Tuesday July 26th, 2016

    last update 20:32 BST

      Your genial hosts: Niall and Biffa

Next Match

Southend United
Roots Hall
Tuesday 26th July

Kick-off 7.45pm

Last Match
Sporting Lokeren 0
Newcastle 4
Daknam Stadium
Saturday 23rd July

Match report

The Never-Ending Tour

  Number of Newcastle
  games attended by in 2016/17:



Martin Hardy's excellent "Touching Distance" book is now in paperback.

Order from the publisher for just £8.99 including UK postage here




Ticket news:
Fulham (a)

Huddersfield (h) Member sale now
Reading (h) Member sale now
Bristol City (a) ST holder sale now (50 points)


Southend United (a)

Southend United  0  Newcastle  0


United's fourth pre-season kickabout takes them to Essex, where they'll face League One side Southend United at their Roots Hall ground this evening.

Team: Darlow, Janmaat, Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett, Hayden, Anita, Aarons, Shelvey, Perez, Gayle.
Subs: Sels, Sterry, Hanley, Saivet, Colback, Gouffran, Thauvin, Armstrong, Mitrović.

Jesus Gámez misses out due to suspension and Cheick Tiote is rumoured to be sorting out a move to Abu Dhabi and is speaking to Al Jazira club.


If true, Tiote's last action will have been an 18-minute sub appearance at Lokeren which included... a booking....

SUFC: There's no chance of a reunion with old boy Nile Ranger who is on a short-term deal at the Shrimpers - he has missed all of their pre-season games with a groin problem.

Much-travelled striker Simon Cox is a new arrival, while at least three trialists are in mackem Phil Brown's squad - Jakub Sokolik, William Edjenguélé and Ronan Murray.

In order to protect the Roots Hall pitch, Southend's scheduled home friendly against a West Ham XI on Saturday was moved to a nearby non-league ground, but our visit goes ahead as planned. 

The Shrimpers won that Hammers game 3-2.

Magpies @ Roots Hall: 

won 6-3 FR McGuigan, White 2, 
Allchurch, Hughes, OG
1991/92 lost 0-4 D1 
1992/93 drew 1-1 D1 G.Peacock

Our last competitive visit here was for a midweek 1-1 draw in our 1992/93 promotion season - rescheduled from the original Saturday slot in order to avoid clashing with a Young Conservatives conference!

What was perhaps our darkest hour and a half had come there during the previous campaign: an awful 0-4 loss on New Years Day 1992 when relegation to the third tier began to look a distinct possibility.

Southend have since built a double decker stand on the old away terrace and travelling supporters are now housed behind the opposite goal - in the covered North Stand (view from there is pictured above).

Proud sponsors of

DK Max:
Kelly hat giveaway


Having sold out earlier in the year (when right minded people should really have been buying woolly hats), Tyneside-based merchandiser Spirit of 69 have replenished stocks of their "David Kelly" bucket hat. 

Available in various sizes online here for £21.50, we have one up for grabs in a free-to-enter giveaway. 

Simply identify a former Magpie striking colleague of Ned from the following clues:

Signed from non-league side Kettering Town
Scored 13 times in 51 games under 3 managers
Left for West Brom and ended his days at Charlton

Email your answer to (subject: Hat).

Closing date is Mon Aug 1st @ 6pm - one per person please. Entries welcome from across the planet.

PS: So69's latest creation in celebration of a certain Spaniard is selling well, with all the XL size "El Jefe" titfers now sold out and smaller ones going fast.

Bristol City (a)


Season ticket holders can now buy tickets for our trip to Ashton Gate on Saturday August 20th, with the initial loyalty threshold set at 50 points.

That figure will reduce to 25 points this coming Thursday and to zero on Monday 1st August.

Prices: £30 adults, £27 over-65s/U25s, £15 U19s, £10 for U12s.

(A check of last season's Championship games confirms that away fans of comparable clubs also paid £30.) 


Allocation: 2,500 seats

Happy returns

KSC Lokeren  0  Newcastle 


Match footage is online here

Match report


Steel silverware for second string!

PSV Eindhoven XI  0  Newcastle U21s  1


Sunday's match action is online here

Steel Cup trophy presentation

Match details online here

United's U21 fixtures for the season are
online here


Lewis at the double

A Newcastle Academy squad are currently making their annual visit to Northern Ireland for the Milk Cup youth event (now re-christened as SuperCupNI) and began with victory over County Fermanagh on Monday:

Mon 25.07.2016
Fermanagh (n) won 2-1  

A goal in each half from Lewis McNall got United off the mark at the Ballymena Showgrounds - but victory came only thanks to a very late strike. 

The local lads went ahead in the opening seconds of play after a throw from Eoin Beacom was deflected in, but striker McNall levelled after sixteen minutes before winning it two minutes into added time.

Team: Freeman, Aziakanou, Aplin, Longstaff, Bailey, Gibson, Heaney, Goodridge, McNall, Long, Gallacher.

Subs (usage tbc): Watts, Brown, Allan, Cass, Wilson, Robson, Gamblin.

Booked: Aplin

(games are of 70 minutes duration)

Tue 26.07.2016 Right to Dream (n) 
@ Seahaven, Portstewart, 7pm.

Wed 27.07.2016 Tyrone (n)  
@ The Warren, Portstewart, 3.30pm.

Thu 28.07.2016 opponent tbc
location and kickoff tbc.

Fri 29.07.2016 opponent tbc
location and kick-off tbc


1 Charlie Freeman
2 Yannick Aziakonou
3 Kieren Aplin
4 Matthew Longstaff
5 Owen Bailey
6 Lewis Gibson
7 Mackenzie Heaney
8 Mace Goodridge
9 Lewis McNall
10 Oliver Long
11 Owen Gallacher
12 Kelland Watts
13 Will Brown
14 Thomas Allan
15 Lewis Cass
16 Adam Wilson
17 Jack Robson
18 Isaac Gamblin

United's U18 fixtures for 2016/17 are online here.

Kop that:
Homer leaves

Update: amidst all the hot air spouted about Gini's move, the player admitted that speaking to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was enough for him to turn down offers for his services made by Everton and Spurs. 

Club announcement, Friday evening:

Newcastle United can confirm the sale of Georginio Wijnaldum to Liverpool for an undisclosed fee.

The Dutch international midfielder joined the Magpies in July 2015 from PSV Eindhoven and made 40 appearances, scoring 11 goals, during his time on Tyneside.

"We made it very clear at the beginning of the summer that we had no need to sell for financial reasons, despite relegation, and would only consider selling a player if it was in the best interests of the Club and the team," said Newcastle United managing director Lee Charnley.

"After discussions with Rafa it was felt that this particular deal was one such circumstance and would be in the best interests of both parties.

"Gini leaves with our very best wishes for his future career."

United's want-away Dutchman got his wish on Friday for a "new project" rather than dragging his carcass to Burton and Preston - remaining in the Premier League as a Liverpool player. 

The Dutch international arrived on Tyneside after a £14.5m transfer from PSV Eindhoven was agreed 12 months ago and departs for a claimed £25m fee. Media reports of a possible player plus cash deal proved to be false. 

It's reported that he flew directly back from Ireland to Holland on Saturday after the Bohemians game, rather than returning to Tyneside with his team mates.

A switch to Anfield was widely predicted on Tuesday, but Wijnaldum instead appeared in the Newcastle squad who played at Doncaster Rovers that night and came off the bench in the closing stages.

Within hours though it was reported that further talks involving Newcastle and Liverpool had resulted in the agreement on a fee and the terms of payment.

Dutch media sources carried quotes from a PSV club official confirming that a sell-on clause had been inserted in the deal that took Gini to Tyneside, but declined to disclose any details - a figure of 15% is speculated upon. 

Wijnaldum then flew out to the USA on Saturday and link up with his new colleagues in California - exactly a year after doing the same thing with Newcastle.

While we'll admit a certain regret at his departure, it's impossible to overlook the fitful nature of contribution to our season - the early promise of home scoring feats overshadowed by a startling tendency to disappear in away games that saw us brand him "the hologram".

Like people's champion Moussa Sissoko, had Gini done his job properly last season - and Steve McClaren actually managed him rather than indulged him - we'd not be facing visits to Wigan and Fulham.

Well run, Geordie...

Victor (left), Victory Monument (right)


After an 83 day effort during which he completed a magnificent 2,650 miles, Mark Allison aka Run Geordie Run completed the latest leg of his global charity run in Belgrade on Friday.

Backed all the way by his fantastic support crew of unpaid volunteers, Mark successfully ran through Portugal, Spain, Andorra, France, Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia before reaching Serbia.   

Events in Turkey saw Mark alter the route of his run from the original end point of Istanbul and he'll now re-plan the next leg of his trek in 2018 accordingly. 

Mark is raising funds for The Children's Foundation and The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and his efforts to date have seen good causes benefit by £250K - with this run yielding £41K in donations thus far.

If you'd like to boost that total, then please do so online here 

Come in number 6:
Another Rafa 
wish Grant-ed


Newcastle concluded their sixth close season signing on Thursday, paying £5.5m for the Blackburn Rovers central defender and captain Grant Hanley.

The 24 year-old Scottish international headed to the North East for a medical on Wednesday, having missed a third successive Rovers pre-season game on Tuesday.

Hanley signs a five-year deal and is expected to make his Magpies bow on Saturday, when Rafa's side face Sporting Lokeren in Belgium. 


United had targeted a central defender following the loss of Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor and had previously bid £3.5m and £4.5m for Hanley - whose former club Crewe Alexandra inserted a 10% sell on clause when the player moved to Ewood in 2008.  

He'll compete with Jamaal Lascelles and Chancel Mbemba for a first team spot - although the latter stands to miss up to eight games early next year when on African Cup of Nations Final duty with DR Congo. 

Beginning his career for hometown club Queen of the South, Hanley
joined Crewe and also spent time at Rangers before signing for Blackburn and making his senior debut on the final day of the 2009/10 season.

played 200 senior games in all competitions - including two outings against Newcastle (as sub during a 3-4 League Cup away loss in October 2011 and the full 2-1 home FA Cup victory three months later).

Rafa Benitez's own website announced the transfer as follows:

We can finally announce that Grant Hanley has joined our project- adding his skill and potential to our squad. 

It was clear that we needed another defender and we were seeking someone with enough experience in this position and, at the same time, a young player with potential who can improve and keep growing with us. 

We are talking about a strong defender, who is fast and plays with passion. To add to this he is the captain of the Scottish National Team and is a player that who increases competitiveness in his position on the field, a key for any successful team. 

Meanwhile, we continue working and preparing for the great challenge that we are facing. Howay the Lads!


Meat Loaf:
Arise, Big Sham


Like a bat out of hell....


Former Newcastle manager, Sam Allardyce, has been appointed as the new Head Coach of the national side, as the FA continue to use the plot of the Mike Bassett: England Manager film as their recruitment blueprint.


The man who has famously never won a thing (including promotion with Newcastle - see Coxy's Cockup Corner) has been given the perfect job to carry on the half-a-century winless streak for a few more years.


On the plus side, the mackems lose their relegation saviour heading into the new season and the appointment of David Moyes will hopefully prove to be their undoing.


Former Magpies striker, Andy Carroll, will be expecting a call from his old West Ham boss and Jermaine Defoe could be forgiven for regularly checking his mobile for messages from Allardyce.


United old boy Neil McDonald may well be given the nod as part of the coaching staff, having assisted Allardyce throughout his career, while another former player, Paul Bracewell, could also be asked to assist.

Least surprised about the appointment will be Big Sam himself who has never been shy in coming forward about his managerial abilities, previously touting himself for high profile vacancies and often referring back with disbelief to when Steve McClaren was appointed England manager ahead of him.


Perhaps that says everything about the FA's inability to fill the vacancy appropriately. Now watch Allardyce go and actually win something....   


Perez saves blushes


Doncaster  2  Newcastle  2

Youtube footage is online here

Match report



Matz Sels
24 year-old Belgian international 'keeper signed from KAA Gent on a five year deal for approx £5m, the costliest custodian in our history.   

Matt Ritchie 26 year-old Scottish international left winger bought for £12m from Bournemouth on a five year contract. Formerly with Portsmouth, Dagenham and Redbridge, Notts County, Swindon Town.

Dwight Gayle fleet-footed 25 year-old forward who arrived on a five year deal from Crystal Palace for £10m. Also played at Arsenal, Stansted, Dagenham and Redbridge, Bishop's Stortford and Peterborough.

Jesus Games turned down the chance to rejoin his former club Malaga from Atletico Madrid when Rafa Benitez made his interest known. The 31 year-old Spanish-born right back signed a two year deal.

Isaac Hayden arrived from Arsenal on a permanent deal, the Essex-born 21 year-old defender/midfielder agreeing a five year contract. He helped Hull City achieve PL promotion last season while on loan.

Grant Hanley defected from fellow Championship side Blackburn Rovers to United, becoming the second Scottish international in the squad with Ritchie. 

The 24 year-old hails from Dumfries and previously played for Crewe Alexandra.


Sylvain Marveaux Contract expired

Gabriel Obertan
Contract expired

Steven Taylor
Contract expired

Andros Townsend Joined Crystal Palace for £13m after the Eagles triggered a release clause inserted into his deal when arriving from Spurs in January.

Fabricio Coloccini Negotiated an early release from his contract in order to return to Argentina and join former club San Lorenzo.

Papiss Cisse Moved into the final season of his deal and agreed a transfer to Chinese Super League club 
Shandong Luneng for an undisclosed fee.

Gini Wijnaldum followed in the boot steps of Didi Hamann, Andy Carroll and Jose Enrique by making a switch to Liverpool. Just 12 months into a five year contract, he moved to Anfield for a claimed £25m. 

Old boys:
Unlikely lads 
Old boys with new clubs:

Joey Barton (Glasgow Rangers)
Craig Baxter (South Shields)
Hatem Ben Arfa
(Paris SG)
Jamie Cobain
Adam Collin
(Notts County)
Mark Cook
(Dunston UTS)
Frank Wiafe Danquah
(Fortuna Sittard)
Nicky Deverdics
(Hartlepool United)
Ryan Donaldson (Plymouth Argyle)
Seydou Doumbia (Basel)
David Edgar (Vancouver Whitecaps)
Alex Francis (Bishop Auckland)
Matthew Grieve (Morpeth Town)
Lewis Guy (Annan Athletic)
Brad Inman
(Peterborough United)
Sylvain Marveaux (Lorient)
Callum Morris
Charles N'Zogbia (mackems - trial)
Oguchi Onyewu (Rangers - trial) 
Matty Pattison (Blyth Spartans)
Ben Pollock (Hartlepool United)
Nile Ranger (Southend United)
Louis Storey (South Shields)
Ryan Taylor (Rotherham United - trial)
Ryan Taylor (Wigan Athletic - trial)
Ben Tozer (Newport County)
Jake Trodd (Newcastle Benfield)

Coaches etc:

John Carver
(AC Omonoia M - Cyprus)
Steve Clarke (Aston Villa AM)
Patrick Kluivert (PSG D of F)
Nigel Pearson (Derby County M)
Carl Serrant (Charlton Athletic C)
Paul Stephenson (Kilmarnock C)
Steve Watson (Macclesfield Town AM)

Jennings Ford Direct
Jennings Ford Direct | 0845 020 5918


Fixtures, Tickets etc.
Season 2016/17

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* 
(7p per minute plus network charge)

* 0044 870 444 1892 from overseas


Online Box Office is here

SJP seating plan is here

Of interest to those who are awaiting the promised refund / direct debit change following price reductions is the following:

Following the 10% discount, existing season ticket holders who have paid up front in full will soon be receiving details of refunds, while existing season ticket holders on the club's Direct Debit scheme will be notified of reductions in their payments shortly.

Existing season ticket holders are reminded to retain last season's entry card. New season ticket holders and supporters who have moved seats or changed concession bands will receive a new card by Thursday 4th August.

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. 

altoonative travel is the public face of the Newcastle United Travel Plan, designed to help fans attend matches using the most efficient and sustainable methods available.


Heading to the Toon?

City guide

Geordie Map here  

NE guide here


Tue 26.07.2016 U18s v Right to Dream (n) @ Seahaven, Portstewart, 7pm. NI Super Cup.

Tue 26.07.2016 Southend United (a) Roots Hall, 7.45pm. Friendly. NUFC ticket sale now ended, away section tickets available on the night. 

Wed 27.07.2016 U18s v Tyrone (n) @ The Warren, Portstewart, 3.30pm. NI Super Cup.

Thu 28.07.2016 U18s v opponent tbc, location and kickoff tbc. NI Super Cup.

Fri 29.07.2016 U18s v opponent tbc, location and kick-off tbc. NI Super Cup.

Sat 30.07.2016 Vitesse Arnhem (h) @ SJP, 3pm. Friendly. Public sale now. £15 adults, £5 concessions. Only selected parts of lower bowl on sale initially. Cash turtnstiles will be open on matchday.

Sat 30.07.2016 U21s v York City (a) @ Bootham Crescent, YO30 7AQ, 3pm. Friendly. £12 adults, £6 concessions - no advance tickets sold, pay on the gate. 

Mon 01.08.2016 SJP open training session. Full details tbc, free admission.

Mon 01.08.2016
NUFC second and third kits go on sale.

Mon 01.08.2016
U16s v Charlton Athletic (n) @ Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park, 10am. Youdan Trophy (games 30 mins x 2).

Mon 01.08.2016 U21s v Ashington (a)
@ Woodhorn Lane, 7.30pm. Friendly.
£6 adults, £2 concessions. Pay at the gate.

Tue 02.08.2016
U16s v Seattle Sounders (n) @ Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park, 2pm. Youdan Trophy (games 30 mins x 2).

Wed 03.08.2016 U16s v Friendly Academy (n) @ Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park, 10am. Youdan Trophy (games 30 mins x 2). Competition continues on Thu 04.08.2016 and Fri 05.08.2016.

Fri 05.08.2016 Fulham (a) @ Craven Cottage, 7.45pm. Championship. Live on Sky Sports. SOLD OUT (allocation: 2,750)

Sat 13.08.2016 U18s v Everton (h) @ Little Benton, KO tbc. U18 Premier League.

Sat 13.08.2016 Huddersfield Town (h)
@ SJP, 3pm. Championship. Member sale now, public sale from Mon 25.07.2016 (online), Mon 01.08.2016 (in person/by phone).

Mon 15.08.2016 U21s v Norwich City (a) @ Carrow Road, KO tbc. Premier League 2. NB: venue switch from home to away.

Wed 17.08.2016 Reading (h)
@ SJP, 7.45pm. Championship. Member sale now, public sale from Tue 26.07.2016 (online), Mon 01.08.2016 (in person/by phone).

Sat 20.08.2016 U18s v West Bromwich Albion (a) @ WBA Training Ground, KO tbc. U18 Premier League.

Sat 20.08.2016 Bristol City (a)
@ Ashton Gate, 3pm. Championship. ST holder sale now (50 points), 25 points from Thu 28.07.2016, 0 from Mon 01.08.2016.
£30 adults, £27 over-65s/U25s, £15 U19s, £10 for U12s. Allocation: 2,500.

Mon 22.08.2016 U21s v West Ham (a) @ venue tbc, KO tbc. Premier League 2.

Sun 09.10.2016 Alan Shearer's Newcastle Legends team v Keith Gillespie's Manchester Select, Kingston Park, 1.30pm.

Tickets from £10 adults & £5 juniors via 0871 226 6060 or online here (Hospitality packages via 0191 214 2892). Proceeds donated to the Alan Shearer Foundation. 

Sat 06.05.2017
Championship season ends (all games kick off at Noon).

(Championship playoff final takes place at Wembley Stadium on Mon 29.05.2017)

Confirmed NUFC UK live TV coverage:

NUFC Live on Sky Sports:

Fri 05.08.2016
Fulham (a) 7.45pm
Sat 27.08.2016 Brighton (h) 5.30pm
Sat 10.09.2016 Derby County (a) 5.30pm Sat 24.09.2016 Aston Villa (a) 5.30pm

From the EF: The next selections are due for consideration early next month with an announcement set for just after the opening weekend of the season (Aug 6).

League Cup (aka The EFL Cup):
United have a bye to Round 2.

R1 w/c 08.08.2016
R2 w/c 22.08.2016
R3 w/c 19.09.2016
R4 w/c 24.10.2016
R5 w/c 28.11.2016
SF1 w/c 09.01.2017
SF2 w/c 23.01.2017
F Sun 26.02.2017

FA Cup:
United enter in Round 3 - draw date tbc

R3 07.01.2017
R4 28.01.2017
R5 18.02.2017
R6 11.03.2017
SF 22.04.2017
Sat 27.05.2017.

Metro line closures 2016:

Sat 23.07.2016 to Sat 06.08.2016 From Benton to Whitley Bay both ways. 


International Magpies
National Service
2016/17 future match dates:
Mon-Tue 29.08.2016-06.09.2016
Mon-Tue 03-11.10.2016
Mon-Fri 07-18.11.2016
Mon-Tue 20-28.03.2017
Coxy's Cockup Corner
Whoops, He did it Again...

Spotted by a large number of you, the BBC wrote this about the new England manager:

Ex-Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn and West Ham boss Allardyce becomes the 15th permanent England boss.

He has never won a major trophy but has got Bolton and Newcastle promoted to the Premier League.

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

On This Day in History
26th July

Born Or Died:

1928 Edward Oliver Robledo born, Iquique, Chile. (1949-53)

Two years younger than his better-known goalscoring brother George, defender Ted joined Newcastle from Barnsley in a joint deal at a cost of £26,500 in January 1949.

George, Ted and younger brother Walter had come to England in 1932 with their Yorkshire-born mother Elsie, leaving their Chilean father Aristides in his homeland.

Ted followed his brother into the Barnsley side in 1947, but had made only five appearances in their first team when the move to SJP came, George making his brother's transfer a condition of the move.

Debuting in a 1-0 victory at Aston Villa on the last day of 1949 (with his brother in the side), Ted replaced Charlie Crowe but didn't appear in the first team again that season.

Playing only in the Third Round tie during the club's successful FA Cup campaign of 1950/51, Ted was a more regular performer the following season and played in the 1-0 Wembley victory over Arsenal.  

1953 saw the Robledo brothers return to Chile, both signing for Colo Colo where they won domestic titles and Ted joined his brother in the Chilean national team.

A brief return to England in 1957 saw Ted play twice for Notts County, but he was soon back in Chile and began a new career as an oil rig worker in various locations including the Persian Gulf.

Ted's life came to a tragic and unexplained end in December 1970, when he was declared missing at sea after leaving Dubai on a ship named the Al Sahn.

Amid claims of a fight, the ship's captain was charged with murder, but later acquitted. Ted's body was never found.   

1935 Ken Leek born, Pontypridd, Wales.

Welsh international striker who began his professional career with Northampton Town in 1952, having only played football for a couple of years as a result of attending rugby-playing schools as a youngster.

Making an impact on the left wing despite losing two years of his career to national service, Ken joined Leicester City in a 10K move in April 1958 - shortly after netting for the Cobblers in an FA Cup win over Arsenal.

Included in the Welsh squad who competed at the World Cup Finals in Sweden that summer, Ken was converted to a striker at Filbert Street and netted on his debut.

However he left the Foxes in favour of United in May 1961, shortly after his omission from City's FA Cup Final side - despite having scored in every round.

Joining just-relegated Newcastle as a replacement for Len White, Ken got off to a great start with a hat-trick in a 6-0 home friendly success over Danish side Aarhus.

After just 14 League and League Cup outings though - and with another SJP hat trick netted, against Brighton - Ken was on his way back to the Midlands.

Failing to settle in the region, Newcastle took a £2K loss in selling him to Birmingham City for £25K in November 1961.

He was to score almost a goal a game for City and was part of the side who won the 1963 League Cup Final - a two-legged affair against fierce rivals Aston Villa.

Leek later rejoined Northampton Town and after a spell with Bradford City was appointed player/coach of Rhyl in 1968, later serving Merthyr Tydfil and Ton Pentre.

Living in Northampton, Ken worked for the Ford Motor Company in Daventry until his retirement in 1995. He passed away in  November 2007.

1991 Jóan Símun Edmundsson born, Faroes. (2010-12)

Midfielder first spotted playing for United in a training ground reserve friendly against Hibernian in December 2009.

On trial along with fellow Faroe Islander Christian Mouritsen, Jóan caught the eye and a deal was arranged with his club B68 back in the Faroe Islands to keep him on Tyneside until the end of the season.

Reported to having been training with Manchester City before he linked up with Newcastle, Edmundsson had made a senior international debut for the Faroes during a World Cup Qualifier back in August 2008.

A goalscoring debut for the U18s then came in February 2010 in a 4-1 win over Derby and Edmundsson made his reserve team bow in a 0-2 loss at Hartlepool a month later.

By season's end he'd become a reserve team regular and broke his duck at that level against Rotherham United at Blue Flames in April.

Another full international cap then followed when the Faroes faced Luxembourg in early June, although he continued to double up for his nation's U21 side.

Jóan's first team debut for United came as a substitute in the friendly loss at Norwich City, two days before his 19th birthday.

Edmundsson was released in March 2012, making a permanent move to Norwegian side Viking Stavanger after a successful trial.

After featuring briefly for the first team, he joined Danish side Fredericia on loan before returning to Stavanger.

2014 then saw the player return to his native Faroes, signing for HB Torshavn.


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What Else?

1978 Gislaved (Sweden) (a)
Crowd tbc

1979 Bath City (a)

United's four match tour of South West England got underway against non-league opposition at Twerton Park.

The Magpies would return to that venue more than a decade later, when homeless club Bristol Rovers took temporary refuge there.

Brian Durbin netted for City.

Team: Kevin Carr, John Brownlie, Ian Davies, Mick Martin, David Barton, John Bird (Kenny Mitchell), Alan Shoulder, Tommy Cassidy (Stuart Robinson),
Jim Pearson, Terry Hibbitt (Nigel Walker), Gary Nicholson (Peter Cartwright).

1980 Hoor IS (Sweden) (a)

scorers tbc

1988 With the first team squad off on a tour of Sweden, another Womble was persuaded to come North, Andy Thorn following recent arrival Dave Beasant to SJP in an £850K deal.

1989 Nybro LF (Sweden) (a)

Brazil, McGhee
scorer tbc

1992 Southampton sold their star striker Alan Shearer to Blackburn Rovers for £3.6m. 

He'd scored 21 goals in the previous season and made a full England international debut.

1993 A mixed junior/reserve side including Brian Kilcline and Liam O'Brien were beaten 1-2 at Borough Park by Workington.

1995 Rushden & Diamonds (a) 3-1 (1-0)

Ferdinand 2, Brayson
Those Magpies fans who made it to the Nene Park home of the non-leaguers in deepest Northamptonshire were treated to a first sight of David Ginola in a Newcastle shirt.

While Les Ferdinand scored his first goals for the club, local youngster Paul Brayson again found the net, having done so the previous Saturday at Hartlepool.

Also getting some pitch time was trialist striker Brendan Markey, who arrived as a replacement for Les Ferdinand.

19 year-old Dubliner Markey was on the books of Bohemians but no transfer was concluded. He later had a short spell with Millwall. 

1997 Chelsea (n)

Newcastle's pre-season preparations took them to Goodison Park for a friendly tournament hosted by Everton and also featuring Chelsea and Ajax.

With a drab game locked at 1-1 and petering out, Alan Shearer contrived to twist and fall awkwardly and be stretchered off in obvious agony - a freak injury with no other player from either side in his vicinity at the time.

A penalty shootout was needed to achieve a result and with Stuart Pearce, Jon Dahl Tomasson and Tino Asprilla all missing, Chelsea strolled to a 3-0 success.

Al was later diagnosed as having a broken fibia and severely damaged ankle ligaments - a massive blow to Kenny Dalglish's side, which was exacerbated by the parallel departure of Les Ferdinand to Spurs. 

(It later emerged that United attempted to halt that deal, but the player had verbally agreed to move and refused to back down).

2000 Columbus Crew (USA) (a)

Joseph(67), Cunningham(86)

Game #2 of Newcastle's USA tour and their new black away kit got an airing at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

In a bruising encounter, Kieron Dyer took a heavy challenge and was subbed, while new boy Christian Bassedas also limped off with what was later diagnosed as a broken foot. match report

How Ye, where's the knocking shops?

2002 UDI '19 Beter Bed (Holland) (a)

LuaLua(20,28,34), Speed(21), Shearer(38)

United rounded off their Dutch tour with  another resounding win, this time against the part-timers from Uden. Bobby's boys clocked up 22 goals in a week, with Alan Shearer, Laurent Robert and Lomana LuaLua all registering four apiece.

All subs came on at half-time meaning Carl Cort got an unexpected run-out and Titus Bramble made his United debut. 

The only real incident of note in the second half though was a middle-aged streaker who left his manky socks on....

Team: Given, Griffin, Bernard, Caldwell, Dabizas, McClen, Solano, LuaLua, Shearer, Speed, Quinn
2nd half: Hughes, Harper, Elliott, Marcelino, Bramble, Kerr, Bassedas, Viana, Acuña, Cort, Dyer match report

2003 A young Newcastle side drew 1-1 at Blyth Spartans. Matty Pattison gave United the lead after 52 minutes and Stephen Richardson equalised nine minutes later. match report

2005 Prolific Academy striker Marc Walton scored twice in the first half at Pickering in a friendly game at Town's Recreation Ground which United won 2-1.

A crowd of approximately 300 watched Glenn Roeder put his Academy team through their paces against a physically bigger Pickering Town side on their sloping pitch.

2006 Norwich City (a)
Ramage(20), N'Zogbia(56)

There may have been lightning in the air and a deluge by the end, but a thunderbolt from Charles N'Zogbia lit up Carrow Road as United won this testimonial for Canary Craig Fleming.

A rare Peter Ramage goal and N'Zogbia's belter put a visiting side clad in their maroon & blue away kit two ahead 

Paul McVeigh then halved the arrears before high winds and an absolute downpour ensued, with the referee blowing a few minutes early as both teams rushed for the dressing rooms.

Testimonial recipient Fleming then braved the deluge to return and salute the fans, including around 1,800 in the away section. match report

2007 Celtic (h)
Martins(11), Luque(30,42), Milner(90+1)
On the face of it this was a morale-boosting home win and successful introduction to SJP for new Chairman Chris Mort and Manager Sam Allardyce.

As ever, though, misfortune lurked behind every corner, as United contrived to end the evening with ten players on the field.

One of them was Steve Harper, who made an unexpected bow in the new blue second strip as an outfield substitute, playing his part in setting up the final goal for James Milner. match report

2008 Doncaster Rovers (a)
Elliott 87
Toon fans got their first sighting of trialist defender Sebastien Bassong, but there wasn't a great deal else for Rovers old boy Kevin Keegan to enthuse over on what was our first visit to the recently-opened Keepmoat Stadium. match report

2009 The Sir Bobby Robson Trophy charity match was staged at SJP, with teams representing the 1990 England & Germany World Cup sides facing each other.

33,000 were present, while the game was live on ITV4.

This was to be the last public appearance for Sir Bobby, who looked frail and took to the field in a wheelchair to meet the teams.

A 79th minute penalty from Alan Shearer decided the contest after England came from two goals down to triumph 3-2, with Les Ferdinand and Alan Thompson also netting.

The Germans had led through Thomas Helmer (5) and Fredi Bobic (18), before Ferdinand (2) and Thompson (32) levelled before half time.


The first two England goals followed fouls on Shearer as he went through on goal and Al also won the spot-kick, thanks to a rather generous award from Dermot Gallagher.

Other former Magpies participating included Dave Beasant, Steve Howey, John Beresford, Robert Lee, Peter Beardsley, Paul Bracewell and Paul Gascoigne.

The Reserve's Dutch tour ended with a 2-3 defeat on a grass training pitch, rather than the plastic surface at Almere City's romantically-named Mitsubushi Forklift Stadion. match report

2011 Columbus Crew (USA) (a)
Sh.Ameobi(9), Coloccini(53), Vuckic(90+1)

Eleven years to the day after their previous visit, United's three match tour of the USA ended on a high note with a win in Columbus - and no new injuries to add to the already lengthy casualty list.

Without a goal in their previous two outings, the result was never really in doubt after Shola Ameobi latched on to a poor back pass to convert with ease early in the game.

The first half ended in controversy when Crew 'keeper Andy Gruenebaum (the man "between the pipes" as he was billed pre-match)
was red-carded for handling outside the area as Demba Ba took the ball past him and effectively ended the game as a contest.

Fabricio Coloccini then doubled United's lead and substitute Haris Vuckic netted in injury time with a fine solo effort in front of the away section, which included Mark Allison aka Run Geordie Run, en route to completing his USA Coast to Coast run. match report


2014 Wellington Phoenix (New Zealand) (a)

After a 4-0 romp against Sydney in Dunedin, the second game of our New Zealand tour was rather more competitive, as Phoenix went looking for a second Premier League scalp after beating West Ham.

Yoan Gouffran's first half header divided the sides at Wellington's Westpac Stadium. match report


2015 Sheffield United (a)
Wijnaldum(40), De Jong(79)
McNulty(49), Freeman(86)

Steve McClaren blamed his side's lethargic display at a soggy Bramall Lane on fatigue caused by their US tour, but the lack of imagination and inspiration on show was only too familiar for regular Magpie watchers.

Just over 2,200 away fans made the journey for an early afternoon kick-off against third tier opponents for Chris Morgan's testimonial game. match report