Tuesday June 28th, 2016

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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: To follow

Benitez goes Belgian 

Me Matz Sels and I!

Goalkeeper Matz Sels is expected to become United's first acquisition of the close season, having travelled to Tyneside on Tuesday to undergo a medical and put pen to paper on a claimed five year contract.   

The 24 year-old Belgian international is currently with Gent and has reportedly been the subject of interest from a number of Premier League clubs including both Middlesbrough and Southampton. 

Sels joined Gent from Lierse in 2014 and helped them to Belgian title success a year later, resulting in a Champions League campaign last season that took them to the last sixteen and saw him make eight appearances in that competition.

Earning a callup to the full Belgian squad, the former U21 international played twice in the run up to Euro 2016 but missed out on the squad for the Finals.   

Claims emerged on Monday that United had been pursuing another Belgian-based 'keeper, Genk's 25 year-old Dutchman Marco Bizot.  

The acquisition of another goalkeeper isn't an obvious choice and will trigger speculation as to which of our current quartet of custodians is set to depart - with Tim Krul and Freddie Woodman seemingly more likely to exit than either Rob Elliot or Karl Darlow. 

Eagles eye Andros

The Guardian reported on Monday evening that Crystal Palace had offered the 10.5m fee* that was sufficient to trigger a release clause in the contract of Magpies winger Andros Townsend.

It remains to be seen whether the 24 year-old who arrived at Gallowgate in a 12m move from Spurs in January is tempted by a speedy top-flight return.

* that figure has been claimed to be between 8m & 13m by different outlets, with various Premier League clubs said to be keen on London-born Townsend.

However Alan Pardew's mob look to have acted first, as they also look to complete a claimed 32m move for Marseille's Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi.    

Unlikely lad:
Champions League looms for loan dud 

Spectacularly unsuccessful Newcastle loan player Seydou Doumbia is on the move again, after his parent club AS Roma agreed a season-long switch with reigning Swiss League champions FC Basel.

The Ivory Coast international striker who claims to be 28 had a prolific spell with Young Boys Berne earlier in his career and spent the first half of last season at CSKA Moscow before his farcical switch to SJP.  

Words of wisdom

Comic timing par excellence from the former Toon Manager, Sky Sports, Monday night
online here

Twenty year itch 


As an antidote to the Euros, local TV channel Made in Tyne and wear address United's epic failure in 95/96 on their latest "Football Still Matters" show. 

Contributors include old boys John Beresford, Steve Watson and journalist Martin Hardy - author of some obscure tome about the season in question....

The programme airs first at 9.30pm on Wednesday, then at 9.30pm on Friday and again at 10am on Saturday. It will also be available online here

Made in Tyne and wear broadcasts on Sky Channel 117, Virgin channel 159 and freeview. For further details, check their twitter @footymatterstv.

Terriers unchanged 

As promised, live TV selections for the second weekend of the Championship season have been confirmed and Newcastle's home game against Huddersfield Town has not been selected.

Therefore the Terriers will visit Gallowgate as scheduled for a 3pm KO on Saturday August 13th. 

Live Championship games that weekend are on Friday 7.45pm and Saturday 5.30pm, with the latter slot expected to be used more often this season than Saturday lunchtime was in 2015/16.

That's due to BT gaining Saturday night for Premier League live games and Sky taking the Saturday lunchtime slot for PL action (along with a number of PL games on Friday nights rather than Monday nights).

Sky will show 92 Championship games live this season (the same total as 2015/16 and confirmation of live TV games up until September 24th are promised before the end of July.

2016/17 fixtures

Euro 2016 latest

Quarter Finals:

Thu 30.06.2016:
Poland v Portugal (8pm, Marseille)

Fri 01.07.2016:
Wales v Belgium (8pm, Lille)

Sat 02.07.2016 
Germany v Italy (8pm, Bordeaux)

Sun 03.07.2016 
France v Iceland (8pm, Paris)

price each of the remaining nations to win Euro 2016 to existing customers and new-signups (the latter get 20 free bets if staking 5) online here:

Watch the remainder of Euro 2016 live on TV while supping some cracking brews at The Bodega on Westgate Road, next to the Tyne Theatre. 

If you're tweetish find them at: @TheBodega_SJF

Find further details of this and the other locations that make up the Sir John Fitzgerald estate online here

Kit release 

Nothing official from NUFC or Puma as yet, but social media claims are circulating that sales of Newcastle's 2016/17 home shirt will begin on Friday July 8th.

Belgian confirmation


Official confirmation arrived on Saturday of a fourth pre-season fixture, away to Belgian side Sporting Lokeren on Saturday July 23rd (4.30pm local time).

Ticket details are awaited.

United previously visited Lokeren for an Intertoto Cup tie back in July 2001, running out 4-0 winners at the Daknam Stadium  before beating Sporting 1-0 on Tyneside a week later.  

The hosts are in the top flight of Belgian football and finished eleventh last season. Their current manager Georges Leekens was in charge of Club Brugge the last time we visited Belgium, back in November 2012.

No strangers to the venue are our trio of ex-Belgian League players, with Cheick Tiote, Chancel Mbemba and Aleksandar Mitrovic all playing there - Mitro netting for Anderlecht in his last two visits.

First team pre-season:

Sat 09.07.2016- Fri 15.07.2016 
Irish training camp

Sat 16.07.2016 Bohemian FC (a) 2pm

Wed 20.07.2016 Doncaster Rovers (a) 7.45pm

Sat 23.07.2016
Lokeren (a) 4.30pm (local)

Date tbc opposition (a) unconfirmed (Burnley was mentioned but they already have a game on 26.07)

Sat 30.07.2016 Vitesse Arnhem (h) 3pm


Proud sponsors of


TF126 online now

The bumper bundle that is True Faith's summer special is now available free of charge online here - a right riveting read on matters Toon and beyond.

Unlikely lad:
Killy claim Cobain 

Kilmarnock boss Lee Clark has returned to former club Newcastle to sign reserve full back Jamie Cobain, following his release by the Magpies.  

The 19 year-old wearsider made his Academy bow in
March 2013, alongside the likes of Freddie Woodman, Adam Armstrong and Rolando Aarons, but injury delayed a competitive U21 debut for two years.

Making nine reserve appearances last season, Jamie also spent some time on loan to Sheffield United, featuring for their second string.

Cobain becomes the second fringe player shown the door by United this summer to find a new club, with fellow defender Ben Pollock now at Hartlepool.

Worthy cause:
Ando Q & A

Ex-Magpie defender and BBC Radio Newcastle match summariser John Anderson is the special guest at a talk-in event in Gateshead early next month.

Ando will be appearing at Teams & District Social Club on Friday July 8th and tickets are on sale now priced at 15 including comedian and a pie & pea supper. 

The evening is a fundraiser for Special Olympics Gateshead, a sporting club and registered charity for people with learning disabilities

Tickets can be booked via Danielle Appleby on 0191 433 2712 or

Venue: Teams & District Social Club, Derwentwater Road, Gateshead NE8 2SJ

Back to Bootham

12 months on from playing a first team friendly there, Newcastle's second string will return to Bootham Crescent next month to face York City.  

The National League side entertain Newcastle on Saturday July 30th at 3pm - the same day and time that our first team are in friendly action at SJP. 

Tickets are priced at 12 adults & 6 concessions - the same as for last season's first team encounter.

Four pre-season games for Peter Beardsley's side have now been announced as follows:

Sun 10.07.2016 Bradford Park Avenue (a) (3pm)

Sat 23.07.2016 Corby Town (a) (3.30pm)

Sun 24.07.2016 PSV Eindhoven (n*) (Noon) 
(*at Corby)

Sat 30.07.2016 York City (a) 3pm 

On the road again   

Our rundown of what lies ahead next season for those embarking on our 23 away treks has now concluded - but every entry is here in case you missed any: 

Teams A-H

Teams I-W


Ahead of the new season, Newcastle currently have 42 registered professionals as follows:

Goalkeepers (4):

Darlow, Elliot, Krul, Woodman

Defenders (11):
Coloccini, Dummett, Gillesphey, Good, Haidara, Janmaat, Lascelles, Mbabu, Mbemba, Satka, Sterry

Midfielders (16):

Aarons, Ameobi, Anita, Barlaser, Bigirimana, Cabella, Colback, Gouffran, Saivet, Shelvey, Sissoko, Smith, Thauvin, Tiote, Townsend, Wijnaldum

Strikers (11):
Armstrong, Cisse, De Jong, Gilliead, Heardman, Perez, Mitrovic, Riviere, Roberts, Toney, Vuckic

Singers - update 
Fan-led moves to create an unofficial singing section in the Strawberry Corner next season have resulted in all available season tickets there selling out - although further seats in that area may be up for grabs after the final date for renewals of June 30th has passed.   

For those still looking to relocate or house themselves among livelier neighbours though, like-minded fans are now massing in adjacent lower Gallowgate areas. 

The process of moving seats is simple, with ST holders able to do so by emailing,  telephoning them 0844 372 1892 or visiting them. 

For anyone doing the latter, the match day box office in the Milburn Stand is currently open from 10am-5pm weekdays and Saturday 9am-4pm.

Season ticket sales for unoccupied seats have now commenced, with the deadline for existing ST holders to renew set as Thursday June 30th.

The club have announced a 10% price reduction across the board for season tickets and the new prices will come into effect immediately for those renewing or buying for the first time.

PS: If you're staying in the same seats for 2016/17 then your existing season ticket cards will be used. New cards will only be issued to supporters moving seats / price categories (i.e. junior becoming adult).

Old boys:
Unlikely lads 
Old boys with new clubs:

Joey Barton (Glasgow Rangers)
Craig Baxter (South Shields)
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)
Alex Francis (Bishop Auckland)
Matthew Grieve (Morpeth Town)
Brad Inman (Peterborough United)
Callum Morris (Aberdeen) 
Matty Pattison (Blyth Spartans)
Ben Pollock (Hartlepool United)
Louis Storey (South Shields)

Coaches etc:

John Carver
(AC Omonoia M - Cyprus)
Steve Clarke (Aston Villa AM)
Nigel Pearson (Derby County M)
Carl Serrant (Charlton Athletic C)

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

2015/16 season ticket cards will be used again for 2016/17. New cards will only be issued for ST holders moving seats or changing price categories.

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


Fri 01.07.2016 Last day for renewals of any 2015/16 season tickets.

Sun 10.07.2016: U21s v Bradford Park Avenue (a) @ Horsfall Stadium, 3pm. Friendly.

Sat 16.07.2016 Bohemian (Ireland) (a) Dalymount Park, Dublin, 2pm. Friendly. Ticket details tbc.

Wed 20.07.2016 Doncaster Rovers (a) Keepmoat Stadium, 7.45pm. Friendly. Ticket details tbc.

Sat 23.07.2016 Sporting Lokeren (Belgium) (a) Daknam Stadium, 4.30pm local time. Friendly. Ticket details tbc.

Sat 23.07.2016 U21s v Corby Town (a)
@ Steel Park, Corby, 3.30pm. Friendly.

Sun 24.07.2016 U21s v PSV Eindhoven (n)
@ Steel Park, Corby. Noon. Friendly.

Mon 25.07.2016 U18s v Fermanagh (n) @ Ballymena, 7.30pm. NI Super Cup.

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

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 kickoff tbc. NI Super Cup.

Sat 30.07.2016 Vitesse Arnhem (h) SJP, 3pm. Friendly. Ticket details tbc.

Sat 30.07.2016 U21s v York City (a) @ Bootham Crescent 3pm. Friendly.

Mon 01.08.2016 - Fri 05.08.2016
U16s v Charlton Athletic, Seattle Sounders (USA), Friendly Academy (Zimabwe). Youdan Trophy, Sheffield (games 30 mins x 2).

Fri 05.08.2016 Fulham (a) @ Craven Cottage, 7,45pm. Championship. Live on Sky Sports. 

Sat 13.08.2016 Huddersfield Town (h)
@ SJP, 3pm. Championship.

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 kickoff 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

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. 

Geordie in Europe!

Having conquered Portugal, Spain and France Mark Allison aka Run Geordie Run is en route to Turkey on the 2016 part of his planned global charity trek.

A 3,400 mile route via Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece will take him to Istanbul on Monday August 8th.

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.

Finishing the fourth part of his challenge will take him past the halfway point in a 20,000 mile route that encompasses 24 countries across four continents.

Donations can be made online here and Mark's progress monitored online here


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...

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

On This Day in History
28th June

Born Or Died:

1902 Albert Keating born, Swillington Common, Yorkshire. (1923-25)

Inside right Bert was signed from Prudhoe Castle for 130 in January 1923, but had to wait over a year for his senior debut.

That was a 0-1 home loss to Huddersfield Town in February 1924, Keating's first goal arriving two months later when Chelsea were beaten at Gallowgate.

Playing the majority of his football at reserve level for United, Bert made a 650 switch to Bristol City in November 1925 and became a prolific scorer for the Robins.

City sold Keating and team mate Clarrie Bourton to Blackburn Rovers ahead of the 1928/29 season, using the 3,650 raised to finance construction of a new roof at one end of their Ashton Gate ground.  

February 1931 saw Bert leave Ewood Park in favour of Cardiff City, but in late 1932 he was persuaded to rejoin Bristol City.
That proved to be a brief return and Bert returned to settle on Tyneside, turning out for North Shields and Throckley Welfare.

Following his retirement, Keating became a local league referee and maintained his association with the Magpies by acting as a scout during the 1950s and 1960s. 

Later running a tobacconists and grocery store, Albert's death was recorded in October 1984.

His younger brother Reg was also on the books at SJP, but failed to make it into the first team. Appearing for various clubs including Norwich City and Cardiff City, Reg ended his career with Carlisle United.

1948 Jimmy Thomson born, Glasgow. (1968-71)

Central midfielder signed from Petershill Juniors who made his senior Magpies debut in a 1-0 win at Burnley in November 1969. 

Jimmy failed to dislodge Dave Elliott from the side after a loan spell at Barrow, joined Grimsby Town on a free transfer in 1971.

Following a return north of the border with Morton a year later, Jimmy went on to play for South Shields, Gateshead, Evenwood and Blue Star - by now
playing at full back.

1978 saw him appear at Wembley Stadium for the Star, as they beat Barton Rovers 2-1 to lift the FA Vase.  



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What Else?

1952 South Africa (a)
Reg Davies 2, Milburn 

The first of two matches against the South African national side, this one was staged at the Kingsmead ground in Durban. 

Most of the home side had already faced United in the previous regional games.

1998 New Toon man Stephane Guivarc'h came on for France after 77 scoreless minutes against Paraguay in Lens. The host nation eventually qualified for the World Cup Quarter Finals with a golden goal, but wor Stephane did little to aid the victory.

2001 United announced that the home leg of the club's Intertoto Cup tie against Belgian side Lokeren would be four hours later than first intended. This was to avoid clashing with the Love Parade scheduled for the same day - Saturday July 21st.

Meanwhile, Stephen Glass agreed to join Watford after Hornets Chairman Elton John rang him up to persuade him that Gianluca Vialli was the man to save his career....

2002 A Premier League tribunal ruled that defender Olivier Bernard had been illegally approached by West Ham, after the player's agent told Hammers representatives that his client wasn't contracted to the Magpies.

2006 Newcastle's first team squad were back in pre-season training ahead of their opening Intertoto Cup game.

Manager Glenn Roeder, new assistant boss Kevin Bond plus coaches Tommy Craig and Lee Clark gave the players a light work out at Darsley Park.

Among those spotted were James Milner and Nicky Butt who had spent the previous season out on loan at Aston Villa and Birmingham City respectively.

2007 The Chronicle claimed United had "made an ambitious move for Barcelona's Brazilian defender Edmilson".

However, he'd actually just undergone a third operation in as many years on his troublesome right knee and was expected to be sidelined for up to six months.

There was some speculation that the player could be making his way to Tyneside when the January 2008 transfer window opened - but in the event it was the manager who wanted to sign him (Sam Allardyce), who would be on his way... out of the door....

2014 Wigan Athletic completed the signing of Newcastle's James Tavernier, who had spent the previous season on loan at Rotherham United but opted against a permanent switch to the Millers.