Monday June 18th, 2018

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Tuesday 17th July
Kick-off 7.45pm
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Chelsea 0
Premier League
St. James' Park
Sunday 13th May
Match report

The Never-Ending Tour

  Number of Newcastle
  games attended by in 2018/19:






World Cup:
Russia 2018

England finally get their World Cup campaign underway later today when they take on Tunisia in Volgograd in the 7pm kick-off.

Our betting partner Coral are offering new customers a massive 33/1 for England to win (see T&Cs) and for

new and existing customers they are offering a £5 free bet for every England Goal, when £10+ is placed on England to win. Find that here.

Their game will follow the other Group G match, when Belgium and Panama meet in Sochi in the 4pm start. Earlier in the day Sweden and South Korea play their first Group F game in Nizhny, 1pm kick-off.

If you're heading into town to watch the action, then the Ware Rooms on Carliol Square will be running their matchday offers and they have every World Cup game live on their big screen TVs.

Their England matchday offers are as follows:

- Half price pints for the whole match.
- Selected bottled beer for £1.50 each.
- Nachos for £3.00 (both veg and chilli options).
- Pizza and a pint for £7.00
- Two dine for a tenner (main course and a pint each).
- Bacon or hot dogs for £1.50

Find the Ware Rooms at 17 Carliol Square, NE1 6UQ - five minutes walk from both Monument and Manors Metro stations.

Sunday saw Aleksandar Mitrovic hoping to join an exclusive club of Newcastle players to score at a World Cup, as Serbia took on Costa Rica in the first of three games.

However, he wasn't on the scoresheet as the Serbs got off to a winning start with a 1-0 win in Samara. Mitro started the game and missed a couple of good chances and was subbed just as added time began at the end of the game.

Sunday's other games featured two of the tournament favourites, with Germany being beaten by Mexico and Brazil drawing with Switzerland. 

We'll be trying to watch proceedings through black and white eyes but that's going to be pretty difficult with only Serbian Aleksandar Mitrovic in the Finals squads, Matz Sels not making the last 23 for Belgium.

The ex-Mag count is also only one - France's Florian Thauvin - James Troisi, Kevin Mbabu, James Milner, Fraser Forster, Mathieu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko all not making their country's squads, although the French pair are on standby. Nobby Solano is there as Peru's Assistant Manager and Jon Dahl Tomasson as Denmark's Assistant Manager.

Thurs 14th June
Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia, Moscow (Luz)

Fri 15th June
Egypt 0-1 Uruguay, Yekaterinburg
B Morocco 0-1 Iran, St. Petersburg
B Portugal 3-3 Spain, Sochi

Sat 16th June
France 2-1 Australia, Kazan
D Argentina 1-1 Iceland, Moscow (Otk)
C Peru 0-1 Denmark, Saransk
D Croatia 2-0 Nigeria, Kaliningrad

Sun 17th June
Costa Rica 0-1 Serbia, Samara
F Germany 0-1 Mexico, Moscow (Luz)
E Brazil 1-1 Switzerland, Rostov

Mon 18th June
Sweden v South Korea, 1pm
ITV, Nizhny
G Belgium v Panama, 4pm
BBC, Sochi
G Tunisia v England, 7pm
BBC, Volgograd

Tues 19th June
H Colombia v Japan, 1pm
BBC, Saransk
H Poland v Senegal, 4pm
ITV, Moscow (Otk)
A Russia v Egypt, 7pm
BBC, St. Petersburg

Checkatrade re-listed

Newcastle will again be represented in the Checkatrade trophy by an under-21 side after entering the 2018/19 competition.

An invitation was sent out by the EFL to a number of Premier League and Championship under-21 sides to play against League and League Two sides and United have confirmed participation.

Last season they played at Oldham Athletic, Port Vale and Crewe Alexandra but failed to qualify from their group after one win (at Crewe) and two defeats.

Gunners capture Chris

While uncertainty over the future of U23 head coach Peter Beardsley remains, one departure from the club’s development squad staff has been confirmed.

U23 goalkeeping coach Chris Terpcou is leaving United, after accepting a post working for ex-Magpie Andy Woodman at Arsenal’s youth academy.

The 49 year-old Australian moved to Tyneside in 2004 and has worked with the club’s youngsters since them - briefly helping the seniors in 2010 before the arrival of Woodman.

The Chronicle carried the story over the weekend and the club’s first team goalkeeping coach Simon Smith then confirmed it via social media.

Former Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper has been working with schoolboys at the academy, while fellow old boy Tony Caig deputised for Terpcou at an U23 game towards the end of last season.

Bluebirds date

National League side Barrow AFC have announced a pre-season friendly against Newcastle United U23s.

A Magpies XI are scheduled to visit Holker Street (known as the Furness Building Society Stadium for sponsorship purposes) on Monday July 16th at 7.45pm.

Official confirmation has now come from NUFC of this game but the rest of the U23s pre-season programme is still awaited.

WC giveaway

With Russia 2018 underway, author Simon Hart's latest book "World in Motion" is a celebration of 1990's epic tournament in Italy.  

From Gazza's tears to Jack Charlton's Irish penalty shootout success via Toto Schillaci, Roger Milla and cheating South Americans, it's all covered. 

Thanks to publishers De Coubertin we had a couple of copies to give away and asked the following question:

Simon Hart's book takes its title from the England/ New Order 1990 World Cup record. Which future Magpie showcased his rapping 'talent' on that tune? 

The answer was of course, John Barnes and the competition wi
nners are Mick Maher and Alex Stokoe.

Buy World In Motion online here from the publisher.

Friendly fixture confirmed: Braga (a)

Newcastle's final friendly fixture has been announced and it is a visit to Portuguese Primeira side S.C. Braga on Wednesday August 1st. Kick-off will be 7.30pm (local and BST).

This will be the third time we have faced Braga in friendly action recently following a 2-1 victory in the Algarve during July 2012 and a 1-1 draw at Gallowgate in August 2013.

Their stadium is pretty unique, having been carved out of the granite of a former quarry in 2003, before featuring in Euro 2004:

And you thought SJP was built on a hill....

Spurs at home again

Newcastle's 2018/19 Premier League starts the same way last season did - a home game against Tottenham Hotspur, with Chelsea and Arsenal next up at St. James' Park.

A 0-2 defeat to Spurs also saw Jonjo Shelvey red-carded and Florian Lejeune crocked thanks to a Harry Kane lunge with Dele Alli the playmaker and pantomime villain for the visitors.

Our first away game is a trip to Wales and newly promoted Cardiff City before visiting Manchester City as we play four of last season's top six in the first five fixtures.

The season will end at Fulham's Craven Cottage while Boxing Day sees us visit Anfield, hosting Manchester United on New Year's Day with a trip to Watford in between.

Fixtures are listed below as Saturday 3pm, unless stated but we're not expecting many of them to remain that way....

Initial live TV selections won't be revealed until a date yet to be confirmed in July. Last year it was July 6th. Here are the spurious dates being given by the Premier League, all to be taken with bucket-loads of salt:

Last game
6th July
7th August
12th October
12th December
25th January
22nd February
5th April
After the penultimate game

NUFC 2018/19

11.08.2018 Tottenham Hotspur (h)
18.08.2018 Cardiff City (a)
25.08.2018 Chelsea (h)

01.09.2018 Manchester City (a)
15.09.2018 Arsenal (h)
22.09.2018 Crystal Palace (a)
29.09.2018 Leicester City (h)

06.10.2018 Manchester United (a)
20.10.2018 Brighton (h)
27.10.2018 Southampton (a)

03.11.2018 Watford (h)
10.11.2018 Bournemouth (h)
24.11.2018 Burnley (a)

01.12.2018 West Ham United (h)
Wed 05.12.2018 Everton (a) (19.45)
08.12.2018 Wolverhampton (h)
15.12.2018 Huddersfield Town (a)
22.12.2018 Fulham (h)
Wed 26.12.2018 Liverpool (a)
29.12.2018 Watford (a)

Tue 01.01.2019 Manchester United (h)
12.01.2019 Chelsea (a)
19.01.2019 Cardiff City (h)
Wed 30.01.2019 Manchester City (h)

02.02.2019 Tottenham Hotspur (a)
09.02.2019 Wolverhampton (a)
23.02.2019 Huddersfield Town (h)
Wed 27.02.2019 Burnley (h) (19.45)

02.03.2019 West Ham United (a)
09.03.2019 Everton (h)
16.03.2019 Bournemouth (a)
30.03.2019 Arsenal (a)

06.04.2019 Crystal Palace (h)
13.04.2019 Leicester City (a)
20.04.2019 Southampton (h)
27.04.2019 Brighton (a)

04.05.2019 Liverpool (h)
Sun 12.05.2019 Fulham (a)

Ahead of the new campaign, United have played a total of 882 Premier League games against 48 different clubs on 57 different grounds - including St. James' Park.

Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham are all back in the Premier League at stadiums we've already visited. However, you may want to add the rebuilt White Hart Lane as a new venue - assuming it is ready for our visit in February 2019! - given that it has largely been constructed adjacent to the old ground.

Season ticket renewals

NUFC have announced a new season ticket renewal procedure. They have made a guide available online here and you can go ahead and renew here.

The deadline for renewal is Wednesday June 27th and new season ticket applications can then be made from Wednesday July 4th.

NB: Fans who are on long-term price deals do not need to take any further action.

Double departure looms

Newcastle’s squad rebuilding is set to gain momentum in the coming days, with the conclusion of two outbound deals.

Central defender Chancel Mbemba could find himself facing the Magpies in pre-season, with Porto looking favourites to complete a deal to buy him.

A return to former club Anderlecht had been widely predicted, but Portuguese media sources are reporting that the DR Congo international is instead set to join Porto.

O Jogo assert that the Portuguese club have outbid Anderlecht and an unnamed Italian side to sign a player they first enquired about before he moved to Tyneside in 2015.

Meanwhile, Belgian news outlets claim that Anderlecht will have more success in completing the permanent transfer of Matz Sels.

The 26 year-old United goalkeeper spent last season on loan at the Brussels side and a deal is now said to be in place for an unspecified fee - subject to final agreement on personal terms.

However, by Thursday it seemed as if that deal was now off with no agreement on price, according to Belgian newspapers.

Points decision:
FAO: NUFC away 
match attendees

Update: NUFC have now clarified the situation and confirmed that away loyalty points will remain live, have been transferred by them over to their new ticketing system and will continue to be available to those renewing for 2018/19.

The June 30th deadline (below) refers to the re-registering process. Failure to complete this by then means that fans won’t be able to confirm their supporter number by looking on the old ticketing system.

Earlier: If you have an account with NUFC and buy match tickets from them (specifically for away games), you should have received an email regarding important changes to their online presence during the close season.

In brief, a new ticket website has been created and migration of fan accounts from one to the other is required - with a vital part of the process needing to be completed by fans themselves, not the club.

If you haven't received the email - and it seems a worrying number of you haven't - then the text follows. Pay special attention to the red/underlined sentence:

From NUFC, May 2018:

We’re delighted to announce that our new and improved ticketing site, BOOK.NUFC.CO.UK is currently in its initial launch phase. This phase is designed to allow supporters to re-register in order to link their old accounts up to a new single account.

The new platform will allow fans to easily buy tickets from phones, tablets and desktop computers, but you’ll need to re-register for full access. There will be plenty of time to re-register ahead of season tickets, match tickets and memberships going on sale for our 2018-19 season. Thank you for your support!

Will the new site remember my existing account?
Once you've completed the registration form and logged in to the new site you’ll have the option to link to your existing ticketing account using your supporter number. You must do this if you want to retain your purchase history and loyalty points.

Where can I find my supporter number?
You can find your supporter number on your season ticket card. We will also be keeping our previous ticket site live at until 30th June, to allow supporters to login and find their Supporter Number.

Please note that this site will be available purely for reference and any changes you make to your account via the old site will not be automatically transferred to the new one.

We’ve prepared some Registration FAQs to help you create your account, link your supporter number and set up friends and family but if you need further assistance please contact the Box Office on 0844 372 1892 or email with your query.

*Call cost 7p per minute plus your access charge.

To Re-register click here

Boldy going....:
Running Mag reader Mark Allison aka Run Geordie Run is now in Romania on the latest leg of his global trek details

You can keep track of his progress towards the Kazakhstan capital of Astana - a distance of 2,900 miles to be run in 100 days via GPS online 

He's running for St. Benedicts Hospice donate

Squad updates

United's retained list was published on Friday and provides official confirmation that five players with competitive senior team experience are leaving the club.

Along with Massadio Haidara, Jesus Gamez and Curtis Good, the decision has been made to axe Yasin Ben El-Mhanni and Stuart Findlay - both of whom were selected for FA Cup fixtures in the 2016/17 season. 

It's the end of the road for the ex-England youth international Mackenzie Heaney, while striker Tom Heardman is also released.   

Leaving the club is Owen Gallacher, the son of former Magpie John, along with a host of other U23 regulars last season - meaning that our development XI for 2018/19 will have a radically different appearance.


Senior (3):
Haidara, Gamez, Good.
U23 (18): Aziakonou, Cameron, Ben El-Mhanni, Findlay, Gallacher, Gillesphey, Heaney, Heardman, Hunter, Kitchen, Newberry, Pearson, C.Smith, L.Smith, Spooner, Ward, Williams, Woolston.
U18 (4): Aplin, I.Gamblin, Goodridge, Robson, Russell.

Deals offered: 

U18 (6): Allan,
Brown, Cass, Ebanks, L.Gamblin, M.Longstaff, Reed, Rounsfell, Swailes, Walters, Watts, Wilson.
U23 (3): Charman, Gilliead, Roberts. 

Squad contract expirations (updated and excluding those players mentioned above):

2019 (6) Bailey, Barlaser, Colback, Diame, 

2020 (10) Armstrong, Darlow, Elliot, Harker, Joselu, Manquillo, Mbemba, Mitrovic, Sterry, Woodman.

2021 (12) Aarons, Atsu, Clark, Gayle, Hayden, 
Lazaar, Perez, Ritchie, Saivet, Sels, Shelvey, Yedlin.

2022 (4) Dubravka, Dummett, Lejeune, Merino.

(1) Lascelles.

tbc (4) Fernandez, Murphy, O'Connor, Yarney.

St. Pats (a) on sale

Tickets for Newcastle's opening Patrick's Athletic at their 5,300 capacity home of Richmond Park are now on sale for both home and away supporters from the hosts. 

Both home and away tickets are priced at €15 adults, €10 OAPs/students and €5 U12s and are delivered as e-tickets. They are available to buy online here

NUFC will NOT be selling tickets to travelling supporters for this game. 

United have announced four first team friendlies so far, but the missing one scheduled for Wednesday August 1st (away from home) remains unconfirmed: 

Tue 17.07.2018 St. Patrick's Athletic (a) 7.45pm

Tue 24.07.2018
Hull City (a) 7.45pm

Sat 28.07.2018
FC Porto (a) 7.30pm

Wed 01.08.2018 Braga (a)

Sat 04.08.2018
FC Augsburg (h) 3pm

Season 2018/19 dates:

Thu 14.06.2018
Premier League fixtures @ 9am
Mon 02.07.2018 Pre-season training begins
Fri 06.07.2018 First live TV fixture announcement*
Thu 09.08.2018 Transfer window closes
Sat 11.08.2018
Premier League begins 
(theoretically that could be Fri 10.08)

(* last season was on Thu 06.07.2017)

Dubravka deal done

Confirmation has arrived that Newcastle have now completed the permanent signing of loan goalkeeper Martin Dubravka from Sparta Prague.

The 29 year-old Slovakian international made an instant impression following his arrival on loan in January, playing 12 times in the Premier League.

Dubravka has signed a four year deal for an undisclosed fee that was agreed when he made the initial loan move, estimated to be £4m-£5m. 

Old boys:
Hoyoots etc.

Unlikely lads - close season movements:

Sam Allardyce sacked as Everton manager
Shola Ameobi
released by Notts County
Hatem Ben Arfa
left Paris SG tbc
Adam Collin released by Notts County
Facundo Ferreyra
left Shaktar Donetsk
Jamie Holmes released by South Shields
Stephen Ireland
left Stoke City tbc
Alan Irvine sacked as West Ham coach
Brian Kerr
resigned as Albion Rovers manager
Tim Krul released by Brighton & Hove Albion
Kazenga LuaLua
released by the mackems
Alex Nicholson
released by South Shields
James Perch
released by QPR
Marcus Maddison
transfer-listed by Peterborough
Obafemi Martins released by Shanghai Shenhua
Stuart Pearce
sacked as West Ham coach
Alan Smith
released by Notts County
Steven Taylor
transfer-listed by Peterborough
Ben Tozer left Newport County
Mike Williamson released by Oxford United 

New clubs for old boys:

Demba Ba now at Shanghai Shenhua
Mike Mahoney now GC at Bristol Manor Farm
Steve McClaren now QPR manager
Mackenzie Heaney now Newcastle Benfield
Jamie Holmes
now at Blyth Spartans
Chris Moore
now manager of Consett
Alex Nicholson now at Blyth Spartans
Mark Stimson now manager of Waltham Abbey
Louis Storey now at Hebburn Town
Ben Tozer
now at Cheltenham Town

Accounts - new view

Further analysis of the 2016/17 club accounts has been published online by True Faith as follows:

True Faith part I

True Faith part II

Other interpretations:

@PriceofFootball online here

@SwissRamble online here

NUFC summary online here


Fixtures, Tickets etc.
Season 2018/19

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).

Heading to the Toon?

City guide

NE guide here

Thu 14.06.2018 PL fixture release @ 9am.

Mon 02.07.2018 Pre-season training.

Wed 11.07.2018 squad travel to Dublin.

Mon 16.07.2018 Barrow AFC v U23s @  Holker Street, 7.45pm.

Tue 17.07.2018 St. Patrick's Athletic (Ireland) (a) @ Richmond Park, Dublin, 7.45pm. Friendly. €15 adults, €10 OAPs/students and €5 U12s delivered as e-tickets online here

Fri 20.07.2018 U18s v Bolton Wanderers (n) Trungle Parc, Mousehole, Cornwall, 7pm.
Endorsed Cup - NUFC participation tbc.

Sat 21.07.2018 U18s v Mousehole AFC or Huddersfield Town (n) Trungle Parc, Mousehole, Cornwall, 11am or 2pm.
Endorsed Cup - NUFC participation tbc.

Mon-Wed 23-25.07.2018 NI Super Cup:

Mon 23.07 U18s v County Down (N.Ireland) @ Ballymena Showgrounds, 7.30pm
Tue 24.07 U18s v Deportes Iqique (Chile) @ Radia Stad, Ballymoney, 5pm
Wed 25.07 U18s v Ichifuna (Japan)
@ The Warren, Portstewart, 3pm

Tue 24.07.2018 Hull City (a) @ KCOM Stadium, 7.45pm. Friendly. Ticket details tbc.

Sat 28.07.2018
FC Porto (Portugal) (a) @ Dragao Stadium, Porto, 7.30pm. Friendly. Ticket details tbc.

Wed 01.08.2018 Braga (a)
@ Braga Stadium, 7.30pm. Friendly. Ticket details tbc.

Sat 04.08.2018
FC Augsburg (Germany) (h) @ SJP, 3pm. Friendly. Ticket details tbc.

Thu 09.08.2018 Transfer window closes

Sat 11.08.2018
Premier League kicks off (theoretically that could be Fri 10.08)

The three-season PL £30 away ticket scheme concludes at the end of the 2018/19 season.

Other events @ SJP:

Rugby Union:

European Champions Cup Final
11.05.2019 Challenge Cup Final

Ticket sales online here

Prices: Champions Cup final:
Premium: £120 (U16s £120)
Cat 1: £90 (U16s £90)
Cat 2: £75 (U16s £75)
Cat 3: £60 (U16s £25)
Cat 4: £45 (U16s £25)
Cat 5: £35 (U16s £15)
Cat 6: £20 (U16s £10)

Prices: Challenge Cup final
Cat 1: £45 (U16s £45)
Cat 2: £30 (U16s £15)
Cat 3: £20 (U16s £10)
Cat 4: £15 (U16s £5)


International Magpies
National Service

World Cup Finals: 

Thu 14.06.2018-Sun 15.07.2018


A Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
B Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
C France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
D Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
E Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
F Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
G Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
H Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

2018/19 international breaks:

Thu-Tue 06-11.09.2018
Thu-Tue 11-16.10.2018
Thu-Tue 15-20.11.2018
Mon-Tue 18-26.03.2019

Sat 05.01.2019-Fri 01.02.2019 AFCON Finals
Coxy's Cockup Corner
Whoops, He did it Again...

The Chronicle
manage to get two Coxy's into one sentence in claiming Sir Bobby's first match as manager was a 5-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

The 8-0 victory was Bobby's third, following a defeat at Chelsea and 2-0 win in Sofia.

Thanks to Kevin Randall for that spot.

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

On This Day in History
18th June

Born Or Died:

1968 Neil Mouncher born, North East Durham. (1988)

Goalkeeper who appeared briefly as a trialist for the reserves, debuting in a 4-3 victory at Preston North End in March 1988.

However, no contract offer was forthcoming and mackem-supporting Mouncher made his way back to the Northern League, turning out for various clubs including Washington before opting to relocate to New Zealand.

Becoming a police officer, he continued his playing career with Melville United, Ngaruawahia, Whakatane and Waikato - also serving the latter as assistant manager and goalkeeping coach.

1988 Islam Slimani, born Algiers, Algeria.

Image result for islam slimani

Islam Slimani joined at the end of January 2018 transfer window on loan from Leicester City to spearhead our front line in the fight against relegation.

Ultimately his imapct was minimal due to a combination of injury, suspension and not being able to play against his parent club but his arrival and cameo substitute roles were a factor in lifting the team at a crucial time.

He was involved in two huge goals - Ayoze Perez's late winner against Huddersfield Town and Matt Ritchie's strike against Arsenal which were invaluable as our Premier League status was secured.   

However, the end to his brief stay on Tyneside determined by a moment of daftness during the home defeat by West Bromwich Albion.

TV cameras caught the Algerian kick out at Baggies defender Craig Dawson as a corner was delivered and retrospective action saw him banned for United's closing trio of matches, meaning he returned to Leicester  having played just 130 minutes in four outings.

Arriving at Leicester City for a claimed £28m fee from Sporting Lisbon in August 2016, the striker had previously played for JSM Chéraga and CR Belouizdad in his home country.

Netting 57 times in 109 league and cup outings for the Portuguese side, Slimani marked his Premier League debut for the Foxes with a brace against Burnley.

He ended that first season with seven PL goals and another in the Champions League, also bagging two during a trio of matches for Algeria at the African Nations Cup midway through the season.

Four of his five goals for Leicester in 2017/18 came during League Cup ties as he struggled for PL game time, having originally moved to England as City's Jamie Vardy looked set to be sold.

He became the second Algerian international in our history, following on from midfielder Mehdi Abeid - who was actually born in France.


What Else?

1952 Southern Rhodesia (a) 4-2 (2-0)
G.Robledo 3, Harvey
Scorers tbc
Crowd tbc
Game nine of their gruelling schedule saw United in Salisbury (now Harare, Zimbabwe).

1986 Peter Beardsley scored England's second goal against Paraguay in a 3-0 World Cup victory in Mexico City.

1994 Colombia lost 1-3 to Romania in Los Angeles at the World Cup in front of over 91,000. Tino Asprilla is pictured here 20 months before joining United.

1996 SJP's third and final qualifying game of Euro '96 was a convincing 3-1 victory for France over Bulgaria that ensured their qualification for the second stage of the tournament. 

However just 26,976 fans attended and many of "Les Bleus" spent just hours on Tyneside, flying in and out on day trips from France.

The farcical nature of the ticketing system saw many of the empty seats dumped by French travel agents, who bought them just to acquire second stage tickets - only available when bought with first round ties.

France: Lama, Thuram, Lizarazu, Karembeu, Desailly, Blanc, Guérin, Deschamps(c), Dugarry (Loko 70), Zidane (Pedros 62), Djorkaeff.
Goals: Blanc(21), og(Penev(63), Loko(90) 
Mihaylov(c), Kremenliev, Ivanov, Tzvetanov, Houbtchev, Iankov (Borimirov 79), Iordanov, Balakov (Donkov 82), Letchkov, Penev, Stoitchkov. 
Goal: Stoitchkov(69)
Ref: Dermot Gallagher (England)

1998 The World Cup continued and without the absent Stephane Guivarc'h, France beat Saudi Arabia 4-0 in the Stade De France.

1999 "Auf Wiedersehen, Prat," as Dietmar Hamann went back on gushing statements about wanting his children to grow up on Tyneside. Arsenal seemed favourites to land the German midfielder but eventually Liverpool claimed his mercenary services.

2000 Just when defender Alessandro Pistone looked like he'd fought his way back into favour, United accepted a bid from Everton. 

£3m was too good an offer to refuse and subsequently proved to be a great piece of business, as the Italian struggled massively at Goodison Park with various fitness issues.

2001 Magpies Chief Executive David Stonehouse confirmed his resignation, citing "personal reasons" for his departure. 

The club then showed all the foresight and vision of a myopic mole by promoting long-serving "yes man" Russell Cushing.

Stonehouse was poached from the mackems after helping put them on a sound financial footing - and also managed to keep his black and white allegiances quiet, mackem Chairman Bob Murray famously claiming at the time that no Mags were on their board.

Stonehouse seemed approachable and a man of integrity so his days at United were always going to be numbered.... 

2003 Steve Caldwell signed a one year deal with United despite better offers from other clubs. The terms were also inferior to those being offered to his colleagues but he opted to stay and fight for a first team place.

Meanwhile, David Beckham's move to Real Madrid seemed to put the mockers on any chance of Ronaldinho moving to Newcastle. In reality, there was never any real possibility of the Brazilian coming to Tyneside. 

More realistic was the move to St. James' of Brett Emerton from Feyenoord. News of a "done deal" from Holland proved to be wrong as Emerton ended up at Ewood Park.

2006 Glenn Roeder was quoted as saying:

"We need to add to the squad. We've already lost one or two players. Alan Shearer has retired, Lee Bowyer and Michael Chopra have gone. That's three players down straight away.

"We won't be signing anybody this week but we're talking to players. I hope we'll have a couple of new faces. Maybe there will be five or six in total."

Roeder added: "It's important for the players we have that they see us bringing in new faces over the coming weeks."

Damian Duff and Oba Martins arrived in July and August, while Antoine Sibierski, Giuseppe Rossi (loan) and Olivier Bernard (free agent) were low-key additions as the transfer window closed until January.

2007 Despite reports that Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund were in pole position to capture the signing of David Rozehnal, the central defender appeared to be close to making the switch to Tyneside.

The Czech international had recently been voted player of the year at Paris St.Germain.

Numerous media reports claimed that up to four separate parties had satisfied the financial demands in order to be able to see the club's books - and there was also talk that one formal bid had been received.

The size of the bid and identity of that bidder remained unconfirmed never came to light, prompting doubts as to whether they ever existed in the first place.

A third incoming transfer and a third Frenchman to SJP, with Sylvain Marveaux following Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye.

The 25 year-old left-sided midfielder agreed a five year deal with Newcastle after his Rennes contract expired.