Saturday July 30th, 2016

    last update 18:24 BST

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Craven Cottage

Friday 5th August

Kick-off 7.45pm
Live on Sky Sports
Last Match
Newcastle 3
Vitesse Arnhem 2
St. James' Park
Saturday 30th July

Match report to follow

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) Public sale now (online)
Reading (h) Public sale now (online)
Bristol City (a) ST holder sale now (
25 points)


Mixed bag

Newcastle  3  Vitesse Arnhem  2

Newcastle completed an unbeaten five game pre-season programme when they defeated Dutch Eredivisie side Vitesse Arnhem 3-2 at St. James' Park on Saturday afternoon.

But United let a 3-0 half-time lead slip and conceded two goals from set-pieces that will give Rafa and his staff plenty to work on ahead of the season opener at Fulham next Friday.


A Kelvin Leerdam own goal gave the Magpies a 22nd minute lead which was doubled when Dwight Gayle shot home after 36 minutes and Jack Colback nodded in a third four minutes before the break.

But Chelsea-loanee Nathan netted for the visitors six minutes into the second period and then Gurham Kashia converted ten minutes later to give Benitez cause for concern but despite eight changes, United held out for the victory.

There were many plus points too, with the fit-again Matt Ritchie looking good in a left midfield role with Vurnon Anita also impressing down the right.

With more comings and goings still likely in August, Benitez still has work to do on his final formation but as he said recently, the starting line-up for Fulham is already in his mind and it is likely to be close to the one that put his side 3-0 up in this game.

Full report and details to follow.


Team: Sels, Janmaat (Sterry 73), Dummett, Lascelles, Hanley (Gamez 62), Hayden (Saivet 73), Colback (Shelvey 62), Anita (Gouffran 73), Perez (Armstrong 62), Gayle (Mitrovic 73), Ritchie (Aarons 62).
Subs n/u: Darlow, Tiote, Thauvin.

Referee: Sebastien Stockbridge.

Crowd: tbc

NUFC home pre-season friendlies - last decade:

2016/17 Vitesse Arnhem won 3-2
2015/16 Monchengladbach lost 0-1 21,088
2014/15 Real Sociedad won 1-0 19,199
2013/14 SC Braga drew 1-1 16,187
2011/12 Fiorentina drew 0-0 12,656*
2010/11 PSV Eindhoven drew 2-2 16,118
2009/10 Leeds United drew 0-0 16,945
2008/09 Valencia won 2-1 31,494
2008/09 PSV Eindhoven drew 2-2 13,477
2007/08 Sampdoria won 1-0 23,078
2007/08 Juventus won 2-0 34,016
2007/08 Celtic won 4-1 30,225
2006/07 Villarreal drew 2-2 20,144
2006/07 PSV Eindhoven lost 2-3 20,175
2005/06 Yeading won 5-0 6,151

*abandoned after 63 mins

Proud sponsors of
m exclusive:
Promotion Promotion

Our betting partner Coral are currently offering new customers 10/1 on Newcastle winning promotion from the Championship this coming season.

The maximum stake is 5 and should Rafa's side fail in their quest, your stake will be refunded as a 5 bet.

This enhanced price is only available online here

(NB: this can't be combined with any other promos)

Coral now have their match markets for our opener at Fulham online with the following catching our eye:

NUFC to win 1-0 @ 13/2
NUFC to win to nil @ 12/5 
HT draw, FT NUFC win @ 9/4
1-1 draw FT @ 11/2
NUFC to come from behind and win 10/1


Friday's Brighton Argus newspaper reported interest from United in signing Albion's right winger Anthony Knockeart, with an undisclosed bid claimed to be around 8m rejected in recent days.

24 year-old Knockeart joined the Seagulls in January 2016, scoring five goals in 18 Championship starts. He's under contract at the Amex until 2019.

Previously with Leicester City, the Frenchman ended a three year stint with the Foxes in 2015 when he left under freedom of contract to join Standard Liege. 

Second string:
York City (a)


While the first team were in action at Gallowgate on Saturday, United's reserve side drew 1-1 with National League side York City at their Bootham Crescent home. 

Kennedy gave the Minstermen a ninth minute lead but Findlay equalised three minutes into the second half.

Full report and details to follow.

Mac back at Brunton

Newcastle reserve defender Macaulay Gillesphey has returned to League Two side Carlisle United on loan, following a successful spell there last season.

20 year-old Gillesphey made 27 appearances in all competitions for the Cumbrians last season and has agreed a switch until early January 2017.

The news is less positive on fellow loan player Liam Smith however, who picked up a foot injury during a pre-season game for his new club Crewe Alexandra.

Scans showed no broken bones, but the 20 year-old midfielder has returned to the Magpies for treatment and is set to miss Crewe's season opener against Stevenage on Saturday week. 

ST refunds: update

Press release from NUFC, Thursday:

Newcastle United have confirmed details of how season ticket holders will receive discounts after the club reduced all season ticket prices at St. James' Park by 10% for 2016/17.

The club has written to season ticket holders to confirm that required updates of its ticketing system are now complete and has thanked them for their patience while waiting for payment information.

From early September, all supporters who pay for their season ticket with a lump sum up front will be receiving a refund payment to the value of 10% of their season ticket.

The club will be writing to supporters individually to confirm precise details of how this payment will be made very shortly.

Season ticket holders who use the club's Direct Debit scheme will start to see lower monthly payments from September onwards, which will equate to a total final saving of 10%.

Tiote departure delay 

Update: a rejected bid of 800K is being claimed.

Despite being absent from the Newcastle squad at Southend United on Tuesday, the departure of midfielder Cheick Tiote remains in some doubt. 

The Ivorian has one year left on his deal and has reportedly been in negotiations with Al Jazira, who participate in the Arabian Gulf League.

However Sky report that the Abu Dhabi-based club's valuation of Tiote is some way off United's and the player is now back in training at Darsley Park.

Sky Sports also report that Lazio's bid to sign Florian Thauvin has been rejected. The possibility of another loan move to Olympique Marseille with a subsequent purchase option remains on the table.

PS: Ahead of a scheduled return to training on Monday (when the first team are put through their paces at the SJP open day), transfer links to malcontented Moussa Sissoko haven't yet translated into bids.

That leaves the fate of Sammy Ameobi (in training but not involved in any senior or reserve pre-season games) and Remy Cabella (in pre-season with Marseille but not yet confirmed as a permanent signing) to be revealed.

Back home


Mark Allison aka Run Geordie Run returned to the North East on Thursday, after successfully completing the 2016 leg of his global charity challenge.

An 83 day route through Portugal, Spain, Andorra, France, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia added a magnificent 2,633 miles to his total.

Fundraising for The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Children's Foundation, with donations totaling over 42.5K raised from Mark's latest leg - boosting the figure raised since 2007 to over 255K.

If you'd like donate, please do so online here 

Penalty agony part II

United's youngsters completed their annual visit to Northern Ireland for the former Milk Cup (now rebranded SuperCupNI) by avoiding defeat in all five matches.

Sadly though they lost Thursday's Semi-Final in a penalty shootout and then suffered further spot kick disappointment in Friday's playoff match.

Fri 29.07.2016
Ichifuna (n) drew 3-3 

Facing Japanese opposition in a 3th/4th place Globe playoff staged at Limavady, a 3-3 draw led to a spot kick decider that United lost 4-5. Details to follow.

Thu 28.07.2016 Lusaka Academy (n) drew 1-1
Facing Zambian opposition in Ballymoney, in-form Lewis McNall was on target yet again but with this being a knockout game, it had to be resolved on penalties.

Sadly United lost 4-5 in the shootout, with McNall, Longstaff, Bailey and Wilson on target but Heaney seeing his spot kick saved.

Team: Freeman, Aplin, Cass, Longstaff, Bailey, Gibson, Heaney, Goodridge, McNall, Allan (Robson), Gallacher (Wilson).

Subs n/u: tbc

Group games:

Wed 27.07.2016 Vendee (n) won 3-0  
McNall, Wilson, Heaney

Victory confirmed a place in the last four of the Globe section of the competition - one below the Cup that was contested by the four sides with 100% records.

Team: Freeman, Aziakonou, Aplin, Longstaff, Bailey, Gibson, Heaney, Goodridge, McNall, Allan, Gallacher.
Subs: (usage tbc) Long, Watts, Brown, Cass, Wilson, Robson, Gamblin.

Tue 26.07.2016 Right to Dream
(n) drew 3-3
Gallacher 2, McNall 1

Team: Freeman, Cass, Aplin, Longstaff, Bailey, Gibson,  Heaney, Goodridge, McNall, Allan, Gallacher.
Subs: (usage tbc) Aziakonou, Long, Watts, Brown, Wilson, Robson, Gamblin.

Mon 25.07.2016 Fermanagh (n) won 2-1  
McNall 2

Team: Freeman, Aziakanou, Aplin, Longstaff, Bailey, Gibson, Heaney, Goodridge, McNall, Long, Gallacher.
Subs (usage tbc): Watts, Brown, Allan, Cass, Wilson, Robson, Gamblin.

Booked: Aplin

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

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 Sun July 31st @ 9pm - one per person please. Entries welcome from across the planet.

Unlikely lads:
(Old) spice boy

Fresh from what can reasonably be called an Indian summer with Northern Ireland at Euro 2016, Aaron Hughes has extended his club career by signing for Kerala Blasters in the Indian Premier League 

Spending last season in Australia with Melbourne City, Aaron is the third ex-Magpie to join the Blasters after Michael Chopra in 2014 and Peter Ramage last year.

Unlikely lads:
Thai aye man


Ex-United striker Xisco is on the move again, joining Muangthong United in Thailand. The 30 year-old left Cordoba in his native Spain after they missed out on promotion to the top flight, but wasn't fit enough to debut in a 3-2 win over Buriram United on Sunday.    

An announcement is expected soon from MLS side Portland Timbers, confirming that they have reached agreement to sign old boy Steven Taylor.

The 30 year-old is now a free agent after his contract expired and had received contracts offers from various clubs including Glasgow Rangers. 

Another Wembley 
route closes.... 

Confirmation of the Premier League and Championship sides participating in the re-launched EFL Trophy has finally appeared - and Newcastle aren't involved.

The Magpies were one of 16 Category One Academies invited to enter an U23 team to play alongside 48 League One and Two sides, but have declined to participate - unlike the smoggies and mackems.

United have outlined their reasons as follows:

The Club was initially informed by the Premier League that it was not going to be invited to compete in the restructured competition.

Accordingly, the Club started to make plans with regard to the development squad for the coming season. These plans included the intention to loan out some of the players who are currently part of the under-23 squad, rather than allowing them to compete in the Premier League 2.

Changes to the loan system, which come into effect this season, mean all loans must now be completed on a window-to-window basis, with emergency and youth loans no longer permissible. These regulations are a contributory factor to the Club's decision.

Though Newcastle United did subsequently receive an invite to compete in the EFL Trophy, the Club feels their younger players would be better served by going out on loan and gaining experience over an extended period in a first team environment.

In its former guise as the Johnstones Paint Trophy, a Barnsley side including Magpie loan forward Ivan Toney collected the silverware at Wembley last season. 

Shrimpers scuttled

Southend United  0  Newcastle  2


Match footage is online here

Match report

Happy returns

KSC Lokeren  0  Newcastle 

Match footage is online here

Match report


Steel silverware for second string!

PSV Eindhoven XI  0  Newcastle Res  1

Sunday's match action is online here

Steel Cup trophy presentation

Match details online here



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)
Aaron Hughes
(Kerala Blasters)
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)
Xisco (Muangthong United)

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

on 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 Res v Ashington (a)
@ Woodhorn Lane, 7.30pm. Friendly.
6 adults, 2 concessions. Pay at the gate.

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, 12.30pm. U18 Premier League.

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

Mon 15.08.2016 Res v Norwich City (a) @ Colney Training Centre, KO tbc. Premier League 2. NB: venue switch from home to away.

Wed 17.08.2016 Reading (h)
@ SJP, 7.45pm. Championship. Public sale now (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 (25 points), 0 from Mon 01.08.2016.
30 adults, 27 over-65s/U25s, 15 U19s, 10 for U12s. Allocation: 2,500.

Mon 22.08.2016 Res 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...

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

On This Day in History
30th July

Born Or Died:

1932 Alexander Gaskell born, Leigh, Manchester. (1953-54)

Centre forward Alec began his career at local Lancashire side Hindsford before attracting the attention of Manchester United - although he was never to make a senior appearance for the Red Devils.

Moving on to Southport in 1951, Gaskell's form brought First Division scouts to Haig Avenue and Newcastle bid 5,000 in October 1953 to secure his services. 

Featuring for United's first team just once -  a 2-3 home defeat by Middlesbrough on Boxing Day 1953 - Alec moved on to Mansfield Town the following season, staying at Field Mill until joining Grantham Town in summer 1956.

Making a fleeting return to the Football League a year later with Tranmere Rovers, later stints with Rhyl, Wigan Rovers, Mossley and Winsford United then followed.

Gaskell retired from playing in 1962 after sustaining a broken wrist at Winsford and later worked for a cable manufacturer in his native Lancashire.

Alec's death was reported in March 2014.


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What Else?

1969 Hearts (h)
Pop Robson's spot kick success was followed just four minutes later by a penalty award to the Jambos. Thankfully Magpies' keeper Iam McFaul saved Ernie Winchester's effort.

1971 Saint-Etienne (France) (a)
scorers tbc 
Joe Harvey's side began their pre-season preparations with a visit to the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard. Recent signing Malcolm Macdonald marked his debut with a goal.

1978 Saetila (Sweden) (a)
Connolly, Kennedy, Walker
scorers tbc 
1985 Blackburn Rovers (a)
scorers tbc 
Isle of Man Cup match, held in Ramsey. 
1986 Isle of Man XI (a) 5-1 
Stewart, Beardsley, Allon 2, Ferris
scorer tbc 

1989 Rydobruk (Sweden) (a)

1991 With the first team away on another tour of obscure Swedish clubs, a side of unwanted senior players and juniors beat Alnwick Town 7-2, at their St.James' Park. 

Roy Aitken was on the scoresheet, while Mark Stimson, Neil Simpson and Billy Askew also appeared for the visitors.

That quarter had been told their first team careers were over at United, and were all keeping fit while searching for new clubs.

1996 Thailand XI (a)
Asprilla, Lee 64
United began a three match tour of Asia with victory in Bangkok, but as much attention was devoted to the aftershocks from news of the signing of centre forward Alan Shearer.

NUFC: Srnicek, Howey, D.Peacock, Albert, Watson Ginola, Lee, Batty, Beardsley, Asprilla, Ferdinand.

Ahead of the game, a statesman-like Kevin Keegan had commented:

"This signing is for the people of Newcastle. It just shows you the ambition of Newcastle United. We are the biggest thinking team in Europe now.

"We're not the biggest, most successful team, but we're the biggest thinking club and we have tremendous support from above which allows me to buy players.

"Alan will not be joining us here. Tell the Thai team they just have to worry about Ferdinand, Beardsley and Asprilla.

"I have signed Alan to play alongside Les Ferdinand and I am convinced they will be the most potent strike force anywhere. I see the signing of Alan Shearer as just reward for our fans.

"Like everyone else, I am ecstatic with this signing - I think it shows our ambition. Now we have signed the best for the best."

1997 Bradford City (a)
Asprilla(7), Beardsley(27), Watson(39)
A game arranged as part of the deal that brought the midfield talents of Des Hamilton from the Bantams to the Magpies. 

Disco Des led the visitors onto the pitch, or so he thought. However, as he strode forward the rest of the team stopped, leav
ing him to run out at Valley Parade alone.

2000 Silvio Maric inspired his side to a 1-0 win over the mackems. Unfortunately it came a year too late - Maric had already left SJP and was playing for Porto at the time....

2003 A Newcastle XI won 6-2 at Hebburn, thanks to hat-tricks for Carl Finnigan - who lived yards from Hebburn's Victoria Road West ground - and for Marc Walton. 

Hebburn had a certain Gary Bennett playing for them, while United's new Academy chief Brian Eastick was in charge of the Magpies. match report.

2004 It looked less and less likely that United defender Jonathan Woodgate would be available when we opened our Premiership campaign in his home town, Middlesbrough. 

The central defender was sent for a scan to try and identify the cause of his latest problem, apparently sustained in training.

2006 Sol Campbell was heavily linked with a move to the North-East after his contract at Arsenal had expired. However, the central defender ended up at Portsmouth.

Four years later Campbell would complete a move to Tyneside after a brief stint with Notts County and a return to Arsenal for the second half of the 2009/10 season.

2010 Newly-appointed reserve coaching duo Peter Beardsley and Steve Stone eased into their new roles with a debut victory at the International Stadium against Gateshead.

First half goals from
Nile Ranger, Haris Vuckic and an OG from Callum Morris completed the scoring, with the third goal cruel luck indeed for the on-trial defender who had been released by us at the end of 2009/10. match report

2011 Peter Beardsley marked the first anniversary of his taking charge of United's reserves with a 4-2 win over Northern League champions Spennymoor Town.

Doubles from Brad Inman and Nile Ranger saw an orange-clad United triumph at a sunny Brewery Field in front of over 1,100 fans. match report

2013 St. Mirren (a)
Cisse(19), Debuchy(26)

Scotland, Portugal, Portugal, England, Scotland - United's meandering pre-season tour saw them debut in Paisley against the SPL side.

Papiss Cisse played for the first time since the furore over his wearing W*nga-branded kit arose, and soon opened the scoring.

Mathieu Debuchy then added a second, with former Saints loan duo Paul Dummett and Conor Newton also getting some pitch time. match report

2014 Sheffield Wednesday (a) 1-0 (0-0)

Back from New Zealand and preparing for Germany,
United visited Hillsborough to face the Championship Owls on a fine night in South Yorkshire.

Gabriel Obertan teed up Ayoze Perez for the only goal of the game, with Alan Pardew blooding youngster Alex Gilliead from the subs bench in the closing stages. match report

2015 United announced the signing of Anderlecht defender Chancel Mbemba after the club received a Governing Body Endorsement for the player at an FA hearing. The fee was reportedly around 7m.