NUFC - 1968/69 Squad
All paintings are by (and copyright) Piotr Jozefowicz
KEY: [Appearances - Goals] [Age at 31/12/98] [Positions Played]
Iam McFaul   
Impressive form in pre-season saw McFaul preferred to Gordon Marshall and he played in every game bar one (when he was on international duty). He had a fantastic season rising to the occasion when it mattered and no more so when he saved Penman's penalty in the first leg of the Fairs Cup semi-final. The Northern Ireland selectors were already keeping an eye on him.
John Hope   
The sale of Gordon Marshall had Harvey scouring the country for a reserve custodian. He eventually signed the highly promising Darlington reserve who had had at trial at Everton before going to Feethams. The Shildon born 'keeper had been recommended by former United coach Jimmy Greenhalgh. Made his debut at Maine Road at the end of the season, it turned out to be his only senior game for the club.
Frank Clark   
Missed a handful of games after he injured his knee when his studs got stuck in the lush turf in Feyenoord.
David Craig [38 - 1]  
Northern Ireland international Craig was long established as United’s right back but John Craggs was pushing him hard. A hamstring injury at the start of 1969 ruled him out for a while but he eventually won back his place for the season's climax.
John Craggs   
Was becoming more and more frustrated by his failure to break into the first team and slapped in a transfer request at the start of the New Year. But Craig's injury meant he got an extended run in the side and retained his place even after the Irishman had recovered, however Craig was preferred for the final three games of the season.
Ron Guthrie [6/1]  
Got a few games early on when Clark was injured and when Craig suffered an injury it looked as though he may get an extended run in the side. Unfortunately, he had to be carried off after only 30 minutes of the home game against Arsenal. He needed a cartilage operation and that was the end of his campaign.
Ollie Burton's [49/1 - 1]  [6,5]
Undoubtedly his best season on Tyneside where he partnered either Moncur or McNamee in what was a very strong United central defence. He played in nearly all the games and produced some excellent performances, particularly in the Fairs Cup.
Bob Moncur   [6,10]
Was injured in a pre-season friendly against Hearts and missed the first six weeks of the season, his return coinciding with an upturn in form. He wrote his name in club history by leading the side to Fairs Cup success and bagging three goals (all with his wrong foot) in the two-legged final.
John McNamee [27/2 - 3]  
Picked up a niggling knee injury against Feyenoord and lost his place in the side, with Burton Harvey's preferred partner for Moncur. But when the going got tough they knew who they could depend on and he played a major part in United’s success with some barnstorming defensive displays.
Graham Winstanley [3/1]  
Got a couple of games in October when McNamee was injured. They were his last games for the club as he was sold to Carlisle before the start of 1969-70.
Tommy Gibb [58 - 7]  [4,6]
Was signed as a cover player but injuries meant he made his debut in the second game of the season at Sheffield Wednesday and played every game thereafter. He had an excellent first season on Tyneside despite needing to adapt to the much faster pace. A great box-to-box player who had a "do the simple thing quickly" style and an excellent long-range shot.
Dave Elliott [19/2]  [10,4]
Was still a dynamic presence in the United midfield but with the hard running Gibb excelling in his first season Harvey wanted to add more guile to the middle of the park and he lost his place to Arentoft.
Preben Arentoft   
Dane signed from Morton in February in a "landmark" deal, his two-and-a-half-year stint in Scotland allowing him to bypass the "no foreigners" rule. An inspired signing, his class, hard running and experience added a real zip to United's midfield in the closing months of the season.
Jim Iley [2/5]  
Was now considered past his best but declared himself happy to be part of the squad and said "I am ready and willing to step in when the boss wants me”. Moved to Peterborough as player-manager in January.
Eric Ross   
Northern Ireland international made four senior appearances for the club, half of them coming in 1968/69. He played in the first match and the League Cup tie against Southampton (his last game).
Bryan Robson [59 - 30]  [8,7,10]
A much improved level of performance and he was the only ever present through the long and demanding campaign. He was in superb form throughout the season and notched 30 goals including six in Europe. His form earned him a call-up to the England U23 Squad.
Wyn Davies [52 - 15]  
Struggled to make an impact domestically but was fearsome against the foreigners who simply could not handle him. Took a fair battering and played on despite suffering a shin injury, a split head, a broken nose and a cracked cheekbone.
Jim Scott [40/2 - 7] [ ] [7,10,9]
Was out of the side at the start of the season and asked for a move but a brilliant display at Roker Park at the end of August persuaded Joe to play him more regularly and he stayed. He played in roughly half the games, turning out in his regular right-flank spot but also filling in at Numbers 9 and 10. Scored 4 times in the Fairs Cup campaign.
Alan Foggon [27/7 - 7]  
Replaced Allen on the left-wing and retained his place in the side for most of the remaining matches. "The White Tornado" (Harvey's name for him due to his speed and pallor) He made a goal scoring debut when he came on at Nottingham and also scored a fantastic winning goal in the Fairs Cup Final Second Leg minutes after coming on.
Jackie Sinclair [25/4- 5]  [7,11]
Was still struggling to justify his hefty price tag and despite being used on both flanks he failed to establish a regular place in the side. He did however have a surge in form at the end of the season and played in both legs of the Fairs Cup final and scored the second goal against Rangers in the semi.
Keith Dyson [21/1 - 6]  [7,8]
Teenager Dyson was given a number of outings and his form was impressing some sound judges. Jackie Milburn stated that he was "one of the most exciting prospects" he had seen at Gallowgate for a long time.
Geoff Allen [14 - 1]  
With both Tommy Robson and Jackie Sinclair struggling he was drafted in to the Number 11 shirt. Allen was in tremendous form and was particularly dazzling in the home tie with Feyenoord, it looked as though his time had come. Tragically he tore his knee ligaments at Nottingham in October and although he made an abortive return in April it was an injury that ended his career.
Arthur Horsfield [8/2 - 3]  [8,9]
A surprise purchase from neighbours Middlesbrough. Harvey suggested he had a "nose for goals" and he scored within 2 minutes of his debut only for the game to be abandoned. He also scored on his home debut against Burnley.
Tommy Robson [3/1]  
Outside left Robson was almost ever present during the previous campaign but lost his place after the first three games and was sold to Peterborough in October.
Albert Bennett [3/1]  [7,8]
Returned in the first game after being out since January, unfortunately he had to be carried off with a recurrence of the cartilage problem which had side-lined him. Muscle wastage on his thigh was replaced so that both his legs measured the same. He returned from injury in November but struggled to get back into the side with Robson in such excellent form and Harvey cashed in on him after Horsfield arrived.
Gordon Hindson   
One of six players to wear Number 11 during the season and made his debut at The Dell in October. He struggled in the following game at Upton Park and that was the end of his first team run.
Alan Duffy   
Made his debut (aged 18) in the 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford in September.