Friday July 28th, 2017

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FSV Mainz 05
Opel Arena
Saturday 29th July
Kick-off 4pm (local)
Last Match

Bradford City 0
Newcastle 4 
Valley Parade
Wednesday 26th July
Match report

The Never-Ending Tour

  Number of Newcastle
  games attended by in 2017/18:


Author-signed hardback copies 
cost £19.99 including UK P&P, 
and hardback copies of "Tunnel 
of Love"
are £12.99 here

Or purchase both together 
for £30 inc. UK P&P here

(Martin's first book "Touching 
is now sold out).




Ticket news:
Mainz (a) NUFC sale now ended
Wolfsburg (a) NUFC sale now ended
Verona (h) Public sale now
Spurs (h)
Huddersfield (a) ST holders now,
75 points
West Ham (h) Member sale now
Done, Merino

Image result for mikel merino

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mikel Merino was unveiled as a Newcastle player on Friday - United's fifth close season capture following Christian Atsu, Florian Lejeune, Jacob Murphy and Javier Manquillo.

The 21 year-old Spaniard officially makes a season-long loan switch, amid claims of an obligation to make the deal permanent following a set number of games. 

He'll join his new colleagues on their German tour and should be sighted for the first time at Mainz.

While Newcastle's first team were at Bradford City on Wednesday, Merino was photographed on Tyneside undergoing the formalities of his medical.

Benitez quotes:

"Mikel is a midfielder with talent, an U21 international for Spain. He's a good size, has quality on the ball and he's very, very focused and professional. Hopefully he's the kind of player we can improve a lot - he certainly has the mentality to get better and better.

"He comes from a top side in Dortmund and although he did not play too much last season, he was signed as a young, talented player and to be signed by a club like that shows that he has something good. He has to show what he has, and hopefully he can enjoy playing here for a long time."

Beginning his professional career with Osasuna in his home city of Pamplona, Merino made his senior debut during January 2015 and agreed a five year deal with Borussia Dortmund the following year.

Debuting in the Bundesliga against Hertha Berlin in October 2016, Mikel made nine league and cup appearances in total (two starts) without scoring.

Like Jacob Murphy, Merino featured at the UEFA U21 European Championships in June, a tournament that NUFC head scout Steve Nickson was present at.

Both Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao had been linked with Merino in this window and he was omitted from the squad for Dortmund's Swiss training camp in the expectation that he'd leave the club.  

The Spanish under-21 international is set to become United's fifth close season signing, with Rafa Benitez confirming a deal was close on Wednesday night:

"It's not quite done yet, but we're working to try and finalise everything. I’m quite confident that we'll do it.

"Hopefully, it will get done and we will have a player with quality, who can help us in the middle of the park."

double date

The fourth and fifth games of Newcastle's pre-season programme take them to Germany for the first time since the Schalke Tournament in 2014, with two friendlies against Bundesliga sides 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.

Saturday's game is preceded by what it termed a stadium festival, during which former coach Martin Schmidt will be honoured for his service.

That all kicks off at 1pm with live music outside the stadium, free ground tours and other amusements.  

In terms of transport, shuttle buses run from the railway station to the stadium in addition to scheduled services 54,55 and 58 which stop near the Arena.

NUFC: Midfielder Mikel Merino will join his colleagues in Germany after completing a move from Borussia Dortmund on Friday.

FSV: Mainz coach Sandro Schwarz will make his home debut after taking the job two months ago.

Midfielder Levin Öztunali was part of the Germany squad that won the U21 European Championships in June, looking on from the bench as his nation defeated an England side including Jacob Murphy on penalties.

French U21 captain Abdou Diallo has joined the club from AS Monaco, while Danish forward Viktor Fischer arrives from the smoggies.

Mainz have been warming up at a training camp in the Bavarian town of Grassau, beating Tokyo FC 5-2, before playing out a 0-0 draw with Bundesliga second tier side Greuther Furth. 

Following our visit, Mainz complete their preparations against Dutch side FC Twente on Saturday August 5th. Due to "security issues" however, that game will be played behind closed doors.

Referee: tbc

Overseas TV: 
Arena Sport 3 (Serbia)
Arena Sport 6 HD (Croatia)
TV2 Sport Premium 3 HD
TV2 Sumo
(the BET365 website also claim coverage)
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).

Overseas TV: 
Arena Sport 2 HD (Croatia)
MATCH! Futbol 1 / MATCH TV
Sport 1 (Germany)
Sport TV2 Portugal
Sport TV2 Slovenia
TV2 Sport Premium HD
TV2 Sumo

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 did meet in a friendly played in Germany after our 1964/65 promotion season.

3,000 fans saw United win 3-1 at the Stadion am Elsterweg, Willie Penman (2) and Bobby Cummings scoring 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.

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)

(United also faced third tier side Chemnitzer in 2012, losing 0-1 in a friendly staged in Germany).

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
2015/16 Borussia M'Gladbach lost 0-1 (Friendly) SJP

Howay.... hat winner

Stirring memories of days past is the latest release from Tyneside-based merchandiser Spirit of 69 - a simple black and white reversible bucket hat. 

Inspired by Gazza's choice of headwear when making an impromptu appearance in the Gallowgate Corner in 1991, the Howay the Lads design is on sale now. 

Available in various sizes online here, we had one to give away in a free-to-enter competition and asked you to name the venue that Magpie pair John Anderson and Roy Aitken are playing at here in May 1990: 

The vast majority of you correctly spotted that it was Ayresome Park, with the "rustic" background and red home kits fooling a handful into thinking it was the Oakwell home of Barnsley.

Soon to be sporting a new titfer is John Masterman down in Stockport - thanks to all who entered. 

Two from Toney
topples Tims 

Newcastle U23s  2  Celtic U23s  1

The Turnbull Ground of non-league Whitby Town was the unlikely setting for the meeting of Newcastle and Celtic's U23s on Thursday, a welcome competitive edge from both sides making it more than a mere friendly.

The Scottish side were full value for a half time lead, only to lose their way just before the hour when two quick-fire goals from Ivan Toney proved decisive.

Victory for Peter Beardsley's side in the first semi-final of the four team Whitby Town Challenge Cup ensured their presence in Saturday night's final - where they'll face the winners of Friday's second semi between the hosts and Dutch club AZ Alkmaar.

A fine night on the North Yorkshire coast saw the two sides trade chances, Victor Fernandez shooting just wide for United and Regan Hendry volleying over.

Newcastle's best chance of the half fell to Callum Roberts after 19 minutes, but Ross Doohan fisted his effort away and the Hoops grew from that point on.

Crossan almost embarrassed former Celt Findlay in the 26th minute but after breaking free couldn't get his effort on target.

However, his team mate Joe Thomson had rather better fortune, shooting home from 12 yards on 36 minutes. 

Newcastle had shown slightly more urgency after the interval but with little end product before their 58th minute leveller - a strong run into the Celtic box by Roberts ending with Toney back-heeling the ball in.

And from United's next attack they scored again - although the match officials overlooked what looked to be a foul in the build-up before Roberts again centred and Tony rammed home his shot to make it 2-1.

Celtic rattled the frame of Paul Woolston's goal in the 68th minute as they tried to force an equaliser, with two fine blocks from the 'keeper keeping his side's slender advantage intact.

The trickery of Aidan Nesbitt down the left was a constant threat for the Scottish side, but some good covering by substitute right back Michael Newberry nullified much of the danger.

A couple of corners and one free kick in added time caused some slight panic in the United area, but they held firm and avoided the penalty shootout that had looked to be looming large in the closing stages.

Team: Woolston, Williams (Newberry 50), Cameron, Hunter, O'Connor, Findlay, El-Mhanni (Charman 76), Barlaser, Toney (Gallacher 80), Roberts (Watts 69), Fernandez (C.Smith 65).
Subs n/u: Bailey, Harker, Yarney, Aziakonou, Sangare, Kitchen.

Booked: Roberts, Williams.

GCFC: Doohan, Wardrop, Bell, Deas, Duffy, McInroy, Hendry, Thomson, Crossan, Henderson, Nesbitt.
Subs (usage tbc): Potter, Mullen, Welsh, Campbell, Diver, Watson, McLaughlin.

Crowd: 829.

Saturday's Final is staged at 5.30pm when United's opponents will be either the hosts Whitby Town or Dutch side AZ Alkmaar, who meet on Friday night.

There's also a 3rd/4th place playoff, which is a 1.30pm kick-off on Saturday.

Admission: £10 adults, £6 concessions, £3 bairns.

A question of Toon

As part of the club's 125th anniversary celebrations, NINE Bar at SJP are to host a number of quiz nights over the course of season, starting tonight.

Individual prizes are promised, leading up to a final in March with VIP hospitality at a home game the chance to meet the first team squad up for grabs. 

Teams are limited to four persons and entry is £10 - bookings in person from NINE Bar, over 18s only. The opening quiz is this evening from 7pm.

PS: This club venture is separate from the fundraising quizzes hosted by NINE Bar for Gallowgate Flags. 

NI SuperCup:
No longer
up for the Cup

Newcastle  1  Right to Dream  2

United's hopes of winning the Premier Section of the NI Super Cup were ended at the semi-final stage in Coleraine on Thursday by the defending champions.

Ghanaian-based side Right to Dream recovered from going behind to Matty Longstaff's free kick and netted twice in the closing stages to seal their final place.

The young Magpies will now contest a 3rd/4th place playoff on Friday against Chilean side O'Higgins, who lost 1-0 to Mexicans Club America on Thursday.

PS: A number of readers who watched this game online queried the fact that the victors were actually from Africa, given the ethnic origins of various players:

Reader John Gallon provides the answer:

RtD took over FC Nordsjaelland in Denmark in 2016 and have "integrated the two academies to play at major tournaments together, strengthening bonds between players and creating an enriching cultural exchange for all".

Monday: Newcastle 1 Country Antrim 3
(Jack Robson) goals online here

Newcastle 9 Beijing DCFC Morning Star 0
(Jack Robson 3, Adam Wilson 3, Matty Longstaff, 
Kieren Aplin, Deese Kasinga) goals online here

Wednesday: Newcastle 1 Right to Dream 2
(Matty Longstaff) goals online here

Loan lads:

Tom Heardman (Bury) 
Bury move on to Tranmere Rovers tonight (Friday).

Adam Armstrong (Bolton Wanderers)
Stoke City visit the Macron Stadium this Saturday.

Sean Longstaff (Blackpool)
Next up is a visit to Macclesfield Town on Saturday.

Matz Sels
The reigning Belgian champions begin their title defence at Antwerp tonight ( Friday).

Alex Gilliead (Bradford City)
The Bantams trek to FC Halifax Town on Saturday.

Teen departure:
Gibson goes

England youth international Lewis Gibson celebrated his 17th birthday last week as a Newcastle player, but has now become an Everton player.

The Durham-born full back hadn't appeared for the black and whites this pre-season and made it clear that he saw his future as a professional footballer elsewhere.

Interest from Spurs and Southampton was claimed, but Everton secured Gibson's signature on a three year contract, with the Liverpool Echo reporting a fee in excess of £6m - although initially only around £1m.

Reaching an agreed figure avoids recourse to the tribunal that would otherwise decide compensation and may have also removed any possible sell-on clause. 

Making the first of 17 league and cup appearances for United's U18s in January 2016, England recognition exposed the potential of Lewis to a wider audience.

Impressive performance for England in the European U17 Championships back May then cemented his reputation and intensified interest from other clubs. 

In addition to Gibson, Everton also spent undisclosed amounts in recent weeks on a Dutch youth international central defender and striker.

That emphasis on youth is mirrored by a successful development squad who lifted the Premier League 2 Division 1 Championship last season - while Newcastle were finishing third in Division 2. 

Ultimately higher standards of coaching and off field organisation and a more proven route to first team football (perhaps via better quality loan moves) appear to have won the day.

PS: Liam Gibson - elder brother of Lewis and also a full back - remains at Newcastle - a first-hand example of United's Academy system that the family opted not to emulate. 

Murphy brace as Bantams bullied

Bradford City  0  Newcastle  4

Watch the goals online here

Match report

Second string

The 2017/18 Premier League 2 fixtures have now been announced, with Newcastle U23s in Division Two of the competition and beginning with a trio of away games.

Away venues announced include: Brighton (Crawley Town), West Brom (Hawthorns), Villa (Walsall), Southampton (St.Mary's), Fulham (Motspur Park), Blackburn (Leyland), Wolves (Telford).

Three possible new venues are listed as follows:

Subject to final confirmation, Uniteds opening fixture against Stoke City on Saturday August 12th will be at the FA facility at St.George's Park, near Burton. 

The early season game against Boro is at the Heritage Park home of Bishop Auckland - the first time any NUFC side will have played there since it opened in 2010.

Reading meanwhile are listing our away game as being at the Adams Park home of Wycombe Wanderers. 

All home games will be played at Northumberland FA HQ Whitley Park, with the exception of three which are at SJP: Norwich and Wolves in September, Villa in March. 

Reserves fixtures are online here

Ale and hearty:
Blue Wkd - official

From the Evening Standard, Wednesday:

Mike Ashley today won his High Court battle with an investment banker over a £15m deal made in a pub.

Former Merrill Lynch banker Jeff Blue told a judge that the Sports Direct founder and chief executive had promised him that payout if he doubled the company share price.

That deal was made on a night of heavy drinking, the court heard, at the Horse & Groom pub off Oxford Street four years ago. Blue said that was often how Ashley did business.

The judge said Blue’s claim that he was owned £15m shows only “the human capacity for wishful thinking”.

Mr Justice Leggatt said that the case had been “a lot more interesting than some”.

Ruling in Ashley’s favour on Wednesday, the judge said no one would have thought what was said in the pub was “serious”.

Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, was not in court to hear the judge deliver his ruling, but his lawyers said he had won a “comprehensive” victory.

Bet offer:
Spurs (h) odds & offer

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power have launched a revised offer for new sign-ups, with a money paid back in cash if your first sportsbook bet of £20 doesn't win.

here select "open an account" (over 18s only)

Paddy have also priced their markets on Newcastle's opening Premier League game at home to Spurs:

13.08.2017 NUFC v Spurs - selected odds:

7/2 Newcastle win
11/4 draw
8/11 Spurs win
4/6 both teams to score
6/4 Spurs keep clean sheet
11/2 Newcastle win 1-0 

Find those here (select "Premier League" quick link)

Barren night

Whitley Bay  0  Newcastle United XI  0

Match report

Departure predicted:
Good deed? 

Now entering the final year of his six year contract, Newcastle defender Curtis Good is reportedly set to link up with Dutch side PEC Zwolle on trial.

The Eredivisie club are coached by John van 't Schip, who was in charge of Australian side Melbourne Heart back in 2011 when Curtis moved to Tyneside, having broken into their first team and caught the eye.

It's reported that Zwolle's Technical Director was in Newcastle last week to strike a deal, although it's unclear whether he stayed to watch Good play 45 minutes for the U23 side against Gateshead.

Enduring an injury-ravaged time as a Magpie, the 24 year-old played just two competitive senior games for United, plus loan spells at Bradford City and Dundee United that were truncated due to fitness concerns.  

Crowd control:
SJP to be traffic free

Press release, Friday:

Barriers were installed for the 2012 Olympics

New measures, like barriers and road closures that could stop vehicles entering the area outside of St James' Park, are being brought in ahead of the first home game of the season.

It's hoped the combination of vehicles and barriers at several key points on match-days could reduce the threat of vehicles entering areas with large crowds of supporters.

Although the terror threat nationally is currently severe meaning an attack is highly likely, police stress they have no intelligence to suggest that St James' Park is being targeted for an attack.

But with vehicles used as weapons to drive into crowds in Nice, Berlin, Stockholm and more recently in London, the police and Newcastle City Council in partnership with the Fans Forum and the club have decided to protect the 52,000 supporters who regularly flock to St James' Park.

The decision to tighten security was taken following national events advice from the police National Counter Terrorism Unit and approaches from the Fans Forum.

Cllr Nick Kemp, Chair of the community safety partnership, Safe Newcastle, said:

"This is not a decision we have taken lightly but with the support of the Fan's Forum and the club we feel this is the right thing to do.

"We have seen the death and destruction caused by terrorists who use vehicles as weapons by driving them into crowded places.

"While there is no intelligence to suggest an attack is being planned in Newcastle, we have a duty and responsibility to do all that we can to protect the public, and this is what we will do."

The council and the police say road closures will be kept to a minimum and will not hinder those travelling to the match on foot.

The barriers will be at several locations and only closed approximately 20 mins before and after final whistle reflecting the area of greatest concern:

* junction of Strawberry Place & Leazes Park Road
* junction of Strawberry Place & Barrack Road
* junction of Strawberry Place & St James Street
* Strawberry Lane

In addition Leazes Terrace, behind the East Stand where long queues form, will also be closed one hour before kick-off and until 20 minutes after the final whistle to allow crowds to disperse.

Closures will be flexible to allow blue light vehicles access in an emergency.

The measures will be tested for the first time on Sunday, August 6th, when Newcastle entertain Verona in a friendly.

Fans forum minutes

The minutes of the most recent NUFC fan forum are available to read online here

Unlikely lads:

Old boys on the move: 

Sam Allardyce left Crystal Palace
Sammy Ameobi
Bolton Wanderers
Vurnon Anita
Leeds United
Gael Bigirimana
Kevin Bond Birmingham City C
Lee Bowyer
Charlton Athletic AM
Tony Caig Bury GC
Adam Campbell
Ryan Donaldson
Hartlepool United

Seydou Doumbia
AS Roma to Sporting Lisbon (loan)
Shay Given training with Macclesfield Town
Yoan Gouffran Goztepe Izmir
Stuart Green
Cleator Moor Celtic M
Jonas Gutierrez
Brad Inman Peterborough United to Rochdale (loan)
Peter Lovenkrands Rangers YC
Ryan McGorrigan
Blyth Town
Daryl Murphy
Nottingham Forest
Conor Newton Hartlepool United
Gabriel Obertan
Levski Sofia
Scott Parker
Spurs Academy C
Matty Pattison
South Shields
Nile Ranger Southend United to HMP venue TBC
John Robertson Inverness CT M
Lubo Satka
DAC 1904
Steven Taylor
Doncaster Rovers (trial)
Steven Taylor
Peterborough United
Haris Vuckic
FC Twente
Mike Williamson
Oxford United
Andy Woodman
left Whitehawk

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.

2017/18 season ticket holders will receive new admission cards ahead of the opening home game v Spurs.

United obtained a 12 month exemption on logistical grounds to the PL requirement to house some away fans at pitch level.


Heading to the Toon?

City guide

NE guide here

Fri 28.07.2017 U18s v O'Higgins (Chile) (n) @ Clough, Ballymena, 1.30pm. NI Super Cup Premier Section, 3rd/4th place playoff.

Sat 29.07.2017 FSV Mainz 05 (a) @ Opel Arena, 4pm (local time). Friendly. NUFC sale now ended. £13 seating, £9 standing. Allocation: 1,500+

Sat 29.07.2017 U23s v Whitby Town or AZ Alkmaar (n) @ Turnbull Ground, Whitby, 5.30pm. Whitby Town Challenge Cup 2017. £10 adults, £6 concessions, £3 bairns.

Tue 01.08.2017 U23s v Ashington (a) @ Woodhorn Lane, 7.30pm. Friendly.
£6 adults, £2 concessions.

Wed 02.08.2017 VfL Wolfsburg (a) @ AOK Stadion, 4pm (local time). Friendly. NUFC  sale now ended. £9 seating, £7 standing. Allocation: "less than 400".

Sun 06.08.2017 Hellas Verona (h) @ SJP, 3pm. Friendly. Public sale now, £10 adults, £5 concessions. NB: matchday sales will rise to £20 (£10 concessions).

Only the lower main sections of Gallowgate, Milburn and Leazes Stands are on sale, plus the East Stand and Strawberry Corner.

Tue 08.08.2017 (or Wed 9 or Thu 10) Second Round draw for the League Cup
takes place, involving NUFC.

Sat 12.08.2017 U23s v Stoke City (a) @ St. George's Park, 2pm. Premier League 2, Division Two.

Sun 13.08.2017 Spurs (h) @ SJP, 1.30pm. Premier League. Live on Sky Sports. SOLD OUT.

Fri 18.08.2017 U23s v West Bromwich Albion (a) @ The Hawthorns, 7pm. Premier League 2, Division Two.

Sun 20.08.2017 Huddersfield Town (a)
  @ John Smiths Stadium, 1.30pm. Premier League. Live on Sky Sports. ST holder sale now, 100 points. £30 adults, £20 over 60s, £15 U18s. Allocation: 2,340. 

Fri 25.08.2017 U23s v Middesbrough (a) @ Heritage Park, Bishop Auckland 7pm. Premier League 2, Division Two.

Sat 26.08.2017
West Ham (h) @ SJP, 3pm. Premier League. Member sale now, public sale from Thu 03.08.2017.

Tue 29.08.2017 U23s v Crewe Alexandra (a) @ Gresty Road, 7.30pm. Checkatrade Trophy tie.

Sun 13.05.2018 PL closing fixtures.

Live TV games:

Sun 13.08.2017
Spurs (h) 1.30pm
Sun 20.08.2017 Huddersfield (a) 1.30pm 
Sun 10.09.2017 Swansea City (a) 4pm
Sun 24.09.2017 Brighton (a) 4pm
Sun 01.10.2017 Liverpool (h) 4.30pm

(All Sky - BT Sport's initial selection of eight games didn't include any involving NUFC).

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

Live TV confirmation dates:  

these are all "approximate dates"

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

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

R2 w/c 21.08.2017
R3 w/c 18.09.2017
R4 w/c 23.10.2017
R5 w/c 18.12.2017
SF1 w/c 08.01.2017
SF2 w/c 22.01.2017
F Sun 25.02.2018

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

R3 06.01.2017
R4 27.01.2017
R5 17.02.2017
R6 17.03.2017
SF 21.04.2017
Sat 19.05.2017

Checkatrade Trophy:
United U23s are in Group D and will play three away ties against EFL first teams:

Tue 29.08.2017
Crewe (a) 7.30pm
Tue 03.10.2017 Port Vale (a) 7.45pm
Tue 07.11.2017 Oldham (a) 7.30pm

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

Live music returns to SJP on Friday June 8th, Saturday June 9th and Sunday June 10th 2018 when Ed Sheeran headlines all three nights.

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


International Magpies
National Service

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
28th July

Born Or Died:

1906 Isaac Tate born, Gateshead.

Goalkeeper who signed for the princely sum of £5 from Marley Hill in August 1923.

"Ike" had a brief spell in Newcastle's first team when both Alex Mutch and understudy Bill Bradley were injured, making his debut in a 4-1 home win over West Ham United.

Despite standing at just 5'7", Tate was to move on to the Hammers on a free transfer in May 1927 and played against Newcastle on Christmas Eve of that year - when his new club won 5-2 at The Boleyn Ground.

Again failing to become first-choice, Ike joined Doncaster Rovers two years later and played on until 1935, joining the coaching staff following promotion to Division Two.

1927 Matthew McNeil born, Glasgow.

Centre half whose 6'3" inch frame was occasionally deployed by Newcastle, in place of fellow Scot Frank Brennan.

Signed from Hibs for £6,400 in December 1949, McNeil debuted in a 1-2 loss at Middlesbrough on Christmas Day 1950.

United made a profit on him when Barnsley forked out £10,500 at the start of the 1950/51 season and Matt later played for Brighton and Hove Albion, Norwich City and Cambridge United.

Returning to Scotland and settling in Kirkintilloch, McNeil succumbed to lung cancer in April 1977. 

1952 Derek Craig born, Ryton.

A League Cup outing against Arsenal in 1971 that ended in a 0-4 Highbury reverse proved to be the high point of centre-half Derek's SJP career - along with a Texaco Cup tie appearance three years later v Burnley.

Coming through the club's youth system, Derek was a reserve team regular until he left the club in 1975, signing up for a stint in the USA with San Jose Earthquakes.

Returning to England, Craig played for Darlington, York City and local non-league side Brandon United.

1985 Mathieu Debuchy born, Fretin, France. (2013-14)

After having looked on as Newcastle began 2013 with a 1-2 home defeat to Everton, French international right back Debuchy joined from Lille on a five and half year contract for a claimed £5m.

Attached to his hometown side Union Sport Fretin as a youngster, Matheiu joined Lille at the age of eight and came through the ranks to make the first of over 200 senior team appearances in January 2004.

2011 was a momentous year for the player, who won a French League and double Cup with Lille in May and collected his first full cap for France against Albania in November. 

Links between Newcastle and Debuchy first appeared in April 2012 and he played and scored for France against Iceland a month later, with United scouts looking on. 

Appearing for his country in all four of their Euro 2012 fixtures, Lille were then reported to have rejected two bids by Newcastle of between £4m and £6m before apparent agreement on a £6.3m fee was reached - only for a row over add-ons to erupt.

A deal still looked likely in pre-season, amid talk of Debuchy's close friendship with Yohan Cabaye and quotes attributed to the player asking to be allowed to make a switch from Lille to Tyneside.

By August however, the player had been told by Lille that they would refuse any offers to sell him and he appeared in their season-opening league win at St. Etienne.

That was to be his only club appearance in over a month though, after sustaining an ankle injury while playing for France in a friendly against Uruguay the following week.

In Debuchy's absence, Lille made it into the group stages of the Champions League and he returned from injury to feature in that competition, in addition to domestic league games and three more French caps.

Having belatedly moved to the Premier League, Mathieu debuted in a 0-0 draw at Norwich City during January 2013.

However he didn't exactly hit the ground running and ended up sharing right back duties with the unfancied Danny Simpson.

That was due in part to fitness issues, but also some questionable defending that manifested itself in needlessly-conceded penalties against Aston Villa and QPR. 

Some concerns were also raised by his apparently deliberate and successful attempt to be sent off dismissed during United's 0-6 home hammering by Liverpool.

After an improved 2013/14 season that included his first club goal (away to the mackems), speculation that the French international would follow his big mate Yohan Cabaye to PSG did the rounds.

That proved to be a false claim, but the player's acknowledgement of the fans in United's final games of the season was a strong indicator that his time as a Magpie was up, with Arsenal strongly linked.

Following protracted negotiations, Mathieu became a Gunner during July 2014, following his return from the World Cup Finals in Brazil - where he made four appearances.

United raked in around £10m-£12m, of which £5m went on Dutch World Cup right back Daryl Janmaat, who arrived from Feyenoord as an instant replacement.

Debuchy's first season as a Gunner was a disappointment though, injury restricting his availability and leading to claims that he was surplus to requirements at the Emirates after just 12 months.

Regaining fitness but failing to hold down a regular starting place the following season, a loan move to Bordeaux was agreed during February 2016, appearing nine times.

Injury ruled Debuchy out for all but 16 minutes of the 2016/17 season, going off with a hamstring problem in the defeat of Bournemouth.


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What Else?

1979 Plymouth Argyle (a)
Martin(19), Shoulder(73), Withe(78) 
Our four-match pre-season tour of South West England reached Home Park.

Among the Pilgrims squad was midfielder Gary Megson, who would later join the Magpies via Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest.

This was our second tour fixture, coming 48 hours after a 1-1 draw at Bath City. We went on to win 3-2 at Torquay United, before losing at Exeter City by the same score.

1980 Tormelilla/Ystad XI (Sweden) (a) 3-0 (?-?)
Cartwright, Rafferty, Montgomerie 

Another pre-season tour of Sweden ended with only our second win in five games.

1985 Leicester City (a)

Beardsley(37), Reilly(38)
Smith(63,90), Wilson(65)

United's Isle of Man Cup campaign got off to a losing start on a Sunday afternoon at the Douglas Bowl.

1988 Nykvarn (Sweden) (a)
Robinson 2, D.Jackson, Mirandinha 

1994 Visan Pallo (Finland) (a)
Lee, Mathie
Played in the town of Kemi.

United sent a second string XI across the river Tyne to the International Stadium for a pre-season game that ended up 1-1. 

Scorer for United was Paul Brayson, who would later move on to the Tynesiders.

1999 Stoke City (a)
Dumas(41), Robinson(67)

After an inspirational performance at Reading, Ruud Gullit replaced Des Hamilton early on as we made our Britannia bow, but confirmed his retirement as player after a lethargic display. 

Recent signing Franck Dumas scored with a stunning long-range strike and striker Paul Robinson continued his pre-season scoring streak with what proved to be the winner. match report.

2000 A Magpie discards XI came back from a two-goal deficit against Workington at Borough Park to record their third pre-season victory. 

Stuart Green scored just after the break, David McMahon pulled us level on the hour and a deflected own goal from a Jamie Coppinger shot completed a 3-2 win.

2001 A strong Reserve side conspired to throw away a 2-0 half time lead at Queen of the South, allowing John Connolly's Doonhamers to get back on level terms. 

Olivier Bernard and a Stuart Green penalty had put the Magpies ahead, but a frail defensive display from Marcelino undermined their efforts. match report.

2004 Ipswich Town (a)

Kuqi(7), Couñago
United's pre-season schedule took them to Portman Road on a tropical Wednesday evening, for a well-attended friendly staged in memory of the late Northumbrian-born Town player and coach Dale Roberts.

The link was of course Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson, who was angered by the booing from home fans directed at one-time Canaries striker, Craig Bellamy.

Future Magpie striker Shefki Kuqi opened the scoring for the Tractor Boys, while a trio of former Town players lined up in black and white: messrs Ambrose, Bramble and Dyer. match report

2005 Despite almost joining Birmingham City and Charlton Athletic over the summer, it seemed that midfielder Lee Bowyer's future remained at SJP, following his Intertoto Cup goal against Deportivo la Coruna.

2006 The draw for the UEFA Cup Second Qualifying Round took place and Newcastle were paired with FK Ventspils of Latvia.

However, the away leg was switched from the coastal town to the national stadium in Riga - partly due to the poor road links which weren't ideal for the trucks carrying TV crews and broadcast equipment.

2009 Magpies winger Jonas Gutierrez was named in Argentina's squad for a friendly in Moscow against Russia, but coach Diego Maradona again overlooked Fabricio Coloccini.

2010 Newcastle confirmed that they had completed the signing of free agent Sol Campbell after completing his medical.

The ex-England international
became the oldest player in the squad - six months older than Steve Harper - and would also become our oldest Premier League participant, even longer in the tooth than Ian Rush.

2012 SC Braga (Portugal) (n) Friendly
Ba(63), R.Taylor(72)
Beto of Sporting Braga was added to the list of keepers who paid the price for failing to heed the clear and present danger of Ryan Taylor over the wall.

The former Portuguese international was powerless to prevent United's number 16 serving up one of his trademark dead ball conversions, propelling United to victory at the Estadio Algarve in Portugal. 

Fabricio Coloccini then lifted the rather awkwardly titled (and proportioned) Trofeu Internacional de Futebol do Guadiana as his side successfully collected some silverware, albeit something akin to a dodgy TV aerial. match report

2013 Blackpool (a)
Shola Ameobi made it three pre-season goals in as many games as Newcastle won at a sunny Bloomfield Road.

United's number 23 netted the only goal of the game of a fairly sterile encounter, against a Tangerines side that included ex-Magpies striking partner Michael Chopra. match report