Newcastle 1984/85 - Season Summary

NUFC 1984/85 Squad
Division 114thChairmanS Seymour
FA CupR3 ManagerJ Charlton
League CupR3CoachW McFaul
Attendance 26,228CaptainG Roeder
Top ScorerP Beardsley (17)

Kit images copyright Historical Football Kits
and reproduced by kind permission.
newcastle 1984/85 programme

After guiding Newcastle back to the First Division Arthur Cox dramatically resigned. The fans were up in arms believing that the board forced him out because they wanted someone in charge that they could control. However for one the fans fears appeared to be unfounded. The Newcastle directors decided to approach Jackie Charlton who was currently doing media work but who was making noises that he was prepared to return to management.

In his first press conference Charlton was typically blunt and the statements he made on that day were to prove prophetic He said that he was "shocked" to learn that the club was £700,000 in debt, but was not concerned stating it was a situation he had been in before and that United had been guilty in the past of "spending money like it was going out of fashion".

Many people were concerned that Charlton would bring an end to the free flowing football of the promotion season. Charlton replied that "I will do what is necessary and no part of the game will be neglected".

He suggested that he was "probably the first manager to understand the Geordie temperament - and I criticise it - they start demanding changes after two bad results". And he made it clear that he would be "out the door" as soon as he found out he was not wanted.

As well as the retiring Keegan, United also lost a number of other experienced players who had been key to the promotion: John Trewick and David Mills had already been granted free transfers and Terry Mcdermott soon followed them out the door after Charlton refused to accede to his demands. And With no new faces added during the summer United were one of the favourites for relegation.

Charlton was determined to change United's style of play from "beer and Skittles'' football to something more “professional” and with less risk. A quote from Chris Waddle’s biography sums it up perfectly: . "I don't want you to play 1-2's on goal, I want you to play 1-2's with God" can't get hurt as long as the ball's up in the clouds". It also led to Charlton marching onto the field at the end of the home game with Luton to give Peter Beardsley "the bollocking of a lifetime" for taking a player on at the end of the game rather than playing safe.

Eventually Big strikers George Reilly and Tony Cunningham were signed, with Waddle and Beardsley being cast out to the flanks. The simple ploy was for the full backs to boot the ball up to the two big men and then for Beardsley and Waddle to "gallop up and down like demented dervishes" (as Beardsley describes it in his autobiography) to try and get on the end of the "second ball".

The tactics and new signings paid off to an extent, an improvement in results leading to an eventual 14th position with safety being gained despite conceding a "bloody awful" total of 78 goals (league and cup games combined).

Neither Waddle nor Beardsley enjoyed playing under Charlton and the former would be on his way during the summer.


League Division 1
25/8/84 A Leicester W 3-2
27/8/84 H Sheff Wed W 2-1
01/9/84 H Aston Villa W 3-0
04/9/84 A Arsenal L 0-2
08/9/84 A Manchester Utd L 0-5
15/9/84 H Everton L 2-3
22/9/84 A QPR D 5-5
29/9/84 H WHU D 1-1
06/10/84 H Ipswich W 3-0
13/10/84 A Coventry D 1-1
20/10/84 H Nottm F D 1-1
27/10/84 A Watford D 3-3
03/11/84 A Luton D 2-2
10/11/84 H Chelsea W 2-1
18/11/84 H Liverpool L 0-2
24/11/84 A Southampton L 0-1
01/12/84 H Stoke W 2-1
08/12/84 A Tottenham L 1-3
15/12/84 H Norwich D 1-1
22/12/84 A Aston Villa L 0-4
26/12/84 A WBA L 1-2
29/12/84 H Arsenal L 1-3
01/1/85 H Sunderland W 3-1
12/1/85 A Everton L 0-4
02/2/85 A WHU D 1-1
09/2/85 H Manchester Utd D 1-1
16/2/85 A Chelsea L 0-1
23/2/85 H Luton W 1-0
02/3/85 H Watford W 3-1
09/3/85 A Nottm F D 0-0
20/3/85 H Leicester L 1-4
23/3/85 A Ipswich D 1-1
30/3/85 A Sheff Wed L 2-4
06/4/85 H WBA W 1-0
08/4/85 A Sunderland D 0-0
13/4/85 H QPR W 1-0
17/4/85 H Coventry L 0-1
20/4/85 A Liverpool L 1-3
27/4/85 H Southampton W 2-1
04/5/85 A Stoke W 1-0
06/5/85 H Tottenham L 2-3
11/5/85 A Norwich D 0-0

Although Newcastle hit the top of the table after winning the first 3 games, no-one (least-of-all Jackie Charlton), expected the situation to last. Inevitably it was a tough season and after recording a goal difference of +30 in 1983/85 it was -25 this time around. Form at St. James' held up reasonably well, but after winning at Leicester on the opening day United failed to win on their travels again until May.

The opening victories were followed by 3 defeats and then a series of draws as Charlton revamped the formation in an effort to stiffen up the defence. By the end of the year the Magpies had only managed another 3 wins and had slumped to 18th.

A New Year's day victory over Sunderland proved a confidence-booster and although they remained inconsistent their home form was just good enough to keep them out of trouble as they finished 6 places and 3 points above the relegation positions.

FA Cup
FAC 06/1/85 A Nottm F D 1-1
FAC 09/1/85 H Nottm F L 1-3

League Cup
R2 L1 26/9/84 H Bradford W 3-1
R2 L2 10/10/84 A Bradford W 1-0
R3 L1 30/10/84 A Ipswich D 1-1
R3 L2 07/11/84 H Ipswich L 1-2


Player A S G
Allon J 1 0
Anderson J 37 4 1
Baird I 4 1 1
Beardsley P 44 0 17
Brown M 45 0
Carney S 8 0 1
Carr K 30 0
Clarke J 25 0
Cunningham T 13 0 1
Ferris P 0 6 1
Gascoigne P 0 2
Haddock P 3 0
Heard P 36 0 2
Hedworth C 2 0
McCreery D 38 2 1
McDonald N 35 7 8
Megson G 21 1 2
Reilly G 14 0 3
Roeder G 39 0
Ryan John 6 0
Saunders W 27 0
Thomas M 18 0
Waddle C 41 1 16
Wharton K 41 0 7

01: (2) Carr > Thomas

02: (2) Brown

03: (5) Ryan > Saunders > Anderson/Wharton

04: (7) Carney > Heard > McCreery

05: (3) Andersen > Clarke

06: (4) Roeder

07: (3) McDonald

08: (5) Wharton > Cunningham

09: (4) Waddle

10: (3) Beardsley

11: (4) McCreery > Heard

Toon In
Kelly Gary 06/84 Professional
Heard Pat 09/84 Sheff Wed Exchange
Allon Joe 11/84 Professional
Mckinnon Rob 11/84 Rutherglen
Megson Gary 11/84 Nottm F £110,000
Scott Kevin 12/84 Eppleton CW
Cunningham Tony 02/85 Man City £75,000
Reilly George 02/85 Watford £200,000
Gascoigne Paul 05/85 Professional

T Cunningham

G Megson

G Reilly

Toon Oot
Mills David 06/84 Middlesbrough (p/c)
Trewick John 08/84 Oxford Free
Mcdermott Terry 09/84 Released
Ryan John 09/84 Sheff Wed Cash-Exchange

Drop In
Baird Ian 12/84 01/85 Southampton

Drop Oot
Carney Steve Carlisle
Clarke Jeff Brighton
Saunders Wes Bradford C
Thomas Martin Middlesbrough