NUFC 1960/61- Season Summary
An often entertaining, but ultimately catastrophic season which ended in relegation in an avalanche of goals. Although Newcastle scored 86 times they only kept a clean-sheet three times and conceded more than in any other season; a whopping 109 goals.
As Mitten searched vainly for the right formula spending was heavy and youngsters were thrown into the side resulting in more players (34) being used than ever before.
United reached the Quarter-Final of the FA Cup where they were beaten by the incumbent Division 2 Champions, Sheffield United. This was also the first year of the League Cup and Newcastle's inaugural match in the competion saw them soundly beaten by Division 3 strugglers Colchester.
The club's problems actually started before the season started when inside-forward George Eastham refused to re-sign thereby challenging the "retain and transfer" system. He effectively went on strike until the club reluctantly allowed him to move to Arsenal.
The average attendance dipped below 30,000 for the first time since the War.
|Captain||B Stokoe, I Allchurch, B McKinney|
|Top Scorer||L White (29)|
League Division 1
|20/8/60||A||Preston||W||3 - 2||5|
|24/8/60||H||Fulham||W||7 - 2||4|
|27/8/60||H||Burnley||L||0 - 1||6|
|31/8/60||A||Fulham||L||3 - 4||8|
|03/9/60||A||Nottm F||W||2 - 0||7|
|05/9/60||A||WBA||L||0 - 6||10|
|10/9/60||H||Man City||L||1 - 3||13|
|14/9/60||H||WBA||W||3 - 2||11|
|17/9/60||A||Arsenal||L||0 - 5||12|
|24/9/60||H||Leicester||L||1 - 3||15|
|01/10/60||H||Cardiff||W||5 - 0||14|
|08/10/60||A||Aston Villa||L||0 - 2||15|
|15/10/60||H||Wolves||D||4 - 4||14|
|22/10/60||A||Manchester Utd||L||2 - 3||16|
|29/10/60||H||Tottenham||L||3 - 4||17|
|05/11/60||A||Chelsea||L||2 - 4||18|
|12/11/60||H||Blackpool||W||4 - 3||15|
|19/11/60||A||Everton||L||0 - 5||16|
|26/11/60||H||Blackburn||W||3 - 1||14|
|03/12/60||A||Bolton||L||1 - 2||16|
|10/12/60||H||WHU||D||5 - 5||16|
|17/12/60||H||Preston||D||0 - 0||16|
|24/12/60||H||Birmingham||D||2 - 2||16|
|26/12/60||A||Birmingham||L||1 - 2||18|
|31/12/60||A||Burnley||L||3 - 5||18|
|14/1/61||H||Nottm F||D||2 - 2||19|
|21/1/61||A||Man City||D||3 - 3||20|
|04/2/61||H||Arsenal||D||3 - 3||20|
|11/2/61||A||Leicester||L||3 - 5||20|
|22/2/61||A||Cardiff||L||2 - 3||20|
|25/2/61||H||Aston Villa||W||2 - 1||20|
|08/3/61||A||Wolves||L||1 - 2||20|
|11/3/61||H||Manchester Utd||D||1 - 1||20|
|22/3/61||A||Tottenham||W||2 - 1||20|
|25/3/61||H||Chelsea||L||1 - 6||20|
|31/3/61||H||Sheff Wed||L||0 - 1||22|
|01/4/61||A||WHU||D||1 - 1||21|
|03/4/61||A||Sheff Wed||D||1 - 1||20|
|08/4/61||H||Everton||L||0 - 4||20|
|15/4/61||A||Blackpool||L||1 - 2||21|
|22/4/61||H||Bolton||W||4 - 1||21|
|29/4/61||A||Blackburn||W||4 - 2||21|
Although United scored 86 goals they conceded 109 (worst ever total) with the number of goals conceded at home (49) and away (60) being the worst ever too. It really was a crazy season in which the average number of goals per game was 4.64.
After the first 4 months of the season Newcastle were in 14th. Their home form was reasonable, but after winning 2 of the first 3 away games they had lost every one after that.
From the start of December until the 25th of February they failed to win a single game and dropped to 20th (one place above the relegation spots).
A shock 2-1 victory at leaders Tottenham in mid-March raised hopes that United could survive, but in the next game they lost 6-1 at home to Chelsea which heralded the start of another winless run.
0n April 15th United travelled to relegation rivals Blackpool who were one point behind with a game in hand. Preston also had a game in hand and were below Newcastle on goal average. Blackpool won 2-1.
Preston and Blackpool both drew their games in hand so United were bottom coming in to the penultimate Saturday. Although they beat Bolton 4-1 and Preston lost, Blackpool won at Birmingham. With 1 game left The Tangerines were 2 points ahead of Newcastle and had a much superior goal difference which meant that United were effectively down.
|R3||07/1/61||H||Fulham||W||5 - 0|
|R4||01/2/61||H||Stockport||W||4 - 0|
|R5||18/2/61||H||Stoke||W||3 - 1|
|QF||04/3/61||H||Sheffield Utd||L||1 - 3|
The Magpies were drawn at home in each round. United thrashed Fulham 5-0 in the 3rd Round (there were 21 goals in the 3 games between the teams that season with the League games ending 7-2 and 3-4) and then comfortably beat Fourth Division Stockport. Two Second Division sides followed. Strugglers Stoke were seen off, but Billy Russell scored a hat-trick in the first 20 minutes for pace-setters Sheffield United (who would be promoted).
|R1||10/10/60||A||Colchester||L||1 - 4|
Newcastle embarrassed themselves in a 4-1 defeat against a side that were struggling at the wrong end of Division 3 and would be relegated.
|Scanlon Albert||11/1960||Man Utd||£17,500|
|Mcgrath John||02/1961||Bury||£24,000 + B Stokoe|
|Tait Alex||06/1960||Bristol City||£5,000|
|Taylor John||06/1960||Chelmsford C|
|Malcolm Walter||07/1960||Raith Rovers||£500|
|Scoular Jimmy||01/1961||Bradford Park Avenue||£1,300|
|Gilfillan Robert||01/1961||St Johnstone||£4,000|
|Stokoe Bob||02/1961||Bury||Cash Exchange|
Total number of games: 47
Total number of players used: 34
Figure in brackets indicates number of players used in that position.
01: (4) Harvey > Hollins
02: (3) Keith or McKinney.
03: (4) McMichael
04: (3) Scoular > Neale
05: (4) Stokoe > McGrath
06: (6) Neale > Bell
07: (4) Hughes
08: (5) Allchurch or Woods
09: (4) White > McGuigan
10: (6) Allchurch or Mitchell or McGuigan
11: (5) Tuohy > Scanlon
Top scorers: White (29), Allchurch (10) and Neale (10).