NUFC - 1978/79 - Squad
All images are copyright Piotr Jozefowicz
KEY: [Appearances - Goals] [Age at 31/12/98] [Positions Played]
Mick Mahoney   
Transfer listed Mahoney asked to be dropped after the first few games of the season; McGarry stating that he was suffering from a lack of confidence. He never regained his place and became one of the many soccer exiles in America when he was sold to Chicago Stings in November.
Steve Hardwick   
Hardwick had spent the summer playing for Detroit Express in the American League. He was initially in excellent form when he replaced the axed Mahoney, putting the improvement down to the fact that playing in the US had boosted his confidence whereas in the previous season he had been "a bag of nerves". Unfortunately, he reverted to type towards the end of the season and was dropped himself.
Kevin Carr   
Had a spell on loan at Hereford but got his chance when Hardwick's form dipped. Started with some excellent performances, but was guilty of a couple of mistakes towards the end.
John Brownlie   [2,3]
An experienced international from Caldercruix, he signed from Hibs for £20,000 plus Ralph Callaghan. Used initially as a left-back he reverted to his more familiar position on the right following Kelly's injury. Had a decent enough season and the fans enjoyed his frequent forays upfield before he broke his collar bone in April.
Kenny Mitchell [29/5 - 1]  [3,5,4,9,6]
Asked to play in a number of positions but used mainly as a left-back. He had an indifferent season in which he was partly culpable in a number of opposition goals.
lrving Nattrass [24 - 3]  [6,2,4,5,8,3]
Leeds and Bolton both offered £300,000 to sign him in the summer, but McGarry was determined to keep a player he regarded as an "outstanding talent". Nattrass admitted that relegation had dispirited him and he was seriously considering leaving but he eventually signed a "lucrative" new contract after "the boss went out and bought quality players who can take us back into the first Division". Missed the start of the season due to an achilles tendon injury suffered during a pre-season friendly and then after a few games back his leg was in plaster and he would be out until the New Year. On his return he was almost back to his best and was used in midfield, central-defence and full-back. Replaced Hibbitt as captain for the last few weeks of the season.
Peter Kelly   
The young Scot established himself in the Number 2 shirt at the beginning of the season and aid well enough to keep Brownlie out of his favoured position, suffered a knee ligament injury during the defeat at Luton during November and didn't play again that season.
Micky Barker [6/2]  
Following Alan Kennedy’s departure Barker was handed the Number 3 shirt, but he relinquished it when Brownlie arrived. Got a couple more games, but McGarry spent most of the season trying to move him on. He eventually moved to Gillingham.
Keith Mulgrove [0/1] 
Haltwhistle born left-back Mulgrove made his one and only professional appearance when he came on as a sub in the away defeat at Brighton.
John Blackley   [6,3]
Player of the year in the previous campaign Blackley had another excellent campaign although he was dogged by injuries. A class player at the club at the wrong time he also filled in at left-back towards the end of the season.
John Bird [29 - 3]  [5,6,3].
Bird migrated in and out of the team as a result of a troublesome groin. One of his more effective seasons at the club, although his artistic tendencies were still belied by his playing style.
David Barton [22/2 - 2]  [5,6]
lnjuries to various defenders allowed the lanky Barton to play in half the games that season. The extended run in the side saw him recover from a shaky start to put in some decent performances. He was involved in a car crash in September.
Terry Hibbitt   
Installed as captain on his return Hibbitt played more games and made a greater overall contribution than any other player during the season. He worked tirelessly and occasionally managed to produce the intelligent and accurate passing that he was renowned for in his first spell at the club. Towards the end of the season McGarry took the captaincy off him as he believed the pressure was affecting his game.
Mick Martin [26 - 1]  [4,8]
Signed for £100,000 from West Brom in December he inspired a mini-revival. An Eire international he added a bit more guile to the midfield.
Colin Suggett [21/3]  [7,8,6]
Suggett signed from Norwich for £45,000 on the eve of the new season. He made a reasonable start but his form was inconsistent and he lost his place in the side when Mick Martin arrived. McGarry tried to offload him to Blackburn as part of an exchange deal to bring John Bailey to Tyneside. The deal was scuppered when Rovers - worried about his right knee - declined on medical grounds.
Tommy Cassiddy [21/1 - 1]  [8,4,7]
Troubled by a groin injury and a loss of form and confidence Cassiddy was barracked by home supporters during the goalless draw with Orient. Tended to mix his undoubted skills with momentary lapses of concentration.
Nigel Walker [19/2 - 2] [ ] [8,7,4,10]
Described as a "souped up Jimmy Smith" by ex-midfield maestro Tony Green Walker started the season well. McGarry also praised him: "he has all the style and ability that great players must possess". But, as was to be the story throughout his career, he could not perform consistently and his form dipped towards the end of the season.
Jamie Scott   [4,10]
One of a number of youngsters given only a couple of games to show what he could do and then never to appear in the senior team again.
Peter Manners   
Made his only 2 appearances for the club towards the end of the season.
Kenny Wharton [0/2] 
Kenny was signed as a non-contract player at the beginning of the season and impressed enough to be given a contract in January. Made his debut as a substitute in the 0-5 hammering at Upton Park.
Peter Withe [43 - 16]  
Arrived in a £200,000 deal after helping Nottingham Forest win the Championship, Withe had refused to accept new terms with Cloughie's boys and made the shock decision to step down a division. Top scorer with 16 goals Withe was not a natural scorer (at least with his feet) but he was brave, fearless and hard-working.
John Connolly [35/1 – 8]  
Glaswegian Connolly arrived from Birmingham in the same move that saw Hibbitt return. He was glad of a move further North and was one of McGarry's more successful purchases. An old fashioned style winger he also weighed in with a decent number of goals.
Alan Shoulder [24 - 11]  [7,8]
Shoulder was captured for £15,000 after he received assurances that he would be allowed to continue his mining studies. He was thrust straight into the first team but was not phased. "After years down the mines I think I know pretty much all there is to know about pressure and how to handle it". His enthusiastic play, raw ability and decent scoring ratio resulted in him retaining his place although he missed the FA Cup games because he was cup-tied.
Jim Pearson [10/1 - 4]  [8,9,4,7]
Pearson's season was wrecked by a plethora of injuries: ligament injuries to both knees, a torn calf muscle and a broken nose.
Mark McGhee [4/8 – 2  [8,7]
The young Scot struggled to adapt to the English game although he did manage one of his trademark goals following a mazy dribble. He was eventually taken to Aberdeen by Alex Ferguson.
Gary Nicholson [6/3]  
Newcastle born Nicholson made his debut in the 1-0 home victory over Cambridge and got a few opportunities when Connolly was injured.
Stuart Robinson [6 - 2]  [11,4]
Performed brilliantly in the Reserves and two goals in six games for the first team was a decent return for an outside-left.
Alan Guy [2/1]  
Jarrow born Guy was given a couple of run outs before he was signed by ex-United coach Peter Morris.
Andrew Parkinson [0/1] 
South African striker who made his final appearance in a black and white shirt in the 5-3 home victory over Charlton.