Newcastle United FC: Wikis


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Newcastle United
Newcastle United Logo.svg
Full name Newcastle United Football Club
Nickname(s) The Magpies, The Toon,
Founded 1892
Ground St James' Park
(Capacity: 52,387)
Owner Mike Ashley
Managing Director Derek Llambias
Manager Chris Hughton
League The Championship
2008–09 Premier League, 18th
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours
Current season

Newcastle United Football Club (also known as The Magpies) are an English football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne, who were founded in 1892 after the merger of two local clubs, Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End. Newcastle are currently playing in the Football League Championship.

The club's traditional kit colours are black and white striped shirts, with black shorts and socks. Supporters of Newcastle United refer to themselves as the Toon Army.[1] Early in the life of the club, Newcastle United played in red and white. This was later changed to black and white stripes, with the inspiration coming from a magpie the directors saw on the pitch.

Newcastle have a long-standing rivalry with neighbouring Sunderland with whom they have contested the Tyne-Wear derby since 1898. They also hold a smaller local rivalry with Middlesbrough, which is referred to as the Tyne-Tees derby.




Early history

The club was founded in December 1892 by the merger of two local teams Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End who were previously rivals in the Northern League, but after West End fell into financial difficulties they decided to merge.[2] The deal included the lease on West End's stadium St. James' Park and several names were suggested for the new club, including Newcastle Rangers and Newcastle City, however they chose the name Newcastle United.[3]

Achieving success

Newcastle United went on to win the League Championship on three occasions during the 1900s; 1905, 1907 and 1909.[4] The club's success continued in cup competitions, as they reached five FA Cup Finals in seven years, appearing in the final of 1905, 1906, 1908, 1910 and 1911. However they went on to win just one of them, the 1910 Final against Barnsley, in a replay at Goodison Park. However, there was still one particular low point during this period, as the team suffered a 9–1 defeat by fierce rivals Sunderland in the 1908–09 season, Sunderland still count the result as their record highest win.[5]

Newcastle competing against Woolwich Arsenal in 1906

The team returned to the FA Cup final in 1924, in only the second ever final at Wembley Stadium. They were successful in defeating Aston Villa and therefore winning the club's second FA Cup trophy in its history.

Newcastle won the League a fourth time in 1927, the last time they have to date. Notable players during this period include the likes captain Hughie Gallacher (the most prolific goals per game scorer in the club's history), Neil Harris, Stan Seymour and Frank Hudspeth.[2]

The Glory Years

During the 1950s, Newcastle won the FA Cup trophy on three occasions within a five year period. In 1951 they defeated Blackpool 2–0, a year later Arsenal were beaten 1–0 and in 1955 they defeated Manchester City 3–1. Newcastle had gained a high profile, and so had their players; 'Wor Jackie' Milburn and Bobby 'Dazzler' Mitchell in particular. Other players of this time were Frank Brennan (like Mitchell a Scot), Ivor Broadis, Len White and Welshman Ivor Allchurch.

The old war horse Joe Harvey, who had captained the team to much of their post-war success, returned to revitalise Newcastle. He teamed up with Stan Seymour to rebuild them and they won the Second Division Champions in 1965. Newcastle then became very much an unpredictable and inconsistent team, always capable of defeating the best, but never quite realising their potential.

Harvey's team qualified for Europe for the first time in 1968 and surprised many the following year by winning the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, (which was the forerunner of the Europa League), beating Sporting Lisbon, Feyenoord, Real Zaragoza and Rangers along the way, before triumphing over two legs against Hungary's Újpest in the final. Newcastle possessed a reliable team and Newcastle's tradition of fielding a popular goalscorer at number 9 continued, as Welshman Wyn Davies was prominent.[6]

In the years that followed European success, Harvey brought in a string of talented entertainers who thrilled the Newcastle crowd. Players such as Jimmy Smith, Tony Green, Terry Hibbitt and in particular striker Malcolm Macdonald all became favorites among the supporters. Nicknamed 'Supermac', Malcolm Macdonald was one of Newcastle's most popular figures and is still held in high regard by supporters to this day. He was an impressive goal scorer, which led United's attack to Wembley twice, in 1974 and 1976, against Liverpool in the FA Cup and Manchester City in the League Cup, but on each occasion Newcastle failed to bring the trophy back to Tyneside. A small consolation was back to back triumphs in the Texaco Cup in 1974 and 1975.


By the start of the 1980s, Newcastle had declined dramatically and were languishing in the Second Division. Gordon Lee had replaced Harvey as boss, yet he in turn soon gave way to Richard Dinnis and then Bill McGarry. But it was Arthur Cox who steered Newcastle back again to the First Division with players such as Peter Beardsley, Chris Waddle and ex-England captain Kevin Keegan the foci of the team. With managers such as Jack Charlton, Willie McFaul and Jim Smith, and players such as Paul Gascoigne, Newcastle remained in the top-flight until the team was relegated once more in 1989.

The Keegan Years

Later, Keegan returned to Tyneside to replace Osvaldo Ardiles as manager on a short term contract in 1992, taking what he claimed to be the only job that could tempt him back into football. Newcastle were struggling at the wrong end of Division Two; Sir John Hall had all but taken control of the club and he needed a minor miracle to stop Newcastle from tumbling into the Third Division for the first time in their history. Survival was confirmed by winning both of their final two league games, at home to Portsmouth and away to Leicester City, the latter to a last minute own goal, although as it transpired, Newcastle would have survived even if they had lost at Leicester.[7]

The 1992–93 season saw a dramatic turn around in the club's fortunes. They won their first eleven league games before a 1–0 home defeat against Grimsby Town ended the run, two games short of the then English league record of 13 consecutive wins. Playing an exciting brand of attacking football Newcastle became Division One champions with a 2–0 away win, coincidentally at Grimsby, and gained promotion to the Premier League.

Under Keegan, Newcastle continued to succeed, impressing with their attacking flair and a third place finish during the 1993–94 season, this was their first season back in the top flight. The attacking philosophy of Keegan led to Newcastle becoming labelled by Sky television as "The Entertainers". The following season Newcastle sold top scorer Andrew Cole to Manchester United and finished 6th that season.

With the transfer money in 1995–96, Newcastle rebuilt with the signing of David Ginola and Les Ferdinand amongst others. The club came very close to winning the Premier League that season, and were at one time 12 points ahead of nearest rivals Manchester United, but eventually lost out. One match in particular from that season stood out, the 4–3 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on 3 April 1996. In April 2003 it was named Match of the Decade in the Premier League 10 Seasons Awards. It has also been described as the greatest ever Premier League match.[8] On 30 July 1996, the disappointment of missing out on the title was lessened to an extent, as the club signed Alan Shearer for a then world record fee of £15 million. The 1996–97 season saw Newcastle once again finish in second despite thrashing eventual champions Manchester United 5-0 at St. James Park.

Managerial upheaval

Keegan's shock resignation in early January 1997 caused much heartache and confusion among the fans, although many felt it had been brewing as early as the 1995/96 season following the collapse of the title race. Kenny Dalglish was named his successor, and guided the club to 2nd in the league, without a change to Keegan's squad.[9] His fortunes however quickly changed following major losses to injury and the transfer market in the 1997-98 season, as well as players signed not thought to be anywhere near as useful as players departed, and the club finished 11th in the league and failed to win the FA Cup Final.[9] Following Kenny's departure early in the 1998-99 season, Ruud Gullit took charge of the team. Despite player signings made, the club once again qualified for the FA Cup Final but failed to win. Gullit quickly fell into disagreements with the squad the and chairman Freddie Shepherd the following season, forcing public apologies by the manager, and denying a rift with captain Alan Shearer. Gullit left the club 8 games into the 1999/2000 season. [9]

Former England manager Bobby Robson was appointed as the new manager. [10] His first home game in charge was particularly memorable and impressive; with an 8–0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday, which remains the club's record Premier League home win.[11] Good performances such as these helped the club ensure survival in the Premier League in Robson's first season, although the following season the squad did not manage to qualify for Europe. A title challenge however emerged during the 2001–02 season, and Newcastle achieved qualification for the Champions League after finishing in 4th place. [12] The following season, Robson guided the team to 3rd in the League, and the group stages of the Champions League,[12] but sadly did not make the knockout stages.[13] The 2003/04 season however proved less memorable as the club exited the Champions League in the qualifying rounds, [14] falling back into the UEFA Cup for the season, and despite an impressive trail to the semi-finals they failed to win the Cup and finished 5th in the Premier League.[15][16] Following disagreements with the board and some players and failure to qualify for the Champions League, Robson was sacked. [17] Robson however will forever be held in high regard by Newcastle United supporters.[18]

Graeme Souness was his replacement. His appointment was questionable among the fans in comparison to Robson's status, [19] and despite nearly achieving a 10 game unbeaten streak upon his appointment, several disagreements with the squad and high transfer fees for players both in the 2004/05 and 2005/06 season, despite an impressive signing in Michael Owen for a record £17 million, did not see the squad meet expected standards and was sacked on 2 February 2006. [20] Youth academy director Glenn Roeder replaced Souness beginning on a temporary basis. His first game in charge saw Alan Shearer overtake Jackie Milburn as the club's highest ever goal-scorer. Roeder was appointed full time manager at the end of the season following his guiding of the team from 15th place to 7th in just 3 and a half months. [21] Shearer retired at the end of the 2005–06 season, with a total of 206 goals for the club, overwhelmed with contributions and awards. Despite finishing the 2005–06 season well, Roeder's fortunes quickly changed in the 2006–07 season, following what has since been classified as the worst injury run to the senior squad in the clubs history, relying on youth academy players to compete in the Premier League and Europe, and he left the club by mutual consent on 6 May 2007. [22]

Mike Ashley era

Sam Allardyce was named as Roeder's successor on 15 May, [23] with what proved to be Freddy Shepherd's last act as Chairman, who reluctantly sold his final shares in the club on 7 June to Mike Ashley and was replaced by Chris Mort.

Despite making a promising start to the season, an embarrasing loss to Derby County and exclusion of fan favourites from the starting line up saw Allardyce depart the club on 9 January 2008 by mutual consent after less than eight months in charge. [24]

It was confirmed on 16 January, that Kevin Keegan had made a sensational return to Newcastle as manager, eleven years and eight days since leaving the club on 8 January 1997. A popular choice amongst many Newcastle fans[25] Further appointments in January 2008 saw Dennis Wise join the club as Executive Director (Football), as well as Tony Jimenez as Vice President (Player Recruitment) and Jeff Vetere as Technical Co-ordinator.[26] The idea was to complete a continental-style management structure working in support of Keegan. Wise and Vetere should make the initial assessment before calling in Jimenez to do the deal.[27] In addition to this David Williamson was appointed Executive Director (Operations) in April 2008.[28] Mort decided to step down as managing director and chairman in June and he was replaced by Derek Llambias, a long-term associate of Ashley.[29]

Keegan's return initially did not live up to expectations as the club went 8 games without a win, made an FA Cup exit, and briefly looked at relegation, but the remaining games of the season saw the club's fortunes turn around and won enough matches to ensure premier league survival, finishing 12th. [30] As the season drew to a close, Keegan publicly criticised the board claiming they were not providing him the financial support necessary to break into the Top 4. [31] His accusations caused controversy for owner Mike Ashley who was already battling reports that he had lost millions in a disastrous stock market venture. [32]

As the summer transfer window closed weeks into the 2008–09 season, after three days of talks between the board and Keegan amid press speculation on 4 September, Keegan resigned after 232 days in charge, stating he was unable to continue as manager if he was not in control of who was bought by the club. Following conflicting statements released by the club over the facts of the dispute, extensive protests occurred against the board, in particular Ashley and Wise, during the next home game against Hull City on 13 September.

The club was warned by the League Managers Association on 5 September 2008 to satisfy the next manager who took charge of the club to avoid a similar situation developing and damaging the clubs image.[33] The club hit back at the warning claiming Keegan was aware of the structure when he joined, but Keegan was firmly backed by the Richard Bevan, Chief Executive of the LMA, claiming a contract agreement had been broken between Keegan and the board.[34] It was reported in December 2008 that a legal dispute was in brewing between Keegan and Mike Ashley,[35] with Keegan claiming for breach of contract during his time at the club and Ashley claiming damage to his public image.

On the next day in a long official statement, Ashley announced he would be putting the club up for sale, while outlining the state of the club when he found it, the financial limitations his regime was under and the changes he had made to provide a stable future for the club. While making clear that his statement was not intended to be seen as an attack on Keegan and that he was "still a fan" of Newcastle and "did not buy Newcastle to make money", in light of safety concerns over attending future matches, he was "no longer prepared to subsidise" the club.[36]

On 24 September the club registered their lowest attendance (20,577) for a competitive match since the 1993 promotion to the top flight,[37] a drop of over 4,000 from previous lows. Though the 20,577 crowd was still the 6th highest attendance in a round with 32 teams including the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Aston Villa. This was for a League Cup visit of Tottenham Hotspur, which Newcastle lost 2–1. At the time, Tottenham lay bottom of the Premier League with 2 points, while Newcastle themselves lay 2nd bottom on 4 points.

Joe Kinnear took charge of Newcastle United on 26 September 2008 initially on a 10 week contract. The intention was that he would manage the club until the owner Mike Ashley had sold it. Kinnear's contract was extended by one month in October 2008, and he was confirmed on 28 November as the club's manager until the end of the season.

In late December 2008, Ashley announced he had been unsuccessful in finding a suitable buyer for the club and withdrew the sale.[38] He announced that he still had the very best intentions for the club and would continue to find ways forward for the club to progress.[39]

Ashley was reported to have opened talks with Kinnear about a permanent move to the club as manager,[40]. Kinnear's offer was debated by many fans as whilst some acknowledged a vast improvement in the teams confidence and morale as well as notable player signings in Kevin Nolan, Ryan Taylor, and Peter Lovenkrands, others were angered by rumours that Ashley was to be offering Kinnear the same conditions that Kevin Keegan demanded on his departure. However in February 2009 Kinnear was admitted to hospital following reports of heart trouble, and subsequently underwent heart surgery.[41] Kinnear withdrew from his managerial duties while on convalescent leave.[42] In a surprise move on 1 April 2009, former club captain Alan Shearer took a sabbatical from his Match of the Day presenter's role to became the club's interim manager, in an attempt to try and avoid relegation.[43] Dennis Wise departed shortly afterwards, with the club announcing his position on the board would not be re-filled.[44] Despite Shearer's appointment, all three North East Premier League teams, Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough faced the prospect of relegation with one game to play on 24 May 2009 threatening Newcastle's Premier League status for the first time in 16 years. Newcastle United were relegated when they lost 1–0 to Aston Villa.

Following their relegation, the club was put on sale for a price of £100 million. The owner Mike Ashley noted that "“It has been catastrophic for everybody. I’ve lost my money and I’ve made terrible decisions. Now I want to sell it as soon as I can."[45] Newcastle United released an official statement on the clubs sale and included a press phone number and email address which was quickly made further public by the national press, although the address provided was merely for general enquiries. This resulted in a large number of hoax bids being sent, most of which were made by rival Sunderland supporters.[46] Further controversy was once again caused by Dennis Wise who claimed the club were still paying him £80,000 a month despite his departure in April 2009, and claimed it was a factor in why Ashley was struggling to sell the club. [47]

In October 2009, Keegan’s dispute with the club was resolved, 10 months on from his departure, receiving £2million compensation as agreed in his contract which the club failed to pay him following his resignation. A premier league arbitration panel, ruled in Keegan’s favour citing that player Ignacio González was signed by Director of Football Dennis Wise against Keegan’s wishes, but also against the principles of the generally understood role of a premier league manager, which usually states the manager’s decision is final on player signings. The panel revealed that Wise asked Keegan to review González from, no more than 24 hours before the closing of the summer transfer window, from which Keegan refuted the player. The club revealed to the panel that their response to the media and public critique was just ‘PR,’ that Keegan had never been informed his word was not final, and that they were not in a position to sack him should he not have agreed to their demands. [48]

Following Keegan rejecting talk of a 3rd return to Newcastle, feeling the fans had 'had enough' of him, [49] Chris Hughton was confirmed as the club's full time manager in late October 2009, until the end of the 2010/11 season. He stated "It's a very proud day for me to be named as the manager of this magnificent football club," and that he "will be doing everything in my power to get the club back into the Premier League at the first time of asking."[50]

On 27 October 2009, Ashley announce that the club was no longer for sale, reporting that he had been unsuccessful in finding a buyer who could produce proof of funds, despite reducing his asking price to £80 million. The club claimed that Ashley would continue to invest money into reducing the club's financial debt and had the best intentions for the club.[51]

The start of the season of 2009-10 in the Championship saw the club placed top of the table at Christmas with an 8 point lead [52] and a defensive record of only 12 goals conceded in 22 games. Manager Chris Hughton was named Manager of the Month for August, September and November. [53]

The opening of the January transfer window proved quiet; the club's 8 point lead was reduced as the month unfolded and the club failed to sign transfer targets Jermaine Beckford [54] and Sol Campbell. [55] The window picked up pace in the last 8 days with the permanent signings of on-loan defender Danny Simpson, [56] defender Mike Williamson from Portsmouth, [57] Queen's Park Rangers winger Wayne Routledge andLeon Best from Coventry. [58] These were added to by the loanings of Fitz Hall from QPR and defender Patrick Van Aanholt on a month's loan from Chelsea, [59] returning after the away game at Watford F.C. in late february. [60] Interest in palace striker Victor Moses was also declared by Hughton,[61] after Marlon Harewood's injury meant the club did not sign the player on a permanent basis,[62] but he moved to Wigan. [63] As a result, the club signed striker Leon Best from Coventry City on the final day of the January transfer window to bolster their attacking options for a push for an automatic promotion place. [64]

Colours and badge

Newcastle United's original colours

For much of Newcastle United's history, their home colours have been black and white striped shirts, with black shorts and black socks, though white socks are sometimes worn under some managers who consider them "lucky".[65] For the first two years of the club's existence United continued to wear the home kit of East End, which included red shirts, white shorts and black socks; this was changed to the more familiar black and white striped kit in 1894.[66] The new colours were adopted because many clubs in the same division as Newcastle also wore red and frequently clashed, including Liverpool and Woolwich Arsenal.[66]

Conversely, United's change or away colours have been very inconsistent, there is no set in stone standard and the club changes the away colours often, but most commonly it has been a shade of blue (since the 1990s) or yellow.[67] The yellow kit was especially common throughout the 1970s and 1980s and featured a green or blue trim, depending on the season; a yellow and green striped away kit even appeared in 1988—1990. Other common change colours have been grey, all black, all white and green.[67] The most unusual away kit was likely the maroon and navy blue horizontal hoop colours from the 1995–96 and 2006–07 seasons, it was a tribute to West End.[67]

The first club badge which Newcastle United wore on their shirts was the coat of arms of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne which was worn as standard from 1969—1976, though it had been worn on previous occasions far earlier especially in FA Cup finals.

Newcastle United crest: 1983—1988.

[68] A scroll at the bottom featured the city's motto in Latin; fortiter defendit triumphans which translates into English as, "triumphing by brave defence".[69]

From 1976—1983 the club wore a specific badge which was developed to wear in place of the city's coat of arms. The design was of a circular shape which featured the club's name in full, it contained a magpie standing in front of the River Tyne with the historic Norman castle of Newcastle in the background.[70] A more simplistic design followed in 1983, featuring the initials of the club's name, NUFC with the small magpie used in the previous crest within the horizontally laid C, this logo was relatively short lived and was discontinued after 1988.[70]

From 1988 onwards the club assumed a coat which reverted to a more traditional design, taking elements from the city arms.[69] The current design is black with two argent pallets, echoing the club's home strip. The supporters have been taken from the city arms. The crest is slightly modified from the city's with a red pennon with a red St George's cross on a blue chief.


St. James' Park, the biggest club stadium outside the top flight

Newcastle's home stadium is St James' Park which has been their home since the merger of East End and West End in 1891, though football was first played there in 1880. At the turn of the 20th century the ground could hold 30,000, but this was soon expanded to 60,000.[71] However, the ground was altered little in the next 70 years, and by the 1980s was looking dated.

The Bradford fire in 1985 prompted renovation, but progress was slow due to financial difficulties. The takeover of the club by Sir John Hall in 1992 resolved these difficulties, and the stadium was redeveloped to comply with the Taylor Report. In the mid-1990s, the club wished to build a new ground in the nearby Leazes Park, however these plans were quashed. In response to this, the club expanded St. James' Park further. Following the completion of the construction in 2000, St James' Park became the club ground with the second highest capacity in England with 52,387 seats,[72] behind Manchester United's Old Trafford. It later became the third highest capacity after the completion of Arsenal's Emirates Stadium. Following Newcastle's relegation to the Championship in May 2009 it became the largest home stadium of a club playing outside the top flight of English football.

Two stands, the Sir John Hall stand and the Milburn stand, have two tiers and are of cantilever construction, whereas the East Stand and the Gallowgate End are roughly half as high, and each have a single tier. This can make the stadium look quite lopsided. The Gallowgate End is traditionally home to Newcastle's most vociferous supporters, as it was once the stand with no roof covering. In recent years, a fan based group named Toon Ultras to assemble in Level 7 of the Sir John Hall Stand to attempt to "Bring Back The Noise" which supporters feel was lost when the club expanded the stadium and split fans to cater for executive boxes.

It was announced on 2 April 2007 that the club intend to submit plans for a new £300 million development that would increase the stadium's capacity to at least 60,000, however the council who own the ground St James stand on declined any further plans for expansion and also a possible move to the town moor, although complaints of the size of the sir john hall stand and Millburn stand calling it a monstrosity may have led to this decision not to allow any unnecessary expansion many believe.[73] These plans were abandoned after the takeover of the club by Mike Ashley.

After a second failed attempt to sell the club, Ashley announced that the club would look to lease the naming rights to St James' Park in the hope of increasing revenue.[51] After protests, the club clarified that this would not involve the loss of the name St James Park altogether.[74] Pending the announcement of an official sponsor, the stadium was temporarily renamed @ St James' Park Stadium until the end of the 2009-10 season, to showcase the potential rights package.[75]


Supporters at St. James' Park, 2007

Supporters of Newcastle United are often referred to as the Toon Army, the Magpies, or the Geordies. The name Toon originates from the Geordie pronunciation of town.[76] Magpies refers to the black and white colours of the club, similar to the Magpie bird. Geordie is a regional nickname for people from Newcastle upon Tyne, of debated origin, which is often applied in the media to supporters of NUFC in general. In a 2007 Virgin Money survey of football supporters who held season tickets or otherwise paid to attend games, it was found that Newcastle fans were the most loyal in terms of making sacrifices in order to attend the game,[77] In a 2004 survey by Co-operative Financial Services, it was found that Newcastle topped the league table for the cost incurred and distance travelled by Newcastle based fans wishing to travel to every Premier League away game[78]. The cost was highest whether travelling by car, train or coach. The total distance travelled was found to be equivalent to a round-the-world trip.

The club's supporters publish fanzines such as True Faith, The Mag and TOTT Fanzine. In addition to the usual English football chants, Newcastle's supporters sing the traditional Tyneside song Blaydon Races.[79]

Following on from demonstrations against the board and Mike Ashley following the resignation of manager Kevin Keegan, on 16 September 2008 a new independent supporters group, the Newcastle United Supporters Trust (originally styled the Newcastle United Supporters Club), was set up by fanzines True Faith and The Mag and the fan site, aiming to "represent the broad church of Newcastle United's support"[80]. Another group, the Newcastle United Independent Supporters Association, had existed since 2002 and was still commenting on NUFC up to the 2008 Keegan resignation.


Newcastle has rivalries with two other major North East clubs, Sunderland and Middlesbrough, but their longest-running and deepest rivalry is with their nearest major neighbour, Sunderland, colloquially known as the Mackems. Matches between the two are referred to as the Tyne-Wear derby. The two cities of Newcastle and Sunderland are just twelve miles apart, so there is an intense feeling of a regional cross-town rivalry, heightened by a feeling that it is city against city with local pride at stake, somewhat like the North West derby between Manchester United and Liverpool. Moreover, the close proximity means that as in derby matches, workmates, families and friends are often divided.[81] Newcastle also contest the Tyne-Tees derby with Middlesbrough but is usually less heated than the Tyne-Wear derby.


Jimmy Lawrence holds the record for the most Newcastle appearances, having played 496 first-team matches between 1904 and 1921 as a goalkeeper.[82] Former captain and left back Frank Hudspeth comes second, having appeared 472 times and scoring on 37 occasions.

Alan Shearer is the club's top goalscorer with 206 goals in all competitions between 1996 and 2006[83] having surpassed Jackie Milburn's tally of 200 in February 2006. Milburn had held the record since 1957, his 38 Wartime League goals scored during World War II were not accounted for. His striking partner Len White is the third highest scorer at Newcastle with 153 goals. Albert Stubbins could be Newcastle's all time leading goal scorer but his goals are not counted as the majority were scored during World War II.[84]

The most prolific goals per game striker in the history of the club is Hughie Gallacher - a strike-rate of over 82% with 143 goals in his 174 outings.[85]

Newcastle's record win was a 13-0 home victory against Newport County in Division 2, on 5 October 1946. [86]

Newcastle's record home attendance is 68,386, against Chelsea on 3 September 1930.[87] To the fury of the fans Gallacher had been sold to Chelsea and the Geordie public turned up by the thousand to welcome home their hero. As well as the record crowd in the ground thousands more were locked outside.[85] The capacity of St James' Park is currently 52,387,[72] so it is unlikely that these records will be broken in the foreseeable future. The highest attendance in the Premier League is 52,327, in a match against Manchester United on 28 August 2005.[87]

League finishing positions


As of 27 January 2010[88]

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 England GK Steve Harper
2 Argentina DF Fabricio Coloccini
3 Spain DF José Enrique
4 England MF Kevin Nolan (vice-captain)
5 England DF Fitz Hall (on loan from Queens Park Rangers)
6 England DF Mike Williamson
7 England MF Joey Barton
8 England MF Danny Guthrie
10 England MF Wayne Routledge
11 Denmark FW Peter Løvenkrands
12 England DF Danny Simpson
16 England DF Ryan Taylor
17 England FW Alan Smith (vice-captain)
18 Argentina MF Jonás Gutiérrez
20 Republic of Ireland FW Leon Best
No. Position Player
21 France MF Fabrice Pancrate
22 England MF Nicky Butt (captain)
23 England FW Shola Ameobi
24 England FW Andy Carroll
26 Netherlands GK Tim Krul
27 England DF Steven Taylor
28 Hungary DF Tamás Kádár
30 England FW Nile Ranger
35 England DF Ben Tozer
41 Northern Ireland MF Shane Ferguson
42 England FW Ryan Donaldson
43 England MF Jonny Godsmark
44 England DF James Tavernier
46 Slovenia MF Haris Vučkić

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
19 Spain FW Xisco (at Racing de Santander)
25 Democratic Republic of the Congo MF Kazenga LuaLua (at Brighton & Hove Albion)
29 Italy FW Fabio Zamblera (at A.S. Roma)
34 England GK Fraser Forster (at Norwich City)

Reserves and academy

For the reserve and academy squads, see Newcastle United F.C. Reserves and Academy.

Former players and captains

For details on former players, see List of Newcastle United F.C. players and Category:Newcastle United F.C. players.

Club officials

  • Owner: Mike Ashley
  • Managing Director: Derek Llambias
  • Non-Executive Director: Justin Barnes
  • Non-Executive Director: Steve Hayward
  • Club Secretary: Lee Charnley
  • Financial Controller: John Irving
  • Commercial Director: Barry Webber
  • Press Officer: Mark Hannen
  • Honorary President: Bob Young
  • Honorary Life President: Sir John Hall
  • Honorary Life Vice-president: Malcolm Dix

Coaching and Medical Staff

Manager history

Note: This is a summary list of permanent managers
Name Nat From To
Selection committee (n/a) 1892 1930
Andy Cunningham Scotland 1930 1935
Tom Mather England 1935 1939
Stan Seymour England 1939 1958
George Martin England 1947 1950
Doug Livingstone Scotland 1954 1956
Charlie Mitten England 1958 1961
Norman Smith England 1961 1962
Joe Harvey England 1962 1975
Gordon Lee England 1975 1977
Richard Dinnis England 1977 1977
Bill McGarry England 1977 1980
Arthur Cox England 1980 1984
Jack Charlton England 1984 1985
Willie McFaul Northern Ireland 1985 1988
Jim Smith England 1988 1991
Ossie Ardiles Argentina 1991 1992
Kevin Keegan England 1992 1997
Kenny Dalglish Scotland 1997 1998
Ruud Gullit Netherlands 1998 1999
Sir Bobby Robson England 1999 2004
Graeme Souness Scotland 2004 2006
Glenn Roeder England 2006 2007
Sam Allardyce England 2007 2008
Kevin Keegan England 2008 2008
Joe Kinnear[89] Republic of Ireland 2008 2009
Alan Shearer England 2009 2009
Chris Hughton Republic of Ireland 2009 present


Until 1997, Newcastle United had been owned and operated as a private company limited by shares (limited company) since its establishment on 6 September 1895.

In April 1997, following the emerging trend among other Premier League clubs, under the chairmanship of Sir John Hall the club was floated on the stock exchange as a public limited company (plc), with the stated aim of financing an enlarged Sporting Club Newcastle. The offer was less than successful, with most shares going to the Hall family, or his business partner Freddie Shepherd.

In 1997, Sir John Hall stepped down as chairman, remaining as a non-executive director, to be replaced as chairman by Freddy Shepherd, with the Hall family represented on the board by John's son, Douglas Hall and daughter Allison Antonopoulos. After a public scandal, Shepherd and Douglas Hall briefly resigned, returning after ten months in 1998.

At the end of 1998, after buying a 6.3% stake in the club for £10m, the media group NTL had considered a full takeover of the club[90]. This was later dropped after the April 1999 Competition Commission block of a proposed takeover of Manchester United by Rupert Murdoch, owner of BSkyB[91].

In 2007, in a surprise move, businessman Mike Ashley purchased a 41% share in the club through a holding company St James Holdings Ltd, in a deal for the combined stakes of both Douglass and Sir John Hall, apparently without knowledge of Shepherd who was ill in hospital. Under stock market rules, the purchase required the issuing of a formal takeover offer by Ashley to all other remaining shareholders, which comprised Shepherd, fans and institutional investors, at the same price or above. In the following weeks, as Ashley gained more shares, Shepherd, although publicly having stated the club was "impossible to buy" in response to previous approaches for the club from other parties, and indicating that he may launch a counter offer, Shepherd eventually agreed to sell his 28% stake before expiry of the offer, leading to a de-listing. The shares of Newcastle United plc were de-listed from the London Stock Exchange at 8am on 18 July 2007.[92] with Shepherd and other directors leaving the club in the following months.

While Mike Ashley is sole owner of the holding company and hence the club, he has not given himself an official role on the board of directors of the club, first handing the chairmanship to Chris Mort on a sabbatical status, and then to Derek Llambias in time for the start of the 2008/09 season.

After fan protests over the shock resignation of Kevin Keegan, on 14 September 2008, Ashley announced he was putting the club up for sale, stating "I have listened to you. You want me out. That is what I am now trying to do"[36]. He stated he had spent £244m in purchasing the club and relieving debt. It was estimated by observers that while it remained a business that would interest many buyers, he would likely not be able to sell the club for more than a total of £300m.

It was reported shortly after the Ashley statement that NUFC had been one of two clubs along with Manchester City that the Abu Dhabi United Group had contacted with a view to a bid, before purchasing Manchester City for a reported £200m, announced on 1 September. On 28 December 2008 the sale was called off by Ashley.[39]

Media reports on 31 May 2009 stated that Ashley was attempting to sell the club again.[93][94] On 7 June 2009, Ashley confirmed that the club was up for sale for £100m and asked potential buyers to email him with offers. With no offers received by 12 August 2009, Ashley returned from holiday to oversee the possibility of him staying at the club for another year.

Chairman history

As of 5 August 2008

Name Nat From To
George Rutherford England 1936 1953
Wilf Taylor England 1953 1957
William McKeag England 1957 1960
Wally Hurford England 1960 1963
Lord Westwood England 1963 1978
Bob Rutherford England 1978 1981
Stan Seymour Junior England 1981 1988
Gordon McKeag England 1988 1990
George Forbes Scotland 1990 1992
Sir John Hall England 1992 1997
Freddy Shepherd England 1997 2007
Chris Mort England 2007 2008
Derek Llambias England 2008 Present


The current main club sponsors are the Northern Rock bank and sportswear manufacturer Adidas[95]. Through owner Mike Ashley, the club also has a relationship with the Sports Direct retail chain which he founded[96].

The Northern Rock deal was announced in April 2003 to run until the end of the 2004/05 season. In April 2004 this was extended to run until the end of the 2009/10 season[97]. The Northern Rock deal provoked criticism upon the effective nationalisation of the bank in February 2008 during a credit crisis, although to put it in perspective, the current sponsorship deal was worth £25m[98] to the club, compared to resulting Bank of England loans to Northern Rock in the order of billions of pounds, and a 6 month loss of £585m in the first half of 2008[99]

Both Adidas' kit deal and Northern Rock's current sponsorship deal end at the end of the 2009/10 season.

The club did not introduce shirt sponsorship until 1980. The club previously had a long standing relationship with the brewer Scottish & Newcastle[98], who owned the Tyne Brewery directly opposite the Milburn stand of St James' Park. During the 1980s and 90s the club strip featured the logos of their beer brands McEwan's (in words on the away strip only) and Newcastle Brown Ale (the home strip, both as the full bottle logo, and as simply the blue star element of the brown ale logo). After the shirt sponsorship deal ended with the transition to NTL in 2000, and the Tyne brewery closed in 2004, the relationship effectively ended on 1 July 2007 near the end of the Ashley takeover process, when the club signed a £3m supply agreement with Carling[98], although Newcastle Brown Ale was still available in some parts of the ground, and as of May 2008 the Gallowgate Stand was still labelled as the Newcastle Brown Stand on the club website Club Factfile page (although with changed ticketing arrangements for the 2008/09 season, a new seating plan was expected to be issued by July 2008).

Future Sponsorship from 2010

On 18 January 2010 Northern Rock announced that they had signed a new 4 year sponsorship deal with Newcastle United, worth between £1.5 million to a maximum potential of £10 million, starting from the 2010/11 season pending on playing in the Premier League for the full four year duration. There is also a review point after two years end of 2011/12 season. [100]

On 19 January 2010 Newcastle United Football Club announced a new partnership seeing Puma become the official supplier and the official licensee of replica merchandise for Newcastle United. The new deal will see Puma supply team kit, replica kit and training equipment for two years starting from the beginning of the 2010/11 season. [101]

Period Sportswear Sponsor
1976–1979 England Bukta None
1980–1986 England Umbro Scottish & Newcastle
1986–1991 Greenall's
1991–1993 Scottish & Newcastle / McEwan's
1993–1995 Japan Asics
1995–2000 Germany Adidas Newcastle Brown Ale (Scottish & Newcastle)
2000–2003 NTL
2003–2010 Northern Rock
2010-2012 Germany Puma


For honours at reserve and academy level, see Newcastle United F.C. Reserves and Academy.

Newcastle United's honours include the following:[102]

Honour Number Years
Football League First Division Champions 5 1904–05, 1906–07, 1908–09, 1926–27, 1992–93
Premier League Runners-up 2 1995–96, 1996–97
Football League Second Division Champions 1 1964–65,
Football League Second Division Runners-up 2 1897–98, 1947–48
Northern League Champions 3 1902–03, 1903–04, 1904–05
Domestic Cups
FA Cup Winners 6 1910, 1924, 1932, 1951, 1952, 1955
FA Cup Runners-up 7 1905, 1906, 1908, 1911, 1974, 1998, 1999
Football League Cup Runners-up 1 1976
FA Community Shield Winners 1 1909
FA Community Shield Runners-up 5 1932, 1951, 1952, 1955, 1996
FA Youth Cup Winners 2 1962, 1985
European Cups
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Winners 1 1969
UEFA Intertoto Cup Winners 1 2006
UEFA Intertoto Cup Runners-up 1 2001
Anglo-Italian Cup Winners 1 1973
Other Cups
Kirin Cup Winners 1 1983
Texaco Cup Winners 2 1974, 1975
Sheriff of London Charity Shield Winners 1 1907
Premier League Asia Trophy Runners-up 1 2003


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External links


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