Newcastle 1983/84 - Season Summary

NUFC 1983/84 Squad
Division 23rdChairmanS Seymour
FA CupR3 ManagerA Cox
League CupR2CoachI McFaul
Attendance 36,513CaptainK Keegan
Top ScorerK Keegan (28)

Kit images copyright Historical Football Kits
and reproduced by kind permission.
newcastle 1983/84 programme

After six-years in Division 2 the Magpies finally returned to the top tier after securing the third promotion place. But in typical United style there was a sting in the tale.

Following last season's near-miss Tyneside was relieved and delighted that Keegan decided to stay at the club and give it another go. Fans were less pleased when Imre Varadi (top scorer for the last 2 seasons was sold to promotion rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

Kevin Keegan announced that he would retire in February and his Testimonial added a touch more theatre to what was a dramatic and emotional season as he was whisked off in a helicopter at the end of the match.

Within weeks of promotion being achieved manager Arthur Cox followed Keegan out the door. The club offered him a new two-year contract and £250,000 to spend on players. Cox wanted a four-year contract and a pledge that all the money raised from season ticket sales would be made available. Neither side budged leaving United looking for a new manager.

An FA Cup thrashing by the scousers and a Milk Cup humbling by Oxford could not sour the promotion party and the campaign ended in fireworks and choppers as King Kev flew the nest.


League Division 2
20/8/83 H QPR W 1-0
27/8/83 A Leeds Utd W 1-0
29/8/83 H Shrewsbury L 0-1
03/9/83 H Oldham W 3-0
06/9/83 A Middlesbrough L 2-3
10/9/83 A Grimsby D 1-1
17/9/83 H Crystal Palace W 3-1
24/9/83 A Barnsley D 1-1
01/10/83 H Portsmouth W 4-2
08/10/83 H Charlton W 2-1
16/10/83 A Swansea W 2-1
19/10/83 A Cardiff W 2-0
29/10/83 H Man City W 5-0
05/11/83 H Fulham W 3-2
12/11/83 A Chelsea L 0-4
19/11/83 A Sheff Wed L 2-4
26/11/83 H Cambridge Utd W 2-1
03/12/83 A Derby L 2-3
10/12/83 H Huddersfield W 5-2
17/12/83 A Brighton W 1-0
26/12/83 H Blackburn D 1-1
27/12/83 A Carlisle Utd L 1-3
31/12/83 A Oldham W 2-1
02/1/84 H Barnsley W 1-0
21/1/84 A Crystal Palace L 1-3
04/2/84 A Portsmouth W 4-1
11/2/84 H Grimsby L 0-1
18/2/84 A Man City W 2-1
25/2/84 H Cardiff W 3-1
03/3/84 A Fulham D 2-2
10/3/84 H Chelsea D 1-1
17/3/84 H Middlesbrough W 3-1
24/3/84 A Shrewsbury D 2-2
28/3/84 H Leeds Utd W 1-0
31/3/84 H Swansea W 2-0
07/4/84 A Charlton W 3-1
14/4/84 H Sheff Wed L 0-1
20/4/84 A Blackburn D 1-1
23/4/84 H Carlisle Utd W 5-1
28/4/84 A Cambridge Utd L 0-1
05/5/84 H Derby W 4-0
07/5/84 A Huddersfield D 2-2
12/5/84 H Brighton W 3-1

The playing style had been totally transformed in Cox's four years at the club and the 85 goals scored was almost treble the amount scored in 1980/81 as well as being United's best haul since 1960/61. And it was the more progressive football that turned draws into wins and garnered the additional points required.

After an indifferent start Newcastle were in 7th after the first 7 games. But as September came to a close Peter Beardsley (who almost joined United 3 years ago) was signed from Vancouver Whitecaps. His arrival sparked a run of six consecutive victories with the highlight being a 5-0 demolition of Manchester City in which United could have scored many more but for a superb performance by the City keeper Alex James.

United's attack of Beardsley, Waddle and Keegan backed up by the prompting of Mcdermott provided some sensational attacking play, but United still looked shaky at the back. And after the run of victories United lost 3 of the next 4 games at Chelsea, Sheffield Wednesday and Derby conceding 11 goals in the process. Cox helped resolve the issue by signing Glenn Roederfrom QPR just before Christmas.

In the New Year United hovered between 3rd and 4th and a 4-0 home victory over Derby made promotion certain (bar some unrealistic score lines) with the final mathematical point gained at Leeds Road Huddersfield in an encounter marred by significant trouble.

FA Cup
R3 06/1/84 A Liverpool L 0-4

League Cup
R2 L1 05/10/83 H Oxford Utd D 1-1
R2 L2 26/10/83 A Oxford Utd L 1-2


Player A S G
Anderson, J 44 0 1
Beardsley, P 37 1 20
Carney S 34 1
Carr K 19 0
Clarke, J 14 0
Haddock, P 1 2
Keegan, K 44 0 28
McCreery, D 43 0
McDermott, T 45 0 7
McDonald, N 10 3
Mills, D 10 8 5
Roeder, G 24 0
Ryan, John 25 0 1
Saunders, W 19 0
Thomas, M 26 0
Trewick, J 14 2 1
Waddle, C 45 0 18
Wharton, K 41 3 4
own goals 2

Total number of games: 45

Total number of players used: 18

01: Thomas > Carr

02: Anderson

03: Ryan > Wharton

04: McCreery

05: Clarke or Saunders or Carney

06: Carney > Roeder

07: Keegan

08: Beardsley

09: Waddle

10: McDermott

11: Waddle

Top scorers: Keegan (28), Beardsley (20) and Waddle (18).

Toon In
Brown Malcolm 07/83 Huddersfield £100,000
Thomas Martin 07/83 Bristol R £50,000
Mills David 08/83 Sheff Wed Cash-Exchange
Ryan John 08/83 Oldham £225,000
Beardsley Peter 09/83 Vancouver Whitecaps £120,000
Roeder Glenn 12/83 QPR £120,000
Peter Beardsley
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Arthur Cox made two absolute masterstroke signings. Geordie Peter Beardsley was brought back from America and he combined brilliantly with Keegan and Waddle from the off.

Then central-defender Glenn Roeder was signed from QPR and his cool and classy play significantly improved the quality of the defence.

Less successful signings were a couple of full-backs. Malcolm Brown missed the whole season through injury and John Ryan was barracked after struggling for form.

Toon Oot
Martin Mick cs/83 Released
Halliday Bruce cs/83 Bury Free
Withe Chris 06/83 Bradford City Free
Barton David 07/83 Darlington Free
Craggs John 08/83 Darlington Free
Varadi Imre 08/83 Sheff Wed £150,000
Bell Derek 11/83 Retired
Keegan Kevin 05/84 Retired
Kevin Keegan
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The Gallowgate faithful were very upset when Imre Varadi (top scorer for the last 2 seasons) was allowed to move to promotion rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

The biggest departure , of course, was the retirement of Kevin Keegan. He had succeeded in guiding United into the First Division but did not feel he had the legs to do himself justice at the top level anymore.

Drop Oot
Trewick John Oxford


Peter Beardsley and Kevin Keegan illustrations from

Kit illustration from Historical Football Kits

Position data from

Other stats from newspapers and programmes and various publications