory 

Rather than their 30,000 capacity Volkswagen Arena home though, they'll face us at the AOK Stadion - a 5,200 capacity venue near the Arena opened in 2015 and hosting reserve, academy and women's sides.  

Kick-off is also at 4pm (local time).

We've never faced Wolfsburg competitively, although coming close in the 2001 Intertoto Cup when French side Troyes beat the Germans to set up a tie with us.

However the two sides have met in a friendly fixture played in Germany at the end of our successful promotion season of 1964/65.

3,000 fans saw United win 3-1 at the Stadion am Elsterweg, with Willie Penman (2) and Bobby Cummings scoring in the second half after the visitors trailed 0-1 at the break.

In terms of player/coach connections, Obafemi Martins swapped Tyneside for Wolfsburg in July 2009 for a reported £9m fee, a year before Steve McClaren was installed as head coach but lasted less than a year.

McClaren also took strength and conditioning coach Alessandro Schoenmaker to both clubs. 

Magpies v Bundesliga sides - PL era:

In Germany:

1999/00 Bochum lost 2-3 (Friendly)
2001/02 Munich 1860 won 3-1 (Intertoto)
2002/03 Bayer Leverkusen won 3-1 (CL)
2006/07 Eintracht Frankfurt drew 0-0 (UEFA Cup)
2014/15 Schalke 04 won 3-1 (Friendly)

Outside Germany:

2001/02 Munich 1860 won 3-2 (Intertoto) SJP
2002/03 Bayer Leverkusen won 3-1 (CL) SJP
2003/04 Bayern Munich drew 2-2 (Friendly) SJP
2008/09 Hertha Berlin lost 0-1 (Friendly) Mallorca

Five games confirmed by NUFC so far:

Fri 14.07.2017 Hearts @ Tynecastle
Sat 22.07.2017
Preston North End @ Deepdale
Wed 26.07.2017 Bradford City @ Valley Parade
Sat 29.07.2017 FSV Mainz 05 @ Opel Arena
Wed 02.08.2017 VfL Wolfsburg @ AOK Stadion


Sun 06.08.2017 tbc
Hellas Verona tbc @ 

Dutch departure

Former Magpie Haris Vuckic has quickly found a new club following his release by United, agreeing a three year contract with Eredivisie side FC Twente. 

The Slovenian forward who turns 25 in August spent time with the Dutch club on trial last March, making the last of his 24 competitive senior appearances for United bacl in January 2015 (an FA Cup defeat at Leicester).

Loan spells at
Cardiff City, Rotherham United, Rangers, Wigan Athletic and Bradford City while at SJP all failed to bring about any permanent move.

Custodian repatriated

Newcastle United goalkeeper Matz Sels has now officially completed a season-long loan to Belgian champions Anderlecht.

Belgian newspapers reported that the 25 year-old passed his medical earlier this week, but formal confirmation of the move was delayed until an agreement over financial terms was reached.

He'll reportedly become Anderlecht's highest earner, although the % of wages they'll pay is unclear.

Nieuwsblad assert that there's no provision for the loan to become permanent after a certain number of appearances, Anderlecht looking to promote teenage prospect Mile Svilar to senior team duty and having the more experienced Frank Boeckx sidelined.

This is the third bit of business between United and the Brussels-based club within two years, following the arrival of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Chancel Mbemba at SJP during July 2015.

The costliest custodian in United's history at £5m, Sels was the first signing made by Rafa Benitez and made his debut at Fulham - with Karl Darlow on the bench, Rob Elliot injured and Tim Krul departing on loan. 

However his unconvincing form saw him replaced by Darlow after the opening nine league games and his pitch time was restricted to Cup ties thereafter - including an EFL penalty shootout loss at Hull City.

Under contract until 2021, Sels ended the season as third choice behind Elliot and Darlow - and with both Krul and Freddie Woodman returning from loans.

What looks to have been his last Newcastle game came for the reserves before less than 500 fans in May - in stark contrast to the Champions League Group Stage action that awaits him next season.  

Carr Toon time ends

NUFC press release, Wednesday evening:

Newcastle United’s chief scout Graham Carr has today parted company with the club by mutual consent.

Graham has been United’s chief scout for seven years, taking up the position towards the end of the 2009/10 season which saw the club gain promotion back to the Premier League under former manager Chris Hughton.

Graham was instrumental in identifying players from across the UK and Europe, including signings Yohan Cabaye, Matthieu Debuchy, Vurnon Anita, Moussa Sissoko, Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote.

Managing Director Lee Charnley said: “It has been my pleasure to work with Graham over the last seven years as both a colleague and a friend. He can count some of Newcastle’s most successful players in recent years as his ‘finds’.

“Everyone connected with Newcastle United wishes Graham the very best for the future.”

The club is now reviewing its scouting operation and will make an announcement on any further changes in due course.

Now that's what I call Rafa's Way....

The son of Newcastle reserve Wilf Carr, Graham joined United as a schoolboy but failed to win a professional contract and left the club during 1962.

Playing league football for Northampton Town and York City before moving into non-league circles as both a player and manager, Carr's scouting career began in the mid 1990s with Coventry City.

Later working for Spurs, Manchester City and Notts County, then-Newcastle boss Chris Hughton brought him back to Gallowgate as a scout in 2010.

Carr's observations resulted in the unexpected award of an eight year deal in June 2012, after the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye were all signed during his watch.

His contacts also resulted in the capture of French quintet Moussa Sissoko, Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran and Massadio Haidara during the January 2013 window.

More recently he oversaw a large-scale recruitment exercise to provide Steve McClaren with Aleksandar Mitrovic, Gini Wijnaldum and Chancel Mbemba. His involvement in the mass transfer activity of last summer was comparatively minimal though.

Less memorably deals for Shefki Kuqi, both De Jongs, Sylvain Marveaux, Emmanuel Riviere, Remy Cabella, Florian Thauvin and Henri Saivet were also struck.

In his defence, some of those ended up here after other targets suggested by him were ruled out on financial or age grounds.

The 72 year-old has always denied responsibility for Gabriel Obertan - and we still don't know exactly who brought Facundo Ferreyra and Seydou Doumbia

His network of scouts also brought a good number of domestic targets to the attention of the club, but failures to complete deals ensured that many didn't end up on Tyneside - principally Dele Alli.

Carr's departure from the club underlines the change on Barrack Road since Rafa Benitez arrived, with the previous structure that saw managers restricted in their role giving way to a more conventional set-up.

Only making occasional visits to watch the first team in person, his favouring players who looked fine when in mainland Europe but were unsuitable for Premier League action arriving ultimately cost us dear.  

PS: Presumably Carr's exit from the chief scout role also means that he's no longer on the board.... 

Competition time:
New strip giveaway

Thanks to our sponsors The Protector Group, one lucky reader will soon be receiving a new 2017/18 season Newcastle United home shirt.

In order to be in with a chance of winning this prize, we simply require you to answer this question by emailing with the subject Shirt:

The Magpies failed to score against just one side in the league last season (2016/17). Name them. 

Closing date is Tuesday July 4th at 5pm and we'll contact the winner via email the same day. Entries welcome from anywhere on the planet but winning entrant must provide a UK address for delivery.

One entry per person please, shirt can be provided in any child or adult size as required and is a replica design, not the "authentic" one also available. 

Established in 1994, The Protector Group offer all types of security cover including Mobile Patrols,
Access Control Systems and CCTV installation.

Contact them on 0800 316 1144 or online here

Inbound claim:
Enter Florian?

Reports from Spain claim that agreement has been reached over the terms of a transfer bringing Florian Lejeune from Eibar to Newcastle United.

The 26 year-old central defender is known to have a €10M release clause in the contract he signed last year following his move from Manchester City. 

El Diario Vasco claim that United had attempted to negotiate staged payments of what will be Eibar's record fee, but will now pay all of it up front.

Paris-born Lejeune played second tier football in his home country before signing for Villarreal B in 2011, debuting for their first team later that same year.

Later featuring for French side Brest on loan and Spaniards Girona, Lejeune - who has also played as a defensive midfielder - joined Manchester City in 2015 before being loaned straight back to Girona.   

By June 2016 he'd signed a four year contract with Eibar, helping them to a tenth-place finish in the Primera Division and starting 33 of 38 league games.

It's reported that Eibar will spend some of the fee for Lejeune on Samu Saiz from fellow Spaniards Huesca, whose promotion playoff hopes ended with defeat to Getafe last Saturday, freeing up their target.


2017/18 fixture list is online here

Reserve pre-season

Three games confirmed by NUFC so far:

Mon 17.07.2017 Darlington @ Northern Echo Arena
Thu 27.07.2017 Celtic @ Whitby Town
Sat 29.07.2017 Whitby or AZ @ Whitby Town

Date tbc
Whitley Bay @ Whitley Bay

Departures etc.

NUFC confirm that Vurnon Anita, Sammy Ameobi, Lubo Satka and Haris Vuckic will all leave the club when their contracts expire later this month.

It's anticipated that Satka will remain with his current loan club DAC 1904 in Slovakia, while Slovenian Vuckic has signed a permanent contract with FC Twente. 

The permanent departure of loan player Florian Thauvin to Olympique Marseille was finally ratified, while Kevin Mbabu has also made his temporary posting at Swiss side Young Boys permanent. 

Talks over a new deal for Yoan Gouffran continue. 

Reserves Gideon Adu-Peprah, Jamie Holmes, Ben Smith, Stefan Broccoli and Daniel Lowther are all leaving but professional deals have been offered to Sean Longstaff, Dan Ward, Jack Hunter, Paul Woolston, Michael Newberry, Tom Heardman, Luke Charman, Owen Bailey and Nathan Harker.

Extensions to existing deals go to Owen Gallacher, Mackenzie Heaney, Owen Bailey, Nathan Harker, Yannick Aziakonou,  Ben Kitchen, Oliver Long, Lewis McNall, Callum Smith and Craig Spooner.

Two-year Academy scholarships go to Max Allen, Ryan Barrett, Thomas Cole, Sam Joyce, Deese Kasinga Madia, Jack Young and Oisin McIntee.


Current squad - limited to anyone still on the books who has played a competitive senior game for us:

Status tbc (1):
Yoan Gouffran.

2018 (5):
Jesus Gamez, Curtis Good, Massadio Haidara, Tim Krul, Daryl Murphy.

2019 (2):
Jack Colback, Mohamed Diame.

2020 (9):
Adam Armstrong, Karl Darlow, Siem De Jong, Rob Elliot, Jamaal Lascelles, Chancel Mbemba, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Emmanuel Riviere, Jamie Sterry.

2021 (12):
Rolando Aarons, Christian Atsu, Ciaran Clark, Dwight Gayle, Grant Hanley, Isaac Hayden, Achraf Lazaar, Ayoze Perez, Matt Ritchie, Henri Saivet, Jonjo Shelvey, DeAndre Yedlin.

Undisclosed (6):
Dan Barlaser (signed in 2015)
Paul Dummett (signed in 2016 tbc)
Yasin Ben El-Mhanni (signed in 2016)
Stuart Findlay (signed in 2016)
Callum Roberts (signed in 2015)
Ivan Toney (signed in 2015)

Loaned (1):
Matz Sels (2021)

Non-first team (12):
Sean Longstaff (contract offer made)
Dan Ward (contract offer made)
Jack Hunter (contract offer made)
Paul Woolston (contract offer made)
Michael Newberry (contract offer made)
Luke Charman (contract offer made)
Tom Heardman (contract offer made)
Callum Williams (tbc)
Kyle Cameron (tbc)
Macaulay Gillesphey (tbc)
Alex Gilliead (2018)
Freddie Woodman (2020)

Unlikely lads #1

Old boys on the move: 

Sam Allardyce Crystal Palace to (his) villa
Gael Bigirimana
Coventry City to Motherwell
Adam Campbell Notts County to Morecambe
Ryan Donaldson
Plymouth to Hartlepool United

Stuart Green
Cleator Moor Celtic M
Peter Lovenkrands
Rangers (youth coach)
Ryan McGorrigan
North Shields to Blyth Town
Matty Pattison
Blyth Spartans to South Shields
Nile Ranger Southend United to HMP venue TBC
John Robertson Hearts C to Inverness CT M
Haris Vuckic
NUFC to FW Twente
Andy Woodman
Whitehawk FC to Greggs

Unlikely lads #2:

Former Magpies looking for new clubs include:

Joey Barton (Burnley) (NB: 18 month ban)
Sebastien Bassong (Norwich City)
Leon Best (Ipswich Town)
Paul Bracewell
(mackems - coach)
Shay Given
(Stoke City)
Danny Guthrie (Blackburn Rovers)
JJ Hooper (Port Vale)
Brad Inman (Peterborough United)
Conor Newton (Cambridge United)
Gabriel Obertan
(Wigan Athletic)
Remi Streete
(Port Vale)
Mike Williamson (Wolves)

Jennings Ford Direct
Jennings Ford Direct | 0845 020 5918


Fixtures, Tickets etc.
Season 2017/18

The stadium Box Office is located in the Milburn Stand, just up the slope from the Sir Bobby Robson Statue. The previous ticket desk in the club shop has now closed.

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

SJP Box Office phone: 0844 372 1892* 
(7p per minute plus network charge)

* 0044 870 444 1892 from overseas


Online Box Office is 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 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.

Away Supporters: there's been no official announcement, but United have obtained a 12 month exemption on logistical grounds to the Premier League requirement to house some away supporters at pitch level.


Heading to the Toon?

City guide

Geordie Map here  

NE guide here

Mon 03.07.2017 Pre-season training.

Fri 14.07.2017 Hearts (a) @ Tynecastle, 7.45pm. Friendly. Ticket details tbc.

Mon 17.07.2017 U23s v Darlington (n) @ Northern Echo Arena, 7pm. Friendly.

Sat 22.07.2017 Preston North End (a) @ Deepdale, 3.00pm. Friendly. Ticket details tbc.

Mon 24.07.2017 U18s v County Antrim (Northern Ireland) (a) @ venue tbc, ko tbc. NI Super Cup group game.

Tue 25.07.2017 U18s v Beijing Morning Star United (China)
(n) @ venue tbc, ko tbc. NI Super Cup group game.

Wed 26.07.2017 Bradford City (a) @ Valley Parade, 7.30pm. Friendly. Ticket details tbc.

Wed 26.07.2017 U18s v Komazawa Uni (Japan) (n) @ venue tbc, ko tbc. NI Super Cup group game.

Thu 27.07.2017 U18s v opposition tbc
(n) @ venue tbc, ko tbc. NI Super Cup.

Thu 27.07.2017
U23s v Celtic (n) @ Turnbull Ground, Whitby, 7.45pm. Whitby Town Challenge Cup 2017.

Fri 28.07.2017 U18s v opposition tbc (n) @ venue tbc, ko tbc. NI Super Cup.

Sat 29.07.2017 FSV Mainz 05 (a) @ Opel Arena, 4pm (local time). Friendly. Ticket details tbc.

Sat 29.07.2017 U23s v Whitby Town or AZ Alkmaar (n) @ Turnbull Ground, Whitby, 1.30pm or 5.30pm. Whitby Town Challenge Cup 2017.

Wed 02.08.2017 VfL Wolfsburg (a) @ AOK Stadion, 4pm (local time). Friendly. Ticket details tbc.

date tbc.08.2017 opposition TBC (h) @ SJP, KO tbc. Friendly.

Sat 12.08.2017 PL opening fixtures.

Sun 13.05.2018 PL closing fixtures.

League Cup Final 25.02.2018

FA Cup Final

Live TV games - to be announced:

Sky Sports (126 games)
BT Sports (42 games)

Live TV confirmation dates:  

these are all "approximate dates"

Mon 10.07.2017
August & September
Fri 11.08.2017 October & November
Thu 12.10.2017 Dec & January
Tue 12.12.2017 February
Thu 25.01.2018 March
Mon 26.02.2018 April
Fri 06.04.2018 May
Tue 08.05.2018 May 13th

Talk-ins etc:

Thu 06.07.2017 Steve Harper
(& Mick Lowes) @ NINE Bar. £15+. here

Fri 07.07.2017 Mick Quinn @ Hedworth Hall, South Shields. £20+ here

Fri 14.07.2017 Peter Beardsley (& Mick Lowes) @ 42nd Street, Whitley Bay. £15. here

Fri 04.08.2017 Malcolm Macdonald (& Mick Lowes) @ NINE Bar. £15+. here

The 2019 European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup rugby union Finals will be staged at SJP on successive days.

Metro engineering works:

Mon 31.07.2017 to Fri 11.08.2017:
No trains will run in either direction between South Gosforth and Four Lane Ends

Sat 12.08.2017 to Sat 02.09.2017:
No trains will run in either direction between South Gosforth and Shiremoor

Replacement buses operate

Magpie Movers are now on sale to NUFC ST holders, allowing use of public transport across the city three hours before and three hours after competitive NUFC home games.

After being £20 for three seasons, Movers now cost £30 online or £31 by post

International Magpies
National Service

Lubo Satka (Slovakia U21s):
Fri 16.06.2017 Poland (a) won 2-1 ECF
Lubo was an unused substitute in Lublin as his nation began their UEFA U21 European Championship campaign with a win.

Mon 19.06.2017 England (n) lost 1-2 ECF
Another night on the bench for the soon to be former Magpie defender in Kielce.

Thu 22.06.2017
Sweden (n) won 3-0 ECF
Introduced to the starting lineup for the fixture in Lublin, Lubo netted the final goal in a 3-0 victory - converting a low shot.

Slovakia finished second in Group A behind England and advance as the runners up with the best record. 

2017/18 international breaks:
Mon-Tue 28.08-05.09.2017
Mon-Tue 02.10-10.10.2017
Mon-Tue 06.11-14.11.2017
Mon-Tue 19.03-27.03.2018

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
24th June

Born Or Died:

1870 James Logan born, Troon, Scotland. (1895-96)

Centre forward Jimmy began his playing career with Ayr and had already been capped by Scotland at senior level when joining the mackems in 1891.

However he failed to settle on wearside and after a second stint with Ayr, returned to England with Aston Villa in 1892. 

Logan's next stop was Notts County and a hat trick in the 1894 FA Cup Final helped them to a 4-1 win over Bolton. 

Another move took Jimmy to Dundee before Newcastle secured his services and he marked his Magpies debut with a goal in a 3-0 home win over Loughborough Town in September 1895.

Despite scoring in his first six appearances for the club, Logan fell from favour at Gallowgate and moved on to Loughborough Town early in 1896. 

Tragically, he passed away at the age of 25, after contracting pneumonia whilst playing for Loughborough that April.

Facing Newton Heath (later to become Manchester United) at their Bank Street ground, Logan & Co. played in their own clothes, after Town's kit went missing. 

On a rainy afternoon, The Luffs lost 0-2 and had then to travel home in their soaking clothes. Logan soon developed pneumonia and although recovering sufficiently to resume playing, died the following month.

His last resting place is an unmarked grave in Loughborough Cemetery - and a road in the town is earmarked to be named James Logan Way when redeveloped.

1946 John Tudor born, Ilkeston, Derbyshire. (1971-76)

While playing local football in Derbyshire, John appeared in the colours of Chesterfield, Nottingham Forest, Notts County and Derby County before linking up with Middlesbrough, where he made it through to their reserves.

Discarded by the Ayresome Park club, he was back at Ilkeston Town when they faced Coventry City in a charity match in 1964. City boss Jimmy Hill appeared in that game and offered Tudor a trial at Highfield Road. 

Earning a professional contract, John won a Second Division Championship medal in the 1966/67 season before the cash-strapped club sold him to Sheffield United for £65K in November 1968.

Scoring twice against Newcastle during a League Cup tie in September 1969 brought him to the attention of Joe Harvey and an exchange deal saw him move to SJP in January 1971, David Ford and John Hope heading to Bramall Lane.

Initially playing in a forward line with Pop Robson before his departure for West Ham, Tudor netted five times in 16 outings when operating with Wyn Davies and Keith Dyson.

However the arrival of Malcolm Macdonald on Tyneside before the following season proved to be pivotal, with a productive partnership seeing John create many goals for Supermac and score a fair few himself.

Appearing in the 1974 FA Cup Final defeat to Liverpool, John did win silverware with United in the shape of the Texaco Cups.

However, it's his FA Cup contributions that are remembered, not least of which was a diving header against Forest in the riot game expunged from the records, when the FA ordered the game to be replayed.

Tudor's own personal favourites were both headed goals: at home v Manchester United and the other at Anfield. "Hallelujah" indeed.

Outlasting Macdonald at SJP by a few months, Tudor made just one appearance during the 1976/77 season at home to Bristol City, in August of 1976.

Joining Stoke City in a £30K deal two months later, (with West Ham, Spurs and Southampton also interested), he switched to Belgian side AA Gent the following year.

A knee injury prompted his retirement in 1978 and he served as coach and later manager of North Shields, also entering the pub trade in Northumberland. 

Later working as a publican back in his hometown of Ilkeston and taxi driving, John became involved in summer coaching camps for American youngsters in 1991.

1994 saw him emigrate to the USA where he lives in St Paul, Minnesota and coached at the Tonka United youth side.

Following a heart attack during 2014, Tudor successfully underwent two operations and within six months was visiting friends and relatives back in the UK.

1967 Death of Wilf Innerd, 89

1976 Death of Harry Bedford, 76.

1982 Kevin Nolan born, Liverpool.

Midfielder who signed for Bolton Wanderers as a teenager and made his first team debut in March 2000 at the age of 17.

Part of the Trotters side who won promotion by beating Preston North End in the playoff final just over a year later, Nolan went on to score a half century of goals in almost 350 appearances and became club captain. An England U21 cap also came his way, against Italy in Pisa February 2003. 

Criticised by a section of Bolton fans, Nolan joined United in the January 2009 transfer window in a £4m deal. However, his eleven games that season saw him fail to score and look sluggish and barely interested.

His two major acts that season had been to miss a penalty against us and earn a straight red in his third Toon game, for a two-footed lunge on Everton's Anichebe.

Dropped by Alan Shearer from his matchday 18 for the home game against Portsmouth, Nolan's departure and return to a top-flight in the summer looked inevitable.

Instead however, Shearer and his assistant Iain Dowie exited and Chris Hughton was installed as interim manager once again, with Nolan scoring in pre-season games at both Darlington and Huddersfield Town.

His increasing influence on the dressing room was evident in the aftermath of the 6-1 friendly loss at Leyton Orient, when a team meeting is credited as being a turning point in the club's recent history.

One of a handful of senior players who took on the task of rebuilding team spirit (and arguably, selection) their efforts almost instantly bore fruit as United swept all before them in the Championship. 

Scoring his first competitive goal in an early season win at Crystal Palace, Nolan then notched a 21 minute hat trick at Ipswich Town en route to becoming the club's joint- top league goalscorer with 17 strikes. 

The return of Peter Lovenkrands to form and fitness allowed Nolan to move back from his makeshift striker role to a more orthodox central midfield role.

And as promotion and the title came into sight, Nolan became an increasingly high profile figure in the media - having taken the captain's armband when Nicky Butt and Alan Smith weren't in action.

Nolan continued his good form into the Premier League and after Andy Carroll departed for Liverpool in January, he was again United's leading goalscorer with 12.

His "minding" of Carroll, as part of the striker's bail conditions, thrust him into an unwanted limelight, especially when Carroll's Range Rover was torched on Nolan's drive.

But despite the successful season back in the top flight, Nolan's contract extension talks broke down and former boss, Sam Allardyce stepped in to take the midfielder to West Ham to spearhead the relegated side's promotion campaign.

Nolan duly captained the side to promotion at the first attempt - albeit via the playoffs - by beating Blackpool 2-1 at Wembley - missing just four league games and scoring a total of 13 times for the Hammers.

A return to the top-flight then saw him reunited with Andy Carroll at Upton Park and marking his return to SJP by scoring in a 1-0 away win - one of ten strikes that season.

And despite two dismissals in the 2013/14 season and his regular festive "break" , Nolan finished West Ham's top scorer with seven Premier League goals.

What proved to be his final Hammers game came in the season-closer at Gallowgate in May 2015 and after training with Leyton Orient, he was confirmed as their player/ manager during January 2016.

However, his time in charge at Brisbane Road wasn't a success and he stood down after barely three months in post.

A second stab at management them came a year later, when Kevin took charge of Notts County.


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What Else?

1998 New Newcastle recruit Stephane Guivarc'h made a brief appearance as a late substitute for France as they overcame Denmark 2-1 in Lyon in the World Cup.

2002 Freddy Shepherd and Bobby Robson were seething after a former Magpie player Glenn Roeder seemed to have poached Olivier Bernard for his West Ham side. 

Newcastle however forced and won a tribunal that prevented the move and the Frenchman returned to Tyneside.

2004 England's interest in Euro 2004 ended at the Quarter Final stage, as they were beaten 6-5 on penalties by Portugal.

Michael Owen had put England ahead after just 3 minutes, but the score was 1-1 at the end of normal time and 2-2 once 30 minutes of extra play had been completed.

Newcastle's Kieron Dyer watched from the bench as Owen netted his penalty but ended up on the losing side - Magpies-bound Nicky Butt was also an unused substitute.

2007 The Sunday Sun's "insider" claimed that Mike Ashley himself persuaded Freddy Shepherd to stay on after the Chairman offered his resignation along with the rest of the board. That claim seemed highly unlikely when Shepherd departed some weeks later.

2008 Former Walsall manager Richard Money was confirmed as United's Director of Academy and Youth operations, with some quotes from the new man as follows:

“It is a wonderful job and I’m relishing the chance to get started. This was too big a club to turn down. I have enjoyed being a manager for the last four years but this job at Newcastle is too big a challenge and too big an opportunity to turn down."

2010 Manager, Chris Hughton addressed three strong transfer rumours:

Steve Harper to Celtic: "I can categorically state that there is nothing in that. We just won’t sell him. He’s our No 1 goalkeeper, he had a great season for us and he’s a very important member of our squad."

Rais M'Bohli from Slavia Sofia: "I actually had a text message from someone about that player, asking if I would be interested and that is as far as that has gone. I wasn’t even aware of him or his name, so it’s surprising to hear those reports. We are definitely not interested.”

Jlloyd Samuel from Bolton Wanderers: "I can’t say there hasn’t been a phone call to see what the situation is. But has it gone as far as a bid? - definitely not".

2011 In addition to their player recruitment efforts, Newcastle were also in the market for a new youth team coach, after Frankie Bunn ended his short stay at SJP and joined Rochdale as Steve Eyre's assistant.

Bunn was named U18 coach in March 2011, having formerly been
Coventry's first team coach
and reserve side boss with Manchester City. His new charges promptly went and lost six successive games however, before a win and two draws ended the season.

We assume Bunn was lured by the offer of more dough and an expected rise....

2014 Disappointment for Cheick Tiote, whose error allowed Greece to open the scoring in a World Cup Final group game staged in Fortaleza.

Following Tiote's substitution his side levelled, but a penalty conversion in added time sent the Greeks through at the expense of the Elephants.