NUFC 1974/75- Season Summary
NUFC 1974/75 Squad
|Division 1||15th||Manager||J Harvey|
|FA Cup||R4||Coach||K Burkinshaw|
|League Cup||QF||Captain||F Clark|
|Top Scorer||M Macdonald (32)|
Despite the FA Cup Final humiliation the fans had given the team a fantastic homecoming and Harvey and the players were determined to repay them with a good season. However they were still plagued by inconsistency and with Moncur having left during the summer the defence struggled, particularly away from home.
Harvey took to the transfer market at Christmas to midfielders Tommy Craig and Geoff Nulty, but Newcastle only one one of their last eleven games to finish in disappointing style.
Cup defeats by Fourth Division Chester and Third Division Walsall added to the crowd's discontent and calls for Harvey to be sacked grew. Unbeknownst to them Harvey's health was also suffering and he wanted out anyway. The club announced he would be moving upstairs.
Many thought that coach Burkinshaw should be given the job and he was unimpressed, but not surprised, that he was informed by letter that his services were no longer required.
League Division 1
For the third season in a row an end of season collapse scuppered United's hopes of Europe and left them hovering just above the relegation positions.
The Magpies started the season well and 5 wins in the first 9 games placed them 6th at the end of September. But although on the day they could win handsomely at home against strong opposition they retained their inconsistency and at the start of March were in 9th.
However, the final 11 games brought only 1 win and 7 defeats including heavy losses at Liverpool, Leicester and Arsenal.Embed from Getty Images
R3: Despite coming out of the hat first Newcastle had to play this game away as part of the penalties imposed on them after the "Invasion of ’74". Over 10,000 fans travelled to Maine Road to see United pull off a brilliant "commando style" raid, with dogged defending and a two goal salvo in a minute securing their passage in a fiercely physical game.
R4: United suffered another humiliating Cup exit as they mistakenly tried to play a passing game on the glue-pot pitch and were not prepared to fight for their right to progress.
R2: There were about 300 police on duty as Forest and United met again, but there was only minor trouble on the terraces resulting in a couple of arrests. It was a competitive game and a fair result. United won the replay comfortably.
R3: A Supermac goal after only 13 seconds set up a four goal thrashing in which he scored a hat-trick.
R4: A decent performance and three second half goals ensured that United achieved their best ever run in the competion so far.
QF: Fourth Division Chester had already knocked out Leeds and the improbably named Grenville Millington performed superbly in goal for the visitors ;a chorus of boos greeted the final whistle. The replay was a hard fought game of few chances and a single goal from John "Jesse" James was enough to secure victory for the underdogs.
United won the Texaco Cup for the second year running - details to follow
Never Can Say Goodbye
Although Harvey, who had health concerns, had spent the last couple of years making noises about a move upstairs there was talk about him being offered a new contract in the first few months of the campaign.
However he was on borrowed time since the Cup Final disaster and inconsistent League performances combined with two cup giant killings turned the crowd against him and made his position untenable. After the Walsall defeat in the FA Cup the directors announced that Harvey would be moving "upstairs" and that they would be advertising for an "Assistant Manager" who would take over from Harvey at the end of the season. Despite this there was speculation that United would hold-out for a "big name" manager.
In the end Harvey continued as normal until the end of the season when he looked back with regret. "It all looked so promising until the injuries. They've broken my heart this season. I thought we were going to repay the fans this season and it hasn't happened." But he was proud of the squad that he had left to his successor. "They can all play. All entertain".
Bye Bye Burky
lt was beleived that Harvey thought that first team coach Keith Burkinshaw should have been promoted into the hot seat, but he too found himself unwanted.
When Newcastle advertised for an assistant there was no mention of a coaching job and no mention of Burkinshaw. The board kept him waiting until the end of the season before informing him he was no longer wanted through the post. He was not impressed: "None of the directors would tell me face to face. It shows how Newcastle handle their affairs. I could say a lot about this but it isn't worth it."
Highly respected within the game he had a number of offers and eventually joined Terry Neill at Spurs.
Newcastle chairman Lord Westwood became the new President of the Football League, taking over from Len Shipman.
Director Stan Seymour had a heart attack at the home match against Stoke and had to be revived by the club doctor.
|Craig Tommy||12/74||Sheff Wed||£110,000|
Striker Micky Burns was signed for a substantial fee and provided Harvey with more options upfront.
Teenager Glen Keeley was highly thought of, but it was a big fee for someone who had made only 5 senior appearances.
With Mcdermott having departed and Hibbitt injured Harvey decided he needed to strengthen the midfield with two experienced players: Geoff Nulty and Tommy Craig.
|Robson Keith||09/74||West Ham||£60,000|
|Bell Anthony||05/75||North Shields||Free|
|Clark Frank||05/75||Nottm F||Free|
Captain Bob Moncur was, although still only 29, thought to be past his best by some within the club and was sold to Sunderland in the summer.
Another big loss was Terry Mcdermott who joined Liverpool after a fall-out with manager Joe Harvey.
After Moncur's departure Frank Clark was made captain, but in another surprise move he was allowed to move to Nottingham Forest on a free-transfer. Although he was now 31-years-old many believed he still had a few years left in him at the top level.
Total Games: 59
Total Goals: 91
Total number of games: 46
Total number of players used: 24
01: (3) McFaul
02: (5) Nattrass(Craig D)
03: (5) Clark or Kennedy
04: (8) McDermott > Smith
05: (3) Keeley
06: (4) Howard
07: (2) Burns > Barrowdough
08: (6) Gibb > Nulty
09: (1) Macdonald
10: (4) Tudor
11: (4) Hibbitt > Craig T
You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
The number of season tickets was increased to 9,800; 7000 of them sitting.
United were the fourth best supported club in the country with an average attendance of 33,960 in the League which was about 1,000 up on 1973/74 and was the best since 196?. Top crowd was 43,526 for the visit of then League leaders Ipswich.
Sad Sweet Dreamers
The Supporters Club celebrated it's 20th anniversary in 1975 and it's headquarters remained at the Bridge Hotel. They also had a shop at Number 2 St James' Street. They were looking for new headquarters next door to the shop with the cost of taking over the Working Men's club deemed too prohibitive.
Membership remained on a season by season basis, cost 20p and and passed the 5,000 mark for the first time.
Make Me Smile (Sing up and Blaspheme)
When fans arrived at SJP for the Texaco Cup group match against Middlesbrough they were handed leaflets encouraging them to keep their oratory clean. It didn't work too well as there was obscene chanting throughout the game.
The club also printed a list of "dos and don'ts" in the first home programme. The don'ts included running on the pitch, obscene chanting and the more esoteric "don't become involved in crowd hysteria".
When United played Everton at home in April a group of fans hung a sign up on the wall simply stating "WE WANT SUCCESS".
Coach travel was provided to away games with a starting point of Morden Street. They usually returned straight after the game but occasionally (generally for London games) overnight stays were included. They also made use of a 62 seater rail coach for selected games.
There was a dress code for "trippers" which included no "half-mast" trousers, no "unfriendly-looking" boots and no alcohol.
The Magpie Mag (the official yearbook) was available for 20p whilst a new club tie was introduced "of modern design (kipper style)".
Reach Out I'll Be There
ln the club's never ending quest to make life easier for the supporter they introduced their "latest signing": MABUS. It was a five lined taped information service which could handle 20 calls a minute.
I Get a Kick out of You
Prior to the start of the season the club announced that they would not be installing fences at the moment, but Lord Westwood stated that the fans were effectively on probation for the first few games. "In common with other Football clubs Newcastle united intend to take immediate action to restore the good name of the British football supporter. These people are our enemies and unless we combine to eradicate them they will eventually deprive us of our local sport".
However there was trouble at many Newcastle games; both home and away.
Thirty fans were arrested when trouble erupted before, during and after the Texaco Cup game at Roker Park. Newcastle fans attempted to infiltrate the Fulwell End but were escorted to the Roker End by the Police.
Then just before the start of the game around 200 united supporters marched from the Fulwell to the Roker; headed by a youth wearing "Clockwork Orange" style clothes and eye make-up. As they made their journey they informed tne locals that "we'll fight you on the pitch".
Chances of a "pitch" battle were severely hampered by the recently excavated four foot deep moats at either end. However this did not prevent two supporters getting on the pitch and approaching a couple of the Sunderland players. They attempted to seek refuge in the Clock Stand paddock but were chased out and arrested.
When United went to Turf Moor in November John Tudor needed 12 stitches in a head wound after Burnley supporters had thrown a heavy stone through the window of United's coach. The same day saw United fans causing major damage as they ran amok in Burnley town centre.
There were about 300 police on duty as Forest and United met again (this time in the League Cup) but there was only minor trouble on the terraces resulting in a couple of arrests.
The Tees-Tyne derby was all-ticket, but although a massive police operation prevented major trouble there were still numerous altercations including an incident at the railway station.
Strange But Toon
Debris in the Sky with Asbestos
When United visited the Baseball Ground in September the wind was decidedly blowy and during the first-half part of the (asbestos laden) roof was blown off. More came down during the half-time interval injuring a number of spectators. As you might expect, the game went on.
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