Newcastle United Football Club - History & Notable Players

Newcastle United FC

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  • Name: Newcastle United Football Club

  • Nickname: The Magpies / Toon / Geordies

  • Founded: 1892

  • Ground: St James' Park

  • Ground capacity: 52,405

St James' Park

St James' Park

St. James' Park is the oldest football stadium in the North East, football having first played on the turf as early as 1880.

The story of the development of Newcastle United's traditional headquarters on the edge of the city centre has been one of much intrigue featuring intense local politics over the years. It has been a talking point in the region for generations, and even at one stage led to words being spoken in the House of Commons. The ground has been the home of three clubs; Newcastle Rangers, Newcastle West End and Newcastle East End who moved to the arena in the summer of 1892 shortly before changing their name to Newcastle United.

Situated on a small hill overlooking the city and part of the historic Town Moor owned by the Freemen of the City - which further complicated any development proposals - St James Park is very close to the spot of the city's execution gallows, the last hanging taking place in 1844, less than 40 years before football was first played in the vicinity. Back in Victorian Tyneside, St James Park was barely a rough patch of grazing land and had a notorious slope, a drop of fully 18 feet from the north to south goal. Local butchers could still graze their animals on the pitch before being led to slaughter!

The ground was bounded by Leazes Park and the exquisite Georgian Leazes Terrace, built to house some of the elegant ladies and gents of Tyneside. While the classical architectural features of Leazes Terrace provided a magnificent backdrop to the arena, it would in the future cause the Club untold difficulties in trying to develop stands around such a historic and listed building.

By the time Newcastle East End had been installed at St James Park development had only been completed in a minor way. And when Newcastle United started to take part in Football League action a small stand had been erected, but local residents were soon complaining to the Town Clerk and threatened to take legal proceedings to stop the "intolerable nuisance" of playing football!

With Newcastle United's promotion to the First Division in 1898, the club made a big effort to start to develop the ground. However, approvals from the local corporation came very slowly and in February 1899 it was recorded that the club were even prepared to move from the site because of the poor state of the pitch and accommodation. Major building work eventually started though, with a new stand at the Gallowgate End being erected, the pitch being levelled and re-laid and a terrace formed on the other sides of the ground. A corrugated iron fence enclosed the ground and the capacity was announced at 30,000.

A much bigger and grandiose development plan was put in to action only 5 years later when a complete reconstruction of the ground took place. United's growing stature - they were to win three Championships in the coming years - prompted the club to think and act big. From a modest 30,000 stadium United soon opened what was classed as the best stadium in the country at the time, one to house upwards of 60,000. A huge new stand was erected on the Barrack Road side of the ground and substantial terraces formed on the remaining three sides of the ground.

Also built was a vast swimming pool beneath the stand with player's facilities, a luxury touch the envy of every club in the Football League. The new stadium was opened in September 1905 with pomp and ceremony. Tyneside at the time had a stadium to be proud of - however one that remained largely unaltered for the next 70 years as further development plans were constantly thwarted. During the Twenties the club attempted to take development a stage further, putting plans together for covered accommodation on the open sides of the ground. Archibald Leitch, a distinguished football ground architect who built, among others, Stamford Bridge, was employed to produce a scheme which included double-decker stands and complete cover around the ground.

However, after much wrangling between landlord and planners which lasted to 1930, all that was built was a modest cover over the Leazes End enclosure. Newcastle United have - as tenants of the prestigious St. James' Park site - never had an easy route from the outset in attempting to modernise their facilities. Immediately after World War Two, the board again attempted to erect a stand on the Leazes Terrace side of the ground but could not come to any agreement.

And during the Fifties United's officials were again in turbulent disagreement with the Council over the thorny question of developing the same side of the stadium. United applied to build a two-tier stand, which would have increased capacity to 80,000. Newcastle United's plan never got off the drawing board. Relationships between club and council dipped to an all time low in the early sixties once United lost the 1966 World Cup attraction due to the inability to secure a development package for St James Park. The World Cup organising committee not unreasonably insisted that substantial improvements had to be made before handing the lucrative stage venue to St James Park.

With no decision having been made regarding the club's 1958 proposals, United lodged further plans in 1963 together with a request for a lengthy extension to their lease to protect Newcastle's proposed hefty investment. Meeting after meeting followed, claim and counter-claim bounced around, and headline after headline was created. All that came out of a sorry saga was that the two parties couldn't agree.

The council even drew up their own proposals for a multi-purpose stadium, a 40,000 capacity "Wembley of the North", but the club wanted no part of it. Intermingled into the dispute was a local political Labour v Tory feud as well. There was even talk of the club being evicted from Gallowgate! It was no surprise when the World Cup managers called it a day and handed the stage matches to Middlesbrough instead. Newcastle missed out on the biggest feast of football Britain was to see.

Newcastle United's board was furious. And it was certainly not the end of the affair. For another 20 years the battle over development raged on. After another multi-use sports centre concept was put forward by the Council, the Magpies made serious plans to move from the site. In April 1966 details were revealed of a new arena in Gosforth and by 1968 Newcastle had applied for planning permission. Minister for Sport, Dennis Howell was asked to mediate between the club and landlord, but United pressed ahead with a £1m super-stadium near the racecourse.

However, at the last moment in 1971, some semblance of agreement with the Council materialised and the plan was scrapped. A new scheme had at last been agreed for the transformation of St James Park. Yet there was still a long way to go, and many more arguments before redevelopment took shape.

The agreed proposal consisted of four new cantilevered stands all around St James Park, giving an eventual capacity of 47,340. In January 1972 work started on a new Leazes Terrace stand - almost 50 years since the club had first applied for planning permission on that side of the stadium. A year later the stand was opened - even then it appeared to be jinxed and was some months late due to a builder's strike.

It was some time before the next phase started. In 1978, the Leazes End terrace - for so long the favoured haunt of United's fans - was demolished and work started on a cantilevered stand behind the goal. But relegation and recession hit United's finances and there were more problems with the City planners - the Leazes Stand never got out of the ground.

In the aftermath of the Bradford City fire disaster in 1985, local councils aimed safety checks on all existing facilities and considering the age of United's West Stand, the Magpies were bound to have problems - and they did. The structure came under vigorous inspection. Newcastle had to start to plan for a replacement.

Another redevelopment proposal was lodged - with the original scheme now scrapped - but the City Council refused permission for the project. Further discussions took place and eventually part of the scheme was accepted.

In the close season of 1986 United demolished the 80 year old West Stand and commenced work on an impressive looking £5m structure to become the centre-point of the club's activities. To be named the Milburn Stand as a lasting tribute to Jackie Milburn, it was opened during the 1987-88 season. Still there was much needed further development of the arena required to take St James Park into the modern era. This however was shelved due to the club's perilous financial position. Newcastle United needed a miracle both on and off the field as the nineties decade opened. That miracle arrived in the shape of Sir John Hall who completed a take-over of the club in the opening weeks of 1992.

From that moment everything changed in the fortunes of Newcastle United. And the thorny question of redeveloping St James Park was high on Sir John's agenda. With his experience in property development and his substantial financial backing, a complete new proposal was submitted to the Council for approval. This time Sir John and his team were to reach a quick agreement. The adversity of the past was over. The years of feuding buried. Work started immediately to transform the Gallowgate site at a cost of almost £25m into a stadium to rival any in Britain.

Firstly the Leazes End structure at last rose from the ground. Renamed the Sir John Hall Stand, it was opened for United's debut in the Premiership in 1993. Substantial modifications to the Milburn Stand took place, a new pitch and drainage system installed, new floodlighting as well as the construction of the Gallowgate Stand and infilling all corners of the stadium to produce a marvellous all seater bowl with capacity of around 37,000. Added were impressive corporate and office facilities. Within the space of three short years the new showpiece stadium had been completed. It was a remarkable feat when compared to the previous 70 years of feuding.

Yet the Club still had one major hurdle to overcome. The success of the Magpies warranted a much, much bigger capacity. Newcastle soon needed to expand. Three options were on the table; further develop St James Park, move to another site close by and construction a brand new arena, or move out of the city, to somewhere like Gateshead. A whole new prolific debate was unleashed on the Tyneside public. Few supporters wanted to move from their traditional home, while the majority were totally against moving outwith the city boundary.

After much heated debate the club drew up plans for a new 55,000 capacity, £65m stadium to be constructed next door to St James Park in Leazes Park. The existing facilities would be transformed into an indoor arena with extensive parkland between the two centres. It appeared the perfect answer and would have been a great sporting monument for the region to rival Europe's best; the Amsterdam arena, San Siro and Stade de France.

But Newcastle United fell into a political quagmire and had to cope with every sort of fringe opposition group with the outcome that the scheme would have to go to Public Enquiry and result in a lengthy delay before commencement - if indeed at all. Newcastle could not afford to wait. With almost 20,000 paying customers not being able to gain entry to Gallowgate, the club had to reconsider and switch to further developing St James Park. The club's revised proposals to increase the much needed capacity to over 52,000 has been achieved by constructing two huge double tiers to both the Milburn and Leazes Stands at a cost of over £40m.

After a lengthy - and another controversial planning process - permissions were granted in July 1998 after the Secretary-of-State refused to call-in the application, avoiding the same fate as the Leazes Park development. The conclusion to a century of development wrangles was finally sealed. With completion achieved in August 2000, United's new Millennium stadium is an impressive sight and a landmark for the region. The 21st century sees the Magpie's famous nest transformed into a towering structure housing 52,404 supporters with facilities the envy of most clubs in Europe.

In November 2011, Newcastle United announced plans to licence the full naming rights to the stadium, in order to generate additional commercial revenue from advertising and sponsorship. And until a sponsor is found who will be granted full naming rights, the stadium would be named the Sports Direct Arena. In October 2012, Wonga, the digital finance company was announced as Newcastle United new partner in a four-year deal which at the time was the made them the Club's leading commercial sponsor. In addition to sponsoring the team shirt from the start of the 2013/14 season and working on a range of other initiatives with fans, Wonga will invest at least £1.5m in two of the Club's most important projects.

Source: P. Joannou, Newcastle United Club

The History:

Artwork: Black and White by Malcolm Teasdale' by Terry Donnelly

The first record of football being played on Tyneside dates from 3 March 1877 at Elswick Rugby Club. Later that year, Newcastle's first football club, Tyne Association, was formed. The origins of Newcastle United Football Club itself can be traced back to the formation of a football club by the Stanley Cricket Club of Byker in November 1881.

This team was renamed Newcastle East End F.C. in October 1882, to avoid confusion with the cricket club in Stanley, County Durham. Rosewood F.C. of Byker merged with Newcastle East End a short time later. In 1886, Newcastle East End moved from Byker to Heaton. In August 1882, Newcastle West End F.C. formed from West End Cricket Club, and in May 1886, the club moved into St James' Park.

The two clubs became rivals in the Northern League.

In 1889, Newcastle East End became a professional team, before becoming a limited company the following March. However on the other hand, Newcastle West End were in serious financial trouble and approached East End with a view to a take over. Newcastle West End were eventually dissolved, and a number of their players and backroom staff joined Newcastle East End, effectively merging the two clubs, with Newcastle East End taking over the lease on St James' Park in May 1892.

With only one senior club in the city for fans to support, development of the club was much more rapid. Despite being refused entry to the Football League's First Division at the start of the 1892–93 season, they were invited to play in their new Second Division. However with no big names playing in the Second Division, they turned down the offer and remained in the Northern League, stating "gates would not meet the heavy expenses incurred for travelling". In a bid to start drawing larger crowds, Newcastle East End decided to adopt a new name in recognition of the merger.

Suggested names included Newcastle F.C., Newcastle Rangers, Newcastle City and City of Newcastle, but Newcastle United was decided upon on 9 December 1892, to signify the unification of the two teams. The name change was accepted by the Football Association on 22 December, but the club was not legally constituted as Newcastle United Football Club Co. Ltd. until 6 September 1895. At the start of the 1893– 94 season, Newcastle United were once again refused entry to the First Division and so joined the Second Division, along with Liverpool and Woolwich Arsenal. They played their first competitive match in the division that September against Woolwich Arsenal, with a score of 2–2.

Turnstile numbers were still low, and the incensed club published a statement stating, "The Newcastle public do not deserve to be catered for as far as professional football is concerned". However, eventually figures picked up by 1895–96, when 14,000 fans watched the team play Bury. That season Frank Watt became secretary of the club, and he was instrumental in promotion to the First Division for the 1898–99 season. However, they lost their first game 4–2 at home to Wolves and finished their first season in thirteenth place.

In 1903–04, the club built up a promising squad of players, and went on to dominate English football for almost a decade, the team known for their "artistic play, combining team-work and quick, short passing". Long after his retirement, Peter McWilliam, the team's defender at the time, said "The Newcastle team of the 1900s would give any modern side a two goal start and beat them, and further more, beat them at a trot."

Newcastle United went on to win the League on three occasions during the 1900s; 1904–05, 1906–07 and 1908–09. In 1904–05, they nearly did the double, losing to Aston Villa in the 1905 FA Cup Final. They were beaten again the following year by Everton in the 1906 FA Cup Final. They reached the final again in 1908 where they lost to Wolves. In 1908 the team suffered a record 9–1 home defeat to local rivals Sunderland in the league but still won that season's league title. They finally won the FA Cup in 1910 when they beat Barnsley in the final. They lost again the following year in the final against Bradford City.

The team returned to the FA Cup final in 1924, in the second final held at the then new Wembley Stadium. They defeated Aston Villa, winning the club's second FA Cup. Three years later they won the First Division championship a fourth time in 1926–27, with Hughie Gallacher, one of the most prolific goal scorers in the club's history, captaining the team. Other key players in this period were Neil Harris, Stan Seymour and Frank Hudspeth. In 1930, Newcastle United came close to relegation, and at the end of the season Gallacher left the club for Chelsea, and at the same time Andy Cunningham became the club's first team manager. In 1931–32, the club won the FA Cup a third time. However, a couple of years later, at the end of the 1933–34 season, the team were relegated to the Second Division after 35 seasons in the top. Cunningham left as manager and Tom Mather took over.

The club found it difficult to adjust to the Second Division and were nearly further relegated in the 1937–38 season, when they were spared on goal averages. However, when World War II broke in 1939, Newcastle had a chance to regroup, and in the War period, they brought in Jackie Milburn, Tommy Walker and Bobby Cowell. They were finally promoted back to the First Division at the end of the 1947– 48 season. During the 1950s, Newcastle won the FA Cup trophy on three occasions within a five-year period, beating Blackpool in 1951, Arsenal in 1952, and Manchester City in 1955.

However, after this last FA Cup victory the club fell back into decline and were relegated to the Second Division once again at the end of the 1960–61 season under the management of Charlie Mitten. Mitten left after one season in the Second Division and was replaced by former player Joe Harvey. Newcastle returned to the First Division at the end of the 1964–65 season after winning the Second Division title. Under Harvey, the club qualified for European competition for the first time after a good run in the 1967–68 season and the following year won the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final, triumphing 6–2 over two legs against Hungary's Újpest in the final.

The Seventies and Eighties
Harvey bought striker Malcolm Macdonald in the summer of 1971, for a club record transfer fee of £180,000. He was an impressive goal scorer, who led United's attack to Wembley in their 1974 FA Cup Final defeat at the hands of Liverpool. The club also had back to back triumphs in the Texaco Cup in 1974 and 1975. Harvey left the club in 1975, with Gordon Lee brought in to replace him. Lee took the team to the 1976 Football League Cup Final against Manchester City, but failed to bring the trophy back to Tyneside. However, he sold Macdonald to Arsenal at the end of the season, a decision of which Macdonald later said "I loved Newcastle, until Gordon Lee took over". Lee left for Everton in 1977, and was replaced by Richard Dinnis.

United dropped once again to the Second Division at the end of the 1977–78 season. Dinnis was replaced by Bill McGarry, and then he was replaced by Arthur Cox. Cox steered Newcastle back to the First Division at the end of the 1983–84 season, with players such as Peter Beardsley, Chris Waddle, and ex-England captain Kevin Keegan the fulcrum of the team. However, with a lack of funds, Cox left for Derby County and Keegan retired. With managers such as Jack Charlton and then Willie McFaul, Newcastle remained in the top-flight, until key players such as Waddle, Beardsley and Paul Gascoigne were sold, and the team was relegated once more at in 1989. McFaul left the managerial post, and was replaced by Jim Smith. Smith left at the start of the 1991–92 season and the board appointed Osvaldo Ardiles his replacement.

Rise to fame and title challenges
Sir John Hall became the club's chairman in 1992, and replaced Ardiles with Keegan, who managed to save the team from relegation to the Third Division. Keegan was given more money for players, and he brought in Rob Lee, Paul Bracewell and Barry Venison and the club won the then First Division Championship at the end of the 1992–93 season, earning promotion to the then new Premier League. At the end of the 1993–94 season, their first year back in the top flight they finished in third, their highest league finish since 1927. The attacking philosophy of Keegan led to the team being labelled "The Entertainers" by Sky Sports.

Keegan took Newcastle to two consecutive runners-up finishes in the league in 1995–96 and 1996– 97, coming very close to winning the title in the former season. This success was in part due to the talent of players like David Ginola, Les Ferdinand and Alan Shearer, who was signed on 30 July 1996 for a then world record fee of £15 million.

Keegan left Newcastle in January 1997 and was replaced by Kenny Dalglish, however the club endured a largely unsuccessful season with a thirteenth place finish in the 1997–98 FA Premier League, failure to progress beyond the group stages of the 1997–98 UEFA Champions League despite beating Barcelona and group winners Dynamo Kiev at St James Park as well as coming from 2–0 down to draw 2–2 with Valery Lobanovsky's team in Ukraine and defeat in the 1998 FA Cup Final. Dalglish was replaced as manager early in the following season by Ruud Gullit.

The club once again finished thirteenth in the league and lost the 1999 FA Cup Final. Gullit fell into disagreements with the squad and chairman Freddy Shepherd, and quit the club four games into the 1999–2000 season with the team bottom of the table to be replaced by Bobby Robson. The club managed to reach an FA Cup Semi-final and to stay in the Premier League.

League success and Europe
A title challenge emerged during the 2001–02 season, and Newcastle's fourth place finish saw them qualify for the Champions League. The following season, Robson guided the team to another title challenge and finished third in the League, and the second group stage of the Champions League.

Newcastle finished fifth in the league at the end of the 2003–04 season, and exited the Champions League in the qualifying rounds, but despite this Robson was sacked in August 2004 following a series of disagreements with the club.

Graeme Souness was brought in to manage by the start of the 2004–05 season. In the time he managed, he broke the club's transfer record by signing Michael Owen, however he was sacked in February 2006 after a bad start to the 2005–06 season. Glenn Roeder took over, initially on a temporary basis, before being appointed full-time manager at the end of the season. Shearer retired at the end of the 2005–06 season as the club's all-time record goal scorer, with a total of 206 goals.

Despite finishing the 2005–06 season in seventh, Roeder's fortunes changed in the 2006–07 season, with a terrible injury run to the senior squad, and he left the club by mutual consent on 6 May 2007. Sam Allardyce was appointed Roeder's replacement as manager on 15 May 2007. On 7 June 2007 Freddy Shepherd's final shares in the club were sold to Mike Ashley and Shepherd was replaced as chairman by Chris Mort on 25 July.

Decline and relegation
Allardyce departed the club on 9 January 2008 by mutual consent after a bad start to the 2007–08 season.

On 16 January 2008, Kevin Keegan was reappointed as Newcastle manager. Mort stepped down as chairman in June and was replaced by Derek Llambias, a long-term associate of Ashley.Newcastle finished the 2007–08 season in twelfth place, but as the season drew to a close, Keegan publicly criticised the board, claiming they were not providing the team enough financial support. On 4 September Keegan resigned as manager stating "It's my opinion that a manager must have the right to manage and that clubs should not impose upon any manager any player that he does not want". Keegan stated in 2013 he would only consider returning to the club only after Mike Ashley leaves.

Former Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear was appointed manager on 26 September 2008. But in February 2009, Kinnear was admitted to hospital following reports of heart trouble, and subsequently underwent heart surgery, withdrawing from his managerial duties while on convalescent leave. Alan Shearer was appointed interim manager in his absence.

Under Shearer, the club were relegated to the Football League Championship at the end of the 2008–09 season, the first time the club had left the Premier League since joining it in 1993.

Following their relegation, the club was put up for sale in June 2009, with an asking price of £100 million. Chris Hughton was given the manager job on a caretaker basis before taking over full-time on 27 October 2009. On the same day, Ashley announced that the club was no longer for sale.

Return to the top
Hughton led Newcastle to win the 2009–10 Football League Championship, securing automatic promotion on 5 April 2010 with five games remaining, and securing the title on 19 April 2010; Newcastle were promoted back to the Premier League after just one season away.

Under Hughton, Newcastle enjoyed a strong start to the 2010–11 season, recording famous wins against Aston Villa, Chelsea Arsenal and archrivals Sunderland. Despite his high popularity among fans following these memorable wins, Hughton was sacked on 6 December 2010, following a 3–1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion. The club's board stated that they felt "an individual with more managerial experience was needed to take the club forward." Three days later, Alan Pardew was appointed as manager with a five and a half-year contract. Further controversy was caused on 31 January 2011, when striker Andy Carroll was sold to Liverpool for a club record of £35 million. Despite this turbulence, Newcastle were able to finish twelfth at the end of the season, with one particular highlight being a 4–4 home draw against Arsenal which saw Newcastle come back from four goals down to claim a point.

The start of the 2011–12 season saw an overhaul in the first team, with the sale of influential first team players Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and José Enrique during the summer and the elevation of Tim Krul as first choice goalkeeper and centre back Fabricio Coloccini as captain. Signings such as Yohan Cabaye, Italian international Davide Santon and Senegalese striker Demba Ba in cut-price deals saw Newcastle adopt a new transfer policy, one which would be met with success in the season. Newcastle went on to enjoy one of their strongest openings to a season, playing 11 consecutive games unbeaten before losing away to Manchester City.

A string of games without a win saw Newcastle drop from 3rd to 7th in the league table, however a famous win over Manchester United and the capture of Senegal striker Papiss Cissé in the January transfer window sparked a resurgence from the Magpies. Cisse, along with the on-form Hatem Ben Arfa, inspired Newcastle to a strong second half of the season, going on a 6-game winning run and recording memorable victories against Liverpool and Chelsea to put the Magpies in contention for European football.

Newcastle eventually secured a place in the 2012–13 Europa League after a 3–0 home victory over Stoke City. A bad run of three defeats in the last four league games ultimately ended lingering hopes of Champions League football, but Newcastle still managed to finish in 5th place, their highest league position since the Bobby Robson days. Further honours were to come as Newcastle manager Alan Pardew won both the Premier League Manager of the Season and the LMA Manager of the Year awards, captain Fabricio Coloccini was named in the PFA Team of the Year, and Papiss Cisse won the Goal of the Season award for his stunning effort in a 2–0 away win against Chelsea.

The 2012–13 season saw Newcastle regain European football for the first time since 2007. Despite the extra European matches, the acquisition of midfielders Gaël Bigirimana and Vurnon Anita proved to be the only signings in a quiet summer transfer window. The failure to bolster the squad proved costly for Newcastle, as an extensive list of injuries developed, including layoffs to key midfielders Yohan Cabaye & Hatem Ben Arfa, and defenders Steven & Ryan Taylor. As a result, the first half of the season was marred by a run of 10 losses in 13 games, which saw Newcastle sink near the relegation zone. Despite this, the club were able to qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League, finishing second in the group behind French side Bordeaux.

The disappointing first half of the season sparked great activity during the January transfer window. Demba Ba's release clause was activated by Chelsea, but the Magpies nonetheless pioneered the arrival of five French players in Moussa Sissoko, Mathieu Debuchy, Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haïdara and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Their arrival had an immediate impact as Newcastle rediscovered their form, winning three consecutive home games, including a memorable win over European champions Chelsea. The club also reached the Europa League quarterfinals, defeating Metallist Kharkiv and Anzhi Makhachkala before bowing out to eventual finalists Benfica.

However, Newcastle's exit in Europe would be followed by a major slump in form, which saw them drop perilously towards the relegation zone. Newcastle lost 0–3 at home in the Tyne-Wear derby before suffering their heaviest top-flight defeat to Liverpool, when they lost 0–6 at home. This was their worst home defeat since 1925. Despite this, Newcastle eventually survived thanks to a 2–1 victory over already relegated Queens Park Rangers on the penultimate game of the season, lifting them to 41 points. They lost 0–1 at home to Arsenal on the final day. They finished the season in 16th place.

Beginning the 2013-14 season, in a surprise move Joe Kinnear returned to the club as Director Of Football, instantly causing fan fury following his outburst that he was 'more intelligent' than the fans and critics, as well as mispronouncing various players names during a radio interview. He however resigned after 8 months following further critique for managing to sign only two players on loan in Loic Remy and Luuk de Jong throughout the season's summer and January transfer windows, as well selling Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint-Germain F.C. for £20m, considered to be one of the most influential players at the time.

Following the lack of transfer activity, Mike Ashley once again faced a fan revolt with protests being launched at him to sell the club, and entered a dispute with several media titles whom the club banned from Newcastle United F.C. media facilities, press conferences and player interviews, declaring stories reported were intensely exaggerated and aimed only to damage Ashley's image further.

Throughout the season, the club remained on course to ensure a top half finish, notably defeating Manchester United F.C at Old Trafford for the first time since 1972, however struggled for goals following the sale of Yohan Cabaye. Further dismay upon the season was caused when Pardew was banned for 7 matches and fined £100,000 for an assault on Hull City F.C. midfielder David Meyler. The club then encountered a poor run of form losing 8 out of 10 games, finishing the season tenth in the league, leading to fan protests for Alan Pardew to leave the club, despite confirmation to the fans he would stay on.

On 16 May 2013, Newcastle United released the away shirt for the 2013–14 Season which for the first time features the logo which has attracted criticism from many Newcastle supporters, the shirt is navy blue with light blue bands. The shirt received mixed reviews from Newcastle supporters who described the shirt as 'awesome' and 'bland' as quoted in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle. In July 2013, practicing Muslim Papiss Cisse refused to wear any official kit or training wear with reference to Subsequently Cisse failed to travel to the 2013 pre-season tour of Portugal. The matter has since been resolved.

The opening eight games of the 2014–15 Season proved disappointing for Newcastle United F.C. failing to secure a win, leaving Alan Pardew under immense pressure from the fans to leave the club with many posters at games designed with the Sports Direct logo advertising a website demanding his departure. The club however had an emphatic resurgence seeing a 5 game unbeaten run whilst also surprising League Cup holders Manchester City F.C. with a 2-0 win, subsequently progressing to the Quarter Finals stage of the tournament. The club also paid tribute to player Jonas Gutierrez who announced he had successfully recovered from testicular cancer to resume his playing career.

In September 2014, with the club in bottom place in the Premier League, some fans created a website,, to instigate his dismissal. Protests were also planned before a game against Hull City, which included the printing of 30,000 A4 sheets calling for his dismissal. In November 2014, Pardew guided Newcastle to six consecutive wins in all competitions, the second time he had done so during his time as manager at the club. On 6 December, 2014, Pardew's side ended Chelsea's unbeaten start to the season in all competitions, as Newcastle beat them 2-1 at St James' Park. On 12 December, 2014, Pardew was awarded the Premier League Manager of the Month award for November 2014. On 29 December 2014, after the sacking of Neil Warnock, Pardew was given permission to talk to Crystal Palace on the club's managerial vacancy. On 2 January 2015, Pardew was confirmed as the new Crystal Palace manager, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract with the club after a compensation package of £3.5 million was agreed.

Following Pardew's departure, Caretaker managers John Carver and Steve Stone took on the managerial role. After a poor run of form which saw Newcastle escape relegation in the final game of the season, they were eventually replaced on 10th June 2015 by Steve McClaren who signed a 3 year deal.

On 11th March 2016, Newcastle announced that manager Steve McClaren had been sacked. Later in the day, Rafa Benitez was unveiled as the new manager having signed a 3 year contract.

On 11th May 2016, Newcastle were declared relegated once again after results elsewhere sealed their Premier League fate.

Rafa Benitez left Newcastle at the end of his contact which expired on 30th June 2019, and on 17th July 2019, Newcastle appointed Steve Bruce as their head coach on a three-year contract.

On 20th October 2021, Newcastle United announced that Steve Bruce had left his position as head coach by mutual consent.

On Monday 8th November 2021, Newcastle confirmed the appointment of Eddie Howe as the club's new head coach on a contract until summer 2024.

Colours and badge

The club colours are black and white striped shirt with black shorts with claret and white trim, and black socks with white trim, though white socks are sometimes worn under some managers who consider them "lucky". Newcastle's colours at the outset was generally the home kit of Newcastle East End F.C., comprising plain red shirts with white shorts and red socks. In 1894 the club adopted the black and white striped shirts, which had been used as the reserve team's colours. These colours were chosen for the senior team because they weren't associated with either of the two teams United were merged from. They played in grey shorts until 1897, and between 1897 and 1921 they played in blue shorts before adopting the black shorts they play in now.

United's away colours have changed a number of times over the years. They played in white shirts, with black shorts from 1914 until 1961, and then white shorts until 1966. They then played in yellow shirts and blue shorts for the 1967–68 season, but from 1969 to 1974 they played in all red with an all blue third kit. In 1974 they returned to a yellow shirt, which they played with various coloured shorts until 1983. They played in all grey from 1983 to 1988, before once again returning to the yellow kit until 1993. Since 1995, the away kit has changed consistently and has not been the same for more than a single season. The club's shirt sponsor has been Newcastle based bank Northern Rock since 2003, but prior to this, they had been sponsored at different times by ntl:Telewest, Newcastle Brown Ale and Greenall's.Through owner Mike Ashley, the club also has a relationship with the Sports Direct retail chain which he founded.

On 4 January 2012 Virgin Money, who had just bought Northern Rock, signed a 2 year deal to sponsor Newcastle United. In January 2010, Puma became the official supplier and licensee of replica merchandise for Newcastle United. The deal meant Puma supplied team kit, replica kit and training equipment for the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons.

The current club crest was first used in the 1988–89 season. The crest includes elements from the coat of arms of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne; the two sea horses representing Tyneside's strong connections with the sea, the castle representing the city's Norman keep. The city's coat of arms were first embroidered on the team's shirts in 1969 and worn as standard until 1976. A scroll at the bottom featured the city's motto in Latin; fortiter defendit triumphans which translates into English as "triumphing by brave defence".

From 1976 until 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. 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.

Take Over

On 7th October 2021, Newcastle announced that an investment group led by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and also comprising PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media (the “Investment Group”), had completed the acquisition of 100% of Newcastle United Limited and Newcastle United Football Club Limited (“Newcastle United” or the “Club”) from St. James Holdings Limited.

All requisite approvals have been obtained from the English Premier League and the acquisition was completed on 7 October 2021.

The Investment Group is comprised of long-term, patient investors who have every confidence in the future success of the Club. Today’s announcement is the conclusion of a thorough and detailed process that has allowed the Investment Group to arrive at a deal that benefits all stakeholders and will leave Newcastle United well-placed to pursue a clear, long-term strategy.

His Excellency Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF, will serve as Non-Executive Chairman of Newcastle United. Amanda Staveley, chief executive of PCP Capital Partners, will have one seat on the board. Jamie Reuben will also be a director of the Club, representing RB Sports & Media.

For PIF, one of the world’s most impactful investors, the acquisition is in line with its strategy of focusing on key sectors including Sports and Entertainment, and aligns with PIF’s mission to actively invest over the long term – in this case, to harness the Club’s potential and build upon the Club’s legacy.

Commenting on the agreement, His Excellency Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF, said: "We are extremely proud to become the new owners of Newcastle United, one of the most famous clubs in English football.

"We thank the Newcastle fans for their tremendously loyal support over the years and we are excited to work together with them."

Amanda Staveley, Chief Executive Officer of PCP Capital Partners, said: "This is a long-term investment. We are excited about the future prospects for Newcastle United.

"We intend to instill a united philosophy across the Club, establish a clear purpose, and help provide leadership that will allow Newcastle United to go on to big achievements over the long term.

"Our ambition is aligned with the fans – to create a consistently successful team that’s regularly competing for major trophies and generates pride across the globe."

Jamie Reuben of RB Sports & Media, said: "We look forward to a great future for Newcastle United. Newcastle is a fantastic city, which is why our family has been investing heavily in the area for many years. To become part of this great Club and its amazing fans is a privilege.

"We will build a true community Club, based upon our family’s knowledge of the city and in line with our plans that have been worked on closely with Newcastle City Council to deliver long-term sustainable growth for the area."

The directors of the Investment Group thank Mike Ashley for his commitment to the sale process. We would also like to thank the Premier League for its contribution in the regulatory process, which has helped lead to completion of this deal.

Eddie Howe

picture of Eddie Howe

The Facts

Newcastle United Football Club (often abbreviated to NUFC) is an English professional association football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The club was founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, and has played at its current home ground, St James' Park, ever since. The ground was developed into an all-seater stadium in the mid-1990s and now has a capacity of 52,405.

The club has been a member of the Premier League for all but two years of the competition's history, and has never dropped below English football's second tier since joining the Football League in 1893. In 2007, long term chairman and owner Sir John Hall sold his share in the club to Mike Ashley.

They have won four League Championship titles and six FA Cups, as well as the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and the 2006 UEFA Intertoto Cup. Newcastle United has the ninth highest total of major honours won by an English club.

The club's most successful period was between 1904 and 1910, when they won an FA Cup and three of their First Division titles.

The club is the twentieth richest club in the world in terms of annual revenue, generating €115.3m in 2012. Historically, Newcastle’s highest placing was fifth in the world.

They have a fierce local rivalry with Sunderland, and the two clubs have engaged in the Tyne–Wear derby since 1898. The club's traditional kit colours are black and white striped shirts, black shorts and black socks.

Their traditional crest takes elements of the city coat of arms, which features two seahorses.

For further information check out their Official website or their Fan Forum

John Edward Thompson (Jackie) Milburn 1943 - 1957

John E.T (Jackie) Milburn - 1943 to 1957

Picture of Malcolm Macdonald - 1971 to 1976

Malcolm Macdonald - 1971 to 1976

Peter Beardsley - 83 to 87 & 93 - 97

Peter Beardsley - 1983 to 87 & 1993 - 97

Picture of Paul Gascgoine and Vinnie Jones

Paul Gascgoine - 1985 to 1988

Picture of Chris Waddle

Chris Waddle - 1980 to 1985