NUFC 1961/62- Season Summary
Newcastle did not make a great start to life in the Second Division and manager Mitten (who had never had full boadroom support because of the ongoing feud between directors McKeag and Seymour) was sacked whilst his main supporter McKeag was out the country. Trainer Norman Smith reluctantly took over until the end of the season.
Results deteriorated further and at the end of January United were just above the relegation positions; but a run of six wins in the last ten games enabled them to pull clear of trouble in what was a remarkably tight final table.
A humiliating home defeat to Fourth Division Peterborough brought an immediate end to any FA Cup ambitions and they also lost at Gallowgate in the first hurdle of the League Cup; Sheffield United being the victors.
Money was very tight so there were few signings although a record fee was paid to bring in Barrie Thomas from Scunthorpe.
Despite the lower League status and the poor form, attendances - boosted by the return of the Tyne-Wear derbies - held up remarkably well.
On a brighter note there was some hope of a better future with the Juniors winning the FA Youth Cup for the first time.
A testimonial for Bobby Mitchell attracted a crowd of 40,993.
|Manager||C Mitten, N Smith|
|Top Scorer||I Allchurch (11)|
League Division 2
|19/8/61||H||Leyton Orient||D||0 - 0||14|
|23/8/61||H||Walsall||W||1 - 0||6|
|26/8/61||A||Preston||W||1 - 0||3|
|29/8/61||A||Walsall||L||0 - 1||5|
|02/9/61||H||Plymouth||L||0 - 2||11|
|09/9/61||A||Huddersfield||L||1 - 2||18|
|16/9/61||H||Swansea||D||2 - 2||17|
|20/9/61||H||Liverpool||L||1 - 2||18|
|23/9/61||A||Southampton||L||0 - 1||20|
|30/9/61||H||Luton||W||4 - 1||18|
|04/10/61||A||Liverpool||L||0 - 2||18|
|07/10/61||H||Charlton||W||4 - 1||17|
|14/10/61||A||Bury||W||7 - 2||14|
|21/10/61||H||Brighton and Hove Albion||W||5 - 0||12|
|27/10/61||A||Scunthorpe Utd||L||2 - 3||12|
|04/11/61||H||Norwich||D||0 - 0||14|
|11/11/61||A||Rotherham Utd||D||0 - 0||13|
|18/11/61||H||Bristol||W||5 - 2||9|
|25/11/61||A||Stoke||L||1 - 3||11|
|02/12/61||H||Sunderland||D||2 - 2||13|
|16/12/61||A||Leyton Orient||L||0 - 2||14|
|23/12/61||H||Preston||L||0 - 2||17|
|26/12/61||H||Middlesbrough||L||3 - 4||18|
|13/1/62||A||Plymouth||D||1 - 1||18|
|20/1/62||H||Huddersfield||D||1 - 1||18|
|27/1/62||A||Leeds Utd||W||1 - 0||14|
|02/2/62||A||Swansea||L||2 - 3||15|
|10/2/62||H||Southampton||W||3 - 2||15|
|17/2/62||A||Luton||L||0 - 1||15|
|24/2/62||A||Charlton||D||1 - 1||15|
|03/3/62||H||Bury||L||1 - 2||15|
|07/3/62||A||Middlesbrough||L||0 - 3||15|
|10/3/62||A||Brighton and Hove Albion||W||4 - 0||14|
|17/3/62||H||Scunthorpe Utd||W||2 - 1||14|
|24/3/62||A||Norwich||D||0 - 0||13|
|31/3/62||H||Rotherham Utd||W||1 - 0||12|
|07/4/62||A||Bristol||L||1 - 2||14|
|14/4/62||H||Stoke||W||2 - 0||15|
|20/4/62||H||Derby||W||3 - 0||11|
|21/4/62||A||Sunderland||L||0 - 3||11|
|23/4/62||A||Derby||W||2 - 1||9|
|28/4/62||H||Leeds Utd||L||0 - 3||11|
Although United finished in the top half of the table (just) they lost more games than they won and their overall points total was not much better than last season (when they were relegated). Newcastle were only 6 points ahead of the relegation positions and - in what was a remarkably tight finish - they were the top team in a group of eight that finished on 39 points.
They struggled to adapt to the lower league and they dropped to 20th after losing at Southampton on September 23rd. They won the next 3 games, but Seymour and his allies sacked Mitten after the second game in the run (a 7-2 victory at Bury) anyway.
Trainer Norman Smith took charge but there was no change in fortunes with United struggling to win games. With 10 games to go they were in 15th.
Fears of a second successive relegation led to United splashing out on centre-forward Thomas and wingers Day and Fell. These lifted the side and 6 of the last 10 games were won.
There were early exits in both Cups including a hugely embarassing defeat by Fourth Division Peterborough in the FA Cup.
|R3||06/01/62||H||Peterborough Utd||L||0 - 1|
Newcastle suffered a humiliating defeat to Fourth Division Peterborough who had only been elected to the Football League in the summer.
|R1||13/09/61||H||Scunthorpe||W||2 - 0|
|R2||02/10/61||A||Sheffield Utd||D||2 - 2|
|R2r||11/10/61||H||Sheffield Utd||L||0 - 2|
The Magpies beat Second division Scunthorpe to record their first win in the League Cup but Sheffield United (who had knocked United out of the FA Cup last season) won on Tyneside after a draw at Brammal Lane.
|O'Neil Les||11/1961||Blyth Spartans||£200|
|Kerray James||02/1962||Huddersfield||£10,000 + L White|
|Markie John||04/1962||Bathgate St Marys||£3,000 + G Heslop|
|Harvey Brian||06/1961||Cambridge City|
|Mitchell Bobby||06/1961||Berwick Rangers|
|Scanlon Albert||02/1962||Lincoln City||£2,000|
|White Len||02/1962||Huddersfield||Part Exchange|
|Heslop George||03/1962||Everton||Part Exchange|
Total number of games: 46
Total number of players used: 31
01: (1) Hollins
02: (2) Keith or McKinney.
03: (3) McMichael
04: (4) Neale > Wright
05: (3) McGrath or Heslop > Thompson
06: (3) Dalton or Bell
07: (6) Hughes or Suddick > Day
08: (5) Allchurch or Hale > Kerray
09: (4) Leek or White > Thomas
10: (6) Allchurch or McGuigan
11: (5) Tuohy > Fell
Top scorers: Allchurch (11), Thomas (10) and Hale (8).
1960/61 1961/62 1962/63 1963/64 1964/65 1965/66 1966/67 1967/68 1968/69 1969/70