Thursday April 2nd, 2020

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Southampton 0
Newcastle 1
Premier League
St. Mary's Stadium
Saturday 7th March
Match report

The Never-Ending Tour

  Number of Newcastle
  games attended by in 2019/20:





Ticket news:

This is the best trip.....
On the road again

Thanks to everyone who supplied us with tales from NUFC away games over the years - a quite magnificent mix of triumph, tragedy, farce and drink.

We'll add further selections here on Friday, including some derby day recollections and European adventures.....

Part I online here

Part II online here

Part III online here

Part IV online here

Footy winner

Thanks to everyone who entered our free prize draw in association with - the retro replica NUFC shirt was Norman Davison - many thanks to all who entered.


PL: talks continue

Statement, Tuesday:

Senior representatives from the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), the Premier League, the EFL and the League Managers Association (LMA) met today and shared a constructive meeting regarding the challenges facing the game as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting reiterated that the overriding priority is the health and wellbeing of the nation - including that of players, coaches, managers, club staff and supporters – and everyone agreed football must only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

No decisions were taken today, with discussions set to continue in the next 48 hours with a focus on several high-profile matters, including player wages and the resumption of the 2019/20 season.

Takeover talk
gathers strength

Renewed reports of interest from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia in buying NUFC emerged on Sunday, along with a "no comment" response from the club.

By Monday night though, newspapers were reporting that NUFC had fulfilled a part of the takeover process by supplying written information to the Premier League.

Contrary to earlier media reports, that process has to be initiated by the owning party not the prospective purchasers.

That obliges the PL to undertake their required background checks before providing their approval for a change of ownership - although it still doesn't guarantee that a sale will follow.

Further claims have also emerged that the previously-publicised purchase price of £340m has now been reduced.

Whether the altered global circumstances over-ride Mike Ashley's previous refusal to do business with anyone leaking details of a proposed deal remain to be seen....

PS: We're fairly certain that this isn't the name of the group aiming to buy NUFC:

(A Grauniad classic, spotted by Roger Tebbutt)

Furlough extended

From Sky Sports, Tuesday:

Newcastle have closed their scouting department and put all recruitment staff on furlough leave.

A text message was sent to representatives and agents of players last night, advising them that the club's recruitment department will be unable to respond to calls or emails while they're taking part in the government scheme.

This includes Head of Recruitment Steve Nickson, who himself sent the message, with no indication as to when he and his staff will return.

Newcastle had already been planning their summer transfer business, with money set aside, but that has been put on hold for now.

The vast majority of Newcastle's non-playing staff have now been furloughed, with only a skeleton staff left currently at the club.

First team players remain on full pay and isolating at home.

From the Chronicle, Monday:

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has taken the decision to place the majority of his work force on furlough leave.

Staff are believed to have been informed via an email from Lee Charnley on Monday morning as the UK got ready for week two of lockdown caused by the virus pandemic.

Staff were pointed in the direction of the governments Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which gives workers 80% of their wages back up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

It is understood that drastic move by Ashley includes a number of Academy staff and members of the club's
scouting department as well as the club's Foundation charity. The move does not include players and first team coaches.

We're unsure whether ticket office staff are affected by this. archives:
Tuesday 31.03

With confirmation that there will be no football played until at least the end of April, we plan to post a retrospective piece from happier times each day.

From the League Magazine website, here's a profile of Magpies legend Colin Veitch

(NB: the photo captioned "Veitch leads his men out" isn't him - he didn't play in the game in question, v Liverpool in 1901)

Here are the answers to Monday's selection Toon Teasers - with apologies to anyone left scratching their heads when we initially called number 5 a Senegal international.....we meant Cameroon...

1. Between his two spells as a Magpie, which club did full back Robbie Elliott play for?
Bolton Wanderers

2. Which future Newcastle boss was part of the mackem coaching staff when they won the FA Cup in 1973?
Arthur Cox

3. Who netted a hat-trick for United against Plymouth Argyle in an FA Cup tie at Gallowgate in 2010?
Peter Lovenkrands

4. What did Newcastle's European trips to Bastia, Real Mallorca, Palermo and Maritimo all have in common?
They were all on islands (Corsica, Mallorca, Sicily, Madeira)

5. Which Cameroon international defender became a Magpie permanently in 2008 after playing as a trialist in a pre-season game at Doncaster Rovers?
Sebastien Bassong

6. After losing to Liverpool at Wembley in 1974, Newcastle's next FA Cup defeat came at Fellows Park. Which team beat them?

7. Former Magpie Joey Barton spent part of the 2012/13 season on loan from QPR to which overseas club?
Olympique Marseille

8. Apart from Newcastle and the mackems, which English club has DeAndre Yedlin played for?
Tottenham Hotspur

9. Which future Magpie scored his first ever league goal for Wimbledon at St. James' Park in September 1997?
Carl Cort

10. Name the first and last players signed during the time Rafa Benitez was at SJP.
Matz Sels and Miguel Almiron


Newcastle's 1-4 defeat at Derby County in April 1992 saw them end the game with just eight players on the field. Which trio were dismissed - and by whom?
Kevin Brock, Kevin Scott, Liam O'Brien and the referee was Brian Coddington


Five goals in 15 Toon outings for this Londoner, but who is he? Marlon Harewood archives:
Sunday 29.03

Today's stroll down memory lane was prompted by NUFC posting the entire 90 minutes of the Newcastle United versus Manchester United game in October 1996 on their youtube channel:

Howay 5-0 full game is online here

With thanks to author Martin Hardy, here's the chapter from his peerless "Tunnel of Love" book written after interviewing Philippe Albert about "that" goal - they do say that Belgians love chips!

Click here to read the chapter

Ratners moment?:
Fake news

Despite being an advocate of the "no such thing as bad publicity" school of thought, Mike Ashley has changed his tune in the face of public hostility to his recent actions.

You'll find the text of his letter online elsewhere; you can decide for yourself whether there's an ounce of sincerity in it, or it's no more than a "sorry I got caught" note.

FA statement

Update: resistance to the FA stance continues to build, with more than 100 clubs now calling on them to rethink.

Thursday brought confirmation from the FA that they intend to complete this season's FA Cup competition - but have called time on the current season for non-league clubs and wiped all their results from the records.

On a local level, that means the current membership of the Northern League will remain unchanged, while the likes of South Shields and Morpeth Town are denied the chance of possible promotion.

However it's not yet confirmed whether that will extend to the National League - leaving the future of relegation-haunted Blyth Spartans to be determined.

Speaking of Blyth Spartans, it appears that the FA's announcement means all County Cup competitions have been discontinued - and Blyth's outstanding Senior Cup Semi-Final against Newcastle won't be played (but that's still tbc).

The last season that the Senior Cup wasn't staged in was 1941/42 (thanks to the legendary "Newcastle John" in the city library for that nugget).

FA competitions:

With the 2019-20 Emirates FA Cup, Women’s FA Cup, Buildbase FA Trophy and Buildbase FA Vase all at advanced stages, we are reviewing all options as we seek to complete these competitions whenever it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Clubs involved are close to reaching a major final and for those clubs and supporters we will do all we can to keep the Wembley dream alive.


We have been working collaboratively with the National League System (NLS), the women’s football pyramid and the wider grassroots game since the outbreak of COVID-19 on how to conclude the 2019-20 season in the most appropriate way possible.

These are challenging circumstances for English football and all decisions taken are in the best interests of the game and in consultation across key stakeholders. Our primary concern will always be for the safety and welfare of clubs, players, staff, officials, volunteers and supporters during this unprecedented time.

Today’s steps take into account the financial impact during this uncertain period, whilst considering the fairest method on how the sporting outcomes for the season will be decided with the integrity of the leagues in mind.

National League System

The NLS and the women’s football pyramid were able to build a consensus amongst their leagues and, where possible, aimed to create a consistent approach across all leagues, whilst taking into account the unique characteristics of each individual league.

As a result, The FA and NLS steps three to six have reached a consensus that their 2019-20 season will now be brought to an end, and all results will be expunged. This will mean no promotion or relegation of clubs between NLS steps three to six, and no promotion to NLS step two.

These decisions will also apply to the leagues and clubs who play at NLS step seven.

We will continue to assist and support the National League (NLS steps one and two) to determine the outcome of its 2019-20 season as quickly as possible. The planned implementation of the restructure of the NLS will also now be deferred until the start of the 2021-22 season.

Furthermore, we can now confirm that we have decided that all grassroots football is concluded for the 2019-20 season. This will allow the game to move forward and to commence planning for next season. Our County Football Associations (CFAs) will be supporting grassroots leagues over the coming days to determine how they should close out their current competitions.

Where appropriate, the above decisions will be put to The FA Council for ratification.

Your shout:
First time

Thanks to the multitudes who responded to our request for memories of the first Newcastle United match they attended.

Having closed this topic, we then received one further email that we thought was worth sharing with you online here

Part I online here

Part II online here

Part III online here

Part IV online here

Part V online here

Part VI online here (the photo one)

Part VII online here

Part VIII online here

Part IX online here

Part X online here

(Yet) another
own goal

On the day that fellow Premier League club Brighton announced payment holidays, NUFC opted to take direct debits for 2020/21 season tickets - despite a good chunk of 2019/20 remaining to be played and no idea when 2020/21 will actually kick-off.

Having already caused dismay this week with clumsy attempts to keep shops open and imposing online price rises, it comes as no shock that another Ashley enterprise has placed profit above people.

Quick to publicise their own "generosity" when giving away tickets, the club are rather less forthcoming about plans for those who have already stumped up for one-off match tickets (Sheffield United, Manchester City and Bournemouth) in addition to paying ST holders. 

The Newcastle United Supporters Trust contacted the club regarding this matter and have now been informed by them that it's business as usual:

NUST statement, Wednesday:

Last week Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) contacted Newcastle United Football Club to express significant concerns regarding Season Ticket payments. We did not receive a response.

Yesterday we went public with our request for the suspension of all future Season Ticket payments during this incredibly difficult time.

There is no prospect of professional football recommencing any time soon given the current global health crisis, let alone the prospect of understanding the implications on timing on fixtures for next season.

We find it incredibly disturbing that the club continues to take payments from supporters during these extremely difficult times, in what is a health and economic crisis.

Following our call for the suspension and delay of all future Season Ticket payments Newcastle United contacted us earlier today. The club stated it has no intention of freezing or delaying payments, both for those that pay annually and monthly.

Today, Tuesday 25 March 2020, Newcastle United took payments for the 2020/21 season from those supporters who opt to pay for their season ticket annually.

Monthly payments will also continue as normal.

We are disappointed that Newcastle United is unwilling to offer a meaningful support system to fans through this difficult time.

Many supporters can afford to continue to pay, but we still feel more MUST be done for supporters who will suffer most due to the knock on effects of coronavirus global pandemic.

We are also deeply concerned to learn that some supporters who normally pay monthly have seen the full payment taken today. Any fans in that situation should contact the club immediately.

Newcastle United have called for our support numerous times throughout the last decade and Newcastle fans have responded every time. At a time when fans now need reassurances and support, we are deeply disappointed the club will not reciprocate that support in these unique and challenging times.

Numerous Premier League clubs have found solutions to guarantee their supporters have all the support they could possibly get from their club. Newcastle United can still act now and provide much needed support and relief for their fans that are in financial difficulty due to this global emergency.

Loan lads

Updates on United's six current loan players:

Dan Barlaser (Rotherham United):
The Millers confirm that while their players have returned to training, Dan has been self-isolated at Newcastle's request.

Jacob Murphy (Sheffield Wednesday):


Freddie Woodman (Swansea City):


Kelland Watts (Mansfield Town):


Rolando Aarons (Motherwell):


Achraf Lazaar (Cosenza):


Fan plea:
Food bank make
online appeal

The decision to suspend football matches places an extra burden on food banks, who depend massively on donations of both goods and cash from fans.

In lieu of collections on Strawberry Place, the Newcastle West End Foodbank are appealing for online donations to maintain funding for their invaluable work.

If you wish to help, further details of how can you do so are online here. NB: use of the Virgin Giving option allows for Gift Aid to be claimed (an additional 25%).

Premier League:
Sheffield United (h)

Was scheduled for Sat 14.03.2020 @ 3pm

Match off - from NUFC: Supporters should retain their tickets, which will be valid for any rearranged game.

Manchester City (h)

Was scheduled for Sat 21.03.2020 @ 7pm

Match off - from NUFC: Supporters should retain their tickets, which will be valid for any rearranged game.

Premier League:
Bournemouth (a)

Was scheduled for Sat 04.04.2020 @ 3pm

Match off - no guidance published.




Fixtures, Tickets etc.
Season 2019/20

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all football-related activities have ceased at SJP.


International Magpies
National Service

International breaks: 


Euro 2020 rescheduled:




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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
2nd April

Born Or Died:

1990 Mark Bertram born, Newcastle.

Defender/midfielder who came through the club's Academy and featured at the 2005 Northern Ireland Milk Cup tournament. 

Mark's reserve team debut came at right back against Manchester City in September 2006 - an eventful game at Kingston Park that ended in a 4-3 win for Newcastle.

Two first team substitute appearances then followed in pre-season friendlies ahead of the 2007/08 season, away to Hartlepool United and Hull City.

However, Mark failed to secure a professional deal at SJP and was released in March 2008, moving across the Tyne to join Gateshead.

Subsequently signing for Northern League side Team Northumbria and playing cricket for both Benwell and Walbottle, he coached at Walbottle Campus and Newcastle United's Academy,

Later moves took Berty to Whitley Bay, Durham City and Seaham Red Star, while he continued to gain his coaching badges and worked at Northumbria University.

1996 Death of Ian Mitchell, 49.


What Else?

1898 Gainsborough Trinity (h)
Division Two
P27, 42pts, 2nd/16 
3-0,85), Peddie(2,2-0,44)
Morris(4-1pen), Scott(4-2)

1904 Blackburn Rovers (h)
Division One
P32, 40pts, 2nd/18 
Veitch(1-0), Orr(2-1
Colin Veitch missed a penalty before opening the scoring for United, while Adam Bowman had to retire at half-time with a broken cheek bone for the visitors.

1910 Notts County (a)
Division One
P32, 39pts, 6th/20 
Liddell(69), Shepherd(80) 
Dodd(1pen), Matthews(60)

1915 Tottenham Hotspur (a)
Division One
P31, 25pts, 16th/20 
An insignificant scoreline, but one which saw inside forward John King keep a clean sheet after playing in goal for the whole 90 minutes. This followed an injury sustained by 'keeper Bill Mellor before kick-off.

1920 Burnley (a)
Division One
P37, 39pts, 7th/22 
Debut for Chris Swan.

1921 Derby County (h)
Division One
P36, 44pts, 3rd/22 

1924 Everton (h)
Division One
P36, 38pts, 9th/22 
1-1), Harris(2-1), Seymour(3-1)
The Toffees went ahead when Wilf Chadwick shot past Mutch after Everton had twice hit the crossbar in the same move.

Gibson then levelled from a free kick before Neil Harris gave United the lead. Visiting goalkeeper Alfie Harland was knocked out as he punched away Stan Seymour's header, colliding with him as Harris netted.

He was replaced by David Raitt for the rest of the first half but recovered to take his place between the posts after half time.

However, the goalkeeper failed to cut out a long cross-shot from Seymour that was deflected into the net from the far post to seal United's first league win in four games.

1926 Burnley (a)
Division One
P35, 34pts, 13th/22 
Tom McDonald missed a second half penalty for United. Clarets goalkeeper Jerry Dawson made his 700th appearance for the Clarets.

1927 Bury (h)
Division One
P34, 47pts, 1st/22 
McKay(14), McDonald(20pen),

1929 Arsenal (a)
Division One
P37, 38pts, 9th/22 
Lang(10), Cunningham(65) 

1930 Birmingham (h)
Division One
P34, 28pts, 20th/22 

1932 West Bromwich Albion (a)
Division One
P35, 38pts, 9th/22 
), Glidden(35)

1934 Middlesbrough (a)
Division One
P38, 31pts, 18th/22 

1938 Plymouth Argyle (a)
Division Two
P34, 33pts, 12th/22 
McNeil(12), Brown
The Pilgrims' opener came when Johnny McNeil met a corner and propelled both the ball and visiting goalkeeper Tom Swinburne.

1945 sunderland (h)
Brown, Spuhler, Whitelum
Newcastle gave a debut to Gateshead goalkeeper George Wood and despite conceding three times, he was almost immediately secured on a professional contract at Gallowgate.

Having previously guested for United, Johnny Spuhler netted for his parent club. Within six months however, he'd made a permanent switch to Middlesbrough.

1949 Blackpool (h)
Division One
P34, 45pts, 2nd/22 
Milburn(14,85), Robledo(30) 
United stayed second thanks to this fine victory but just four days later were thumped 0-5 at Portsmouth.

1952 Blackburn Rovers (n) 2-1 (0-0)
FA Cup Semi Final Replay
, Mitchell(86pen) 
After a 0-0 draw five days earlier at Hillsborough, the teams met again at another neutral ground, this time Elland Road, Leeds.

With just minutes to play and a second replay looming, Newcastle were awarded a penalty following handball in the box. 

With the nominated spot kick taker Jackie Milburn injured and nobody else willing to take responsibility, Bobby Mitchell grabbed the ball, spotted it and converted the winner.
Newsreel footage is online here

1955 Charlton Athletic (a)
Division One
P32, 30pts, 19th/22 

Trailing within a minute of the first whistle at the Valley, George Hannah levelled before Ronnie Simpson save Eddie Firmani's penalty on the hour to preserve a point.

1956 Manchester United (h)
Division One
P39, 38pts, 9th/22 
1960 Blackpool (h)
Division One
P36, 40pts, 6th/22 

1969 Tottenham Hotspur (a) 1-0 (0-0)
Division One
P33, 33pts, 12th/22 
Danish-born winger Benny Arentoft made his United debut at White Hart Lane, following a transfer from Scottish side Greenock Morton.

Manager Joe Harvey called this his side's "best away performance of the season" and added that he was "proud of the way we played football and panicked Spurs at the back."

1977 Birmingham City (a) 2-1 (1-0)
Division One
P33, 41pts, 4th/22 
T.Craig(11pen), Barrowclough(89) 

1980 Notts County (h)
Division Two
P36, 42pts, 4th/22 
Cassidy(33), Shoulder(43) 
Christie(31), Benjamin(90+2)
Tristan Benjamin and Geordie boy Trevor Christie scored for the other Magpies.

1983 Grimsby Town (h)
Division Two
P33, 48pts, 10th/22 
Keegan(31), Varadi(41,71), McDonald(87)
Talk of promotion remained fanciful after this win, but four more victories would put United on the fringe of the race.

1985 A 2-0 win over Birmingham City in the first leg of the FA Youth Cup semi-final put United in the driving seat. 

Inspiration at St.Andrew's came from Paul Gascoigne and the goals from Joe Allon and Paul Stephenson - a resounding 5-2 victory in the second leg at SJP confirming our place in the final.

1988 Luton Town (h)
Division One
P32, 42pts, 11th/21 
O'Neill(15,25,81), Goddard(62) 
Having been on the wrong end of a 0-4 away loss five months earlier, revenge was sweet for United, young striker Michael O'Neill going one better than the brace he'd bagged at SJP against Coventry City a week earlier.

The Hatters had extracted the urine down at Kenilworth Road and Toon midfielder Kenny Wharton repaid them in kind here.

"Kenny, Kenny sit on the ball"
sang home fans and he did just that - much to the annoyance of the Hatters, particularly their headband-wearing nugget Steve Foster. Happy days.
Youtube footage is onine here

2002 Aston Villa (a)
P32, 60pts, 4th/20

The Magpies remained fourth but were denied three points after failing to police Villa's gangly new signing, Peter Crouch. He missed plenty of chances, but brushed off Nicos Dabizas to net once. match report

2005 Aston Villa (h)
P30, 38pts, 11th/20
Angel(5), Barry(73pen,80pen)

Newcastle's season imploded in an unbelievable 20 minute spell at St. James' Park in the second half of this game.

Not only did the wheels come off but the doors and the roof were also forcibly removed as three home players were red-carded, with Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer disgracefully grappling with each other in the middle of the pitch, continuing to clash in the tunnel.

United fell behind early on when Juan Pablo Angel put the visitors ahead with a low drive after some sloppy work from Jermaine Jenas.

Darius Vassell ran through on goal and his shot was saved by Steven Taylor's hand, although the defender deserved an Oscar for clutching his face in mock injury. 

Gareth Barry fired a fierce penalty past Shay Given and it was soon 0-3 when clueless whistler Barry Knight judged that Stephen Carr had fouled Vassell, Barry registering his second and Villa's third again from the spot.

Then came the Dyer and Bowyer incident which simply defied belief. By the time Nobby Solano appeared as a late Villa sub, home fans had either flounced out in disgust or were too numb to acknowledge the Peruvian. match report

2006 Comments from Chairman Freddy Shepherd as reported by the Sunday Mirror:

"Our aim is to have the new management structure in place before the last ball of the season is kicked.

"We don't want to have uncertainty lingering on through the close season and we want supporters and players to finish the season knowing who will be in charge next August.

"We have taken our time, because this is one of the biggest decisions in the history of this club.

"The top clubs are opening up a huge gap between themselves and others. We need to get the right man to ensure we are one of those leading clubs.

"We have had a host of top names declaring their interest but we have kept them secret. When the time is right - and that isn't too far away - we will name the man to lead us into the future."

And that man...? Glenn Roeder. Another big decision Freddy got completely wrong.

2009 "We will give it a right good go" were the words of newly-installed Newcastle boss Alan Shearer at his press conference, having taken over for the remaining eight games of the season, assisted by Iain Dowie.

Shearer was introduced to the media before going outside to greet fans mustered in front of Old Milburn reception.

Somewhat prophetically he commented: "All I'm interested in is eight games and eight games only." He was to get his wish.... press conference report

2011 Wolves (h)
Premier League
P31, 39pts, 9th/20
Nolan(22), Ameobi(45), Lovenkrands(50), Gutierrez(90+3)

It wasn't as comfortable as it should have been but Mick Mcmackem's side left SJP with their tails between their legs after a sound beating.

Goals from Kevin Nolan and Shola Ameobi gave United a two-goal cushion at half-time and when Peter Lovenkrands made it 3-0 just after the break it looked to be game over.

After Sylvan Ebanks-Blake had reduced the arrears though the jitters set in until Jonas Gutierrez belatedly struck in added time
. match report

2016 Norwich City (a)
Premier League
P31, 25pts, 19th/20
Klose(45+2), Mbokani(74), Olsson(90+3)
Two equalising goals from substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic failed to stop United tumbling to their eighth successive away defeat after added-time agony at Carrow Road.

It was a tale of two handballs: one decision went in our favour, allowing Mitrovic to make it 2-2 from the spot with four minutes remaining but City then profited from the use of a hand to win it in added time. match report

2018 Easter Monday saw the Premier League's basement side West Bromwich Albion jettison manager Alan Pardew and his assistant John Carver after just four months.

Under Pardew's guidance, the Baggies won just once in 18 games, taking only eight points from a possible 54.