NUFC 1958/59 - Diary


Summary Squad

June


09/06 - At a Board Meeting the directors unanimously agree to appoint a manager before the start of the new season. They sift through numerous applications, seed them and draw up a short-list for interview. McKeag claims that "several well-known managerial personalities have applied for the post." There have been many offers received for the transfer-listed players: Casey, Paterson, Punton and Hill.


12/06 - Newcastle interview three prospective candidates: Eddie Lever (ex-Portsmouth manager), Len Goulden (ex-Watford manager) and Charlie Mitten (current Mansfield player-manager). They had not planned to make a decision this evening but as McKeag claims: "Mr Martin so impressed us that there was absolute unanimity among the directors to offer him the engagement".


Charlie Mitten
Charlie Mitten
© Soccer Attic

13/06 - Charlie Mitten (37) is officially appointed manager and will start on Monday; he is the youngest manager in the League. McKeag states that "Mr Mitten will have the fullest measure of control, subject only to the final authority of the directors. He will have complete charge of playing, training, coaching and ground staffs." Mitten has been at Third Division Mansfield for two seasons and is still under contract (as player-manager) until the end of the month. Mansfield Chairman Jack Taylor is not happy: "I think it would have been an act of courtesy for Newcastle to have told Mansfield about Mr Mitten's appointment by phone". McKeag responds by alleging that Mitten had tried (without success) to contact him. Mitten says that he is "proud and delighted". The contract details are not revealed, but it is thought to be short to allow his progress to be assessed. Workington manager (and former player and coach) Joe Harvey - who has made no secret of the fact that he was hoping to land the job - is said to be very disappointed.


14/06 - One of Mitten's first problems could be over player's wages. The player's contracts were signed before the maximum wage was raised to £20 and they are all on £17 although the club have said that those in the first-team in any given week will be given a £3 "bonus". And during the summer players will get the old rate of £14 which is also £3 less than the maximum agreed recently by the clubs and the Football League.


Jimmy Hill
Jimmy Hill
© Piotr

26/06 - Jimmy Hill (22) joins Norwich for an undisclosed fee (although he was on list at £5,000). He has made 12 first-team appearances and scored 4 goals since joining in part-exchange for Jackie Milburn in 1957. He has suffered ongoing problems with an ankle injury which predated his time on Tyneside.


Bill Punton
Bill Punton
© Soccer Attic
John McGuigan
John McGuigan
© Soccer Attic

26/06 - United swap outside-lefts with Southend. John McGuigan arrives from Southend (£2,250) and Bill Punton moves (rather reluctantly) to Southend. McGuigan (24) was formerly with St Mirren and has a good scoring record during the three seasons he has been a regular. Punton, well-built and very clever, lost his place in the side last October.


Tom Casey
Tom Casey
© Soccer Attic

30/06 - Tommy Casey moves to Portsmouth for £8,500.


July


03/07 - United have agreed terms with Charlie Mitten's former club - Mansfield - for the sale of Bill Paterson. The centre-half is thinking over the move.


07/07 - Bill Paterson rejects Mansfield's personal terms, he has told them that he is thinking of joining a non-league club.


07/07 - United are very busy trying to organise a series of "floodlight friendlies" against teams from all over the World. They have already arranged fixtures for October with a Brazilian and a Swedish team.


Billy Wright
Billy Wright
© Piotr

14/7 - Mitten makes his first signing as forward Billy Wright arrives from Leicester City for an undisclosed fee. Wright joined Leicester from Blackpool in 1955 and he is a two-footed, versatile player whom Leicester have used him in every forward position. He is speedy, direct in his methods on either wing and is known for his ball control. Wright is 5' 11" and 11st 6lb.


19/07 - Grantham are the non-league team who have made an ambitious move for Bill Paterson, but he has decided to turn them down.


Bill Paterson
Bill Paterson
© Soccer Attic

21/07 - Paterson moves to Glasgow Rangers for £3,500. He joined United in October 1954 and was placed on the transfer list at the end of last season at £7,500. After appealing to the League the fee was cut to £3,500.


23/07 - Most of the players report back for training. McMichael has been given an extra week due to his involvement in the World Cup (Dick Keith turned up anyway) and Jimmy Scoular is involved in a bowls tournament in Bognor Regis. Traditionally pre-season work concentrates solely on building up fitness but Mitten has other ideas. As well as running, the players take part in team games to improve their speed of reaction and separate into groups to work on their ball control.


23/07 - Newcastle have arranged a couple of pre-season games against teams from Fenham Barracks; one to be played on the Army's own ground on August 6th and one to be played at St. James' a week later. There will be no public admittance to either game.


25/07 - Jimmy Scoular and his father (along with another player) win the Triples in the Bognor Regis Open.


26/07 - Fifteen-year-old Eire schoolboy Liam McEntee arrives in Newcastle having been signed by United. A tall and wiry player he has played at schoolboy and youth international level. He will play with the "N's" and also be employed on the ground staff.


29/07 - Three more schoolboys are signed on. Ken Hodgson (16 - Newcastle), Jack Storer (15 - Newbiggen) and Jack Oliver (15 - Blaydon).


31/07 - United meet Gateshead in a trial game at St James'. With manager Mitten leading the attack (until the break) it is the visitors who take the game more seriously and lead 4-0 at half-time.


August


10/08 - Bobby Mitchell and his family are back at home in Teasdale Gardens (Heaton) having suffered only minor injuries in a car crash with another vehicle at Blagdon Bank near Stannington.


11/08 - The Northumberland FA ban the game between Newcastle and The Depot Royal Northumberland Fusiliers due to be played at St. James' tomorrow. They state that it contravenes an FA rule banning "irregular matches" during the close season. William McKeag appeals to the FA Secretary - Stanley Rous - regarding the decision.


12/08 - Rous backs the Northumberland FA's decision. McKeag says "I consider interference with such games as this with a military unit, purely as a practice and with no paying spectators, is quite archaic".


16/08 - A public trial game takes place at St. James' between the Probables and the Possibles.


22/08 - United are believed to have made a £7,000 bid for Peterborough inside-forward Dennis Emery although they want to defer their decision at the moment.


Although United have a number of penalty appeals waved away it is a comprehensive defeat with even the consolation goal coming from the heel of a Rover. Mitten pulls no punches: "players not doing their stuff will be dropped, internationals included: our performance was shockingly irresolute".

D1: Blackburn - 52,497

Mitchell S, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Scott, Bell, Hughes, Eastham, Curry, Hale, Mitchell B

Scorers: Whelan og - Vernon, Johnston (2), Dobing, Douglas (pen)

Blackburn were promoted from Division 2 last season. Stokoe (damaged knee muscles) and White (foot injury) are unavailable and are replaced by Scott and Curry.

02m - Dobing pulls the ball back from the by-line and VERNON hits a low shot past Mitchell [0-1].

42m - JOHNSTON scores easily [0-2].

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Blackburn 2

49m - A three-man move starting from the Blackburn area ends with DOBING outpacing Scott and coolly slipping the ball through [0-3].

50m - Douglas pulls the ball back from the bye-line and JOHNSTON completely fools Mitchell by flicking the ball in with his back foot from a couple of yards [0-4]

54m - Mitchell's corner is punched into the air by Leyland, WHELAN tries to head clear but only succeeds in heading into his own net [1-4].

Dobing nets and the referee points to the centre, but the linesman has his flag up and the effort is disallowed.

84m - Scott trips Johnston and DOUGLAS scores the penalty [1-5].

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Blackburn 5

Position: 19th


24/08 - Mitten orders the players in for extra training and he gives them a two hour dressing down on the St. James' pitch.


An immaculate performance from Mitchell cannot prevent a pacey Blackpool side from registering a deserved victory.

D1: Blackpool [6th] - 25,531

Mitchell S, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Scott, Bell, Hughes, Franks, Wilson, Eastham, Wright

Scorers: Gregson, Durie, Charnley

Despite conceding five in the opener it is the attack that is changed with Curry, Mitchell and Hale all dropped and Franks, Wilson and Wright (the latter two making their debuts) coming in.

Blackpool start well but United gradually gain some control.

35m - Inside-left Durie has to go off for treatment.

40m - Part-timer GREGSON runs through and brilliantly lashes a cross-shot into the net [0-1].

Half-time: Blackpool 1 Newcastle 0

Durie comes back on but is clearly hampered by his injury.

73m - Despite his handicap DURIE lobs the ball over Mitchell from 15 yards [0-2].

76m - CHARNLEY scores from 12 yards [0-3].

Full-time: Blackpool 3 Newcastle 0

Position: 20th


Brian Harvey
Brian Harvey
© Soccer Attic

25/08 - United sign 19-year-old goalkeeper Brian Harvey from Wisbech for £3,000. Mitten had been going to Peterborough to watch Emery but when he heard that Blackpool were planning a move for Harvey he changed course. Harvey was signed in the dressing room after Wisbech's game.


27/08 - United are unsuccessful with a bid for Kilmarnock inside-forward Ian Black and are still scouting Peterborough's Emery.


After a tame first-half United could easily have scored six against a very poor Everton side. The home fans resort to slow handclaps and hurl abuse at the director's box.

30/08 - D1: Everton [20th] - 36.602

Mitchell S, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Scott, Bell, Hughes, Davies, Wright, Eastham, McGuigan

Scorers: McGuigan, Wright

The forward line is rejigged again with Davies and McGuigan coming in for Wilson and Franks.

The game is very shabby with both sides playing poorly.

Half-time: Everton 0 Newcastle 0

48m - Davies sets up the unmarked MCGUIGAN to score from five yards [1-0].

United are well on top now and Mitchell is unbeatable when Everton do get away.

69m - WRIGHT scores a second [2-0].

Full-time: Everton 0 Newcastle 2

Position: 16th


September


The Tangerines are missing three key players (including Matthews) but they defend well and United cannot find a way through until 17 minutes from time. Newcastle had eighty percent of the game but once again lacked power up front.

D1: Blackpool [4th] - 44,979

Mitchell S, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Davies, White, Eastham, McGuigan

Scorers: White

Stokoe and White both return from injury to make their first appearances of the season.

United dominate and Len White has two goals disallowed for offside.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Blackpool 0

73m - At the end of an excellent move McGuigan crosses for WHITE to head home from close range [1-0].

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Blackpool 0

Position: 12th


03/09 - Whitley Bay sign Charlie Mitten's 17-year-old son - John - from Mansfield Town. United have first option on the outside-left but give their permission for the move.


Despite wasting two penalties United's non-stop exhilarating soccer (particularly after the break) has the home side tottering. After the game United travel to Brighton where they will spend four-days in special training prior to the Chelsea game.

D1: Tottenham [20th] - 41,805

Mitchell S, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Davies, White, Eastham, McGuigan

Scorers: White (2), McGuigan - Medwin

United are awarded a penalty but McGuigan misses the target.

MEDWIN puts the home side ahead [0-1].

Newcastle get a second penalty but White's shot hits an upright. Undeterred Newcastle start to take control of the game.

Half-time: Tottenham 1 Newcastle 0

46m - WHITE casually heads McGuigan's cross past Hollowbread [1-1] and United start to attack at will.

68m - A long ball finds MCGUIGAN who nets brilliantly from an acute angle [2-1].

80m - WHITE brilliantly lobs home [3-1].

Full-time: Tottenham 1 Newcastle 3

Position: 10th


08/09 - George Eastham has badly wrenched ligaments below his knee and will be out for a number of weeks; Mitten's need for a powerful inside-forward has become even more acute now.


United deserved a point from a thrilling goal-laden match which they led 5-3 with 21 minutes left.

D1: Chelsea [12th] - 46,601

Mitchell S, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Davies, White, Wright, McGuigan

Scorers: Wright (2), White, Franks, Davies - Brabook, Greaves (2), Nicholas, Tindall (2)

Franks and Wright replace the injured Scoular (pulled muscle) and Eastham.

21m - Greaves cross is palmed out by Mitchell only for BRABROOK to ram the ball home from 10 yards [0-1].

32m - WRIGHT dribbles through and nets from 12 yards [1-1].

37m - WHITE heads in from close range [2-1].

41m - GREAVES turns inside McMichael and hammers home from 12 yards [2-2].

Half-time: Chelsea 2 Newcastle 2

46m - Mortimere's header hits the underside of the bar and GREAVES is on hand to put The Pensioners ahead [2-3].

49m - Davies squares the ball to WRIGHT to finish from 8 yards [3-3].

54m - FRANKS lashes in from 30-yards with the keeper unsighted [4-3].

57m - Hughes has to go off and United are down to ten men.

63m - DAVIES dribbles and feints and slides the ball between the 'keeper's legs [5-3].

69m - NICHOLAS latches on to a loose ball and - from 12 yards out - drives the ball home. [5-4].

71m - Mitchell throws the ball out to Stokoe but he is not looking and TINDALL nips in and hammers the ball over Mitchell [5-5].

75m - Hughes returns to the fray.

84m - From an acute angle TINDALL heads in just below the angle [5-6].

Full-time: Chelsea 6 Newcastle 5

Position: 13th


11/09 - McGuigan has a cyst on his groin (which he has had for some time) and will need an operation to remove it. Hughes suffered a broken nose at Chelsea.


12/09 - Dundee have rejected bids from Leeds and Newcastle for inside-right Alan Cousin.


12/09 - McKeag warns youngsters to keep off the pitch at the end of games or risk exclusion. He explains that the hard work of the ground staff "is retarded considerably by pointless invasions of the pitch in a quest for autographs which the players have strict orders not to give on the field". And, at a recent reserve game, a visiting goalkeeper was "bombed" by an ice-cream carton filled with ash.


An excellent all-round team performance that has the visitors rocking and - with better finishing - United would have won. Before the game starts McKeag addresses the crowd regarding the pitch encroachments. As soon as he starts speaking there are ironical cheers and as he continues the slow hand claps and boos start. At half-time the Manchester United mascot has apple cores, ice-cream wrappers and red grit thrown at him. And at the end the youngsters and teddy boys once again swarm onto the pitch. The Boards announce that the Boy's Gates will be closed until further notice.

D1: Man. United [6th] - 60,670

Mitchell S, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, White, Wright, Davies, Mitchell

Scorers: Davies - Charlton

Scoular returns and Mitchell replaces McGuigan as the forward line is reshuffled. Hughes plays despite breaking his nose against Chelsea.

United are on top but are thwarted.

28m - Scoular lobs the ball into the area and DAVIES flicks the ball past Gregg with his head [1-0].

31m - A quick break and slack marking allows CHARLTON to equalise with an opportunistic effort [1-1] and the visitors have a spell in charge.

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Man. United 1

The Magpies - roared on by the huge crowd - create chance after chance but a mixture of erratic shooting and desperate defence keeps them out.

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Man. United 1

Position: 13th


John Mitten
John Mitten
© Piotr

15/09 - Charlie Mitten’s son John signs for Newcastle and will also work with the ground staff. He will continue to play for Whitley Bay as well.


17/09 - Sheffield Wednesday inside-forward Albert Quixall (regarded as one of the best in the game) asked for a transfer yesterday and McKeag says if the Club are willing to sell "we are prepared to pay handsomely, but we will not go completely crazy".


United are enthusiastic and enterprising but are beaten by Chelsea's more technical approach. There is no invasion at the end of the game and the club state that the Boy’s Gate's will be re-opened for the next game.

D1: Chelsea [8th] - 50,283

Mitchell S, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Franks, White, Davies, Wright

Scorers: White - Harrison, Mortimere

05m - Chelsea's 17-year-old debutant Mick Harrison hits a free-kick from a very acute angle and the ball hits the inside of the post.

15m - HARRISON hits another free-kick from a similar position and this time the ball flashes along the bar and goes into the far top corner [0-1].

Newcastle attack strongly for the rest of the half and WHITE brilliantly flicks a high ball into the net [1-1].

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Chelsea 1

Chelsea have the better technique and re-take the lead when MORTIMERE eludes Bell before hitting a ground shot past Mitchell [1-2].

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Chelsea 2

Position: 14th


18/09 - Albert Quixall moves to Manchester United for a record fee. Gateshead make enquiries about Bobby Mitchell and Arthur Bottom.


Wolves do most of the attacking but whereas they waste numerous chances Newcastle are more lethal and the home manager Stan Cullis admits: "Newcastle played grand football. They won well". It is Wolves' first home defeat.

D1: Wolves [2nd] - 39,130

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Bottom, White, Davies, Evans

Scorers: White (2), Bottom - Broadbent

Keeper Mitchell is dropped and teenager Brian Harvey makes his debut. Scoular is out (pulled muscle in his thigh still causing problems) and Wright is also injured. Bottom comes in for his first game of the season and Evans also plays his first game for the first team.

04m - Wolves start strongly and Stokoe has to clear off the line.

07m - In their first attack United take the lead when teenage keeper Finlayson cannot hold onto Hughes' shot and WHITE scrambles the ball home [1-0].

29m - Wolves search for an equaliser but waste chances and BOTTOM scores with an unstoppable drive from 25-yards [2-0].

41m - The home side do most of the attacking again and BROADBENT heads in from a corner [2-1].

Half-time: Wolves 1 Newcastle 2

69m - United are playing some brilliant football and WHITE bursts through the middle and beats the advancing keeper after holding off a couple of challenges [3-1].

Full-time: Wolves 1 Newcastle 3

Position: 12th


23/09 - Ronnie Simpson pulled a muscle during the summer tour and has never fully recovered so the club doctor has decided to put his leg in plaster for six weeks.


24/09 - McMichael is surprisingly omitted from the Ireland team to play England on Saturday week; he has played in every game for his country in the last two seasons. Later McKeag advises that it was United who refused to release McMichael for the match. He also states that he went to the Irishman's home to explain their decision and he (allegedly) was understanding.


Pompey have to play for ten men for 75 minutes but they are the better side and United are indebted to Harvey for a superb display in goal.

D1: Portsmouth [15th] - 42,302

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Bottom, White, Davies, Evans

Scorers: Bottom (2 - 1 pen)

01m - Bottom incredibly misses the target from a yard out.

13m - Portsmouth forward Harris injures knee ligaments in a collision with Harvey and has to retire.

18m - BOTTOM makes amends by scoring from the spot [1-0].

Despite their numerical advantage United are poor and Harvey keeps them ahead with some excellent keeping.

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Portsmouth 0

Pompey are still the better side but Harvey is having a superb home debut.

80m - Davies heads down a McMichael cross and despite offside claims BOTTOM's half-volley is allowed to stand.

Cutler heads against the United bar.

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Portsmouth 0

Position: 10th


29/09 - Len White is named as a reserve for the Football League team for the match against the Scottish League on October 8th.


29/09 - Whilst he has been out injured Scoular has been doing some scouting for the club, but suggestions that he might be being groomed for a managerial or backroom position are refuted by all parties.


October


Before the game, rumours that the Brazilian tourists have been ordered home by the country's FA are refuted. The match sees the short passing South Americas completely swept aside with White and Bottom both scoring five goals.

Fr: Bela Vista (H) - 25,395

Harvey, McKinney (Whitehead), Ferguson, Scoular, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Bottom, White, Davies, Evans (Mitchell)

Scorers: White (5), Evans, Davies, Bottom (5) - Murtle

The Brazilians attract a good crowd to St. James' even though they were thrashed 5-0 by Birmingham in their first tour game.

02m - Hughes speeds past his opponent and sets up WHITE [1-0] .

20m - WHITE [2-0]

30m - WHITE [3-0]

EVANS [4-0].

41m - MURTLE pulls one back from a penalty [4-1].

Half-time: Newcastle 4 Bela Vista 1

Mitchell and Whitehead come on for the second half.

48m - DAVIES [5-1].

50m - BOTTOM bangs in Mitchell's square pass [6-1].

51m - BOTTOM rams home a penalty after White is felled [7-1].

54m - BOTTOM'S 35-yard shot squeezes in by the post [8-1].

57m - BOTTOM converts an easy chance for his fourth goal in seven minutes [9-1].

59m - WHITE scores from 25-yards [10-1].

65m - Mitchell sets up BOTTOM for his fifth [11-1].

78m - WHITE picks up a perfect pass from Davies, rounds the keeper and smashes the ball into the net to tie the personal goal scoring duel once more [12-1].

Full-time: Newcastle 12 Bela Vista 1


03/10 - Swansea's star striker Ivor Allchurch asks for a transfer as he wants to play in the First Division. United are one of a number of clubs who have tried to buy him in the past. The club accedes to his request.


03/10 - Despite a poor season and falling gates United made a profit of £42,591 last year which was helped by the cancelling of Entertainment Tax.


Villa have not won at home since the end of August, but although United make more chances their finishing is poor.

D1: Aston Villa [21st] - 30,000

Harvey, McKinney, Ferguson, Scoular, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Bottom, White, Davies, Mitchell B

Scorers: White - Barrett (2)

McKinney comes in for Keith (playing for Ireland) and although United would not release McMichael he has a knock and is replaced by Ferguson.

United create and spurn a number of chances with Bottom and White the main culprits.

35m - Debutant BARRETT neatly heads home Smith's centre [0-1].

Half-time: Aston Villa 1 Newcastle 0

53m - Harvey plays a short goal-kick to Stokoe who attempts to return the ball to the keeper, but it is intercepted by Hitchins and although he is challenged the ball deflects to BARRETT who runs into the empty net [0-2].

66m - WHITE leaves two defenders sprawling before beating Sims from 10 yards [1-2].

United go all out for another but Villa hang on.

Full-time: Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 1

Position: 12th


08/10 - Liverpool have offered £29,000 for Allchurch but he has turned them down as they are not in Division 1. United make a bid of £18,000 plus Davies (who they value at £10,000) but the Welshman is believed to prefer a move to Aston Villa who have also made an inquiry.


09/10 - Swansea accept United's offer and negotiations begin with the player in a Manchester hotel.


Ivor Allchurch
Ivor Allchurch
© Soccer Attic

10/10 - Allchurch agrees to sign in the early hours so the deal depends on Davies who is asked to pack his boots and head for Manchester. He is met at the railway station by Swansea manager Morris and after 15 minutes of negotiations he agrees to join. The contract is signed on a porter's trolley packed with luggage. Davies says "It seems Newcastle wanted me to go. I'm disappointed because I didn't really want to leave them, even though I'm going to my home town". Meanwhile Sir Matt Busby gives United permission to put Allchurch through his medical at Old Trafford and the deal is sealed. Three hours later Aston Villa make another approach but are told they are too late. Allchurch has won 35 Welsh caps and has been promised a house and the maximum wage. Allchurch will make his debut tomorrow and if his boots don’t arrive from Swansea in time he will go shopping with McKeag tomorrow morning for a new pair.


Allchurch scores two clinical goals in an impressive debut and although White also nets after one of his trademark dribbles it is poor performance from the disjointed Magpies.

D1: Leicester [14th] - 46,686 -

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Eastham, White, Allchurch, McGuigan

Scorers: Allchurch (2), White - Kelly (pen)

Eastham returns from injury and Allchurch makes his debut.; Keith and McMichael return at full-back.

08m - The visitors make the better start but against the run of play United take the lead when from a free-kick just outside the area. With everyone expecting a cross ALLCHURCH smacks a rising shot across the keeper [1-0].

21m - The visitors are still doing most of the attacking and after McMichael stops Willis' shot on the line with his hand, KELLY converts the resultant penalty [1-1].

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Leicester 1

Play becomes more even and robust after the break and it is anyone's game.

73m - Hughes hits a low cross and ALLCHURCH scores with a crisp side-footer [2-1].

78m - WHITE scores one of the best goals seen at St James' for many a day. He picks the ball up in midfield, dribbles past four defenders and hits a cracking drive past the keeper [3-1].

Just before the end McDonald nets for Leicester but although the referee initially gives a goal a linesman has raised his flag for offside.

United annoy the crowd in the latter stages by constantly passing back to Harvey.

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Leicester 1

Position: 10th


13/10 - Dick Keith complains to the press that his wages were cut from £20 to £17 for the week in which he missed United's game to play for Ireland. He said manager Mitten had told him that he played for and was paid by Wales so "he couldn't have it both ways". The Irishman threatens to "see this through to the end".


14/10 - Mitten responds by stating that all the player's contracts (with the exception of Allchurch) state that they get £17 per week. As the maximum wage is now £20 the club previously agreed to pay £20 for anyone playing in the first-team that week or anyone who was out of the side due to injury. As Keith did not play he was only entitled to £17. The club have previously promised to re-assess the situation at Christmas. United’s directors consider enquiries for Bottom (Mansfield and Gateshead), Mitchell (Gateshead) and Nesbitt (Lincoln) but do not believe any of them are firm enough to warrant further action. The club are to play a floodlight friendly against Middlesbrough on 3rd November after a Romanian team postponed their visit.


17/10 - Mitten states that United expect to play a friendly in Spain during December at either Madrid or Barcelona. United are also reported to have entered negotiations with Mr Denzil Hyde-Barker who is a specialist in football tours. The plan is for Newcastle to go on a mega-tour which visits Paris, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Montevideo, Lima, Bogota, Caracas, Mexico City and New York!


Len White nets a hat-trick in a superb team performance and brilliant victory at the home of the League Leaders CHECK with United now being talked of as genuine title contenders.

D1: Preston [1st] - 25,525 - [7th]

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Hale, White, Eastham, McGuigan

Scorers: White (3), Franks - Hatsell, Finney (2)

Hale comes in for Allchurch who is on international duty.

United survive an early onslaught and start to play some excellent football.

27m - WHITE races on to a through ball from McGuigan and beats Else with a fast, oblique shot [1-0].

35m - Hale finds WHITE who uses his dribbling skills to find himself space and scores again [2-0].

Half-time: Preston 0 Newcastle 2

Keith had totally mastered Finney in the first forty-five and Preston switch him to centre-forward which gives the home side new impetus.

56m - HATSELL completely deceives Harvey with a great shot [2-1]. Preston are attacking strongly but United's defence is holding out.

70m - A long pass from McGuigan sets WHITE off on the chase and as the defence hesitates - waiting for Else to clear - he completes his hat-trick [3-1].

72m - FINNEY pulls one back [3-2].

77m - FINNEY scores a delightful goal to equalise [3-3].

83m - A hard centre flashes across the goal and FRANKS sticks out his right foot and scores with a remarkable hooked shot [4-3].

Full-time: Preston 3 Newcastle 4

Position: 7th


The German part-timers play some decent football but United are always in control.

Fr: TSV Munich - 20,120

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Eastham, White, Allchurch, McGuigan

Scorers: Hughes, Allchurch, Eastham

07m - United set off like a bomb and HUGHES nets the rebound after his first effort is blocked by the pivot [1-0].

28m - Eastham kills the ball expertly to set up ALLCHURCH who smashes the ball into the net from 25 yards [2-0].

Half-time: Newcastle 2 TSV Munich 0

65m - Keith clearly blocks a Munich free-kick with his hand but the official does not give a penalty.

88m - McGuigan's shot is blocked by the keeper but EASTHAM pounces [3-0].

Full-time: Newcastle 3 TSV Munich 0


The Welsh FA have given United permission to present Allchurch with his 36th Welsh cap and McKeag performs the duty just before the game. It is an exhilarating, open and attacking performance from United. They take gambles at the back but their fluent and rhythmic teamwork is a joy to behold. It is exhibition stuff at times as they totally outclass City.

D1: Man. City [19th] - 54,837

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Eastham, White, Allchurch, McGuigan

Scorers: Eastham, White (2), McGuigan - Hannah

08m - United start well and after a good move EASTHAM rounds Lievers and shoots past Trautmann from almost on the touchline [1-0].

11m - A mis-kick by Sears allows WHITE in and he calmly draws Trautmann from his goal before slotting home [2-0].

White has a great chance but is too casual and Ewing clears off the line.

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Man. City 0

53m - Eastham sets up MCGUIGAN who - from an acute angle - hits a fierce cross-shot in off the underside off the crossbar [3-0].

73m - A brilliant pass by Hughes sets WHITE away and he smashes the ball in [4-0].

78m - Allchurch is brought down in the area but McMichael misses the target with the penalty.

90m - Former United star HANNAH breaks though United's back line and gets a consolation [4-1].

Full-time: Newcastle 4 Man. City 1

Position: 7th


28/10 - The AGM is held and McKeag states that it is the club's ambition to build up a reserve of £250,000 to improve the ground: "that is the goal to which we are working and it is not impossible". Plans include a covered double-decker stand on the Leazes Terrace side which will provide 5,000 additional seats and the overall capacity will be increased to 80,000. However, he makes it clear that the team will always take priority and that further team building is still required. As usual there are several outbursts from self-styled rebel Mr EC Pringle who is ruled out of order - and told to sit down - on numerous occasions. Amongst the issues he raises are the attempt to acquire land behind the Park End (which he is not in favour of) and the lack of ground redevelopment. In the stormiest encounter he accuses McKeag's sons of using privileged car parking tickets. McKeag calls it "damnable slander" and his son Clive states that although he has used the car park he has been acting as a chauffeur for his father.


29/10 - Ronnie Simpson had his plaster removed on Monday and an x-ray today which is satisfactory. However he is still limping. The player is very distressed at the moment and there are rumours that he could be finished.


29/10 - An FA XI beat an Army team 4-1 at Gallowgate. Bob Stokoe (playing for the FA XI) is up against reserve centre-forward Bill Curry who turns out for the Army.


November


Embed from Getty Images

A huge crowd turns out to see United take on the leaders at Highbury. It is a disappointing performance but United nearly snatch a draw when they have The Gunners reeling in the last fifteen minutes.

D1: Arsenal [1st] - 62,801

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Eastham, White, Allchurch, McGuigan

Scorers: Allchurch (pen), McGuigan - Groves, Henderson (2)

06m - The Gunners start well and GROVES heads in Henderson's cross with Harvey rooted to the spot [0-1].

United battle keenly but Arsenal are a class above and United can make no headway against their solid defence. However thay also defend well and do not concede again.

Half-time: Arsenal 1 Newcastle 0

51m - HENDERSON cracks the ball in from the inside-left position [2-0].

ln the last 15 minutes United stage a determined rally in which they completely outplay the home side.

86m - Eastham is spent sprawling in the area and a penalty is awarded. Whilst Eastham is getting treatment Arsenal keeper Kelsey wanders over to Allchurch (his Welsh international colleague) who is preparing to take the spot-kick. He says that he will bet him a half-crown that he does not score. Allchurch accepts the bet and confidently nets [1-2].

88m - With United committed to attack HENDERSON scores after a breakaway; the players are furious as they claim two other Arsenal players were offside [1-3].

90m - MCGUIGAN pulls one back [2-3].

Full-time: Arsenal 3 Newcastle 2

Position: 7th


05/11 - Keith and McMichael play for Ireland against Spain.


06/11 - A Chesterfield bid for Bottom (who is interesting a number of clubs) is turned down with Mitten saying that they will not be selling any of their experienced players unless they have replacements lined up.


A poor quality game in which both sides disappoint. It is a nervy victory which could have been easier if Allchurch had not become the latest player to miss from the spot.

D1: Luton [4th] - 53,488

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Eastham, White, Allchurch, McGuigan

Scorers: White

16m - WHITE plays an excellent 1-2 with Allchurch then nods the ball high and wide of Baynham [1-0].

43m - A penalty is awarded for a foul on Eastham but Allchurch shoots straight at the keeper.

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Luton 0

The Magpies dominate the play but fail to find another goal.

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Luton 0

Position: 7th


12/11 - With Nat Lofthouse out injured Len White (second highest scorer in the League at present) is selected for the League side to take on the Irish League and he scores a seven-minute hat-trick in a 5-2 victory. He plays superbly well with the Daily Mirror reporting that "he had speed, he had skill, he had dynamite in his boots". He is the fifteenth United player to represent the Football League.


12/11 McKeag and Hurford attend a meeting with the Town Moor and Park Committee to discuss the club's request to buy additional land to build a car-park on land behind the park End.


13/11 - TD Smith of the Newcastle Transport Committee says that the Council are considering acquiring the land (for parking) that the club are trying to buy.


13/11 - Arthur Bottom hands in a transfer request and the Board accept it. If he moves he will - due to the new regulations - only get £20 (as he requested a transfer) rather than £300 (if he hadn't).


13/11 -The Board accept Mitten's proposal that the players should fly to longer distance away matches. He argues they it would be less tiring and would allow them to train on a Friday morning.


14/11 - McKeag says it would be "most unfortunate" if the Council acquired the land without any provision for the club on a match day.


14/11 - Newcastle fly down to Birmingham on the 2.00pm charter plane.


The home side have gone six games without a win but United are poor and concede with 11 minutes to go. Len White hits a penalty yards over the bar as United miss from the spot for the fifth time out of six.

D1: Birmingham [19th] - 28,720

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Eastham, White, Allchurch, McGuigan

Scorers: Larkin

United are poor in the first period and are lucky to be on level terms at half-time.

Half-time: Birmingham 0 Newcastle 0

53m - A push on McGuigan earns United a penalty. White appears unbalanced when he connects and he strikes the ball high and wide.

79m - Taylor sends in a corner and LARKIN brilliantly strikes a hooked volley which flashes into the net [0-1].

Full-time: Birmingham 1 Newcastle 0

Position: 8th


Arthur Bottom
Arthur Bottom
© Soccer Attic

17/11- Arthur Bottom moves to Chesterfield for £5,000.


17/11 - After his brilliant performance for the Football League many expected that White would win his first cap against Wales but the fit-again Lofthouse is preferred.


The Swedes from Gothenberg (who have just been promoted to the top League) play some attractive football and defend well for almost an hour but United are eventually too powerful for them.

Fr: Orgryte - 18,356

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Eastham, White (Curry), Allchurch, McGuigan (Mitten)

Scorers: Allchurch (2), Eastham, White, Curry - Simonsson, Johansson B

02m - SIMONSSON finishes off a clever move [0-1].

.

07m - ALLCHURCH scores an excellent goal with a low shot from 18-yards [1-1].

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Orgryte 1

The manager's son John (17) comes on a half-time for his first game for the seniors.

Mitten sets up EASTHAM to score with a first-time shot [2-1].

56m - WHITE scores from close range after a pass from Mitten [3-1].

62m - And Mitten sets up ALLCHURCH for his second [4-1].

64m - JOHANSSON pulls one back [4-2].

78m - CURRY nets the goal of the night with a superb 15-yard volley [5-2].

Full-time: Newcastle 5 Orgryte 2


18/11 - Outside-left Reg Evans (19) requested a transfer a while back and the Board agree to list him.


19/11 - After completing a successful trial 6' 3" keeper Colin Davidson signs from East of Scotland junior club Selkirk.


20/11 - Press rumours suggest that Rotherham have approached Scoular to be their manager. Peterborough previously wanted him to take over as Player Manager but United blocked the move.


20/11 - Bobby Mitchell turns down a move to York City. It is believed that United were open to a swop deal with Colin Addison.


21/11 - Centre-half Malcolm Hunter joins on trial from North Shields. He will play for the reserves tomorrow and if he is granted time off work (he is a blacksmith at Boldon Colliery) he will commence full-time training next Monday.


Allchurch scores early but United are behind after 15 minutes in an action packed game. The visitors are down to ten men for half the game but defend superbly. United are unlucky to see the ball strike wood twice but 17-year-old Mitten misses a penalty (sixth miss in eight attempts from the spot this season).

D1: West Brom. [5th] - 51,636

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Eastham, White, Allchurch, Mitten

Scorers: Allchurch - Kevan, Robson

Mitten is rewarded for his promising play in the friendly by taking over from McGuigan who has been struggling to retain his early season form since his operation. Before the game Mitten decides that if a penalty is given Eastham, Hughes or his son John should take it.

05m - ALLCHURCH gives United an early lead [1-0].

09m - LEVAN lashes the ball in from an acute angle [1-1].

15m - Franks only half clears and ROBSON scores for The Throstles [1-2].

United attack strongly but luck is not with them. They have a goal chalked off for a marginal offside and twice hit the woodwork. White also misses a great opportunity when he stops because he thinks he is offside. West Brom also have a goal chalked off for a narrow decision.

Half-time: Newcastle 1 West Brom 2

46m - Dudley suffers an injury and has to retire.

61m - White is felled in the area and Stokoe chooses 17-year-old debutant Mitten to take the spot kick; his neck high shot is fielded easily by Potter.

Newcastle dominate - particularly in the last twenty minutes - but the ten-men defend very bravely.

Full-time: Newcastle 1 West Brom 2

Position: 9th


26/11 - Allchurch plays for Wales against England and caps a superb performance with an excellent goal.


27/11 - United announce that half-back Jackie Bell (19) will become the official penalty-taker. He will be given special practice and will retain the job even if he misses.


28/11 - During the week Southern League Headington United became the latest club rumoured to want to take Scoular on as a player-manager. United make an official statement which confirms they have not been approached and "Jimmy Scoular is definitely not leaving Newcastle".


Leeds signed Don Revie yesterday and he inspires them to victory. lt is an excellent game which the home side deserve to win after an excellent second-half performance. A large contingent of supporters travel down.

D1: Leeds [19th] - 23,500

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Scott, Bell, Hughes, Eastham, White, Allchurch, Mitten

Scorers: Allchurch (2) - Scott og, Crowe, Overfield

Scoular has fully recovered from his achilles injury and returns to the side but Stokoe is out.

29m - Following a brilliant pass from Eastham ALLCHURCH scores [1-0].

Half-time: Leeds 0 Newcastle 1

50m - With Harvey hesitating SCOTT lunges at a low corner but can only divert it into his own net [1-1].

56m - Revie plays in CROWE to score with a low shot [1-2].

80m - A long centre is nodded in at the far post by OVERFIELD [1-3].

83m - White draws the defence to him and then lays off to ALLCHURCH who scores his second [2-3].

Full-time: Leeds 3 Newcastle 2

Position: 11th


December


01/12 - Bobby Mitchell is considering retiring from League football at the end of the season but there is a lot of interest in him from non-league and League clubs. Notts County are the latest side to show their hand.


02/12 - The Romanian touring side arrive in Newcastle. The club have arranged to take them to the pictures (in the afternoon) to see 'South Pacific'. They turn down the offer but having changed their mind the evening is spent watching "The Barbarian and the Geisha" and "School for Violence".


The Bucharest XI is made up of players from the four Division 1 clubs based in Bucharest; all 17 players have represented their country. It is an entertaining game in which both sides played some excellent football, although there are also many ill-tempered episodes. The recalled Mitchell sets up all four goals.

Fr: Bucharest XI - 20,862

Mitchell, McKinney, McMichael, Scoular, Scott (Stokoe), Bell, Hughes (Taylor), Eastham (Curry), White, Allchurch, Mitchell

Scorers: Hughes, Eastham, Curry, Allchurch

United had some tough games on their summer tour so a difficult match is expected.

Harvey and Keith are both out injured (and replaced by Mitchell and McKinney) and Bobby Mitchell is recalled in place of Mitten.

The visitors make but miss three glorious chances.

25m - HUGHES gives United the lead [1-0].

40m - In a crowded area EASTHAM turns cleverly and shoots just inside the post [2-0].

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Bucharest XI 0

United make three substitutions at the break.

46m - EFTIMIE scores with a fine shot from 12 yards [2-1].

52m - Mitchell's centre is deftly headed home by CURRY [3-1].

56m - ALLCHURCH hits a 25-yard screamer which flies in just under the bar [4-1].

Full-time: Newcastle 4 Bucharest XI 1


04/12 - Bobby Mitchell held talks with Notts County manager Frank Hill after yesterday's game and meets him again. He is interested in their offer which allows him to stay living on Tyneside, but has been promised a chance in the Newcastle side and turns down the move.


Newcastle's superior finishing and Burnley's lack of luck (they hit the woodwork three times) result in a flattering score line for Newcastle.

D1: Burnley [13th] - 42,561

Mitchell S, McKinney, McMichael, Scoular, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Eastham, White, Allchurch, Mitchell B

Scorers: Bell (pen), White, Allchurch (2), Eastham - Pointer (2)

03m - United are awarded a penalty for a foul on White. Bell hits it hard and straight down the middle [1-0].

26m-WHITE [2-0].

33m - ALLCHURCH after an electric run and cross from Hughes [3-0].

44m - POINTER [3-1].

Half-time: Newcastle 3 Burnley 1

53m - ALLCHURCH [4-1].

58m - POINTER side-foots home [4-2].

75m - Following an excellent move EASTHAM hits a brilliant cross-shot volley on the turn [5-2].

Full-time: Newcastle 5 Burnley 2

Position: 10th


10/12 - At the weekly director's meeting the club - as promised - reconsider the players' wages and agree to pay those of "league rating" the maximum wage of £20. Retrospective payments from the start of the season will be paid where appropriate. The directors decide not to make the Cup Tie against Chelsea all-ticket to "guarantee against ticket 'spivery'" and have abandoned plans to fly to Nottingham on December 27th due to a lack of landing facilities.


Bob Stokoe magnificently subdues Lofthouse and Newcastle counter-attack with great speed and effectivenes in a thrilling games. They lead through White's skilful goal until five minutes from time.

D1: Bolton [3rd] - 23,020

Mitchell S, Whitehead, McMichael, Scoular, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Eastham, White, Allchurch, Mitchell B

Scorers: White - Stevens

With Keith still out and McKinney playing for the Army in France Whitehead gets only his second first-team call-up.

25m - A brilliant pass from Mitchell finds WHITE who uses the outside of his boot to expertly place a sliced effort out of Hopkinson's reach [1-0].

Mitchell and Hughes come close but The Wanderers gradually assume control.

Half-time: Bolton 0 Newcastle 1

85m - From a corner the ball loops into the air off Lofthouse and STEVENS heads in from close range [1-1].

Full-time: Bolton 1 Newcastle 1

Position: 10th


14/12 - Charlton have made an offer for Evans and are awaiting a reply from Newcastle.


16/12 - The United party are in Blackpool for special training prior to the match at Blackburn. They play a match on the beach and do not realise that the incoming tide has left them marooned on a small island of sand. As a result they have to wade through the knee-high water back to dry land.


17/12 - After Mitten lets slip that United are in the process of signing Terry Marshall from Wisbech Town other clubs including Fulham and Chelsea declare their interest too.


19/12 - John Mitten is selected for the England Youth side to take on the Rest on 3rd January.


A shockingly poor performance and a hat-trick from Johnstone sees The Magpies well beaten. It is the worst performance of the season so far.

20/12 - D1: Blackburn [7th] - 25,100

Mitchell S, Whitehead, McMichael, Scoular, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Eastham, White, Allchurch, Mitchell B

Scorers: Johnstone (3)

03m - Centre-forward JOHNSTONE glides a header in from close range [0-1].

20m - The home side are well on top and JOHNSTONE'S hefty left foot shot doubles their advantage [0-2],

Half-time: Blackburn 2 Newcastle 0

United counter-attack more effectively; Hughes hits the bar with a long cross-shot and White lifts a sitter over the bar.

85m - JOHNSTONE completes his hat-trick when he takes a pass in his stride and smashes the call past Mitchell [0-3].

Full-time: Blackburn 3 Newcastle 0

Position: 11th


Curry gives United an early lead but Forest equalise soon after - and after the break The Magpies are a complete shambles.

D1: Nottm. Forest [9th] - 49,447

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Eastham, White, Curry, McGuigan

Scorers: Curry - Dwight, Imlach, Wilson

Harvey and Keith return from injury and McGuigan is recalled in place of Mitchell.

02m - CURRY converts Eastham's chipped cross [1-0].

10m - DWIGHT equalises [1-1].

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Nottm. Forest 1

63m - United are playing without cohesion and it is no surprise when (after they are caught in possession) IMLACH shoots past the advancing Harvey [1-2].

65m - WILSON whacks the ball into the roof of the net [1-3].

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Nottm. Forest 3

Position: 14th


Terry Marshall
Terry Marshall
© Piotr

26/12 - Marshall finally signs from Wisbech Town for £7,000 or £5,000?


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Despite an improved performance United concede three goals in 18 minutes. Mitten - who has previously called for professional officials - is furious with the performance of the referee after a number of controversial decisions.

D1: Nottm. Forest [8th] - 39,907

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Stokoe, Bell, Hughes, Eastham, White, McGuigan, Evans

Scorers: Imlach (2), Wilson

32m - IMLACH looks suspiciously offside but his headed goal stands [0-1].

37m - IMLACH lustily smacks in a second [0-2].

Half-time: Nottm. Forest 2 Newcastle 0

48m - WILSON tussles with Stokoe who goes down. The linesman raises his flag and all the players stop except the forward who runs through and chips Harvey. The United players are furious but the goal is given.

Full-time: Nottm. Forest 3 Newcastle 0

Position: 15th


30/12 - Football League Secretary Alan Hardaker responds to Mitten's letter concerning referees in general and Saturday's referee in particular. He wants to know whether the letter represents the views of the club or just Mitten's personal views. The letter will be discussed at the next Board meeting on 6th January.


January


01/01 - Albert Franks is involved in a fatal road accident in which his car collides with a young boy.


02/01 - Football League Secretary Hardaker states that he has had a response from the club about Charlie Mitten's letter of complaint and they have assured him that the comments about the referee at Nottingham are the manager's "personal views". The matter will be discussed at the next League Management meeting.


02/01 - United agree a deal to sign Bath City's promising outside-right Brian Skirton (19) for £5,000, but although the player is keen his father advises against the move. He was recommended to United by Bath chief and former United player Bob Hewison.


United master the difficult conditions to totally outplay their visitors in the best home performance of the season thus far. White and Allchurch both score twice.

D1: Everton [13th] - 42,475

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Stokoe, Franks, Hughes, Allchurch, White, McGuigan, Eastham

Scorers: White (2), Allchurch (2)

Franks replaces the injured Bell and Allchurch returns. Eastham becomes the latest player to be tried out at outside-left.

The surface is hard and slippy, but whereas the Everton players struggle, United cope magnificently. It is one-way traffic

22m - A bout of head play ends with WHITE hitting a dropping ball first time past a surprised Dunlop [1-0].

27m - White centres and Allchurch heads in a great goal [2-0].

28m - Eastham plays through to WHITE who races past a couple of defenders and hits a terrific left foot shot into the net [3-0].

Half-time: Newcastle 3 Everton 0

United continue to dominate the play and ALLCHURCH shoots in off an upright [4-0].

Full-time: Newcastle 4 Everton 0

Position: 12th


07/01 - United are using peat (Mitten is not a fan of straw) to try and keep the pitch in decent condition during the wintry weather and ensure the Cup tie with Chelsea goes ahead.


09/01 - Comedian Bobby Thompson is performing at the Empire Theatre tomorrow afternoon and says he is disappointed he can't be at St James' to support the team. He has arranged for a telephone call to be made to the theatre every 5 minutes during the game so he can keep abreast of the score and reveals that he has "verses ready to put across to the audience based on a Newcastle lead of 1, 2 or 3 goals". When asked what he would do if they were losing he replied: "there won't be any verses".


10/01 - After yesterday's blizzards United employ 80 youths and men to try and clear the ground during the night but it is to no avail as the match is called off.


10/01 - It is a far more tragic day for train driver Wilfred Bee of Shiremoor. He swapped shifts so that he could attend the game but he suffers fatal injuries when his electric train from Longbenton collides with an empty train at Central Station.


12/01 - A local referee declares the pitch fit for play and Chelsea travel up to Tyneside again.


14?13/01 - Match referee Arthur Ellis falls on his back twice when he inspects the pitch and calls the match off. Mitten is not impressed and tries to get Ellis to re-inspect wearing rubber boots; he refuses and there is an altercation.


James Gibson
James Gibson
© Piotr

15/01 - On the recommendation of Jackie Milburn, United sign Linfield's young forward James Gibson for £6,000.


15/01 - United play a ninety-minute practice game on the Gallowgate pitch and report no injuries; they see no problem with Saturday's match going ahead.


Although White and Allchurch both hit the bar, White gets the only goal in a very poor performance against struggling Spurs.

D1: Tottenham [20th] - 32,503

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Stokoe, Scott, Hughes, Allchurch, White, McGuigan, Eastham

Scoular is ruled out with pulled thigh muscle and is replaced by Scott.

Scorers: White - Dunmore (2)

25m - DUNMORE's shot deflects in off Keith [0-1].

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Tottenham 1

46m - Within 8 seconds of the restart DUNMORE adds a second [0-2].

WHITE [1-2].

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Tottenham 2

Position: 12th


Chelsea's young side play a devastatingly effective counter-attacking game which brings them 4 goals in the first 48 minutes. Eastham pulls one back and roared on by the crowd United fight like tigers but they are out the Cup at the first hurdle. McKeag admits that "we were beaten to blazes by an infinitely better team who played football to match the conditions".

FA R3: Chelsea - 57,038 or 56,160?

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Stokoe, Franks, Taylor, Allchurch, White, McGuigan, Eastham

Scorers: Eastham - Mortimere, Greaves, Gibbs, Brabrook

Scoular returns and Taylor (playing for the first time since October 1956) replaces Hughes.

The pitch is in a bit of a state with a thick layer of slimy mud atop a hard underlay.

04m - MORTIMORE scores from 18-yards after McMichael had headed out Block's centre [0-1].

06m - GREAVES races onto a through ball and shoots low [0-2].

United try and get back and White sends against the bar.

31m - A long ball into the area finds GIBB and he nets with a fine shot [0-3].

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Chelsea 3

.

48m - An excellent move is finished by BRABROOK [0-4].

62m - EASTHAM cleverly pulls down a Scoular cross and shoots across the keeper [1-4].

Roared on by the crowd Newcastle attack strongly but they cannot break through the visitor’s strong defence.

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Chelsea 4


19/01 - Linfield manager Milburn brings new signing Gibson over from Ireland.


21/01 - Mitten reveals that at least 8 players will be transfer-listed next week; he has submitted the list to the Board for their approval.


22/01 - It is alleged that director Stan Seymour held a "press party" at his home yesterday. He is said to have criticised the tactics employed in the Chelsea game and implied that there was some boardroom interference at half-time. Also he criticised the fact that the players who are to be listed have not been spoken to or informed.


22/01 - The players to be transfer-listed are told of their fate. The list is not released but it is thought that it only includes three senior players: Bobby Mitchell, Stewart Mitchell and John Nesbitt.


22/01 - An absolutely furious McKeag accuses Seymour of making "disruptive" and "irresponsible" comments. "I am very disturbed by recent statements made by Mr Seymour on Newcastle United affairs. Why on earth is Mr Seymour starting all this nonsense again. Whatever statements he may have made at the press party which he held at his house on Wednesday were entirely unauthorised and ought never to have been made. I am sick and tired of all this hole and corner business and I shall not stand idly by at this or any other attempt to sabotage the excellent work of our manager Mr Mitten." He also states the matter will be discussed at the next director's meeting.


With both sides out the Cup, United fly to Liverpool to take on the Second Division side in a friendly.

Fr: Liverpool - 18,449

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Stokoe, Franks, Taylor, Allchurch, White, Eastham, Scott

Scorers: White, Allchurch - Morris, tbc

McGuigan is not fit to play and half-back Malcolm Scott is a surprise pick at outside-left.

05m - Harvey gets his fingertips to the ball but cannot stop MORRIS' shot [0-1].

15m - WHITE scores an excellent equaliser [1-1].

33m - ALLCHURCH scores from almost on the line [2-1].

.

Half-time: Liverpool 1 Newcastle 2

58m - MORRIS shoots just inside the far upright [2-2].

85m - Wheeler's shot hits the underside of the bar but although the ball appears to bounce behind the line the referee does not give a goal.

Full-time: Liverpool 2 Newcastle 2

Liverpool Echo 24/1!! cartoon in 26/01

25/01 - Bob Stokoe uses his Sunday Sun column to rubbish suggestions that United's tactics in the Chelsea Cup Tie might have been influenced by McKeag. He states that Mitten spent two-hours talking tactics on the day of the game and had impressed on them "the necessity of open play" and the need to "cut out the frills and all the short passing". He states it was the players' fault for failing to do this. He admits McKeag came into the dressing-room at half-time but states he only offered encouragement.


26/01 - Mitten responds to Seymour's allegations. "In my contract I have full control over team policy, selection, sc, training and coaching? If the time comes that this is I would have no hesitation in reporting the matter".


26/01 - McKeag issues another statement through the Newcastle Journal. "This miserable business should be put in its right perspective. There is a resolution of the board that only the Chairman, in addition to the manager, should make statements to the press. Mr Seymour has flouted that resolution. There has been trouble before. On the last occasion Mr Seymour apologised to the Board and promised solemnly not to offend again. That promise has been broken".


26/01 - Stokoe hurts his ankle during PT exercises; he has gone into a nursing home and is expected to be absent for a few weeks. As a result, Nesbitt will be removed from the transfer list; at least temporarily.


27/01 - The Board hold a four-hour emergency meeting and McKeag offers to resign both his Chairmanship and his place on the Board as long as Seymour also resigns. Seymour does not respond to the offer. A short statement is issued following the meeting which states: (check wording) "official statements only by or through Chairman and that loyalty is pledged by all directors to manager Charlie Mitten"


29/01 - Tests show that Stokoe has badly torn the ligaments in his left ankle and he will be out for the rest of the season.


30/01 - A verdict of "accidental death" is recorded at the inquest of Ronald Daimond (of Hylton Road Jarrow) who was knocked down by Franks' car on New Year Day. Franks was not driving dangerously or too fast and it appears the boy ran out on to the road and he could not stop in time.


United are undeservedly 4-1 behind after only 34 minutes but they stage a brilliant second-half comeback to square a thrilling game.

D1: Man. United [4th] - 48,477

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Scott, Franks, Taylor, Allchurch, White, Eastham, McGuigan

Scorers: Allchurch, White (2), McGuigan - Charlton (pen), Quixall, Scanlon, Violett

McGuigan returns and Scott drops back to replace Stokoe.

06m - Keith is adjudged to have fouled Scanlon in the area and CHARLTON smashes an unstoppable penalty high and wide of Harvey [0-1].

15m - White hits an upright with a crisp first-time shot.

26m - QUIXALL plays a 1-2 with Charlton and scores [0-2].

30m - ALLCHURCH hits a fine low shot from 15 yards [1-2].

32m - Charlton sets up SCANLON who also scores with a low shot from 15 yards [1-3].

34m - VIOLETT nets from close in [1-4].

Half-time: Man. United 4 Newcastle 1

69m - Allchurch sends in a long through ball and WHITE dives to head the ball home [2-4].

70m - Taylor centres, Allchurch deftly nods the ball down and WHITE scores from 8 yards [3-4].

77m - From a free-kick three yards outside the box; Scoular lays it to MCGUIGAN who lashes the ball home from 12 yards [4-4].

Full-time: Man. United 4 Newcastle 4

Position: 13th


February


04/02 - Jackie Milburn’s request to Manchester United to allow Bobby Charlton to guest for Linfield against Newcastle is turned down as such arrangements are not generally allowed by the League.


United are brilliant in the first half against the Championship chasers and deservedly lead; but Wolves score 3 times in 16 minutes to turn the game around. The crowd are not happy with Wolves captain Billy Wright, nor some of the referee's decisions.

D1: Wolves [2nd] - 42,377

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Scott, Franks, Taylor, Allchurch, White, Eastham, McGuigan

Scorers: Eastham (2 pens), White - Murray, Mason, Lill (2)

Newcastle attack from the off and challenges on both White and Taylor could - and perhaps should - have led to penalties.

09m - Wright keeps out White's shot with his hand and EASTHAM scores from the spot [1-0]. Finlayson makes three spectacular saves as United continue to dominate.

But MURRAY taps in an equaliser [1-1].

26m - WHITE heads United back in front [2-1].

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Wolves 1

47m - Young outside-right LILL crosses from the bye-line for MASON [2-2].

53m - LILL puts the visitors in front [2-3].

63m - LILL scores again from 12-yards [2-4].

74m - Slater's push on Taylor gives EASTHAM another penalty opportunity [3-4] but despite some desperate attacking an equaliser cannot be found.

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Wolves 4

Position: 15th


The visitors are the Austrian Champions and have reached the Quarter-Finals of the European Cup.

Fr: Vienna SC - 25,370

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Scott, Franks, Taylor, Allchurch, White, Eastham, McGuigan

Scorers: McGuigan - tbc

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Vienna SC 0

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Vienna SC 1


15/02 - Fog causes the match at Portsmouth to be postponed.


19/02 - The FA Disciplinary Committee censure Mitten and warn him of his future conduct following the incident prior to the postponed Cup Tie with Chelsea on January 14th. After Ellis refused to re-inspect the pitch Mitten "adopted an ungentlemanly attitude towards him in the presence of officials, players and members of the press". Mitten says "I acted as in thought necessary as Newcastle manager".


After weeks without precipitation heavy rain turns the pitch into a veritable quagmire and the game borders on the farcical at times. United are much superior, but have to wait until ten minutes from time to find a winner.

D1: Aston Villa [21st] - 20,182

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Scott, Franks, Taylor, Allchurch, White, Eastham, McGuigan

Scorers: Taylor

Peat was liberally worked into the pitch during the frosts but after a number of dry weeks, heavy rain left puddles all over the pitch.

16m - McGuigan is carried off on stretcher with a badly wrenched ankle.

32m - McGuigan returns, but is limping quite badly.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Aston Villa 0

80m - McGuigan puts over a lot of decent crosses despite his handicap and from one of them TAYLOR angles a ball across the keeper form the far post [1-0].

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 0

Position: 13th


21/02 - McKeag states that at the next meeting of League chairman he will call for a fact-finding committee to be set up to look into the possibility of using all-weather pitches. And he argues that "so far as I can see the best pitch needn't be one of turf. It is not outside the bounds of imagination to picture a pitch of red shale for example".


21/02 - The Chairman also voices his hope that progress will soon be made with their plans to build a new stand on the Popular Side and provide additional car-parking spaces behind the Leazes End. It is also possible that a tunnel will be built to allow easier access to the Leazes. It is twelve years since the club last applied to extend St James'. The Freeman and the Council appeared broadly in favour at the time but the plans were dropped in 1951. The club have offered to fund both the Parliamentary Bill required to sanction the development and the cost of moving the children's swings.


22/02 - McGuigan has torn the ligaments on both sides of his ankle and will be out for some weeks


Milburn leads the Linfield attack and scores from a penalty.

Fr: Linfield (A) - 12,000

Harvey/Simpson, Keith, McMichael, Scoular, Scott, Franks, Taylor, Allchurch, White, Eastham, Evans plus Gibson

Scorers: Allchurch, Taylor, White - Milburn (pen), tbc, tbc

Half-time: Linfield 1 Newcastle 2

Full-time: Linfield 3 Newcastle 3


23/02 - Members of the Town Moor and Parks Committee visit Gallowgate to examine the proposed car park site. After the inspection Councillor J McKenzie says that he "agrees there is a slice of land in excess of what we require for the children's recreation ground" and that the City Engineer will report to the Committee at their next meeting.


A very drab game played on a hard, rutted pitch in a high wind. A good goal from Eastham is a rare moment of quality although the desperate home side are unlucky to hit the woodwork 4 times and have 2 strong penalty appeals turned down. In the second-half Mitten gets into an argument with a linesman over coaching from the touchline and the referee comes across to warn him over his conduct prompting a wry smile.

D1: Leicester [20th] 24,362]

Harvey, McKinney, McMichael, Scoular, Scott, Franks, Taylor, Allchurch, White, Eastham, Evans

Scorers: Eastham

68m - EASTHAM intercepts a pass in his own half, swaps passes with White and then lifts the ball over the keeper as he comes out [1-0].

Half-time: Leicester 0 Newcastle 1

Full-time: Leicester 0 Newcastle 1

Position: 12th


George Heslop
George Heslop
© Piotr

tbc/02 - George Heslop signs from Dudley Juniors.


March


Newcastle's full side is beaten by a team of ex-professionals in a match held in aid of Northumberland County Cricket Club.

Fr: All Stars XI -15,662

Scorers: Allchurch (2) - tbc

Keith has suffered a recurrence of his ankle problem and is replaced by Whitehead.

Half-time: Newcastle 0 All Stars XI1

Full-time: Newcastle 2 All Stars XI 4


03/03 - Cardiff and Gateshead are still interested in Bobby Mitchell who states that - if the conditions were right - he wouldn't be averse to a move to United's near neighbours.


Reg Evans
Reg Evans
© Piotr

06/03 - United swap Reg Evans (20) for Charlton Athletic inside-forward Johnny Ryan (27). Ryan is seen by Mitten as a utility man and is 5' 9" and 11 stone. He has played 11 times this season and scored 7 goals.


Preston have not won for 6 games and (due to injuries and illness) they make eight changes to their side. It is another stale performance and The Magpies are deservedly beaten.

D1: Preston [9th] - 31,962

Harvey, Whitehead, McMichael, Scoular, Scott, Franks, Taylor, Allchurch, White, Eastham, Mitchell R

Scorers: White - Lambert, Alston

06m - Allchurch smashes a shot against an upright.

12m - Harvey drops a high cross and LAMBERT gets there just before Whitehead can clear although some reporters thought the defender sliced the ball into his own net [0-1].

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Preston 1

57m - Scoular clears off the line.

66m - ALSTON heads in a Taylor free-kick [0-2].

70m - Taylor's short, sharp cross is nodded home by WHITE [1-2].

78m - McMichael clears off the line.

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Preston 2

Position: 12th


09/03 - Swansea announce that they are willing to sell Mel Charles and they are looking for a record fee. Although Mitten would love to sign the player United state that they will not join an auction and it is believed that they would want to do a part-exchange seal. For his part, Charles is believed to be reluctant to move to the "frozen North".


10/03 - It is rumoured that reserve centre-forward Bill Curry (who scored 4 goals for the stiffs on Saturday) may be one of the players United would offer to Swansea; Blackburn are also very interested in signing him.


Curry scores a hat-trick in a comprehensive victory over bottom placed Portsmouth who look certain to be relegated now. Curry says the "last thing I want is to leave Newcastle".

D1: Portsmouth [22nd] -19,404

Harvey, Whitehead, McMichael, Franks, Scoular, Mitchell B, Taylor, Allchurch, Curry, Eastham, White

Scorers: Curry (3), Eastham, Taylor - Saunders,

Portsmouth have not won since the end of November. Curry comes in at centre-forward with White moving to outside-left. Those moves were predictable but no-one expected Scoular to move to centre-half and Mitchell to drop back to left-half. Scott is in Birmingham playing for the RAF against the Army.

18m - Eastham plays in CURRY who swerves past Brown and flicks the ball into the empty net [1-0].

45m - Eastham, White and Allchurch are mesmerising the home defence and it is no surprise when EASTHAM scores with the last kick [2-0].

Half-time: Portsmouth 0 Newcastle 2

77m - There are three unmarked United forwards waiting for White's cross and TAYLOR taps the ball home almost apologetically [3-0].

Franks plays a lovely through ball to CURRY who races clear and slashes the ball past Brown [4-0].

83m - SAUNDERS heads in a Gunter free-kick [4-1].

90m - CURRY heads in Franks' cross at the far post [5-1].

Full-time: Portsmouth 1 Newcastle 5

Position: 12th


13/03 - Newcastle follow Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham in declaring their interest in Mel Charles. They make a bid of £20-25,000 plus Bill Curry and Bill McKinney.


City have not won at home since the start of the year but with outside-left Sambrook giving Whitehead a torrid time The Magpies are well beaten.

14/03 - D1: Man. City [19th] - 25,417

Harvey, Whitehead, McMichael, Scoular, Scott, Franks, Taylor, Allchurch, Curry, Eastham, White

Scorers: Eastham - Hayes (2), Sambrook (2), Barnes (pen).

28m - HAYES [0-1].

31m - Brilliant reply from WHITE [1-1] and united take the initiative.

42m - SAMBROOK cuts in to score [1-2].

Half-time: Man. City 2 Newcastle 1

53m - There are three defenders in attendance but they can't stop HAYES [1-3].

White is injured in a challenge with the keeper and is a passenger.

81m - Whitehead fouls Hannah and BARNES converts the penalty [1-4].

SAMBROOK nets with a long, low drive [1-5].

Full-time: Man. City 5 Newcastle 1

Position: 13th


16/03 - It is transfer deadline day and although clubs can still buy players after today they will not be eligible to play until next season. United cannot agree a fee with Gateshead for Bobby Mitchell who also turns down a move to Leicester.


17/03 - United up their bid for Charles to a massive £60,000 package: £30,000 plus Bill Curry (valued at £12,000) plus Bill McKinney (valued at £10,000) plus Stewart Mitchell (valued at £8,000). Swansea let Mitten speak to Charles but he is still reluctant to move to Tyneside due to the weather and appears determined to join Arsenal.


18/03 - Mitten speaks to the Welshman on the telephone and states that "we are still very interested in Mel Charles and hopeful that we will get his signature". Swansea also state that they will accept offers for Ivor Allchurch's brother, Len, who has previously stated that he would be happy to move to Tyneside.


Curry scores an early goal and an injury to full-back Willis reduces Arsenal to ten fit men after little over half an hour. Both sides miss countless chances but there is no more scoring.

D1: Arsenal [3rd] - 32,774

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Scoular, Scott, Hughes, Allchurch, Curry, Eastham, Taylor

Scorers: Curry

Keith returns from injury and Hughes comes in for his first game since. Taylor (who got married during the week) replaces the unfit White.

12m - Allchurch's strong shot is parried by Standen but CURRY races in and scores from a few yards out [1-0].

Allchurch hits the bar with a powerful header.

36m - Arsenal right-back Willis suffers an injury and is a virtual passenger.

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Arsenal 0

Despite the injury to Willis (who is now at outside-left) the visitors battle gamely in an even half.

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Arsenal 0

Position: 13th


21/03 - Directors Seymour and Taylor watch Charles and Len Allchurch play at Middlesbrough.


23/03 - Arrangements are made for Mitten to meet solicitor Mr Neil Harris (who is acting as Charles' business manager) when United visit London next weekend. Mr Harris asks the Football League if they would also be willing to send a representative to allay any fears of any dealings of an illegal nature. However, League secretary Hardaker makes his position very clear: "Harris has nothing to do with the transfer of any player and under no circumstances would the Football League meet him." It is also believed that the Board are split with Seymour, Taylor and Davis all reportedly averse to the deal.


24/03 - Following the Board Meeting United announce that "after considering all the circumstances, the Board have unanimously decided that they have no further interest in Mel Charles".

.

D1: West Ham (A) - Lost 0-3 (0-2) - 35,000 -

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Scoular, Mitchell B, Hughes, Allchurch, Marshall, Eastham, Taylor

Scorers: Dick, Musgrove, Obeney

With Scott and Curry joining the lengthy injury list Marshall is handed his debut; Mitchell comes back in at left-half again.

16m - A long clearance from the keeper comes through to DICK who hits a low shot from 18-yards [0-1].

35m - MUSGROVE heads in a deep cross at the far post [0-2].

Half-time: West Ham 2 Newcastle 0

50m - OBENEY hits a controversial third with a suspicion of hand-ball and of Harvey being obstructed [0-3]

Full-time: West Ham 3 Newcastle 0

Position: 13th


27/03 - Birmingham full-back Jeff Hall has contracted polio and it is likely that next Saturday's match will be postponed as a precaution.


27/03 - The Magpies are trying to arrange a friendly with Brazilian side Portugeso.


Feeble United recover from going 2-0 behind but The Hatters score twice in the last twenty minutes in what is a poor game. Seymour and Taylor watch the Tees-Wear derby and it is rumoured that they may be considering a bid for Brian Clough.

D1: Luton [18th] - 20,878

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Scoular, Mitchell B, Hughes, Allchurch, Marshall, Eastham, Taylor

Scorers: Allchurch, Hughes - tbc, tbc, Brown, Gregory

30m - After a clash of heads Luton's McNally retires for treatment.

45m - ALLCHURCH hammers the ball in [1-2].

Half-time: Luton 2 Newcastle 1

47m - Mitchell lays the ball to HUGHES who hits a tremendous 25-yard shot into the roof of the net [2-2].

70m - Bingham centres and BROWN heads home [2-3].

83m - A Brown centre presents GREGORY with an easy header [2-4].

Full-time: Luton 4 Newcastle 2

Position: 14th


A rip-roaring display from United in which Taylor, Keith (with his first goal for the club?) and Allchurch all score.

30/03 - D1: West Ham [4th] - 20,911

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Scoular, Mitchell B, Taylor, Allchurch, Gibson, Eastham, McGuigan.

Monday night sees McGuigan return and Gibson makes his debut.

Scorers: Taylor, Keith, Allchurch - Obeney

05m - TAYLOR hits a "Milburn-like" angled drive into the roof of the net from 15-yards [1-0].

27m - KEITH flicks the ball over the keeper and hammers the ball into the net from almost on the goal-line [2-0].

Half-time: Newcastle 2 West Ham 0

85m - Taylor's perfect through ball finds ALLCHURCH who steers the ball past the advancing keeper [3-0].

90+4m - OBENEY taps in a low cross [3-1].

Full-time: Newcastle 3 West Ham 1

Position: 12th


April


01/04 - Swede Mr Ljunggren is having problems fixing up some opposition for United for this Saturday.


04/04 - Swedish side Halmstads leave at 4.00am to travel to Newcastle for this afternoon's 3.00pm kick-off. But they are delayed at Malmo and they do not arrive in Newcastle until 5.30. They are whisked straight to the ground, get changed and go straight on.


Despite their lack of preparation the visitors show some flashes of good football but they are generally given the run-around in what is perhaps the best friendly so far. Due to the delayed kick-off many supporters left at half-time.

Fr: Halmstads - 10,696

Scorers: Taylor, Eastham, Gibson

22m - Scott centres and TAYLOR forces the ball home after a goalmouth scramble [1-0].

41m - EASTHAM scores from an excellent Scott pass [2-0].

45m - Martison gets clean through but with only Harvey to beat he hits an upright.

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Halmstads 0

52m - TBC [2-1].

63m - GIBSON shows good anticipation to intercept a back-pass to score [3-1].

Full-time: Newcastle 3 Halmstads 1


06/04 - Charlie Mitten's contract will be discussed at tomorrow night's board meeting. Mitten signed a 13-month contract last summer and argues that "I wanted to prove myself - I think I have done that". However, Mitten dismisses suggestions that he is demanding a long-term contract and wants full control of team affairs as "all tripe". He goes on to say "the rumour that I have asked for a four-year contract with strings is as ridiculous as the suggestion that I will resign if I didn't get it." Certain members of the Board have made it publicly known that some of the manager's actions have not met with their approval but McKeag refutes that he is having to act as a buffer between Mitten and a faction of the Board claiming: "someone is just trying to stir up trouble".


07/04 - At the Board meeting McKeag makes a recommendation (seconded by Hurford) that Mitten is given a 3-year contract under the same terms as his current one but the motion is defeated by 5-3. A short statement is issued "the Directors were hesitant to agree...". The matter will be put into abeyance until the next Board meeting and the unhappy McKeag states: "for the life of me I cannot see the slightest valid reason for the rejection." The Board also hear from Captain Hyde Barker about his proposals for a close-season tour of Europe and America. Mitten is in favour of the tour but the Board vote against it.


Despite a sodden pitch it is a very entertaining game. Curry scores twice in the first 21 minutes but Albion battle back.

D1: West Brom. [8th] - 22,000

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Scoular, Mitchell B, Taylor, Eastham, Curry, Hale, Scott.

Scorers: Curry (2) - Kevan (2)

14m - Scott chips in a short corner, Hale heads it on and CURRY flies in to head the ball just under the bar [1-0].

21m - Hale’s fast cross has the keeper scrambling and CURRY rams the ball home [2-0].

27m - West Brom centre-half Kennedy has to go off with a head injury.

45m - KEVAN scores with a glorious 35-yard shot [2-1].

Half-time: West Brom 1 Newcastle 2

67m - Burnside's shot deflects of Scoular's head to KEVAN who scores from point-blank range [2-2],

United hang on - including three goal line clearances - despite a lot of pressure from the home side.

Full-time: West Brom 2 Newcastle 2

Position: 13th


14/04 - McKeag once again proposes (seconded by Hurford and McKenzie) that Mitten is given a 3-year contract. Again it is defeated (5-2) with Seymour, Taylor, Davis and the Rutherford's all voting against. Instead they vote to offer him another 1 year contract. McKeag argues that "secure of tenure for that period is needed, for it will take that length of time as a minimum to bring to fruition all the plans Mr Mitten has made for the development of so many young and promising players". Mitten makes no comment.


15/04 - The club announce that the team will go on a short tour of Ireland at the end of the season.


17/04 - Leeds - who are on the lookout for a new manager are being heavily linked with a move for Mitten and it is thought they may approach him at tomorrow's game.


18/04 - Perhaps wary of Leeds contact, McKeag takes Mitten on a scouting trip to Ireland.


United are very poor and the visitors go 2-0 up just after the break. But Allchurch pulls one back and Curry scores an equaliser in the final seconds.

D1: Leeds [17th] -19,321 -

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Scoular, Mitchell B, Taylor, Hale Curry, Allchurch, Scott.

Scorers: Allchurch, Curry - Revie, Peyton

Allchurch is back but Eastham is out with flu.

23m - REVIE scores with a clever lob high into the net as Leeds dominate the first half [0-1].

Half-time: Newcastle 0 Leeds 1

46m - Revie flicks on to PEYTON who shoots wide of Harvey [0-2].

53m - ALLCHURCH smacks the ball in off the angle of post and bar [1-2].

60m - Franks and an oponent are both cautioned after an altercation involving feet and fists.

90m - With the referee just about to blow for time Taylor takes a corner which Mitchell allows to glance off his head and CURRY rushes in to score.

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Leeds 2

Position: 15th


19/04 - In an article in a Sunday newspaper Mitten goes on the attack; publicising what he has done for the club and criticising the boardroom shenanigans; some excerpts follow. "All I want and have ever asked for is TIME to get things done. The fairground is the place for Aunt Sallies not the managerial seat. Team spirit is just as vital in the boardroom. Knew of troubles before I came. But I hoped these undercurrents would stop. Unfortunately - especially over the last few months - that hasn't been the case - far from it. When I arrived the club was in a very sorry state. The outer shell was there but no heartbeat. Players had to buy their own boots for matches, training and other duties. No confidence no team spirit. I made them enjoy working at their training. Players equipment brought up to standard". An impassioned defence but one which has almost certainly aggravated an already delicate situation.


20/04 - Mitten is still being linked with the vacant seat at Leeds but there has been no official statement from either club.


21/04 - After five hours of heated debate the Board release a short statement: "It was decided by the Directors that Mr Mitten be offered a renewal of contract for a period of three years". It is thought that both Rutherford's switched to support Mitten thus tipping the balance. McKeag is reluctant to comment and asked whether he is happy with the turnaround he says "perhaps it is for that reason that I prefer not to comment". Mitten is happy with the terms of the contract but is not yet committing: "I will let the Board have my decision in a week or two. I have an offer from another First Division club and there are several things to consider". Leeds Chairman Mr Bolton says "we cannot do anything until Mr Mitten clears up his position at Newcastle".


With Scoular controlling Lofthouse it was a much improved performance particularly in first-half. "We are used to playing on grass" - claims wisecracking Bolton manager Bill Ridding. At one stage spectators in the Leazes End pelt the penalty area with dirt, cartons and small stones; keeper Hopkinson complains to the referee who speaks to the policemen behind the goal.

D1: Bolton [4th] - 17,451

Harvey, Whitehead, Scott, Franks, Scoular, Mitchell B, Taylor, Hale, Curry, Eastham, McGuigan.

Keith, McMichael and Allchurch are all playing in the Ireland v Wales international.

Scorers: Curry, Taylor

14m - Hale excellent cross which CURRY nods home [1-0].

35m - TAYLOR scores with a crisp shot from 15-yards which Higgins can only help into the net [2-0]

Half-time: Newcastle 2 Bolton 0

Full-time: Newcastle 2 Bolton 0

Position: 14th


Torrential rain turns the pitch into a quagmire but both sides perform admirably in an entertaining tussle.

D1: Burnley [5th] -15,430

Harvey, Whitehead, Scott, Franks, Scoular, Mitchell B, Taylor, Allchurch, Curry, Eastham, McGuigan.

Scorers: Allchurch, Curry - Pilkington, tbc

01m - PILKINGTON beats Whitehead and shoots past Harvey [0-1] and with both United's young full-backs struggling the home side are well on top.

14m - Eastham dribbles through and sets up ALLCHURCH to drive past Blacklaw [1-1] and the game becomes more even.

Half-time: Burnley 1 Newcastle 1

During the break three United supporters are lifted over the barrier by half a dozen policeman and escorted away. It is not clear what happened but the excitable shuffle which occurred suggested fisticuffs had taken place.

74m - CURRY brilliantly heads home from a Mitchell free-kick [2-1].

76m - [2-2].

Full-time: Burnley 2 Newcastle 2

Position: 12th


27/04 - Mitten meets six of the directors (Dr Rutherford and his son are missing because the Doctor has fractured his collar bone in an accident at home) and agrees to accept the new contract. It is believed that the club increased the wage on offer to match the terms being offered by Leeds.


A pretty decent game even though it was the last match of the season and nothing depended on it. Allchurch volleyed home after only a few minutes, but Birmingham deservedly equalised after the break.

29/04 - D1: Birmingham [9th] - 19,766

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Scoular, Mitchell B, Taylor, Allchurch, Curry, Eastham, McGuigan.

Scorers: Allchurch - Hooper

04 - ALLCHURCH moves on to a bouncing ball and volleys in from 15 yards [1-0].

Half-time: Newcastle 1 Birmingham 0

69m - HOOPER runs on to a through ball and shoots hard into the net from 12 yards [1-1].

Full-time: Newcastle 1 Birmingham 1

Position: 11th


30/04 - United secretary Ted Hall passes away in hospital. He joined the club in 1927, taking over as assistant secretary in 1932 and secretary in 1950.


May


Fr: Brighton - 6,682

Scorers: Hughes - tbc

Half-time: Brighton 0 Newcastle 0

Full-time: Brighton 1 Newcastle 1


After a very casual start from United both sides contribute to a very entertaining testimonial.

Test: Peterborough - 11,000

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Scoular, Bell, Hughes, Allchurch, Curry, Eastham, Mitchell B.

Scorers: Eastham (2), Curry (2), Mitchell - Hails, Rayner (2)

United start very casually and HAILS scores [0-1]

15m - RAYNER [0-2].

United start to turn on the style and both EASTHAM and CURRY score twice [4-2]

44m - RAYNER [4-3].

Half-time: Peterborough 3 Newcastle 4

47m - MITCHELL [5-3].

Full-time: Peterborough 3 Newcastle 5


United take on last season's League of Ireland champions (who also have three guest players) on a bumpy pitch. After a drab first-half there is a goal frenzy after the break.

Fr: Drumcondra - 7,000

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Franks, Scoular, Bell, Taylor, Eastham, White, Allchurch, Curry (Mitten C)

Scorers: White (4), Mitten C, Allchurch - Watson, Emerson, Eglington,

33m - Eastham's shot is parried and WHITE forces the ball home [1-0].

Half-time: Drumcondra XI 0 Newcastle 1

49m - WATSON equalises [1-1]

61m - EMERSON's shot deflects in off McMichael's head [1-2].

67m - WHITE dribble past a couple of defenders and nets [2-2].

68m - Allchurch's shot hits an upright and Manager MITTEN pushes the ball home [3-2].

71m - Harvey misjudges a cross from EGLINGTON which sails into the corner of the net [3-3].

81m - ALLCHURCH scores from outside the penalty area [4-3].

83m - WHITE from 10 yards [5-3].

WHITE [6-3].

.

Full-time: Drumcondra XI 3 Newcastle 6


A benefit game for John Coughlan played at Mardyke, Cork. Although they give their hosts a couple of goals head start United give a delightful display of football.

Fr: Evergreen United Select - 5,000

Harvey, Keith, McMichael, Bell, Scoular, Mitchell B, Taylor (Hale), Eastham, Fitzgerald (White), Allchurch, Curry (Mitten C)

Scorers: White, Allchurch (2), Eastham - Morley (pen), Brown

Newcastle give a trial to Waterford's John Fitzgerald.

McCarthy is fouled and MORLEY scores from the penalty [0-1].

Half-time: Evergreen United 1 Newcastle 0

United make three changes at the break.

BROWN heads in [0-2].

WHITE scores with a grounder [1-2].

ALLCHURCH scores twice [3-2].

EASTHAM nets after a clever dribble [4-2].

Full-time: Evergreen United 2 Newcastle 4


Fr: Glentoran - 7,500

Scorers: White, Eastham (2) - tbc

Half-time: Glentoran 1 Newcastle 2

Full-time: Glentoran 3 Newcastle 3