Points and positions
First Team Squad
U19, U18 & U17
Lifts the Lid...
Life with United...and beyond Part III
19/2/1995 Newcastle 3 Man City 1 [Fifth Round of the FA Cup, live on SKY].
"I was always well up for games against Man City because of what had happened when I was a trainee at City. I was coming up to 19 and playing for England Youth when they told me I wasn't good enough. City's manager was Billy McNeill and as their fans will tell you, he was useless and I didn't particularly get on with him. I'd also had a bit of a bust-up with the coach (I was a bit mouthy as a kid but I learned to control this later on, most of the time...) and I knew that the chances were they wouldn't take me on as a pro but they also made it very awkward for me to leave. All of the lads were called into the office to be told their fate, except me - I was just left a letter on my peg and that sort of knock-back took me a good two or three years to get over. That meant it was great for me to be playing for one of the greatest sides in Europe against struggling City sides. It was always nice to let them know what they'd missed.
This FA Cup game was obviously one of those occasions, in front of a big live TV audience. It was a game I remember particularly for the goal that I got. It was possibly the greatest of my career and they tell me one of the best ever seen on Tyneside. I can remember it as if it was yesterday. I think Barry Venison played it into Peter Beardsley who laid it back to me. My first touch was a dream and I sprinted forward, playing the perfect one-two with Peter. As I surged into the box I could hear the crowd roar with anticipation and I knew that if I caught it just right I could send us into the quarter-finals. The contact was true and the ball sailed over Andy Dibble and into the top corner of the net. I wheeled away in delight and do you know what? I'm also a lying b*****rd...! It was a flukey chip to the far post for Paul Kitson that went straight in!!
After the game I bumped into Andy Dibble who had gifted our first to Keith Gillespie. He looked thoroughly miserable and said, "Thanks a lot. I was already having a disaster out there without you getting a jammy goal as well...".
29/4/1995 - Man City 0 Newcastle 0
"Not a particularly great game this one but there was one performance that sticks out in the mind. John Burridge had been our goalkeeping coach for a while and had gone to man City as emergency cover for Tony Coton. As you probably know, John is a great character and a little off-the-wall at times. There was one occasion he came with me to an estate agents in Durham and a couple of girls recognised me, so I said "Hello". John came over and immediately started to strip off. It was in the middle of December and he stripped down to virtually nothing, showing off his muscles saying to the girls how well he looked after himself and that they should be looking at him. I just cringed in the corner and wished I was somewhere else. In training it was great when John went in goal. Pav and Shaka were both tough keepers to beat but John had seen better days and we used to love firing the ball past him from all angles. When we saw him take to the field for the second half of the match we were really chuffed and confident of getting a result. As it turned out Budgie had an absolute stormer and we couldn't find a way past him. We had to hold our hands up and give him credit for a fantastic performance."
16/9/95 Newcastle 3 Man City 1
"We played really well in this one, especially in the second half, once they had been reduced to ten men. Richard Edghill had gone off for two bookable offences and I must admit David [Ginola] and I played a large part in the dismissal. After the first booking I said to David, "I'll play it in and if you turn him quickly he's bound to dive in again. You might get another kick but I bet he does it again." Sure enough a few minutes later the plan worked and he walked. I remember Gary Flitcroft coming over and saying, "Oh, brilliant. I've got both of you to sort out now."
In the second half we ran them ragged and Flitcroft kept saying to us, "Will you stop it! You've got the three points, just give us a f***in' break will you?" But we were enjoying ourselves too much so we just carried on. Minutes later he said, "Ah, f*** this!" and signalled to the bench to get him off because of a hamstring strain!
Kevin Keegan tried to show Keith Gillespie the same Ginola trick in training once and Keith just couldn't get his head around it at all. Ginola made it look so easy and Keith just couldn't get it. David has fantastic talent - probably the best I've seen in my career - but as a lot of people have said before he wouldn't exactly die for the cause. The best way I can put it is, that you could come off having been beaten 3-1 and if David had scored a cracker and played well, he'd be really pleased. Most other players wouldn't be bothered how they'd done personally if the team had lost.
24/2/96 Man City 3 Newcastle 3
"I played in midfield for this one as we experimented with three across the back. We didn't practise that system at all in training and Keegan's approach would often be, "Just go and do it." Kinkladze was playing really well for them and I must admit I thought I'd clatter into him to try and put him off his stride a bit. I did hit him a bit hard at one point and he got straight up and booted me right up the arse, just in front of the ref. The red did nothing, I couldn't believe it. This was also the game that Tino had a couple of goes at Keith Curle. Curle's game was all about winding people up and although Tino was usually pretty mild-mannered if you pushed him too far he would really flip. I guess that's what happened that day and he was lucky not to get sent off for the elbow.
Tino was popular with the lads and was a real character. He was actually quite a funny guy but he never really learned English and often his jokes needed translating by his interpreter and as they say, the humour often lost a lot in translation. Clarkie would often wind him up by getting him to say daft things. Once Tino wanted to buy some girls a drink one night and he made the mistake of asking Clarkie what the English was. You can imagine what Clarkie got him to say and it didn't involve drinks....
Alan Shearer would also have a bit of fun with Tino. It was in the days when we would often train at different places and Alan told him there had been a change of plans and sent him to the wrong one a few times. Tino would turn up late and arrive to a big cheer from the lads. Once it happened for about the fourth time, Keegan suggested that was enough...!
He was probably one of the worst dressed lads at the club and he was unbelievably lazy in a lot of ways but he could also be really generous. If the club were out as a group he would often invite everyone back to his house. Not just one or two but everyone. Unfortunately this usually meant his place was in a bit of a state but that was just him.
Sometimes in training you could look at him and think he was the worst player you'd ever seen - he'd miss the ball and kick the grass but then other times he would do something with a ball and you'd think "How the hell did he do that?". He was probably the perfect substitute and his game was definitely suited to European football - a great free-kick winner. However, he would often get a lot of hassle when we travelled abroad. While we were all usually whisked through customs because Tino had his gun conviction they would hold him back for hours while they searched his luggage. This happened when we went to Singapore and he was fuming about it".