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NUFC 1898/99 - Season Diary

31/05 - The balance-sheet and financial statement for last season is released and reveals that the club made a profit of £1,079 13s 9d. The total income amounted to £8,399 4s 2d; the bulk of which was derived from gate receipts of home league matches which were a record. The total expenditure for 1897-8 amounted to £6,050 11s 10d which included £470 10s for League team players' wages, and £670 for Alliance players. A large sum was also paid for player's transfers: nearly £500 more than in the 1896-7 season.


03/06 - At the annual meeting of the League club secretaries the number of clubs in the First Division is increased from 16 to 18 clubs, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United being included in next season's list. It is also agreed to adopt the Fletcher system of bringing the clubs into rivalry.

07/06 - Charlie Watts, United's clever custodian, is married. A few friends met together last Wednesday night and presented him with a handsome marble clock as a wedding present, and he deserved it; he is popular with all classes. He marries a sister of former Newcastle half-back George Adam, who played for Hebburn Argyle last year.

08/06 - The annual general meeting is held at the Hotel Metropole. Chairman Neasham says last season was their best so far and the players had given general satisfaction to the committee and directors. Mr Turnbull said that the barriers around the ground would be completely renewed, and the possibility of accidents like last year thereby obviated. The changes being made will increase the capacity to 30,000 with the new stands costing £1,500.

The Newcastle United Club Committee intend issuing season-tickets at an early date. Prices this year will be 25s, 21s, and 15s for reserve portions and stands; ground, 10s. For ladies the prices will be 15s 6d and 7s 6d.

13/06 - Grimsby announce their squad and it includes right-back (George) Thomas Stewart formerly of Newcastle. Stewart joined the Magpies from Motherwell in December 1896 and took over at right full back. But last season he lost his place to White and the arrival of Lindsay further reduced his chances. He made 30 appearances for the club.

23/06 - Reserve left-back John Warburton (24) joins non-league Warmley. He re-joined United in January 1898 as a guest and made three consecutive appearances in place of the suspended Foyers. However, he has made no appearances in the first team since then.

Edward Birnie (19) arrives from Sunderland Seaburn. He was born in Sunderland and is 5' 10".

Newcastle United Club season tickets are issued. They may be purchased at "T. T. Mac's," 6a Pink Lane, and from officials of the club.


13/07 - The club are making extensive alterations to the enclosure. New covered stands accommodating 600 will be erected and a new exit will be created behind the bottom goal so players can enter and leave the field without passing spectators. The estimated cost is £1,800 and it will be opened, it is anticipated, in time for the first match.

Malcolm Lennox (24) moves to New Brompton. He joined United in October 1895 from Glasgow Perthshire and was a regular at outside or inside-right for a couple of seasons before losing his place in the side. He has made 49 appearances and scored 17 goals in total, but only appeared 4 times last season.


05/08 - The men retained from last season are: Watts, Jackson, Lockey, Lindsay, Ostler, Ghee, Stott, Harvey, Campbell, Peddie, Aitken, Wardrope, Niblo, and Smith. New men are: Kingsley (late Darwen), goal; Higgins (late Grimsby), centre half-back; Rogers (late Grimsby), outside right. The majority of the team are young men, steady and true to their club, and anxious for its welfare. Last year, the half-back line was voted to be equal to anything in either divisions of the League. The inclusion of Higgins this season will make it even stronger in that particular department. There has been an enormous demand for season tickets, and the supply is now exhausted. Practices commence on the 13th, when the crowds will roll up in their thousands to see the men in their trial spins. Everyone appears to be ready and eager for the commencement of the season, which from a pecuniary point of view (and playing point) should be the most successful ever known in the annals of Tyneside football.

08/08 - Newcastle and Sunderland have previously been approached about joining a proposed East of Scotland League. However, the idea is in a state of suspended animation at present. It is felt that the odd number of clubs interested (five) does not make for a good combination and for the purpose of securing a sixth the Aberdeen Orion and East Stirlingshire clubs have been asked to name their terms. There is a rumour abroad that a gentleman is trying to engineer a scheme which would at least bring together the Heart of Midlothian, Hibernians, Sunderland and Newcastle United clubs into an end of season rivalry.

11/08 - The club is experiencing considerable bother regarding the tenancy of the ground. Not very long ago the club fought down opposition to the erection of a grandstand but now some of the adjoining tenants have a decided objection to the game and are threatening to take out an injunction for its prevention.

19/8 - A full practice match between players representing the first and second teams takes place before a big crowd of spectators at St. James's Park. The form exhibited by the new men pleased the knowing ones.

23/8 - There is another monstrous attendance of the public at the second practice match. Nothing like a free show to make the great British public rush up in their thousands.

27/8 - Another practice match. The form of the new men: Rogers, Higgins and Kingsley, is affording much satisfaction to the United adherents. Niblo, who joined the club at the end of last season, is also showing marked ability; and Johnny Campbell is still as clever and as tricky as ever.


01/09 - Fr: Newcastle 1 Sunderland 1 - The friendly is of a very keen nature and the players, carried away with excitement, use physical force unnecessarily at times. Both teams are equally to blame in this respect and the referee has trouble keeping them in hand.

03/09 - D1: Newcastle 2 Wolverhampton 4

The large stand at the low end is a perfect bank of faces punctuated with the odd bright scarlet coat of the Tommy Atkins and there is scarcely a yard of standing room on the banked up ground at the North End or the Strawberry Lane side. Wolves finished third last season and it is a baptism of fire for Newcastle who, although outclassed, play a good and plucky game.

07/09 - Fr: Newcastle 6 Grimsby 2 - The Magpies are altogether too good for Grimsby in front of a very moderate company..

08/09 - At a meeting of Newcastle City Council, Alderman T. Richardson asks if the erections upon the intake opposite West Leazes Terrace, commonly called St. James's Park, and the business carried on therein are in harmony with the conditions of the lease. And, if not, what steps the Town Clerk advises the Council take to enforce the observance of the terms of the lease ("Hear, hear"). The Town Clerk states that the erections and their use are not in harmony with the conditions of the lease. As the Council are aware, the matter has been referred by them to the Town Moor Management Committee, who were in communication with the lessees of the intake and the residents of Leazes Terrace, who attended the Council on July 20th on the subject. If the Corporation desires to take proceedings in the matter they ought to commence an action to obtain an injunction. Alderman Richardson moves the suspension of the standing orders to enable the Council to discuss the matter. The proposal is negatived, but Alderman Richardson states that he will bring the question again.

10/09 - D1: Everton 3 Newcastle 0 - Although United are unlucky to see a couple of goals disallowed they are weak in front of goal throughout the game and it is an easy win for Everton who go top. The Magpies slump to the other end of the table.

11/09 - MR P Stephen, mine host of the Darnell Hotel, a big resort of United's followers, dies very suddenly. No-one has put more enthusiasm into their support of the club. He was a genial, kind-hearted and well respected man whose early decease will be much regretted by his crowds of friends.

15/09 - Fr: Grimsby 4 Newcastle 4 - A benefit match for the transfer of Lindsay and Rodgers sees United bounce back from conceding an early goal to lead before the scores even out. Higgins picks up a leg injury.

17/09 - Newcastle 1 Notts County 2 - A strong north-westerly wind creates a cloud of dust from the clay wilderness between the railings and Barrack Road. Inside the ground there is another huge crowd and a displacement of spectators occurs in the large stand at the low end of the field caused by additional arrivals. It throws the whole sketch of humanity into a commotion, and it is only after a lot of good-natured jostling and climbing that footholds are regained. The majesty of the law is embodied in the person of a solitary policeman who bandies jests with the crowd before the kick-off. County are also pointless so there is hope that the Magpies can get something from the game, but the referee's decisions go against them once again. United are as good as Notts in the open, and play as well as they do, but they dilly dally in front of goal.

19/09 - Charlie Watts won £600 after selecting every winner in the handicap list during Derby race week.

24/09 - D1: Stoke 0 Newcastle 0 - Only four games in and half-back Higgins becomes the fourth player tried at centre-forward. The game is ragged but quite even; although the home side should probably have won. At least United have "broken their egg".

26/09 - D1: Sheff. United 2 Newcastle 2 - Although the defending Champions are unbeaten so far they have drawn four of their five games. After only seven minutes Newcastle are trailing by two goals, but they fight back to level by the break. United hold their own in the second period but their occasionally dirty play is scarcely commendable.

Outside-right Richard Hedley (25) returns for his third spell at the club having joined from Hebburn Argyle. His last appearance for the club was the final game of the 1894/95 season (the 9-0 hammering at Burton Wanderers).


01/10 - D1: Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 1

This is the most eagerly awaited game ever played in the city and the directorate have made extraordinary preparations with excursions from all over the North. The ground is packed and some brave souls stand on the flat zinc roofs of the stand using the telephone wires to keep their balance. Even the press-box is overcrowded owing to non-pressmen taking up more room than those actually there on business. It is a thrilling game in which the Magpies take an early lead, but concede an equaliser ten minutes from time. A new record gate receipt of £780 is recorded but there are some slippings within the crowd during the game.

05/10 - The chief subject discussed by the Newcastle City Council is the legality of permitting football at the St. James's Park intake of the Town Moor. Alderman Richardson argues that the ground is on land which was let for agricultural purposes and moves that the Town Clerk take immediate steps to enforce the observance of the conditions of the lease and the Act of Parliament relating to intakes. His motion is defeated, 37 votes to 5, with two members declining to vote.

08/10 - D1: Burnley 2 Newcastle 1 - The home side score at the end of each half to deny United any points in a poor but eagerly fought game.

11/10 - At a meeting of the Town Moor Management Committee a resolution is passed to the effect that it was absolutely necessary that the suggestions of the committee with respect to the alterations of the St James' football fields are carried out at once. The suggestions include setting back the embankment along the whole length of the wall in front of Leazes Terrace thereby reducing the height of the embankment so that it shall not exceed six feet. Also the erection of a close wooden fence five feet in height. This is to try and meet the objections of the residents and property owners in Leazes Terrace. By this arrangement it is hoped to end the present trouble, at any rate to the expiration of the lease.

14/10 - John Campbell is due to become the manager of the Darnell House on Barrack Road; a gargle establishment much frequented by footballing enthusiasts.

15/10 - D1: Newcastle 1 Sheff. United 2 - The visitors lead the League but a steady downpour all day has a massive impact on the attendance and a major impact on the pitch. The club have taken action to try and prevent the "human landslides" that have occurred from time to time in the imposing low end stand. They have erected short barricades at different intervals, parallel to the length of the stand. Newcastle start down the hill and take an early lead, but despite continuous attacking in the first-half they fail to add to their tally and the Cutlers come back to win. There are a couple of lengthy stoppages when the ball has to be retrieved when it goes out the ground and down the hill.

15/10 - Newcastle secure a new centre forward in the person of Alexander "Sandy" Macfarlane (20) who has acted as centre for the Airdrieonians for the past two seasons. He started with Baillieston Juniors and comes from a well-to-do family. He is 5' 8", 11st. 5lb. and cost £30. He was a signed player for Woolwich Arsenal for a time but never figured in their ranks. He comes with a big reputation.

21/10 - Centre-forward Johnny Campbell's lengthy and brilliant football career appears to have reached its close despite the fact that he is only 28-years-old. He has been appointed manager of the Darnell Hotel, Newcastle, and his association with Newcastle United lapses, by reason of an old standing rule that none of the players shall hold berths in the liquor traffic. Since signing from Sunderland Harvey has made 29 appearances scoring 12 goals. He played in the first two games of this season but has not played since.

21/10 - Higgins has been ordered not to play for three weeks, as the muscles of his knee are badly strained.

22/10 - D1: Bury 1 Newcastle 1 - Bury are also struggling and missing a number of players through injury. The weather is wretched and makes the turf very slippery. With the wind behind them United deservedly take the lead in the first period. Bury equalise when Kingsley catches the ball but is bundled through.

26/10 - The directors engage James Stevenson (21), inside-forward of the Derby County Club. For the past four years Stevenson has rendered conspicuous service for Derby (scoring 32 goals in 84 games) and has gained the reputation of being one of the cleverest forwards in the League. A wizard with the leather, he is 5' 8" and the fee is believed to be £225.

29/10 - D1: Preston 1 Newcastle 0 - Newcastle play just as well as the Prestonians, but although defensively sound they are still weak up front.


05/11 - D1: Newcastle 3 Liverpool 0 - St James' is packed out once again; the mass of flesh colour being relieved only by the presence of military men in scarlet uniforms and the white collars and white team sheets that nearly everyone possessed. Thankfully Frank Watt has ensured that the press box is reserved for pressmen only. Soon after the break Peddie scores the opening goal and - with United playing like Trojans - MacFarlane and Peddie with his second secure United's first ever top-level victory. The crowd is happy to applaud smart play by the visitors in direct opposition to certain remarks made lately in another provincial town about the conduct of Novocastrian supporters.

12/11 - D1: Nottm. Forest 2 Newcastle 0 - The Foresters take the lead in the first minute and although play is fairly even, the Trent Bridge men score a controversial second just before the end.

17/11 - The Edinburgh Evening News claims that the players are on a £2 bonus for a win.

19/11 - D1: Newcastle 4 Bolton 1 - Bolton make the trip in the morning and arrive late. So although, with the skies leaden, the kick-off is brought forward the players are not ready so there is a slight delay. The scoreline flatters Newcastle somewhat as the superb Kingsley clears numerous shots from all quarters. Wanderers make the better start and take the lead but United equalise before the break. Due to the fading light only three minutes is allowed for a rest and the half-time lemons. To compound matters, the ball is kicked over the director's stand and when it is returned it presents the shape of a sucked orange. This necessitates a new ball which takes almost fifteen minutes to requisition. Playing down the hill in the second half, Newcastle take control.

22/11 - Left-full-back Edward Graham's transfer from Lanemark (Ayrshire) is confirmed. He is the younger brother of Willie Graham, of Lanemark, who for many years ably played for the Tyneside team. He is said to be young, energetic, and a capable player; all excellent qualities in a footballer.

26/11 - D1: Derby 3 Newcastle 1

Derby are much the better side and although Kingsley saves Bloomer's penalty they score three without reply. Brave United do not give up and Macfarlane and Wardrope both hit the bar before Wardrope scores a consolation. Newcastle once more had much the worst of the refereeing and the players are very wroth at some of the decisions of the man with the whistle.


03/12 - D1: Newcastle 3 West Brom. 0 - The Magpies give a brilliant display in all departments against the Throstles and also had two "good" goals disallowed.

10/12 - D1: Blackburn 4 Newcastle 2 - It is a ding-dong battle from commencement and United concede twice in the first seven minutes. Although Stevenson scores a brace the homesters also score twice more.

17/12 - D1: Newcastle 2 The Wednesday 2 - United come from behind twice; with the second equaliser two minutes from time. The Blades continually kick the ball out of play after the interval and the crowd (which is not in the best of moods throughout) show their disappropriation of their tactics. The game becomes very scrappy with lots of players (particularly the visitors) requiring treatment. The crowd seems thoroughly out of patience and hoots and boos in the stupid fashion to which we have become accustomed.

17/12 - During the match between Sunderland Nomads and Newcastle United "A", thieves enter the clubhouse and steal the referee's topcoat and money from the player's clothes. There are officials in the clubhouse at the time but they are watching the match out the window.

21/12 - Special rail arrangements are being put in place for Saturday's game at Roker Park. There will be a continuous service running between Central Station and Monkwearmouth from 11.30 until 1.30. The rail company have raised the price of a return from 1s to 1s 8d. Sunderland have also doubled the admission price to sixpence for all areas except behind the goals.

24/12 - D1: Sunderland 2 Newcastle 3 - The local rivals have met numerous times in friendlies but this is the first competitive match between the two. There are alarming reports of eight thousand supporters gathering at Central Station with many others waiting en route. Between 11am and 2pm eighteen trains leave at ten minute intervals. The 4,659 bookings taken is a record. There are also innumerable private brake parties. Admission prices have been raised in certain parts of the field and although scores refused to pay the majority paid the difference cheerfully. The Newcastle team (also travelling by train) take eighty minutes to make the short journey and only arrive at 1.30pm. The Magpies go behind but hit back to lead at the break. Peddie scores a third and although Leslie pulls one back United deservedly win their first away match of the season. United fairly excelled themselves.

26/12 - D1: Aston Villa 1 Newcastle 0 - The Novocastrians take on the league leaders and although they lose to a first minute goal they match their illustrious opponents throughout the stubbornly fought game and there is a general feeling that the side will soon be climbing away from danger. Almost two thousand travelled south in four special trains.

26/12 - A scratch side plays Leith Athletic.

27/12 - Fr: Coventry 0 Newcastle 2 - Despite their very difficult Christmas schedule the Novocastrians take part in a comfortable friendly victory.

31/12 - D1: Wolves 0 Newcastle 0 - The pluvial deity was much in evidence in the morning and the pitch is dreadfully heavy. United are poor but the home side are not much better; home forward Blackett is guilty of missing a penalty.


02/01 - Fr: Newcastle 1 Burnley 4 - The Newcastle team is greatly altered and although Stevenson puts them ahead they are comprehensively beaten in the end.

02/01 - Fr: Newcastle 4 Hearts 1 - A comfortable victory against the Scots

07/01 - D1: Newcastle 2 Everton 2 - The Magpies are outclassed for much of the opening period and find themselves two goals behind at the break against the second placed team. But soon after the restart Stevenson pulls one back and United are transformed. And although the visiting keeper keeps them out with some brilliant saves, Balmer puts through his own net.

13/01 - The Newcastle party leaves for the Midlands on the 17.05 train and will stay overnight at Colwick Hall before driving to Nottingham in the morning.

14/01 - D1: Notts. County 3 Newcastle 1 - A poor performance at Old Trent Bridge sees United comfortably beaten despite the ridiculously bad shooting of the home side. Despite their recent improvement they are still hovering around queer-street corner.

21/01 - D1: Newcastle 3 Stoke 0 - It is fair to say that The Magpies have not had the best of luck this season. However, although they have occasionally risen to the occasion (notably against the better sides) they have not always come up to expectation (particularly against the lesser sides). The Potters have not won on their travels this season so this is the sort of game that really should be won. Although the pitch is heavy United show greater dash, determination and pace.

28/01 - FA R1: Glossop 0 Newcastle 1 - The Second Divisioners make a good start but United take control and Peddie scores brilliantly. Glossop go all out for an equaliser in the last thirty minutes and United are slightly fortunate to come away with a victory.

Rutherford College player Colin Veitch (17) signs on as an amateur. He is 5ft 6in and is highly regarded in the region.


01/02 - "Goldie" White has gone to Dundee; he has been playing for Galston but Newcastle held his League papers. Newcastle do not regard negotiations as complete as they want £100 for him.

04/02 - D1: Newcastle 4 Burnley 1 - United give a dashing display from start to finish and are too good for high-flying Burnley on the treacherous snow covered pitch. Lindsay scores with a remarkable shot from twelve yards inside his own half and United have full measure of their opponents after the break.

06/02 - Newcastle have granted "Tyke" White a free transfer to Dundee for the rest of the season.

10/02 - It is reported in some newspapers that the club have secured a new ground which is five minutes walk from the current ground and alongside Barrack Road. The site is 12 acres (compared with the current 7 acres) and the ground is level. Arrangements have allegedly been completed and they only need the Freeman's sanction. The club expect to open the new field next season and their plans cater for a 40,000 capacity with most of the stands covered. The existing ground will be retained until the lease expires (in four or five years time).

11/02 - FA R2: Liverpool 3 Newcastle 1 - The short-passing Pudlians play much the better football and thoroughly outplay the hugely disappointing Tynesiders.

14/02 - Fr: Sunderland 3 Newcastle 4 - An entertaining Shrove Tuesday friendly in which the lead changes four times.

18/02 - D1: Newcastle 2 Bury 0 - With United still based at Gisland they arrive late for the match at St. James' and the kick-off has to be delayed. Bury have the better chances in the first period but United outclass them after the break. After the game the team return to Gisland Hydropathic where they are set to remain until they have ensured their survival in the top division.

Andy Aitken is to make a temporary move to Kilmarnock to help them in their Cup matches.

United have arranged to play Celtic (on a good guarantee) on March 4th.

24/02 - United sign AF (Freddie) Kennedy on League forms. He played for Jarrow last season but has not had a club during this campaign. He has a fine turn of speed (he is the quarter-mile amateur champion) but that is about all that can be said in his favour. He is only likely to turn out for the "A" Team.

25/02 - The North East correspondent of the Lancashire Evening Post states that Newcastle's new ground "only lives in the imagination of some energetic scribe". He says that the club are still looking for a new ground but if they are not successful they will try and get permission from Newcastle Council to bank up the bottom end of the pitch to level up the playing surface as long as they don't get the "order of the knock" from the First League.

25/02 - D1: Newcastle 2 Preston 1 - There are counter-attractions of the North verses South rugby game and a sweepstake, but they do not seem to have had too much impact on the attendance. The kick-off is delayed as the Preston team are late arriving, the Dunston Brass Band keeps the crowd entertained with some lively numbers. There is a further delay as they need to get a new ball. In a fast and furious game United's early goal is equalised and their combination becomes very ragged after the break. However, a controversially awarded penalty, five minutes from time, is converted by Peddie to win the game.

Due to Cup commitments Celtic will not be able to play the previously arranged friendly; Liverpool will take their place.

27/02 -The FA Council have sanctioned a benefit for Stott and it will be in the home game against Derby. He will get all of the ticket money and 25% of the gate receipts.


01/03 or 13/3 - Grimsby sign reserve right-full-back James Lockey (24) on a free transfer until the end of the season. Lockey has made 3 appearances in total but has only played once in the first team this season.

02/03 - Every player scores as the Magpies beat Brampton Athletic

03/03 - Darwen are in danger of going out of business and they reveal that they have received a letter of support and a £10 cheque from Newcastle to help them out.

03/03 - Vice-President Turnbull attends a public meeting at the Co-operative Hall in Middlesbrough held to discuss whether Middlesbrough should go professional. Turnbull states that Newcastle will give them every assistance possible.

04/03 - Fr: Newcastle 1 Liverpool 3 - Allen scores a hat-trick for the visitors in a low-key friendly which is largely devoid of interest.

07/03 - Plans for projected alterations to St James' Park are put before the Newcastle Town Moor Management Committee. They want to reduce the gradient of the pitch (the drop in height between the two goals is currently 10' 4") by taking four feet of earth off at the top and adding two feet at the bottom. In tandem with this they want to move the playing area a few yards towards the Park End and carry forward the Stand at the Town End accordingly.

11/03 - D1: Newcastle 0 Nottm. Forest 1 - The Magpies make a thrilling start until on the half-hour total silence meets the notching of a point by the Foresters. United continue to press but as the game wears on their shooting is of a wild and fearful nature at times. The referee also has occasion at one point to caution some spectators. A decidedly disappointing performance.

The referee in charge of the Preston game at the end of February has reported the Preston captain and one of the directors (MR Houghton) for unseemly conduct before and after the match.

18/03 - D1: Bolton 0 Newcastle 0 - In what is a crucial game against the bottom placed Wanderers a strong wind blowing across the pitch makes it very difficult to shoot with any accuracy. And when Peddie beats a number of opponents before shooting from about six yards out the referee gets in the way of the goal-bound effort.

19/03 - Inside/outside-left William Reid (22) signs from Kilmarnock on loan. He is 5ft 6in and 11st 12lb. He has been in brilliant form this season (scoring 12 goals in 16 games) and played a meritous game in the Scotland trial games. He is said to be the best left-wing in the Land O'Cakes with a wonderful finish in his footwork and the ability to shoot with deadly effect.

19/03 - Haverton Hill right-back Albert Crookes is signed; he is reputed to be a powerful kicker and tackler.

25/03 - D1: Newcastle 2 Derby 0 - After the recent snowfall Frank Watt engaged several men to clear the pitch, although (especially due to the additional rain and snow this morning) it is inevitably on the heavy side and slippy in places. United gradually gain the ascendancy against the Cup Finalists and go on to win in what is widely regarded as the team's best performance of the season. The Magpies are now four points ahead of 17th placed Wednesday who have only four games left. It is also captain Stott's benefit and he will get all the ticket money and 25% of the gate receipts.

28/03 - Under inclement weather auspices Ghee, Wardrope and Peddie all feature in the Anglo-Scots v Home-Scots trial game at Cathkin Park. Much is expected of Peddie but he has a disappointing game.

29/03 - The Sunderland Daily Echo reports that there is no foundation whatever in the persistent rumours that both Sunderland and Newcastle have made formal applications to join the Scottish League.

30/03 - It is revealed that Reid has only been signed until the end of the season with Killie allowing his temporary move in return for past favours.

31/03 - Fr: Newcastle 2 Everton 1 - A very tame affair and a game that contains many ludicrous refereeing decisions to which the crowd gives vent to much good-humoured banter.


01/04 - D1: West Bromwich 2 Newcastle 0 -=Despite being much weakened due to accidents and insubordination the inexperienced homesters win fairly comfortably against a jaded United.

02/04 - Peddie is diagnosed with a severe attack of influenza and quinsy.

03/04 - D1: Liverpool 3 Newcastle 2 - Liverpool are in the race for the title and United give a decent account of themselves in a very entertaining game. A lot of Newcastle fans take a special excursion to the game.

07/04 - This is the last day on which tenders can be submitted for the proposed work at St James' park. The Town Improvement Committee have already sanctioned the plans which include moving the stands, increasing the accommodation and levelling the playing area. Work is due to commence in early May.

08/04 - D1: Newcastle 1 Blackburn 0 - The County cricket match at Jesmond with Devon has some impact on the gate as does the return of wintry weather. The Dunston Brass Band cheers up the half-frozen spectators with some lively selections. United dominate the game and should have won by more than MacFarlane's solitary effort. The result means United are safe.

Reid - who is an indentured apprentice and anxious to finish his time - has returned to Kilmarnock.

11/04 - Tom Lacey signs professional forms, he will remain with his current club (Burradon) until the end of the season.

15/04 - D1: Sheff. Wed 1 Newcastle 3 - This will be the last match played at the Olive Grove as the Midland Railways needs the ground and Wednesday will be moving to new quarters. After the home side make the better start and take an early lead, United bounce back to win. Wednesday's defeat means they are relegated.

17/04 - It is reported that Kingsley, Lindsay, Ghee, Higgins, Aitken, Niblo, Macfarlane and Stevenson have all been signed on for next season. Peddie, Rogers and Watts are also expected to re-sign whilst the club expect to sign two or three Scottish players.

22/04 - Jock Peddie has allegedly been approached by another club. If this is true it would be against FA Rules which state that clubs cannot approach players from other clubs during April.

17/04 - Fr: Hibernians 2 Newcastle 0 - United make the better start in this holiday friendly and Rogers hits the bar but the Scotsmen go on to win. It is a poor display which is understandable considering the game coming up.

22/04 - D1: Newcastle 0 Sunderland 1 - A vast crowd descends on St James' and every vantage point inside and outside of the enclosure is taken. The ground is full an hour before kick-off and there are fans on the roof of the Director's Stand and on the balconies of Leazes Terrace. Sunderland deservedly beat United in the last game of the season

24/04 - Peddie has still not re-signed and it appears that the value he sets upon his services is greater than the executive can see. He is believed to want £6 a week all through the year.

24/04 - Fr: Newcastle 2 Hibernians 2 - In the return friendly the visitors take the lead and although MacFarlane and Aitken net the Scots equalise.

27/04 - United have allowed Woolwich Arsenal to approach Jackson and they are thought to be willing to allow Stott, Ostler, Smith and Harvey to leave. Wardrope has re-signed, Peddie still has not.

29/04 - Fr: Newcastle 4 Derby 1 - In wretched weather United seem to be a lot more motivated than their visitors and win comfortably. United trial two new local players at the back.

28/04 - Newcastle sign Third Lanark left-back DR Gardner (22) for £200 or £500. He has won two Scottish caps and was regarded as one of the best backs in Scotland last year. He is 5ft 9in and has played over 60 games for the Scots.

29/04 - Peddie and Ostler sign on again.

Well-built right-half James Lindsay (18) signs amateur forms. He is 5ft 10in and played for Jarrow this season. A sturdy fellow he is employed as a blacksmith.


01/05 - Work commences at St James'. The pitch will be levelled and drained and other improvements will be made to the enclosure.

02/05 - James Jackson (23) moves to Woolwich Arsenal for £40. The Scot joined United from Rangers at the end of the 1896/97 season and has been the regular left-back for the last two seasons. The arrival of Gardner would appear to have precipitated the move. A strict tee-totaller, Jackson made 68 appearances and scored 3 goals.

08/05 - Colin Veitch - one of the cleverest half-backs unearthed in the district - is secured. He has been on trial since January and previously refused an offer of £3 10s all year round from a Lancashire club.

10/05 - Dundee have had right-back John White (28) on loan and have now signed him permanently. A strong and sturdy back he was a regular fixture in the side for a couple of seasons and appeared 53 times, scoring once.

Right-back James Lockey (25) returns from his loan spell with Grimsby.

15/05 - Newcastle release their Financial Statement which will be submitted to the AGM and as expected it makes for very good reading. Gross receipts amounted to almost £11,300 and a profit of almost £2,900 has been recorded. Some of the money in the bank will be used to fund the ground redevelopment and for the acquisition of new players.

15/05 - The AGM is held at the Hotel Metropole and is characterized by harmony and good feeling. Mr William Neasham occupies the chair, and in the course of his remarks he claims they will have one of the best, if not the best, football grounds in the country next season. Messrs G.G. Archibald, J. Bell, Louis Zollner, and James Lunn are elected directors. Mr Neasham announces that it had been decided to raise the price of the season tickets for next season but after a long discussion the subject is allowed to drop. Mr Watt, in reply to a question, said that the players signed on for next season are: Matt Kingsley, Billy Lindsay, Alex Gardner (Third Lanark), Thomas Ghee, John Ostler, Willie Higgins, Andy Aitken, Joe Rogers, Jimmy Stevenson, Jack Peddie, Sandy Macfarlane, Tom Niblo, Willie Wardrope, Charles Watts, Ted Birnie, Tommy Lacey, Proctor, Colin Veitch, Jack Carr, Kelly, Smoult, William Simm, William Milne, Thomas Lamb, John Harvey and Jimmy Collins. Mr Turnbull advised that he was almost sure that before another season began they would have signed on more than one first-class man whom they thought they needed, and whom he thought they could secure. There was some discussion on the subject of stand accommodation, but the meeting accepted the assurance of the chairman and directors that the alterations at present being made would meet with general satisfaction.

John Harvey (32) retires. He joined Newcastle from Sunderland in May 1897 and played a major part during the promotion season but the arrival of Stevenson saw him limited to only 3 appearances during 1898/99. In all he scored 10 goals in 35 appearances.

The new men are: Kingsley (goal), comes from Darwen, weighs 13st. 41bs., 22 years of age, and is sft. 10iin. W. H. Higgins (centre half-back), played for Grimsby five years, stands sft. 104 in., weighs 11 stones, and is 25 years old. J. Rogers (outside right), for the last two seasons was with Grimsby. He owns up to 22 years, his height is sft. 10 1 in., and he turns the scale at 12st. Gibs.