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NUFC 1968/69 - Season Diary


04/06 - After having an offer for Coventry's Chris Chilton turned down Harvey is believed to be considering making another bid for St. Johnstone inside-forward Alex McDonald.

04/06 - There have been 70 applications for the 48 Fairs Cup places. The FA have put four clubs forward for the first time (on the invitation of the Fairs Cup Committee) and United are the fourth club.

05/06 - Following the departure of first-team coach Ron Lewin, Joe Harvey promotes reserve-team coach Dave Smith. Smith greatly impressed Harvey with his work last season and the manager confidently predicts that "he will make a very fine name for himself". Dundee born Smith played for Burnley and was a member of the Sheffield Wednesday coaching staff before joining United.

05/06 - Coventry make an offer of £80,000 for Wyn Davies. Harvey is adamant that he does not want to sell although it is believed that the Board (disappointed by his goal return) will sell at the right price. Coventry manager Noel Cantwell says "Newcastle want more money but we are not finished yet".

07/06 - New coach David Smith outlines his plans for the season ahead in the Evening Chronicle.

10/06 - Harvey refutes weekend newspaper reports that Sheffield Wednesday have tabled a bid for Davies.

12/06 - The Council is pushing for a meeting in early July to try and resolve their differences over the ground redevelopment. Councillor Arthur Grey states that the council "feel it's essential that something concrete is done NOW and for that reason I want Newcastle United to meet us round the table". The council believe that the club are deliberately prevaricating because, with the lease running out in 1970, they believe that the public indignation would put the Council on the back foot. The club claim that the cost of the council plans (£3.5 million, of which the club may have to pay 66%) is prohibitive.

18/06 - St. Johnstone's secretary makes it clear that "McDonald is not for sale and the matter rests there. It's dead". Ron Lewin - who resigned as United coach last month - takes over as Walsall manager.

18/06 - United's slim hopes of a place in the Fairs Cup appear to be dashed. The Fairs Cup Organising Committee Chairman Sir Stanley Rous states that he is firmly against proposals to increase the number of participating teams from 48 to 64.

19/06 - Despite Rous' opposition the Fairs Cup Committee do vote to increase the number of participating teams and Newcastle are one of the teams accepted. The club believed that the best they could hope for was a place on the "reserve list" (in case any clubs dropped out) and did not send a representative to Copenhagen. Everton officials did attend and they tried unsuccessfully to overturn the highly controversial "one-city-one-club" rule which has deprived Everton, Arsenal and Tottenham of a place in the Competition even though they all finished above United. Harvey is "delighted, overwhelmed" and declares that "we are afraid of no-one in Europe". He also clarifies that no players will be sold. A Board meeting is held in the evening and it is agreed that new contracts will be drawn up to include incentive bonuses for Fairs Cup progress.

21/06 - A bid from Norwich for Ollie Burton is rejected.


08/07 - Harvey is back at his desk following a holiday in Majorca and immediately starts looking at potential transfer targets. Among the rumoured targets are Peter Eustace (Sheffield Wednesday), Alex McDonald (St. Johnstone), Stewart Scullion (Watford) and Roger Jones (Chesterfield). He also starts to sift through the fifty applicants for the vacant reserve-team coach role.

15/07 - Harvey's hopes of appointing Carlisle reserve-team coach Brian Doyle in the same position at Gallowgate are dashed as he is appointed manager of Workington. Harvey has already missed out on one of the other names on his shortlist, Roy McLaren, who has joined Huddersfield. "I've no idea who'll get the job now" he laments.

23/07 - Talks between the club and a special Council sub-committee are expected to take place within the next few weeks following the receipt of a letter from chairman Westwood.

27/07 - Keith Burkinshaw is appointed as reserve-team coach. He was a player with Workington and Scunthorpe and had a short spell as manager at Brough Park. He turned down a coaching job in Zambia to move to Newcastle. He will start work on Monday (29th).

27/07 - Harvey and Seymour watch Partick Thistle's Tommy Gibb in a friendly against Bury.

29/07 - The players are issued with new slim-line German Hummel boots as worn by the German national side. "The boots are light and built for speed", says coach Smith.

29/07 - The County Council meet the (Town Moor) Freeman to discuss United's ground lease which is due to expire 1970. The Freeman (who are the landlords) are concerned that the club might relocate. Members of the Council are due to meet club directors this Friday. The secretary of the steward’s committee Mr Walker admits "we are concerned about the public and political repercussions if the club finds itself driven out of Newcastle."

31/07 - Harvey is given the green light to make signings; he wants a wing-half and two forwards. Moves for Tommy Gibb (Partick Thistle) and Alex McDonald (St. Johnstone) are likely.


01/08 - Geoff Allen is superb and scores with two great volleys as a Newcastle Xl containing a number of youngsters with first-team experience beats Ashington 3-1. Kevin McMahon gets the other with Dixon scoring for Ashington. The team is: Clarke, Craggs, Guthrie (Johnson second-half), Cowan, Winstanley, Noble, Foggon, Duffy, McMahon, Ross, Allen.

01/08 - Harvey and Seymour travel up to Glasgow and make a verbal bid for Gibb of £25,000 which is turned down. They also see McDonald play a blinder against Derby, but despite lengthy talks, no deal is completed.

02/08 - A stormy meeting is held at St James' between Lord Westwood, two other club officials and the council. The Newcastle party depart after an hour without comment and although Council Leader Grey admits they had reached a deadlock he denies that Westwood stormed out. He advises that talks will resume on September 26th with Minister for Sport Denis Howell chairing the meeting.

Grey says he does not expect the club to foot the whole bill of their £2.6-million-pound plan but also makes it clear that the rate payer cannot pay the complete amount either. Westwood accepts that the Arup plans are progressive and first-class but argues that they are unaffordable in the present economic climate. United want the Council to accept their much more modest plans of a new covered stand on the Leazes Terrace side and a future double-decker stand on the opposite side of the ground. However, the club wants a 99-year lease in place before it will commence the work and - conversely - the council are only prepared to offer a long-term lease if the club agrees to their proposals.

03/08 - Fr Hibs 1 Newcastle 2 -An accomplished performance by United but the game is marred by a cartilage injury for Moncur.

03/08 - Partick Thistle and United reach a compromise in which United will pay an initial £25,000 and then an additional £10,000 after Gibb has played 10 first-team games. Talks also continue with St Johnstone manager Willie Ormond regarding McDonald. Seymour says "this lad is a first-class player and we will persist in our efforts to sign him."

04/08 - Moncur will go into South Shields General Hospital on Tuesday when director and surgeon Bob Rutherford will operate to remove torn cartilage. Moncur is likely to be out for at least two months and it is a massive blow for the club on the eve of the season.

05/08 - Fr: Newcastle 1 Aberdeen 0 - A boring game in which a brilliant display by Aberdeen keeper Clark prevents a bigger victory.

Tommy Gibb

05/08 - United sign Tommy Gibb (23) from Partick Thistle for £25,000 (plus an extra £10,000 after ten games). The Bathgate born midfielder has played 153 games for Thistle and won a Scottish U23 cap earlier this year. He has earned a reputation as a hard-tackling and constructive half-back with a fierce long-range shot. Thistle manager Willie Thornton is sorry to see him go and is full of praise for the midfielder. "Tommy is a fitness fanatic. He is a tremendously hard trainer and is never really out of condition".

06/08 Moncur enters South Shields General Hospital for a cartilage operation.

07/08 - A partner of Arup Associates meets with Corporation officials at the Civic Centre; Westwood was also invited but said he could not attend. He states that a start on the project could be made for as little as £120,000 (only £5,000 more than the club's proposal). This would be enough to build a new stand on the Leazes Terrace side providing seating for 6,000 people. This could be further developed later to house the club offices and facilities originally intended.

07/08 - Striker Keith Dyson (18) signs professional forms. He was born in Blackhill (Co. Durham) and is 5' 10" and well-built. He joined the Club as a junior in January 1965. Midfielder Gordon Hindson (18) also signs professional forms. He is 5' 9" and was born in Quaking Houses (Co. Durham). He joined the club as a junior in October 1967.

09/08 - Principal City Officer Mr Frank Harris sends a letter to Lord Westwood suggesting a meeting next week to progress the development of the ground and warning the club that if the Council's proposals are not accepted they might undertake the work themselves.

10/08 - D1: Newcastle 1 West Ham 1

After a slumberous first-half, an injury to Bennett sees Pop Robson come inside off the wings and score the goal which appears to have won the game until just before the end when McNamee puts through his own net when trying to clear.

12/08 - United are furious with the council’s letter and the fact that it was copied to the press. They accuse the council of "contemptuous arrogance" in dismissing all the schemes presented by the club and state that "United directors can hardly be expected to accept negotiations by ultimatum".

13/08 - At a press Conference director McKeag slates the council. He says that all Newcastle United has ever asked for is a long lease to justify spending large sums of money on a new stadium and to be left alone to manage its own affairs without the "persistent meddling and interference of the city authority". He also writes a letter to the Evening Chronicle urging them to support the club. In the evening Castle Ward Rural Council decides to inform Northumberland County Planning Committee that they approve of the club's plan for a new stadium in Gosforth. Westwood says it is inevitable the club will move unless the council changes its policy.

14/08 - D1: Sheff. Wed. 1 Newcastle 1 - United are defensively very sound and Gibb makes a promising debut.

15/08 - Coventry still want to sign Wyn Davies, but Harvey once again makes it clear that he has no intention of selling.

17/08 - D1: Burnley 1 Newcastle 0 - Despite enjoying plenty of possession United lack punch up front although Gibb is unlucky to see a long-range strike come back off the crossbar.

21/08 - Despite stiff competition from Hibernians, United sign 18-year-old inside-right Jimmy Thompson from Glasgow junior club Petershill. United donate £300 to the Scots.

21/08 - D1: Newcastle 3 Chelsea 2 - In one of the most thrilling matches of recent times Chelsea outclass United in the first half and lead 2-0 then Newcastle rip them apart after the break.

22/08 - Club representatives meet with Newcastle Corporation officials and they agree to work together in an effort to find ways of improving the ground and seating accommodation. Any proposals will go before the club's board of directors and any recommendations will be referred to Mr Dennis Howell, the Minister of Sport, who is to preside at a special meeting in the city on September 26.

24/08 - D1: Newcastle 0 Everton 0 - The police received lots of complaints about the obscene chanting during the opening day match against West Ham and a plea is issued in the programme: "sing by all means but keep it clean." Although not as rough as recent meetings between the two sides it is still a feisty encounter although the game is ruined by the greasy pitch. Feyenoord manager Goos Brox (and his coach Ben Peeters) watch the game from the director's box and he is not impressed claiming United "rely on strength more than skills", whereas in contrast his team are "experienced and contain many internationals with a lot of skill".

28/08 - D1: Newcastle 1 Nottm. Forest 1 - Aided by the weather United miss a hatful of chances (and score only once) despite a first-half bombardment, but as they face the elements in the second-half struggling Forest equalise from the spot.

31/08 - D1: Sunderland 1 Newcastle 1 - Newcastle look well in control with their sound defence and quick, piercing attacks. But a linesman's flag and Davies' profligacy mean they fail to build on Robson's opener and Suggett equalises.


01/09 - Newcastle are only averaging a goal a match (six out of the seven being scored by Robson) and with Bennett likely to be out for a while yet they are scouting for a new forward. They are credited with an interest in Hull's inside-forward Chris Chilton, but his £100,000 valuation is out of United's reach unless they can sell first or do a part-exchange deal. Money could be raised by selling Marshall or Scott (who have both requested a move) or Sinclair (who has struggled to justify his hefty fee).

02/09 - LC R2: Southport 0 Newcastle 2 - A comfortable victory in a game which often becomes tedious.

07/09 - D1: Coventry 2 Newcastle 1- United take the lead but an early injury to Craig forces a reshuffle and they completely lose their impetus.

09/09 - Newcastle supporter Thomas McDonald of Wallsend is fined £3 for being drunk and disorderly in Coventry on Saturday night.

11/09 - FC R1 L1: Newcastle 4 Feyenoord 0 - Feyenoord are loaded with internationals and have won all four of their games in the Dutch League. Harvey has been on a spying mission and informs the players that their build-up is slow and that they lack determination. He wants at least a two goal lead. A fantastic display of attacking football with a starring role from 21-year-old Geoff Allen whose scintillating display of speed dribbling destroys van der Heide and provides the platform for the victory. United show that they are not just hard-workers as they beat the Dutchmen with their pace and speed of thought. The visitors are also guilty of overconfidence and a lack of courage as they are intimidated by United's hard tackling. Manager Pieters concedes that "it is a long time since we saw such a polished and professional outfit like Newcastle".

14/09 - D1: Newcastle 2 WBA 3 - Davies grabs his first domestic goal since February whilst Robson scores the other, but it is not enough to beat the FA Cup holders..

17/09 - FC R1 L2 Feyenoord 2 Newcastle 0 (agg 2-4) - The return in Holland takes place at Feyenoord's magnificent £4 million pound, 64,000 capacity stadium where two thirds are seated. Around 2,000 United supporters have made the trip, 1,200 of them travelling with the NUDA/Evening Chronicle trip. The Supporters Club offered two alternative packages: 1 day at £15 and 15s and 2 days at £19 10s with a match ticket included. They are joined by 39,000 screaming Dutchmen and their hooters, whistles and fireworks. It is quite an introduction to Europe for the Novocastrian novices. Although The Magpies sensibly adopt a defensive approach their lack of experience gets the better of them and they continuously boot the ball away and surrender possession. As a result, it is one-way traffic for virtually the whole game and United are indebted to an absolutely brilliant performance from the defence.

21/09 - D1: Man. Utd. 3 Newcastle 1 - Clark, Davies and McNamee join Moncur on the injured list following the tough encounter in Feyenoord and United are no match for the Traffordonians. The Fairs Cup exertions are making the League campaign difficult and United have dropped to 20th.

23/09 - The club release their accounts for last season which show a net profit (after Corporation Tax has been deducted) of £17,988.

24/09 - Relief for Harvey as an x-ray on Davies' leg shows there is no break, although he will need to go into a nursing home to give it complete rest.

25/09 - LC R3: Southampton 4 Newcastle 1 - Without McNamee, Moncur and Davies United really struggle against Southampton's aerial threat and are well beaten. Harvey concedes that "we were a team of pygmies in every sense of the word tonight."

26/09 - A meeting is held between the club, the Council and Minister of Support Denis Howell to try and resolve the ground situation. One of the decisions reached is that a Working Party is to be set up, chaired by the Earl of Lonsdale, which will attempt to break down the Ove Arup plan into smaller more practical proposals.

27/09 - Eric Ross is annoyed about being dropped again after only one game. "l feel I have a legitimate grouse about the way I'm never given a real chance in the League side and I told the boss so".

28/09 - D1: Newcastle 2 Tottenham 2 - United are very poor in the first-half and The Cockerels score with two opportunistic goals. It's a different story after the break and United - roared on by the crowd - have Spurs rocking. Harvey is full of praise for the crowd - "I've never known a support like it". United still only have a single victory from 11 league games.

30/09 - A blow for United as Northumberland County Planning Committee decide that they cannot give Newcastle planning permission for a new ground unless more detailed plans are supplied regarding the impact on the road network in the area.


02/10 - After ten days’ rest, Davies leaves the nursing home.

05/10 - D1: Newcastle 0 Leeds 1 - A typically "professional" performance from Leeds in which they control play and score through Charlton before sitting back on their lead and soaking up the United pressure stretching the rules along the way. Charlton and McNamee clash on numerous occasions. United once again look weak up front and it is possible Harvey will make a move for Hibernians £100,000 rated Colin Stein.

07/10 - Four Newcastle men are in court charged with assaulting police officers on the day of the Wear-Tyne derby. The prosecutor accuses them of acting like "wild animals". They plead not guilty and the case proceeds.

08/10 - D1: Nottm. Forest 2 Newcastle 4 - The game is played at Meadow Lane (home of Notts County) due to the fire which caused major damage to the City Ground. Both Forest's senior keepers are injured so they have taken Oxford reserve Brian Sherrat on loan and he is at fault for United's first three goals. Youngsters Dyson and Foggon star, but Allen suffers what looks to be a bad ligament injury.

Gordon Marshall

10/10 - Gordon Marshall moves to Forest in an £18,000 deal. He signed from Hearts in June 1963 and has made 187 appearances. However, lam McFaul has been preferred this season and Marshall had made it clear that he was not happy with reserve team football.

12/10 - D1: Ipswich 1 Newcastle 4

The first-half is pretty drab and although neither side are particularly impressive Ipswich take the lead just before the break. However, In the second forty-five United ruthlessly rip them apart.

At the AGM the club state that the Council have guaranteed that they will get a new three-year lease (when the current one expires in November 1970) even if they fail to reach agreement over the plans for a multi-sports stadium. The Council made the pledge during the meeting with Denis Howell.

19/10 - D1: Newcastle 3 QPR 2 United edge the game against the struggling Hoops in a game made shambolic at times by the gusty wind. Sporting Lisbon's manager and coach are in attendance.

24/10 - Wolves turn down United's bid for keeper Phil Parkes even though he is on the transfer list. They are prepared to let United have Evan Williams, but Harvey is not interested. Geoff Allen is likely to be out for at least a month due to his ligament injury.

26/10 - D1: Liverpool 2 Newcastle 1 - Liverpool dominate from the start. Willie McFaul puts in a world-class performance for 85 minutes of the match before he inexplicably allows a soft shot from Thompson to pass through his arms and open legs. It is cruel on the young Irishman who had staged a one-man campaign to prevent Roger Hunt from equalling Pool's goal scoring record. Moncur suffers a broken nose and United director - and surgeon - Fenton Braithwaite resets it straight after the match.

28/10 - Newcastle fly to Portugal; they will be staying at the Palacio Hotel in the coastal town of Estoril which is 18 miles from Lisbon. “Bad flyers” Robson, Craig and Scott are all given special pills and all players are given a bottle of Vichy water as the club do not want them to use the local water for teeth cleaning and the like.

30/10 - FC R2 L1: Sporting Lisbon 1 Newcastle 1 - Sporting finished runners-up to Benfica in the Portuguese League last season and are another side liberally sprinkled with full internationals. The heavens open before the game and there is torrential rain and thunderstorms during the game. United once again adopt a cautious approach for the away leg but this time the panicky football served up in Rotterdam is replaced by a wonderfully disciplined performance. Star of the show is skipper Moncur who operates as a sweeper and plays the role to perfection. Harvey says: "this is truly magnificent for us. We absolutely demoralised a team like Sporting on their own ground". And Sporting manager Sorin concurs "I thought Newcastle were magnificent. This side is extremely hard to beat".

Martin Burleigh

Following a successful two-month trial period United sign keeper Martin Burleigh (17) from his home-town club Willington. He is 5' 11" and has performed well in the Northern League.


02/11- D1: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0 - Forty-eight hours of incessant rain have turned the home turf into a cloying mud bath which makes decent football nigh on impossible. Still disappointing that the tired looking Magpies can't find the net against bottom placed club.

Tommy Robson

Outside left Tommy Robson (24) moves to Peterborough for £20,000. Robson joined from Chelsea in December 1966 and made 48 (2) appearances and scored 11 goals. He had an excellent season in 1967/68 but has been troubled by a mysterious foot injury caused by a domestic incident and lost his place in the side to Geoff Allen (initially) and then Alan Foggon.

09/11 - D1: Arsenal 0 Newcastle 0 - United deservedly return from Highbury with a draw after a polished team performance. Joe Harvey is delighted with what he considers to be: "the best all-round team performance of the season" (so far). Club officials from Lisbon watch the match and Joe Harvey gets a shock when he is approached by two Portuguese embassy staff. They ask for - and are granted - permission to talk to the United players in their dressing-room and also quiz Harvey on his team selection.

16/11 - D1: Newcastle 1 Man. City 0 - Defending Champions Man City play very defensively and infuriate the crowd with their constant back-passing in the final fifteen minutes. They pay the price when Davies heads home in the final minute. After the final whistle City captain Doyle finds himself escorted from the field by the strong arm of the law following comments made to one of the linesmen and some of the home crowd.

17/11 - Lisbon coach Caiado resigns days before the second leg.

19/11 - United win an application for possession against Mrs McGarry who is still in a club house in Limewood Grove (Wideopen) even though she split with Ron McGarry (who is now in Australia) three years ago. The house is needed for Bryan Robson who is due to be married in the spring.

20/11 - FC R2 L2: Newcastle 1 Sporting Lisbon 0 (agg 2-1) - The Magpies make an electrifying start and score with a brilliantly executed free-kick routine. It is never easy because the Lisbon side are so adept at keeping possession but only a superb display by the 'keeper Damas prevents United registering more goals.

23/11 - D1: Wolves 5 Newcastle 0 - In an incredible game United are given a lesson in marksmanship by the ruthless Wolves who net their only two chances of the first half and then add three more in the second.

26/11 - With Dave Clarke injured 17-year-old Martin Burleigh is drafted into the side for the testimonial game for Barrie Thomas at Barnsley and he performs magnificently. Geoff Allen has had a setback in training and there is concern over his slow recovery. It is possible he may need a cartilage operation.

30/11 - D1: Newcastle 4 Southampton 1 - Within ten minutes Newcastle are two up and although The Saints pull one back they go on to win comprehensively.


02/12 - Former captain Jim Iley - who has barely featured this season - pleads with Harvey to give him one last chance in the first-team. Geoff Allen and Eric Ross are both now in plaster following their respective operations.

Young United keeper Tim Augar signs for Banbury United after asking to be allowed to move back South.

06/12 - Keeper Martin Burleigh is rewarded with a full-time professional contract after some excellent performances in the "N"s.

07/12 - D1: Stoke 1 Newcastle 0 - A poor, scrappy game is settled by a Herd header. Harvey admits "it is the worst they have played this season". David Young severely damages the ligaments in his right ankle in the reserve match against Liverpool.

10/12 - Ron Guthrie suffers suspected ligament damage to his left knee in a 5-a-side game.

14/12 - D1: Newcastle 2 Ipswich 1 - Struggling Ipswich are still manager-less following the departure of Bill McGarry to Wolves. Davies bags a brace for the first time in over a year with an out-of-character 25-yard blaster and a trademark header. An out-of-sorts Robson misses a penalty.

16/12 - It is thought that Albert Bennett (dropped after the defeat at Stoke) might be offered as part of a deal to sign Hugh Curran of Norwich. Albert says: "I'd certainly consider a transfer to Norwich or anywhere else. I'm not getting a chance here to show I can still do a job".

19/12 - Manchester City captain Doyle is fined £50 and warned of his future conduct after making an "ungentlemanly gesture" towards a linesman at the end of the game at St. James'.

21/12 - D1: QPR 1 Newcastle 1 - United are on course to beat the wooden spoonists but concede just before the end. Harvey and Seymour watch Curran at Villa Park but the pitch is frost bound and they don't feel that they can fully assess him; the deal is on hold.

23/12 - Chairman Westwood claims that United have £100,000 available to spend, but states that they will bide their time in the search for quality.

26/12 - D1: Leeds 2 Newcastle 1 - Leeds totally dominate the first-half and only a brilliant display by McFaul keeps the score down. The home side are content with what they have got and they very nearly allow United to grab a draw.

27/12 - Tomorrow's home game against leaders Liverpool has been postponed due to the snow.

30/12 - Newcastle Airport is closed because of the wintry weather so the United party take a coach to Middleton St George (Teesside Airport) and fly from there.

31/12 - The team enjoy the raucous New Year's Eve celebrations at the Goya Hotel. Less pleasant is the central heating which is turned up so high that virtually every player suffers sore throats and a sleepless night.


01/01 - FC R3 L1 - Real Zaragoza 3 Newcastle 2 - The Spaniards have appeared in the Final twice in the last five years, winning it once. Although the Spanish are without two key men United suffer their first Fairs Cup defeat against their best opponents yet, but Harvey is satisfied with the narrow defeat and two away goals. When the United party return to the hotel they find themselves challenged by two pistol wielding coppers on the lookout for a couple of English fugitives called Smith and Scott and they believe that coach Dave Smith and winger Jim Scott are their men. The confusion is eventually sorted, although it is galling for a couple of Scots to be mistaken for Sassenachs.

03/01 - McNamee - upset at not taking any part in the game in Spain - makes a verbal transfer request.

04/01 - FA R3: Newcastle 4 Reading 0 - A boring game which brings a comfortable home victory over Third Division Reading who are managed by former United striker Roy Bentley. England manager Ramsey is in attendance; unfortunately, Robson has a poor game.

06/01 - Harvey states that he has no intention of allowing McNamee to leave.

Jim Iley

08/01 - Jim Iley is appointed player-manager of Fourth Division Peterborough. Although he is "sorry to say goodbye to Tyneside, my heart is hear now"; Iley is delighted to get the management opportunity he has been looking for. United's former captain joined from Nottingham Forest in September 1962 and made 243 (6) appearances and scored six goals.

09/01 - Better news on the injury front; Geoff Allen and Eric Ross have both recently had their plasters removed and David Young is back in light training.

11/01 - D1: Leicester 2 Newcastle 1 - A drab game on a heavy pitch sees United go down to struggling Leicester.

FC R3 L2: Newcastle 2 Real Zaragoza 1 (agg 4-4) - Before the game Leeds manager Don Revie and player Jackie Charlton state that Newcastle have "no chance" of getting through and Harvey admits they are by far the toughest side they have faced so far. A narrow but deserved victory sees United through on the away goals rule. Leader of the opposition Edward Heath - is an "interested" spectator as the match receipt record is again broken.

18/01 - D1: Newcastle 2 Arsenal 1 - Arsenal are top of the table and have recorded six wins on the trot but Davies scores a controversial winner in injury-time prompting Joe Harvey and Dave Smith to perform a crazy jig of delight on the touchline.

19/01 - Millwall deny any approach from United for Eamonn Dunphy.

19/01 - The Sunday Sun is not impressed with the "morons who call themselves football supporters" devoting a front page comment to slamming the obscene chanting during the game against Zaragoza. The adaption of "O Clementine" to question the referee's parentage was a national standard but more uniquely the United supporters also offered a "luridly descriptive recommendation for a place for their Spanish onions". They appeal for the North East supporters to refrain from "lavatory wall language" and make the team proud.

20/01 - John Craggs - who has not featured for a couple of years and asked for a transfer last week - has showdown talks with manager Harvey. Full-backs Craig (hamstring) and Guthrie (who requires another cartilage operation) are both out injured and Craggs says "it I don't get in now I may as well pack my boots and leave."

20/01 - William McKeag claims that the Council's plan for a multi-sports stadium is as "dead as a dodo" following the government's refusal to grant the City Council a £25 million interest free loan for city development. However, Council leader Alderman Grey states that this is not the case and states that "he hopes the success of the team is not going to be used as an excuse by the directors for contracting out of their responsibilities".

Arthur Horsfield
© PJ

22/01 - United pay Middlesbrough £17,500 for forward Arthur Horsfield. He made his debut for Middlesbrough in 1963/64 and has scored 50 goals in 108 games. He has lost his place in the side recently, but claims this is because his style does not fit with that of John Hickton's and that he has been made a "scapegoat". Harvey says "he has a nose for goals".

24/01 - Harvey signs 18-year-old left-half Eric Tunstall from Hartlepool for £3,500 (with an extra fee payable after he has played ten League games). He only turned full-time pro a couple of months ago and has not appeared for the first-team but he impressed when Hartlepool knocked United out of the FA Youth Cup.

24/01 - Geoff Allen has received another setback after damaging his achilles tendon in his left leg in training. David Young (who has been out for six weeks) has been put back in in plaster for another six weeks.

25/01 - FA R4: Newcastle 0 Man. City 0 - The all-ticket game is a sell-out and ticket spivs are out in force. United enjoy the territorial advantage but they lack finish whereas City are more clinical and are unlucky to hit the woodwork three times. Seventy fans are injured (including seven who require hospital treatment) and four are arrested as violence flares between rival supporters. In one incident police have to be called to the Magpie Public House on Barrack Road where a window and many glasses are broken.

29/01 - FAC R4r - Man. City 2 Newcastle 0 - United's cup dreams end at Maine Road where a crowd of over 60,000 see The Citizens score in each half to deservedly progress.


01/02 -D1: Man. City 1 Newcastle 1 (abandoned 41m) - A third clash in a week with City and the weather is atrocious with driving rain and sleet making it very tough for players, officials and spectators. Debutant Horsfield scores within two minutes but - with the weather deteriorating further - the referee abandons the game just before the break.

03/02 - Following the trouble in the home Cup tie with Manchester City a number of supporters are in court including one arrested outside the Magpie pub with a 12" iron bar and another who butted and spat in the face of a policeman.

03/02 - Robson, Foggon and coach Dave Smith are all showing signs of the flu and there is concern that it could spread through the squad.

04/02 - Amble's 19-year-old 'keeper Dave Redpath arrives on a month's trial; he will play in the Central League.

06/02 -The Board states that Bennett and Sinclair are free to leave the club.

07/02 - Saturday's game with Wolves is off because of the snow. Coventry City refute newspaper reports linking them with interest in Jackie Sinclair.

11/02 - Newcastle can't train as their training pitches are still snowbound and the indoor facilities that they normally use at Ponteland are already booked.

14/02 - It is reported that Charlton have turned down a bid for Scottish striker Alan Campbell.

15/02 - D1: Southampton 0 Newcastle 0 - United - in all-blue - combine defensive solidity with lightning fast breakaways in a battling performance. Their European adventure is clearly starting to enhance their away performances.

B Arentoft
© FKS Publishers

19/02 - Newcastle agree terms with Morton to sign Danish international Preben Arentoft for £10,000. He has been in Scotland for three years and therefore satisfies the residency period, but the move will still have to be ratified by the Football League. Harvey has been keeping an eye on him for a while and says "I'm sure this lad is going to do a good job for us". He joined Morton in September 1965 and has played 137 games for the Scots. He is a small (5' 7") but well-built midfielder who has a reputation for being hard-working.

20/02 - Ron Guthrie undergoes a cartilage operation on his left knee; it is his second cartilage operation in the last three years. United's training pitches are still unplayable so they will be back at the coast today.

21/02 - Newcastle agree to sell Albert Bennett to Norwich. The player will think over the move and states "l will be delighted to go to Norwich if the terms are right. There is no future for me now with United". Wyn Davies and Tommy Gibb miss training as they are snowed in at Pelton but Saturday's match against Stoke has been called off anyway.

24/02 - Geoff Allen joins in training in the car park.

Albert Bennett

25/02 - Striker Albert Bennett (24) moves to Norwich for £25,000. He signed from Rotherham in July 1965 and has made 89 (1) appearances and scored 23 goals. He formed a great understanding with Wyn Davies last season before suffering an injury. He started the first game of the season but went off injured and the superb form of Bryan Robson has kept him out of the side. Seymour and Harvey watch Aberdeen midfielder Jimmy Smith play against Dunfermline in the Scottish Cup.

26/02 - Harvey and Seymour watch Smith again in the replay. The talented midfielder has asked for a transfer and Liverpool tried to sign him earlier in the season. Celtic are also interested. Newcastle speak to Aberdeen officials but they do not want to sell whilst Aberdeen are still in the Cup.


01/03 - D1: WHU 3 Newcastle 1 - A poor first-half performance sees United two behind and although they improve after the break a late reply is soon cancelled out. Geoff Allen makes a comeback for the reserves after five months out, Eric Ross also returns after long-term injury.

02/03 - A special meeting of the Football League Management Committee sanctions United's signing of Arentoft but the club have to wait for the official confirmation.

05/03 - Official confirmation is received from the Football League and the club reveal that Arentoft agreed personal terms twelve days ago. Harvey and Seymour travel to Kilmarnock to take in the Cup tie with Aberdeen. If the Dons lose they will make an immediate bid for Jimmy Smith. Although transfer deadline day is 16th March they will have to sign him before the 10th of March for him to be eligible for the Fairs Cup Quarter-Final. Aberdeen win so the deal is still on hold.

06/03 - Arentoft finally arrives on Tyneside: "l thought this moment would never come". Dave Smith watches Leeds take on Ujpest Dozsa in the Fairs Cup and declares that the Hungarians: "are the greatest team I have seen in a long time".

08/03 - D1: Newcastle 1 Burnley 0 - Horsfield scores on his home debut in what is a scrappy, tedious encounter in which Burnley are unadventurous and United are slap-dash.

11/03 - Setubal arrive in heavy snow. The players - some of whom are from Angola and have never witnessed such weather - pose excitedly for photographs, but manager Vaz is not so enamoured: "we don't want snow, it is very bad for us. We want the match off until it's fine".

FC R4 L1: Newcastle 5 Vitoria Setubal 1 - The Portuguese beat Italian League leaders Fiorentina in the last round but they struggle to adapt to the wintry conditions and never look up for the fight. After the game manager Vaz accuses United of being "killers" and complains that the referee was not neutral. "If there had been a Portuguese referee two, maybe three Newcastle players would have been sent-off. In our country we like to play good football without relying on bodily contact".

John Hope
© PJ

14/03 - Whilst United were playing in the Fairs Cup director Seymour and chief scout Temple Lisle were watching teenage keeper John Hope play for Darlington Reserves against their Hartlepool counterparts. They were impressed and the 19-year-old has been signed for £7,500 to act as cover for McFaul. He is 6' 2" and was born in Shildon (Co. Durham). He has made 15 first team appearances since making his debut at the age of 15.

Saturday's match at Everton is postponed.

19/03 - Tonight's match at home to Liverpool is postponed.

22/03 - D1: Newcastle 1 Sunderland 1 - United take the lead early on and should have gone on to win but poor finishing and a brilliant display by young custodian Montgomery keeps the Wearsiders in the game and they grab an equaliser with eight minutes to go. There is an unpleasant ruthless streak in the game, particularly from Newcastle. Trouble between supporters erupts both before and after the game and 16 arrests are made.

25/03 - Newcastle Corporation agree to finance a more detailed survey from Arup Associates with regards to the proposed £2.5 million multi-sports stadium. The survey will cost £15,000 and the Council are hoping that the club and the University will help out with the cost.

26/03 - FC R4 L2: Vitoria Setubal 3 Newcastle 1 (agg 4-6) - Despite United's great advantage Setubal have scored 18 goals in their 7 matches so Harvey knows the game is not a formality. Their stadium is being redeveloped therefore the game is being played at Lisbon's Jose Alvade Stadium where United secured a great draw in the Second Round. Before the match starts and at the interval there are remarkable scenes with carnival figures, cheerleaders and more. The Portuguese attack United incessantly and as they become increasingly desperate their behaviour became more and more brutal. Foggon is head-butted and as he lies on the ground is stamped on before he is lifted up and thrown down again. Moncur is yanked to the floor and spat at and Davies receives a number of over-the-top challenges. In all, eight United players need treatment after the game and Harvey is "so proud" of his players for putting up with the stick they received without retaliation. Moncur calls Setubal "a disgrace to soccer".

27/03 - Wyn Davies is fined £50 and suspended for seven days (from next Monday) after being reported for "hitting an opponent" during the game at West Ham earlier this month.

29/03 - D1: Newcastle 2 Coventry 0 - Coventry are very defensive and United appear to be drained of ideas and flair, but they are literally handed the points when defender Blockley inexplicably uses his and Robson converts the penalty.

31/03 - Northumberland Planning Committee state that they are "favourably disposed" to grant the club's revised application to build a new stadium at Gosforth Park. However, before giving formal approval the Committee will advertise the application publicly to see if there are any further objections. Gosforth Council had objected to the initial application due to concerns over parking but this issue has allegedly been resolved in the latest plan.


02/04 - D1: Tottenham 0 Newcastle 1 - United's patched up side have eight matches to get through during April and they have a tough start against second placed Spurs side who are unbeaten at home since August 24th. The second period brings an almost non-stop attacking offensive by the home side but United hang on in what Harvey believes is their best away performance so far this season. All the more praiseworthy because of the missing players and the fact that two players were unwell and Moncur was still suffering with his shin.

04/04 - D1: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 1 - Chelsea dominate from start to finish as United go for all-out defence and are not afraid to boot the ball into touch on many an occasion. The Pensioners take the lead but from the restart United go straight on the attack and a needless handball allows Robson to score from the spot.

06/04 - At Morpeth Juvenile Court a 15-year-old boy is given three years’ probation and ordered to pay damages after he is found guilty of smashing Stobshill sub Post Office window and damaging three cigarette machines. His defence for the shop window is that he was trying to demonstrate to some friends how Tommy Gibb scored his debut goal against Chelsea.

07/04 - Glasgow Rangers have asked United if they will be willing to have a late kick-off for the St James' semi-final (between 9pm and 10pm) so that they can show the match live at Ibrox via close circuit TV. The late kick off is required to ensure it is dark enough for the screens to be clearly visible.

08/04 - Children's TV show "Magpie" includes a segment where presenter Tony (Barnstable) trains with the United Youth Team.

09/04- D1: Newcastle 3 Sheff. Wed 2 - Geoff Allen returns after six months out, but tragically he only lasts three minutes before having to be carried off in agony. The final score-line is much tighter than it should have been in a game which United dominated.

10/04 - Having rejected the Scots request for a later kick-off Seymour confirms that the Fairs Cup Semi-Final Second leg will be all-ticket and will kick-off at 7.30 pm. Birmingham announce that they are willing to sell Jimmy Greenhoff and Aston Villa manager Tommy Docherty bids £100,000. Birmingham ask United if they want to match the bid but United are not prepared to pay that much. At Stanley Magistrates Court Alan Foggon is fined £7 for speeding.

12/04 - D1: Newcastle 2 Man. Utd 0 - In a difficult swirling wind United put in a gale force performance which blows the European Champions over. Visiting 'keeper Jimmy Rimmer takes a rare buffeting and has to be attended to on four separate occasions.

Youtube highlights

13/04 - Harvey is hoping to organise a pre-season tour of Denmark and has asked Ben Arentoft to do some sounding out during his summer holidays.

14/04 - D1: Everton 1 Newcastle 1 - Flowing football in the first period and a magnificent rear-guard action after the break earns United a point at Goodison Park.

19/04 - D1: WBA 5 Newcastle 1 - Playing more openly than usual away from home United get a hammering, although they are unlucky with a couple of controversial refereeing decisions.

21/04 - D1: Newcastle 4 Wolverhampton 1 - Harvey picks the same eleven two days later although it is substitute Scott who inspires United to an excellent second-half performance.

30/04 - D1: Newcastle 5 Stoke 0 - Scott is on top form once more in another thumping home victory in which Newcastle excel in the second forty-five.


04/05 - Fans queue from 6am to get tickets for the home leg of the Fairs Cup Semi-Final and all terrace tickets are gone by early afternoon.

05/05 - D1: Man. City 1 Newcastle 0 - With the end of the season having been delayed due to the winter weather problems the Home Internationals have already commenced and both sides are weakened by international call-ups. Without Davies, United's attack is powder-puff.

08/05 - Alan Foggon is in car trouble again as he pleads guilty to completely blocking the footpath in Hood Street and driving without insurance. He is fined £12. Rangers have asked for another 12,000 tickets for the Second Leg but are informed that all 60,000 tickets have been accounted for.

14/05 - FC SF L1 - Rangers 0 Newcastle 0 - United have had a gruelling ten match run since their quarter final success seven weeks ago but are in good form. Over 75,000 all-ticket fans (a record for the competition) squeeze into Ibrox including 12,000 from Tyneside. It is a close, tense affair with very few clear cut chances and is far from a classic. United's defence are nothing short of heroic and 'keeper McFaul deservedly grabs the headlines with a couple of brilliant saves from Andy Penman (one of which is a penalty). Wyn Davies plays on despite suffering a broken nose.

15/05 - Gosforth Council planners still fear that the building of a new stadium will have a "catastrophic" effect on transport/parking in the area.

15/05 - Harvey is keen to sign North Shields centre-forward Brian Joicey as back-up for Davies, Coventry are also interested.

Arthur Horsfield

16/05 - After only five months back on his native Tyneside, striker Arthur Horsfield (28) moves to Swindon for £17,000. He joined from Middlesbrough in January and has made 8 (2) appearances and scored 3 goals.

D1: Newcastle 1 Liverpool 1 - A jaded performance in which Joe Harvey is grateful for a point. United take the lead but The Scousers take control in the second period and grab a deserved equaliser. United - backed by twenty minutes of continuous chanting - finish the stronger as the game ends all square. A dog also makes an appearance and joins in the play until he is eventually removed.

18/05 - Extra police are to be posted into Newcastle and secret plans have been drawn up for the semi-final against Rangers. There was no trouble in the first game but it is believed that as well as the 12,000 fans with tickets another 10,000 (without tickets) are planning on making the journey down. The police admit that they had been caught off-guard with the Celtic match last season and were not going to make the same mistake again. All police leave is cancelled and reinforcments are drafted in from elsewhere. There will be 200 men on duty in the city centre and 70 in the ground. Hospitals and ambulance services also put emergency plans into operation.

20/5 - Thieves have broken into the programme hut and stolen the seller's badges and the club are warning fans to beware of pirate programmes. Former player David Davidson dies in hospital after a long illness.

21/05 - FC SF L2 - Newcastle 2 Rangers 0 - Harvey knows it's going to be sense and he finishes his programme notes with "now I must get my cigarettes - I reckon I might need a full packet tonight". It is a tough, physical game settled by goals from Scott and Sinclair. After the second the Rangers fans riot in an effort to get the game abandoned. Welsh referee Gow is forced to take the players off for seventeen minutes whilst the boys in blue bravely restore order; four Alsatians finally doing the trick. The rest of the match is played out with a line of blue and a mountain of bottles separating McFaul from the seething Scottish hordes. Liverpool manager Bill Shankly is an interested observer and is full of praise for the United defence. "They're a great back four and with a little bit more experience they could get in Liverpool reserves".

21/05 - Police are called to more than 200 incidents during the day; including one where a man and his 7-year-old son are attacked at a bus stop in Westerhope. The worst injuries are caused when the Strawberry Place entrance gate is stormed by Rangers supporters and collapses. One supporter (Michael Parks) suffers severe crushing to his chest and is attended to by Constable Bernard Cullen and other supporters until he is attacked by a Rangers fan. Many more are injured during the game (mainly a result of the flying bottles). Over 150 people are treated inside the ground and 42 require hospital treatment.

After the match Rangers fans form a human chain outside Central Station. Not all the trouble is caused by the Scots and in one incident before the game windows are smashed on a supporter's club coach by missile-throwing schoolboys. There are 30 arrests. A shocked Mr Cavan (FIFA Vice Chairman) says "I've never seen worse riots".

22/05 - Rangers officials held an emergency meeting before they left St. James’ and they issue a short statement in which they state: "we utterly deplore the scandalous scenes at St. James' Park last night. They were a blot on our club and on the City of Glasgow. " Minister of Support Denis Howell calls it "a disgrace to British sport”.

23/05 - Home Secretary James Callaghan issues an emergency statement stating that the government would be taking action.

25/05 - Six of the Ujpest side play for Hungary in the 2-0 win over Czechoslovakia.

26/05 - Thousands of fans besiege St James' as tickets for the first-leg of the final go on sale. The car park is full and the queue stretches right back to Fenham Barracks. The 35,000 tickets available are gone within ninety minutes. As fans realise they are going to be out of luck tempers begin to rise. Several people are hurt as the pushing, shoving and punching starts. Many others are crushed against the gates or trampled on. Five are taken to hospital and dozens of children are treated on the spot. There area also stories of touts selling tickets at £5.

27/05 - Dave Elliot collapsed outside the team hotel before the semi-final tie in Glasgow and also collapsed in London earlier this year; he is to see a specialist on Thursday.

28/05 - As Upjest do not want the 1,000 tickets reserved for their fans they are put on sale at the ground and are snapped up immediately.

29/05 - FC Fin L1 - Newcastle 3 Ujpest Dozsa 0 - Ujpest Dozsa's players make up over half of the classy Hungarian national team and they have just completed their domestic double. They have won seven and drawn one of their previous games in the competition and beat record breaking Champions of 1968/69 - Leeds - in both legs. The Peacocks manager Revie says they are the "best club side in Europe".

Nearly 60,000 cram into St James' (one again breaking the record receipts) whilst hundreds more secure various precarious vantage points on buildings and trees around the ground.

The Magpies set off at blistering pace but the Hungarians slow the game down and United struggle to get their game together. Then, just after the hour, Moncur volleys home with his left-foot. Moncur gets a second and Scott adds a third; it is the first time in two years that Ujpest have let in more than two goals.

30/05 - An x-ray confirms that Davies suffered a fractured cheekbone during the game; he has no intention of sitting out the second-leg.


02/06 - Sir John Lang - who is heading the commission investigating into football rowdyism - is amongst a group who visit St James'.

02/06 - Nineteen Rangers fans are fined £5 each at Newcastle magistrates court for various offences.

03/06 - It is reported that the club have decided to pull out of the second feasibility study into the new super stadium although they make no official statement. Council leader Alderman Grey is not happy threatens that if they want security of conditions when the lease expires next year then they would need to have something to justify them.

04/06 - Pop Robson gets married in Hexham.

06/06 - Sir John Lang becomes the latest person to criticise Newcastle magistrates stressing that to get hooliganism under control they need the courts to support them with fines which are large enough to act as a deterrent.

06/06 - The FA have not nominated United for a place in next year's Fairs Cup although they are one of two reserves. The General Assembly will take place in Budapest next Wednesday and once again the 1-city-1-club rule will be challenged. Hope for United is in the form of a proposal to allow the holders to defend their trophy.

The NUSC brand claims that they received thousands of tickets for the Fairs Cup Final before they were put on sale to the general public as "ridiculous". They state that they were given 500 tickets for the Leazes End in addition to their usual allocation; giving 1,000 in all.

06/06 - The Supporters Club trip to Budapest is fully booked, but there are 30 left on a 100-seater jet.

09/06 - Hungary beat Eire 2-1 with Ujpest players Dunai and Bene both featuring. United set off for Budapest.

10/06 - Former United player Dominic Kelly is sentenced to 5-years in prison after being found guilty of manslaughter. A young chamber maid died when Kelly is alleged to have set fire to the Winton Hotel in Bayswater. He pleaded not guilty but he had recently been sacked as a night porter and rang the Hotel manager up on Christmas Eve warning him "don't sleep in your bed tonight. I going to burn the hotel down".

11/06 - United's participation in next year's Fairs Cup is confirmed and Dundee United will be their first opponents.

11/06 - FC Fin L2 - Ujpest Dozsa 2 Newcastle 3 (agg 2-6) - United's plane contains - discreetly hidden away - crates of champagne. Less than two hundred United fans also make the long trip behind the Iron Curtain. The Hungarians take a 2-0 lead in the first half and only a miraculous save from McFaul just before the break prevents their lead from being wiped out. Harvey stays calm and assures the players that if they can score the next goal the Hungarians will crumble. Moncur and Arentoft score in quick succession and Ujpest (facing the need to score six) throw the towel in and Foggon grabs a winner.

Back at the hotel on Margaret Island in the middle of the River Danube there is an official reception for both teams before United have their own party with their wives and the press. TV singer David Macbeth belts out some numbers before all the players join in, the party going on until almost breakfast time.

14/06 - Thousands greet the victorious team as they drive from the airport to the ground in an open-topped bus before a lap of honour and speeches at the ground. After the celebrations Davies is taken to the RVI where he is operated on (for his fractured cheekbone) by United director Fenton Braithwaite.