Newcastle United 1947/48 - Season Summary


NUFC 1947/48 Squad
Division 22ndChairmanG Rutherford
FA CupR3 ManagerG Martin
Attendance56,298TrainerN Smith
CaptainJ HarveyTop ScorerJ Milburn (20)

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Despite never hitting top spot throughout the season United finished in second and were back in the big time. It was their home form (18 wins, 1 draw and 2 defeats) that saw them through.

New manager George Martin had arrived from Luton and he and the directors adopted a controversial and high-risk policy whereby they completely revamped their attacking options.

Wayman, Shackleton, Bentley and Pearson were all sold with the money being re-invested to strengthen other parts of the team.

Martin also made the shrewd tactical decision to move Jackie Milburn in from the wing to become the club's new No 9.

Charlton were again United's tormentors in the Cup, but the early defeat meant that the old adage of concentrating on the League could apply.

The average League attendance was the highest in the country and a record breaking 56,298.


Competitions



Division 2
23/8/47 H Plymouth W 6-1
27/8/47 A Chesterfield W 1-0
30/8/47 A Luton L 1-2
03/9/47 H Chesterfield L 2-3
06/9/47 H Brentford W 1-0
10/9/47 A Birmingham D 0-0
13/9/47 A Leicester D 2-2
17/9/47 H Birmingham W 1-0
20/9/47 H Leeds Utd W 4-2
27/9/47 A Fulham L 0-3
04/10/47 H Coventry D 0-0
11/10/47 H WHU W 1-0
18/10/47 A Bury W 5-3
25/10/47 H Southampton W 5-0
01/11/47 A Doncaster W 3-0
08/11/47 H Nottm F L 0-2
15/11/47 A Bradford PA W 3-0
22/11/47 H Cardiff W 4-1
29/11/47 A Sheff Wed L 0-1
06/12/47 H Tottenham W 1-0
13/12/47 A Millwall L 1-2
20/12/47 A Plymouth L 0-3
26/12/47 A WBA W 1-0
01/1/48 H WBA W 3-1
03/1/48 H Luton W 4-1
17/1/48 A Brentford L 0-1
24/1/48 A Leeds Utd L 1-3
31/1/48 H Leicester W 2-0
21/2/48 A Coventry D 1-1
28/2/48 A WHU W 2-0
06/3/48 H Bury W 1-0
13/3/48 A Southampton L 2-4
20/3/48 H Doncaster W 2-0
26/3/48 H Barnsley W 1-0
27/3/48 A Nottm F D 0-0
29/3/48 A Barnsley D 1-1
03/4/48 H Bradford PA W 2-0
10/4/48 A Cardiff D 1-1
14/4/48 H Fulham W 1-0
17/4/48 H Sheff Wed W 4-2
24/4/48 A Tottenham D 1-1
01/5/48 H Millwall W 1-0
W D L F A Pts
01 Birmingham City 22 15 5 55 24 59
02 Newcastle United 24 8 10 72 41 56
03 Southampton 21 10 11 71 53 52
04 Sheffield Wednesday 20 11 11 66 53 51
05 Cardiff City 18 11 13 61 58 47
06 West Ham United 16 14 12 55 53 46
07 West Bromwich 18 9 15 63 58 45
08 Tottenham Hotspur 15 14 13 56 43 44
09 Leicester City 16 11 15 60 57 43
10 Coventry City 14 13 15 59 52 41
11 Fulham 15 10 17 47 46 40
12 Barnsley 15 10 17 62 64 40
13 Luton Town 14 12 16 56 59 40
14 Bradford PA 16 8 18 68 72 40
15 Brentford 13 14 15 44 61 40
16 Chesterfield 16 7 19 54 55 39
17 Plymouth Argyle 9 20 13 40 58 38
18 Leeds United 14 8 20 62 72 36
19 Nottingham Forest 12 11 19 54 60 35
20 Bury 9 16 17 58 68 34
21 Doncaster Rovers 9 11 22 40 66 29
22 Millwall 9 11 22 44 74 29
FA Cup
R3 10/1/48 A Charlton L 1-2

Management


Despite securing promotion in his first year at the club it was anything but a smooth ride for George Martin.

The team's performances were often not up to scratch especially in the first half of the season and he was not afraid to chop and change. It was not unusual for 5 or 6 changes to be made at a time.

It is a reflection of the manager's role at the time that when the manager and players met for a crisis meeting after the defeat at Plymouth Martin's view was "it is up to you chaps (the players) to get together (and sort it out)"

Martin and the directors adopted a very bold approach in the transfer market as they effectively sold 4/5 of their strike force.

Neither were they interested in currying public favour as crowd favourites Pearson and Shackleton were allowed to leave. Indeed it was clear that they were more concerned with rooting out those that they perceived as "disruptive elements".

They certainly didn't believe they were in the wrong. Chairman George Rutherford made this clear on a number of occasions; "No club in the country can do more towards the comfort and happiness of it's players" he claimed

On Shackleton's transfer request he argued: "surely it is reasonable for a club to put a player on the reserve team...without expecting the man left out to immediately seek transfer."

Transfers both in and out were on a scale never witnessed before or since as (in the 13 months from July 1947 to July 1948) United spent £54,500 and recouped £47,050. Although it doesn't seem much now, it is put into perspective when you consider that the fee received for Shackleton (£20,050) was the record fee at that time.


Players



Squad
Player App Gls
Bentley R 12 3
Brennan F 43
Corbett B 4
Cowell B 19
Craig B 27
Crowe C 2
Dodgin N 27 1
Donaldson A 5 1
Fairbrother J 26
Fraser B 21
Garbutt E 17
Graham D 16
Hair G 6 2
Harvey J 38 3
Houghton F 13 2
Lowrie G 5 1
McCall W 15 4
Milburn J 40 20
Pearson T 22 4
Shackleton L 26 7
Sibley J 19 4
Stobbart G 27 9
Taylor E 8
Thompson T 4 2
Walker T 8 3
Wayman C 6 2
Woodburn J 17 2
own goals 3
Team

Total Number of Games: 43

Total Number of Players Used: 27

01: Fairbrother/Garbutt

02: Craig/Cowell/Fraser

03: Graham > Craig

04: Harvey

05: Brennan

06: Woodburn/Dodgin/Houghton

07: Walker/Milburn > Sibley

08: Bentley > Shackleton > Stobbart

09: Wayman > Milburn

10: Shackleton > Sobbart > Taylor > Woodburn

11: Pearson > McCall



Toon In
Date Name From Fee
Fairbrother John 07/47 Preston £6,500
Graver Andrew 09/47 Annfield Plain £50
Stokoe Robert 09/47 Spen Jnrs £10
Clark Albert 01/48 North Shields £850
Houghton Frank 01/48 Ballymena £6,000
Mccall William 01/48 Aberdeen Exchange
Lowrie George 03/48 Coventry £18,500
J Fairbrother
F Houghton
G Lowrie

Toon Out
Date Name To Fee
Swinburne Thomas 6/47 Consett £0
Theaker Clarence 6/47 Hartlepool
Burke Richard 8/47 Carlisle £1,350
Wayman Charlie 10/47 Southampton £10,000
Bentley Roy 1/48 Chelsea £12,500
Pearson Thomas 2/48 Aberdeen E
Shackleton Len 2/48 Sunderland £20,000
King George 3/48 Hull City £750
C Wayman
R Bentley
Len Shackleton

Fans


The Post War attendance boom showed no sign of waning as the total attendances for League games climbed to over 40 million.

And for the second year running the best supported team in the land was Newcastle with an average attendance of 56,299 (a record at the time).

Even this does not tell the full story as a record-breaking 44,840 turned up for the friendly verses Liverpool and the reserves averaged almost 13,000 a match.

There were five sixty-thousand-plus gates and St James' was creaking at the seams, Newcastle's Lord Mayor even suggested a new "super stadium" should be built on the Town Moor.

The departure of Len Shackleton was mourned by many and workers at the Vickers factory even mounted a "Keep Shack" campaign.

The BBC were still trying to persuade the authorities to allow live televising of games' and although the FA were in favour the Football league did not want to know.

They had wanted to televise United's FA Cup 3rd Round tie with Charlton, but under pressure from the League Charlton refused to accept it.

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