Tuesday June 28th, 2022

    Last update 11:34 BST

      Your genial hosts: Niall and Biffa

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Premier League

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Sunday 22nd May
Match report

The Never-Ending Tour

  Number of Newcastle
  games attended by in 2022/23:






ST sellout

Tuesday morning saw an unspecified number of NUFC season tickets (claimed to be 1,000*) placed on sale to fans with a box office purchase history since July 2019.

Available only online, demand was predictably heavy, NUFC confirming at 11.30am that all tickets were sold "in just over an hour".

Those placed in the random queuing system at 10am reported up to 30,000 others in a similar situation - although it's impossible to know quite how many of those were due to duplicate logons.

* although never officially confirmed by NUFC, that 1,000 place figure was widely reported by local and national media and as we understand, accurate.

The motivation for only releasing that amount of seats looks to be at least partly to minimise disruption in the event of changes to the existing seating layout.

In other words, there's theoretical capacity for ST holders who end up displaced by redevelopment to be temporarily or permanently re-sited - be it for safe standing areas or something else.

We're also unsure what the current Premier League stance on accommodating away fans is; with the previous NUFC administration able to deflect attempts at opening up areas pitchside to travelling supporters due to the stadium design.   

And while the clamour for season tickets is matched by dissatisfaction from those who missed out for whatever reason, capping the number sold does at least offer some hope to those aiming to purchase individual match tickets - although the days of a public sale for league games look to be over.

NUFC's membership scheme will re-open on Thursday, price £tbc. That gives non-season ticket holders the chance to buy tickets on a match-by-match basis.

PS: Let's just recall for a moment what was making the news on December 9th 2019, the now-infamous 10,000 SJP seat giveaway. How times change....

Newcastle United is offering its current season ticket holders a FREE additional half-season ticket as the club looks to get a packed St. James’ Park behind the team.

After discussions between head coach Steve Bruce and managing director Lee Charnley, subject to eligibility criteria, the Magpies will gift a half-season ticket to qualifying nominees by existing season ticket holders on a first-come first-served basis.

When the Bot comes in!

Update: a formal announcement from NUFC confirming the capture of Botman is expected today. The player posted a farewell message to fans of his previous club Lille on Monday evening.

Eatlier: United are closing in their third senior acquisition of the close season, with Lille central defender Sven Botman flying into Newcastle by private jet on Monday.

The 22 year-old Dutchman was driven to Darsley Park before later appearing at St. James' Park for the formalities of his signing and subsequent presentation

A fee in excess of £35m will reportedly be paid with a five year contract agreed.

Born in a suburb of Amsterdam, Sven began his career in the Ajax Academy and played second tier football for them from the age of 18.

Featuring for Ajax's first team in summer 2019, Botman then spent the next season on loan at Heerenveen before a £7.5m switch to Lille followed in July 2020.

A maiden year in French football brought Europa League action and ended with title success - last season adding Champions League experience and a tenth place finish in a side featuring SJP old boy Hatem Ben Arfa.

Internationally, Sven represented his home nation from the U15s to the U21s, recently captaining the latter. Twice on the bench for the Dutch seniors in 2020, he's yet to feature at that level.  

Magpie Mover:
longer for less

This season's Magpie Mover pass is now on sale to NUFC season ticket holders at a new price of £25 for all age categories (previously £30) and with an extended period of usage.

Magpie Movers permit public transport use across Tyne and wear on home matchdays* beginning three hours before kick-off and now valid from any Newcastle city centre departure point until the end of service that day, replacing the previous three hour post-match window.

Applications must be made online via the NUFC box office online here and passes will be posted out. 

* Magpie Movers are valid for Premier League home games and any FA Cup or Carabao Cup ties at SJP. Friendlies and U18/U23 games aren't included.

Third shirt

Having brought forward the on sale date for the 2022/23 home kit, Tuesday saw Newcastle place their third kit on sale.

Leaked online some weeks ago, it's a white shirt with green detail, which is accompanied by green shorts.

And has been widely mentioned, the kit bears more than a passing resemblance to that of the Saudi Arabian national team - although United's is supplied by Castore, with Nike manufacturing the KSA one.

Asked about that back in May, Magpies boss Eddie Howe said:

"I'm aware of the criticisms. I think from my perspective it's not something I've had any control over.

"We were very aware when we went to Saudi Arabia that the interest in Newcastle is huge. I know I'm making an assumption here but our kit manufacturers have probably acknowledged that and hence why we've ended up where we are."

Saudi shirt sleeve
sponsor unveiled

Monday saw Newcastle confirm their new shirt sleeve sponsor, in the shape of Saudi Arabian e-commerce firm,

Seen as the main rival to Amazon in the Middle East, noon was established in 2016 with help from investors including NUFC backers PIF, who have since providing further financing to aid their expansion.

There had been recent speculation that the Botswana tourist board were set to acquire the sleeve rights that were last held by travel search engine KAYAK.

PS: This isn't noon's first association with Premier League football clubs, having become "the official online business partner in the Middle East" of Manchester City in April 2021. 

Up and under:
Magic... giveaway

Magic Weekend is heading back to Tyneside next month - the sixth time that Rugby League's annual showpiece event will be staged at SJP.

12 Super League sides will meet over two days as follows:

Sat 09.07.2022:
Wakefield v Toulouse (2.30pm)
St Helens v Wigan (4.45pm)
Leeds v Castleford Tigers (7pm)

Sun 10.07.2022:
Huddersfield v Salford (1pm)
Catalans v Warrington (3.15pm)
Hull FC v Hull KR (5.30pm)

Tickets are available now online here and we have pairs of weekend passes up for grabs in a free-to-enter competition.

In order to be in with a chance of winning, tell us which Magic Weekend side play home games at the venue pictured below, when hosting the Magpies in its other guise as a football ground.

Entries to subject line of Magic by Noon on Friday July 1st. No age limit, entries welcome from anywhere on the planet but tickets will only be posted out to UK addresses. One entry per person.

Collector's corner:
Programme fair
this Sunday

This coming Sunday (July 3rd) sees the North East Summer Programme and Memorabilia Fair staged in North Shields.

Running from 10.30am until 2.30pm, a range of dealers will be on hand selling rare and recent programmes, team sheets, books, match tickets, photos, badges, trading cards and other collectables.

Venue: Tynemouth Scouts HQ
31-35 Norfolk Street
North Shields
NE30 1NQ

Nearest Metro: North Shields

Further details:

Old boy:
Chops chooses Celtic 

Northern League First Division Side West Allotment Celtic have announced the signing of ex-Magpie Michael Chopra.

Now aged 38, the last senior sighting we noted was an unsuccessful trial at Hartlepool United in 2017 - coming after stints playing in Scotland and India.

Fellow SJP old boy Guy Bates turned out for West Allotment last season at the age of 36 - his brother Jay is the manager. 

Pope makes pilgrimage

Following the permanent acquisition of Matt Targett, Newcastle have confirmed their second signing of the summer in the shape of Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope.

The 30 year-old England international was seen at St. James' Park on Thursday as he completed the formalities of his medical before joining Eddie Howe's squad on a four year contract for a claimed £10m fee.

Pope was in the final year of his deal at Turf Moor and unwilling to drop into the Championship, while the Clarets had a pressing need to bolster their squad and meet debt repayments.

He arrives to provide competition for Martin Dubravka, days after United finalised the sale of Freddie Woodman to Preston North End and with the future of Karl Darlow yet to be determined.

What was Pope's 141st and final PL game for Burnley saw beaten twice by Callum Wilson during Newcastle's 2-1 win in Lancashire back in May - a result that condemned them to relegation.

Released by Ipswich Town at the age of 16, the Cambridgeshire-born 'keeper was playing for non-league Bury Town when Charlton Athletic took him on trial in 2011.

Loan spells at Cambridge United, Aldershot, York City and Bury followed before establishing himself as first choice for the Addicks during 2015/16.

The following season saw Pope sold to Burnley, debuting against Crystal Palace in September 2017. A first senior outing for England followed against Costa Rica the following June. 

The Borrowers:
Loan lads

Rodrigo Vilca (Universitario)
Our man appeared as a 77th minute sub on Sunday as his current club lost 0-2 at Sport Huancayo in the Primera Division.

Isaac Hayden (Norwich City)
The Canaries kick off their pre-season preparations on Friday night at local league side Dereham Town.

Departure confirmed
Woodman exits

Championship side Preston North End have completed the permanent transfer of Newcastle goalkeeper Freddie Woodman for an undisclosed fee.

The 25 year-old was in the final 12 months of his deal and had also been linked with fellow second tier outfit Birmingham City. He moves to Deepdale after signing a three year contract.

Woodman severs his connections with Tyneside over a decade after he arrived when his father became goalkeeping coach - and featured in a reserve team friendly aged just 14.

Playing for the Academy, a first pro contract followed in March 2014 and was soon followed by an U21 debut.  

Involved in first team friendlies the following year after being named on the bench in the Premier League, Freddie was loaned to Crawley Town and Kilmarnock, making his competitive senior bow for the Magpies in an FA Cup win over Luton Town in 2018.

Further temporary postings to Aberdeen and Swansea City came amidst a new deal at SJP in 2020 - finally playing in the Premier League during the opening weeks of the season when United were hit by injuries and COVID-related absences.

What was to be his final game for the black and whites came in a 1-4 loss at Old Trafford last September - a half-season loan at Bournemouth yielding only a solitary outing in the FA Cup.   

PS: The fate of fellow custodian Karl Darlow remains unclear, with the player under contract until 2025 but linked with Championship clubs who would struggle to match his SJP wages.



Details of Newcastle's
pre-season programme remain sketchy, with just three of an expected six or seven friendly matches confirmed so far.

Following the cancellation of a proposed US trip, it's predicted that Eddie Howe's side will stage a training camp in Austria, featuring one or two low-key kickabouts against other sides similarly engaged.

Ahead of that, it's anticipated that United will play a behind closed doors game in the UK.

Following the overseas training camp, they'll face Benfica in Lisbon, before games on successive days at SJP against Italian and Spanish sides respectively.

By then, those players granted additional time off due to post-season international duty should have returned:

Tue 26.07.2022 Benfica (a) 8pm
Ticket details awaited.

Fri 29.07.2022
Atalanta (h) 7.45pm
Tickets on sale from Tue 05.07.2022.

Sat 30.07.2022
Athletic Bilbao (h) KO tbc
Tickets on sale from Tue 05.07.2022.

Gig giveaway

This year's Hardwick Festival in County Durham takes place over the weekend of Saturday August 20th/21st and boasts the usual eclectic line-up of live music, plus separate arenas for House and Soul DJs.

Among those appearing are Stereophonics, The Specials, The Proclaimers and Seasick Steve while the DJ line-up includes Huey Morgan and Arielle Free.

More details/tickets online here

We had separate pairs of tickets for both the Saturday and Sunday shows and asked which football club The Reid brothers aka the Proclaimers supported.

Multitudes of you correctly responded that it was Hibernian* and the winners were:

Stuart McKinnon
Sean Heslop

* nine misguided souls went for Hearts.... 

Home again

For the sixth time in seven top flight seasons, Newcastle begin their Premier League season on home territory, facing newly-promoted Nottingham Forest.

That game will take place on Saturday August 6th with a 3pm kick-off and won't be shown live on UK TV.

Find the 2022/23 fixture list
online here

Considering rearrangements for opponents in European competition, Manchester United's Europa League Group Stage commitments mean that our visit to Old Trafford won't be on a Saturday.

West Ham's progress from the Europa Conference League Playoffs to the Group Stage would also preclude our game at the London Stadium in September from going ahead on a Saturday. 

Old boy:
Unlikely lads

Ex-Magpies with new clubs include:

Tom Allan
Jak Alnwick (Cardiff City)
Kieren Aplin
Fraser Forster
Nathan Harker
Mackenzie Heaney
(South Shields)
Jack Hunter (FC Halifax Town)
Darren Lough
Oisin McEntee (Walsall)
Alex Nicholson (Blyth Spartans)
Michael Richardson
(Blyth Spartans)
Henri Saivet
Mo Sangare (Accrington Stanley)
Callum Smith (Birtley Town)
Jon Dahl Tomasson (Blackburn Rovers Mgr)

SJP old boys now without a club:

Sammy Ameobi
Andy Carroll
(West Bromwich Albion)
Papiss Cisse (
Caykur Rizespor)
Mo Diame
Carl Finnigan
(Morpeth Town)
Paul Huntington (Preston North End)
Peter Lovenkrands (Fremad Mgr)
Neil McDonald
(Barrow Asst Mgr)
Mark McGhee (Dundee Mgr)
Alan Pardew (CSKA Sofia Mgr)
Stuart Pearce (West Ham C)
Steve Watson
(Chester FC Mgr)

Mariners tales

Tickets are now on sale for a night with former Magpie Steve Howey at
South Shields FC next month, at the bargain price of just £10 including pie and peas.

The event takes place in the marquee at the 1st Cloud Arena aka Filtrona Park on Thursday July 7th, starting at 7pm.

Tickets can be purchased from the venue between 10am and 4pm weekdays, via 0191 454 7800 or from






Season 2022/23

New season ticket cards will be produced for the 2022/23 season.

The £30 adult price cap for PL away tickets has been extended for an additional three seasons.

Fri 01.07.2022 Pre-season training commences.

Tue 26.07.2022 Benfica (Portugal) (a)
@ Estadio da Luz, 8pm. Friendly.
Ticket sale details awaited.

Fri 29.07.2022 Atalanta (Italy) (h)
@ SJP, 7.45pm. Friendly.
Ticket sale from Tue 05.07.2022.
NB: No Metros between St James and Tynemouth for this game (full line closure from 16.07.2022 onwards).

Sat 30.07.2022 Athletic Bilbao (Spain) (h)
@ SJP, KO tbc. Friendly.
Ticket sale from Tue 05.07.2022.
NB: Metro service is due to resume between St James and Tynemouth for this game.

Sat 06.08.2022 Nottingham Forest (h)
@ SJP, 3pm. Premier League. Ticket details tbc.

Mon 14.11.2022
PL season halts.

Mon 26.12.2022
PL season restarts.

Sun 28.05.2023 PL season ends.

NUFC Live on TV:
None currently scheduled.

Amazon Prime will show the PL fixture rounds that include the following NUFC games - dates and KOs are yet to be finalised:

Oct 2022 Everton (h)
Dec 2022 Leicester City (a)

Live TV confirmation dates:  
all "approximate dates"

Tue 05.07.2022
Oct Fri 29.07.2022
Nov Tue 13.09.2022
Dec/Jan Tue 11.10.2022
Feb Tue 06.12.2022
Mar Wed 25.01.2023
MW35 Thu 23.03.2023
MW36 Thu 30.03.2023
MW37 Thu 07.04.2023
MW38 after 20.05.2023

Carabao Cup Round dates:
(NUFC enter in Round 2)

R2: w/c Mon 22.08.2022
w/c Mon 07.11.2022
w/c Mon 19.12.2022
w/c Mon 09.01.2023
SF1: w/c Mon 23.01.2023
SF2: w/c Mon 30.01.2023
F: Sun 26.02.2023 (Wembley)

FA Cup Round dates:
(NUFC enter in Round 3)

R3: Sat 07.01.2023
R4: Sat 28.01.2023
R5: Wed 01.03.2023
QF: Sat 18.03.2023
SF: Sat 22.04.2023
F: Sat 03.06.2023 (Wembley)

Papa Johns Trophy dates:

NUFC U21s enter Northern Group E, with Barnsley, Doncaster Rovers and Lincoln City.

GS1 w/c Mon 29.08.2022
GS2 w/c Mon 19.09.2022
GS3 w/c Mon 17.10.2022
R2: w/c Mon 28.11.2022
R3: w/c Mon 12.12.2022
QF: w/c Mon 09.01.2023
SF: w/c Mon 30.01.2023
F: Sun 19.03.2023 (Wembley)

Other events @ SJP:

Rugby League Magic Weekend:

Sat 09.07.2022:
Wakefield v Toulouse (2.30pm)
St Helens v Wigan (4.45pm)
Leeds v Castleford Tigers (7pm)

Sun 10.07.2022:
Huddersfield v Salford (1pm)
Catalans v Warrington (3.15pm)
Hull FC v Hull KR (5.30pm)

Rugby League WC Finals:

Sat 15.10.2022:
England v Samoa (2.30pm)


International Magpies
National Service

International breaks: 

21.11.2022-18.12.2022 (WCF)
Coxy's Corner

Whoops, He did it Again...

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


On This Day in History
28th June

Born Or Died:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later running a tobacconists and grocery store, Albert passed away in October 1984.

His younger brother Reg was also on the books at SJP, but failed to make it into the first team. 

Appearing for various clubs including Norwich City and Cardiff City, Reg ended his career with Carlisle United.

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

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

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

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

1978 saw him play at Wembley Stadium for the Star, as they beat Barton Rovers 2-1 to lift the FA Vase, despite Jimmy missing a penalty during the final.

Remaining on Tyneside after his playing days ended, he worked in the pub trade.


What Else?

1952 South Africa (a)
1-0), Davies(15,86) 

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

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

Goals from Jackie Milburn and Reg Davies in the opening quarter of an hour put United ahead, Davies adding an 86th minute header to round off the scoring.  

1998 New Toon signing Stephane Guivarc'h appeared from the bench for France after 77 scoreless minutes of their World Cup tie against Paraguay in Lens. 

The host nation eventually qualified for the World Cup Quarter Finals with a golden goal, but our man did little to aid the victory.

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

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

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

2006 Newcastle's first team squad began pre-season training ahead of their Intertoto Cup opener.

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

James Milner and Nicky Butt were present after spending the previous season on loan at Aston Villa and Birmingham City respectively. Both would
reclaim their places in the Magpies first team.

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

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

There was speculation that the player could come to Tyneside when the January 2008 transfer window opened - but in the event it was the manager who wanted to sign him (Sam Allardyce), who moved out.

2014 Newcastle's James Tavernier made a permanent move to Wigan Athletic for an undisclosed fee.

The full back had spent the previous season on loan at Rotherham United but opted against a permanent switch to the Millers.

Both sides would be playing in the Championship the next season; Rotherham having gained promotion from League One and Wigan falling short in the Premier League promotion playoffs.

2020 Manchester City (h)
FA Cup Sixth Round

De Bruyne(37pen),


A goal in each half ended United's FA Cup campaign at the Sixth Round.

Birthday boy Kevin De Bruyne put City ahead from the penalty spot and after substitute Dwight Gayle missed a sitter, Raheem Sterling's unstoppable effort kept the visitors on course to retain their trophy. match report

2021 The delayed Euro 2020 tournament reached the last 16, Fabian Schar playing his part as Switzerland surprisingly knocked out France in Bucharest.  

3-3 after 90 minutes, the tie was in
extra-time when Schar came off the bench; coolly converting the second Swiss spot kick in the penalty shootout that followed.

Former Magpies Moussa Sissoko and Kevin Mbabu both appeared as substitutes, but neither took a penalty in the shootout that ended 5-4 to Switzerland.