NUFC 1965/66- Season Summary
Harvey was confident that the defensive side of the team were equipped for the First Division but he had doubts about McGarry and Cummings being able to step-up. United were linked with a number of strikers during the summer including Welshman Ron and Wyn Davies; in the end Albert Bennett was signed from Rotherham.
United knew they had to fifth to survive and their physical approach drew some stinging criticism, particularly from Burnley Chairman Bill Lord and Chelsea manager Tommy Docherty.
Harvey's fears proved founded in the first couple of months with United struggling to find the net. In October he tried to sign Wyn Davies from Botton, but although the teams agreed a fee the player priced himself out of the move. In the end the problem remained unsolved with eight different players being used with varying levels of success at centre-forward.
The half-back line had been United's greatest strength so it was somewhat surprising that Stan Anderson was allowed to leave - in November - to take over a player-manager of Middlesbrough. And following his departure United went on a disastrous run which saw them plummet down the table.
Harvey needed a replacement and he brought in 30-year-old Keith Kettlebrough from Sheffield United. It seemed like an underwhelming signing, but it proved to be an inspiring move with the experienced midfielder galvanising the rest of his team-mates. United gradually climbed the table and survived a blip in the last few weeks.
United's interest in the FA Cup was ended in the Fourth Round by eventual finalists Sheffield Wednesday.
Peterborough United (who knocked United out of the FA Cup in 1961/62) were back to haunt Newcastle, again as they won 4-3 at Gallowgate in the League Cup Second round.
April - first details of 35-acre site N had off Sandy Lane in Gosforth.
|Top Scorer||A Suddick (15)|
|21/8/65||H||Nottm F||D||2 - 2|
|25/8/65||H||WBA||L||0 - 1|
|28/8/65||A||Sheff Wed||L||0 - 1||18|
|01/9/65||A||WBA||W||2 - 1||16|
|04/9/65||H||Northampton||W||2 - 0||10|
|08/9/65||H||Manchester Utd||L||1 - 2||10|
|11/9/65||A||Stoke||L||0 - 4||17|
|15/9/65||A||Manchester Utd||D||1 - 1||17|
|18/9/65||H||Burnley||W||3 - 2||14|
|25/9/65||A||Chelsea||D||1 - 1||14|
|02/10/65||H||Arsenal||L||0 - 1||15|
|09/10/65||H||Aston Villa||W||1 - 0||14|
|16/10/65||A||Liverpool||L||0 - 2||14|
|23/10/65||H||Tottenham||D||0 - 0||14|
|30/10/65||A||Fulham||L||0 - 2||15|
|06/11/65||H||Blackpool||W||2 - 0||15|
|13/11/65||A||Blackburn||L||2 - 4||15|
|20/11/65||H||Leicester||L||1 - 5||17|
|27/11/65||A||Sheffield Utd||L||2 - 3||19|
|11/12/65||A||WHU||L||3 - 4||20|
|18/12/65||H||Liverpool||D||0 - 0||19|
|01/1/66||A||Aston Villa||L||2 - 4||19|
|03/1/66||A||Sunderland||L||0 - 2||19|
|08/1/66||H||WHU||W||2 - 1||18|
|15/1/66||A||Tottenham||D||2 - 2||19|
|29/1/66||A||Nottm F||W||2 - 1||19|
|05/2/66||H||Sheff Wed||W||2 - 0||18|
|19/2/66||A||Northampton||L||1 - 3||18|
|26/2/66||H||Stoke||W||3 - 1||16|
|05/3/66||H||Sunderland||W||2 - 0||15|
|12/3/66||A||Burnley||L||0 - 1||16|
|19/3/66||H||Chelsea||L||0 - 1||17|
|26/3/66||A||Arsenal||W||3 - 1||17|
|08/4/66||H||Everton||D||0 - 0||18|
|09/4/66||H||Blackburn||W||2 - 1||19|
|11/4/66||A||Everton||L||0 - 1||16|
|16/4/66||A||Leicester||W||2 - 1||13|
|20/4/66||A||Blackpool||D||1 - 1||14|
|23/4/66||H||Sheffield Utd||L||0 - 2||14|
|30/4/66||A||Leeds Utd||L||0 - 3||19|
|07/5/66||H||Fulham||D||1 - 1||19|
|16/5/66||H||Leeds Utd||W||2 - 0||15|
United were in the bottom-half of the table for virtually the whole season and were effectively battling relegation from start to finish. In the end they finished 4 points above the relegation places. A lack of goals was the major issue; with the 50-goal total being the worst since 1922/23.
United struggled from the start, but a really bad spell from mid October to the start of January (1 win, 2 draws and 8 defeats) left United in 20th.
Harvey bought Keith Kettleborough from Sheffield United and this sparked a mini-revival in which 5 of the next 7 games were won.
The upturn in form was not maintained, but Newcastle survived.
|R3||22/1/66||A||Chester (D4 - 3rd)||W||3 - 1|
|R4||12/2/66||H||Sheff Wed (D1 - 17th)||L||1 - 2|
R3 - Fourth Division promotion-chasers Chester give a good account of themselves, but United avoid another humiliation.
R4 - United beat Wednesday the week before, but a disappointing performance and a lack of luck end the Cup run.
|R2||22/9/65||H||Peterborough Utd (D3 - 14th)||L||3 - 4|
R2 - Slow handclaps and jeers reverberate around St. James’ as overconfidence and lack of concentration herald a deserved defeat to Third Division Peterborough.
|Bennett Albert||07/1965||Rotherham United||£27,500|
|Alderson Stuart||08/1965||Evenwood Town||£50|
|Kettleborough Keith||01/1966||Sheff Utd||£22,500|
Total number of games: 45
Total number of players used: 24
01: (2) Marshall or Hollins
02: (2) Craig
03: (2) Clark
04: (7) Anderson > Burton or Moncur
05: (3) McGrath
06: (3) lley
07: (8) Hockey > Robson
08: (6) Bennett > Hilley
09: (9) McGarry
10: (5) Hilley > Kettleborough
11: (5) Suddick or Robson
In the programme notes for the last game of the season the club spoke of an "all out effort by Manager Harvey with the backing of the Board of Directors to add strength to the team for the next campaign. The acknowledged need is for more power in the attack and the search will go on for a first-class goal getter and for added power on the wings".
But did the club have the necessary resources to buy the quality of players required? Ken Mckenzie (The Journal sports editor) expressed his doubts in the supporter's handbook as he talked of the board as "good sportsmen and able businessmen, but, so far as I can factually report, lacking the cash to do what we know is needed".
From July 1965 to June 1966 expenditure on transfers was £67,550 with £45,250 coming in from sales.
United had lost the chance to host World Cup games as a result of the conflict with the council over the ground. So whilst other clubs (including Middlesbrough and Sunderland) received government grants to improve their facilities SJP remained stagnant. Director director McKeag and Alderman Hadwin were brought together for a TV discussion and although McKeag came out well on top it only served to illustrate the gulf between the two sides.
Many clubs were embracing new commercial opportunities and United decided to follow suit. The Newcastle United Development Association was relaunched with Ben Sullivan taking over the reigns. They launched a couple of competitions: "United Pools" and a "Golden Goals".
Newcastle developed a bit of a reputation during the season for playing it hard and (away from Tyneside) very defensively. This reached its zenith at the end of September where they were blasted in the media by opposing officials.
Burnley Chairman Bob Lord suggested that they "should be playing in a menagarie not a football field" and intimated that the next time they played at SJP they would pick "a horde of elephants" rather than players. A week later Chelseas manager Tommy Docherty added his pennyworth. "I've seen nothing worse than Newcastle's methods. Their sort of destructive football will drive crowds away"
United were having none of it. "It's nonsense to say that Newcastle are rough" claimed Harvey. "We are taking the hammerings, but we don't cry".
Director McKeag's rebuttal was more eloquent. "He (Bob Lord) appears to have become obsessed with the carnivora and that is a bad thing for an affluent butcher". "Moreover, I would suggest to my old friend that it is not a bad thing to cogitate a moment before baying like a wounded wolfhound".
The programme notes implied that the club had been expecting crowds of around 50,000, but they had misjudged badly and the crowd for the opening game was "below expectations" at only 37,230.
The average for the season was 33,273 which was actually lower than the promotion season.
In reality it was an unrealistic expectation, crowds had been falling around the country and United's average made them the 7th best supported club in the country despite their poor season.
It was a difficult season and the fans could not always be relied upon to lift the team. Implied criticism was recorded in the Man Utd programme: "In the successful promotion bid, the SJP crowd gave the players first class encouragement and that is what is wanted again".
Paint it Black (and White)
The Supporters Club (boosted by the previous campaign's promotion) continued to grow and membership rose to around 3,500 and they produced their first ever handbook.
Meetings were held every Tuesday evening at the British Railways Social Club on Forth Banks and they were given space within the programme and "Northern Football" magazine.
On matchdays they operated from the club's gymnasium at the ground from were you could join up (for three shillings) or sign-up to travel to away matches.
A thriving social side included football and ten-pin bowling teams .
A "Football Forum" was held at the Bridge Hotel which included John McGrath, Brian Clough and officials from the Sunderland Supporters Club.
The members of the club also provided assistance to the Development Association in bringing in much needed revenue into the club.
Secretary Len Coates took everone by surprise by resigning mid season.
Keep on Running
A recurring problem during the 1960's was that of youngsters running on the pitch after goals were scored and at the end of the game and in the first programme of the season an appeal was made for supporters to keep off the pitch.
It had little effect an when there were repeated incursions during the home game with West Ham the directors decided they needed to make a point and closed the "Boys Gates" preventing youngsters getting cheap admission.
When United played Middlesbrough in a pre-season friendly one supporter decided to try for a better vantage point and scaled part-way up the floodlight pylon on top of the Leazes Stand.
Whilst there he treated the rest of the supporters to an impromptu ten minute bout of twisting.
The Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore
The programme was virtually unchanged from the previous season bar a retrograde step in replacing action pictures (different one for each issue) with a single picture of the (undeveloped) ground. Perhaps it was meant as a dig at the council.
Inside there were virtually no pictures bar the occasional small portrait.
Typhoo Tea ran a "Soccer Prints" promotional campaign.
1960/61 1961/62 1962/63 1963/64 1964/65 1965/66 1966/67 1967/68 1968/69 1969/70