Menu Players Managers Fans Seasons Miscellany

NUFC 1980/81 - Season Review


03/06 - Residents of Kelso Gardens in Denton Burn are furious with the manner in which United have installed an all-weather pitch on their training ground. Contractors damaged a fence and left a mound of mud. They complained to the council who knew nothing about it as the club had not requested planning permission.

07/06 - It is reported that United have bid £500,000 for Norwich striker Justin Fashanu. It is also rumoured that at least two directors want rid of McGarry.

09/06 - The NSA formally open their Number 9 bar, Jackie Milburn performs the honours and he is joined by Albert Stubbins, Len White and TBC.

11/06 - Bristol Rovers have had a bid for Tommy Cassidy accepted.

13/06 - The Newcastle fan who threw the petrol bomb at the West Ham supporters is jailed for three years. One young fan required hospital treatment for burns to his legs, others suffered minor burns and damage to their clothing.

18/06 - Norwich have made a formal complaint to the League accusing United of approaching one of their players (Fashanu) through the press. Newcastle deny the allegation and confirm they will respond.

23/06 - Following his recent scouting trip McGarry wants to sign two Finnish players, schemer Zeppo Pyykko and Centre-back Leo Houtsonan.


04/07 Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Hulme and Jackie Milburn are among those given honorary Freedom of the City. The United supporting cleric is delighted to get Jackie’s autograph which he has “waited thirty years for”.

07/07 - John Brownlie is not keen on a £100,000 move to Jack Charlton's Sheffield Wednesday. Bill McGarry says the bid is far too low and also admits the club does have enough funds to go for top players like £750,000 Mick Robinson.

08/07 - AT LAST! RAY ENDS THE HUNT - After protracted negotiations centre-forward Ray Clarke (27) signs from Brighton for £180,000. United will be his eighth club, but he hopes they will be his last. McGarry says “Ray is my sort of player, a real grafter who likes to get in the box. I’m sure he’ll score his share of goals”.

11/07 - United pull out of a deal with Brighton for Welsh international Peter Sayer after he fails his medical.

14/07 - Newcastle reveal their plans for the redevelopment of the ground to the City Council. The club say they need 15 years to finish the scheme, but the Council want the work to be completed before then. Residents in Denton Burn who are already unhappy that the club have built an all-weather pitch on their training ground (without planning permission) are even more incensed about the plans to install floodlights.

14/07 - Pre-season training commences.

15/07 - Nine years and ten months after joining the club, Tommy Cassiddy departs for Burnley in a £38,000 move.

16/07 - Sunderland reject United's £75,000 offer for - in dispute - goalkeeper Barry Siddall; they want £200,000.

19/07 - UNITED GET TEENAGE STRIKER - Teenager Chris Waddle signs from Tow Law after having trials for Sunderland. United failed in an attempt to sign him last season, but he is now free to go as his contract has expired.

20/07 - The United party fly to Sweden for a ten-day tour. A 15-strong squad includes Finnish international Leo Houtsonan, a sweeper who has impressed boss Bill McGarry.

21/07 - United start their tour with a 0-0 draw with Solvesberg. It is a physical game which McGarry hails as a “perfect work-out”. Carr, Brownlie, Houtsonan, Boam, Davies, Cartwright, Wharton, Hibbitt, Shinton, Clarke, and Rafferty start and all the subs get used: Kelly, Ferguson, Carney, Shoulder and Montgomerie.

21/07 - Coach Dave Woodfield quits to pursue his business interests.

22/07 - STAR DEAL - A Sponsorship deal is announced with Scottish and Newcastle Breweries worth around £100,000 to the club during the next two years. As part of the deal an electronic scoreboard will be installed at the Gallowgate End which will be “the most sophisticated on any sports ground in Britain”. In return United will wear the 'Blue Star' on their shirts whenever possible. It is the first time that the club shirt has had a commercial symbol on it.

22/07 - The Magpies beat Oskarshams 3-0.

24/07 - A jaded United draw 1-1 with Trelleborg, Shinton scoring. Shoulder and Brownlie are missing due to injury.

25/07 - United hold talks with the Council and it is revealed that the cost of the ground redevelopment will be between £9.5m and £10.5m. In 1971 the Council gave United 10 years to redevelop the ground and they say that they are are willing to give the club another 10 years. But with the club currently operating at a loss they would have to fund the work from the Development Association and feel they will need 15 years.

28/07 - Cartwright, Rafferty and Montgomerie are all on target in a convincing victory over Tormelilla.

29/07 - United return from their pre-season tour. Moves to sign Houtsonan are underway with McGarry saying “he is better than anyone else we have in that position".

30/07 - A petition signed by 230 residents of the Gretna Gardens area in Fenham is presented to the Council in protest against the “appalling behaviour” of the club in installing a practice pitch and their plans to install floodlights.

31/07 - A new family seating area is launched at the front of the East Stand and admission prices are increased by a massive average of 17%.


01/08 - A broken bone in his foot will mean that Shoulder will be out at the start of the season.

04/08 - McGarry is expected to make firm bids for at least two players this week, he wants a goalkeeper and a goal-scoring midfielder.

04/08 - Fr: Hearts 1 Newcastle 1 - NO JOY FOR DRAB UNITED - A poor game, in which United miss a host of chances, highlights the need for new faces.

05/08 John Brownlie suffered a medial ligament injury during the match and could be out for most of the season.

05/08 Dutch free-agent Kasma Koenan arrives on Tyneside for a trial. He is the captain of the Dutch U21 Team and although he has an offer from a Dutch club he is keen to come to England to broaden his experience. McGarry is also interested in West Brom winger Johnstone and Man. City reserve keeper Keith Macrea.

06/08 - United target Willie Johnstone moves to Rangers.

08/08 - THEY’RE AFTER MY BLOOD! - McGarry admits: “I’m under pressure and two directors are after my blood. I don’t worry about the directors who don’t like me. I’m not a likeable guy because I do the job in my own fashion”.

09/08 -Fr: Newcastle 2 Leeds 2 - Newcastle match their First Division opponents in a low-key friendly. Triallist Koenan impresses.

09/08 - McGarry scouts Peterborough's link-man Billy Kellock, who scored 23 goals last term, for the third time.

11/08 - Free agent Koenan impressed McFaul during the match and United agree to pay out £80,000 for his services.

13/08 - The signing of Koenan is completed with the international clearance papers coming through.

15/08 - Former player Tommy Cassidy blasts McGarry for being “thirty years out-of-date” and reveals how he had grown to hate training, claiming that others felt the same way. McGarry calls his critics a disgrace and says that he’s “not paid to be popular” and confirms he will continue doing things his way and that he does not feel nervous about his position in any way.

16/08 - D2: Sheff. Wed. 2 Newcastle 0 - United give a characterless and uninspiring display and the match is dominated by Jackie Charlton's newly promoted club. Kevin Carr's acrobatics keep them in the game, but after Steve Carney is sent off on the hour the Owls score twice. Both managers criticise the Carney dismissal; "if that was a sending off offence I'm my aunt's uncle and we'll change our name to 'handbags United’” says McGarry. Even the referee Ken Walmsley thinks the decision is unfair and "has nothing but sympathy for the lad". He blames the fact that the disciplinary rules are now too rigid.

16/08 - BLOOD, SWEAT AND FEAR - Six thousand travel to Yorkshire and there is serious crowd trouble before, during and after the game. Forty are arrested (nearly all United supporters) and fourteen police (including a WPC) are injured. The United fans are held back at the end of the game with police guarding the exits. and a significant number are “going wild”, kicking, hurling abuse and throwing coins. Some try to storm the gates and when the gates are opened the crowd surges forward leading to a number of police injuries. The travel organiser for the Supporters Club, Trevor Dobson, blames insufficient policing but accepts that a growing “idiot element” among the fan-base is giving United fans one of the worst reputations in the country. A senior police officer slams the “deplorable scenes of damage and disorder”.

18/08 - Two United fans are jailed and many more are fined as the behaviour of the United supporters is slammed by both the FA and the Football League who warn that further action will be taken if the trouble is repeated. In addition, five fans are held in custody and others are bailed with orders to report to police on Saturday afternoons.

20/08 - D2: Newcastle 1 Notts. County 1 - SHOULDER IS UNITED HERO - In driving rain United are indebted to Carr who is once again at his best to thwart a County side prompted expertly by the veteran Don Masson. The attendance of 17,272 is a post-war low for a season-opener.

21/08 - Hibbit is "annoyed" about being excluded from the team.

23/08 - D2: Bolton 4 Newcastle 0 - THE AWFUL TRUTH - A criminally inept performance in which Brian Kidd scores a twenty-minute hat-trick. Bolton control the game throughout and after the second goal the United supporters sit down in protest for the rest of the game. United hit bottom spot and although McGarry claims that all that is lacking is confidence, he is under serious pressure.

About 1,500 fans make the trip and although nine fans end up in cells the police say they have “no complaints” about the United fans.

27/08 - John Connolly is given a free transfer. McGarry says “the players are good enough to sort things out”.

27/08 - LC R2 L1: Newcastle 3 Bury 2- REPRIEVE, BUT UNITED SHAKY - Fourth Division Bury are managed by former United captain Jim Iley and include former players Pat Howard and Keith Kennedy in the side. United, who are taunted by the paltry home crowd, struggle to overcome the Lancastrians who attack with venom. Iley offers a damning appraisal of the team: "I could have cried when I saw the size of the crowd. Newcastle's standards have slipped so badly in the last few years.... this place used to be alive and now it's dead".

29/08 -MCGARRY OUT - HARVEY IN - After almost three years in charge Bill McGarry departs by “mutual agreement”, although few doubt he has been sacked. He accepts the decision but suggests it is "premature" with the season just having started. "I thought we had cracked it, but I got a bit too smug". He cites his failure to replace Assistant Manager Peter Morris (when he left to take charge of Peterborough) as a crucial factor. McGarry claims that: “I have been more attached to this club than any other". United have won only two League games in the last eight months. Joe Harvey (now 62) is put in temporary charge.

Dave Smith, David Pleat, lan Greaves (who declares his interest), Jimmy Frizzell, Bob Moncur and Arthur Cox all get a mention as potential successors. More hopeful possibilities are the big three, Robson, Clough and McMenemy.

Harvey suggests that United need to sign a star like Supermac to re-energise the side. But McGarry suggests that this will not be possible; "there will never be any money to spend here. Newcastle don't own their ground, therefore don't have the collateral".

29/08 United’s plan to install floodlights at their Benton training ground are thrown out by the council due to complaints from local residents.

30/08 - D2: Newcastle 2 Luton 1 - LUCK AND COURAGE - Another poor performance in which the Hatters take an early lead and could easily have scored more before United pull themselves back into the game. Harvey tells the directors to get a new manager in quickly and states three new players are required.

Barton is likely to be out for a couple of months after damaging ankle ligaments.

31/08 - Chairman Rutherford states that the club are looking for a young manager, but one with a reasonable amount of experience. experience. David Pleat (Luton), Arthur Cox (Chesterfield) and Jimmy Frizzel (Oldham) are all mentioned, but the early favourite is former skipper Bob Moncur (Hearts) who has said many times in the past that he would love the job.


01/09 - Sunderland arrange a news conference attended by manager Ken Knighton and his assistant Frank Clark. Clark reveals that he was approached by an intermediary on Friday about the possibility of becoming Newcastle manager. Although he was “flattered” and “gave it serious thought” he is committed to his role on Wearside. Knighton is annoyed that a direct approach was made to Clark, but doesn't want to pursue the matter. Bob Moncur says that he has not been approached by the club, whilst Bury boss and ex United skipper Jim Iley says he would love the position. Thirty-year-old Yugoslavian goalkeeper Ratko Svilar starts a week’s trial.

02/09 - John Connolly agrees to join Hibs.

02/09 - LC R2 L2: Bury 1 Newcastle 0 (aet) (agg 3-3) - PATHETIC, NEWCASTLE - Bury have lost 4 of their 5 games this season and Harvey tells the players "you are playing for your pride”. Debutant Bradley scores the only goal of the game after half an hour, Newcastle failing to score even with thirty minutes extra time being available. As a result United are out, on the "away goals" rule. It is a shocking performance in which they hardly create a decent opportunity.

03/09 - Bookies favourite Bobby Moncur states that he will be staying in Scotland. The board meet in the evening and it is believed that they have set their sights on Chesterfield manager - and former Sunderland coach - Arthur Cox. Joe Harvey reveals that United are in discussions with someone “who is a big name in football” and goes on to say that whoever is appointed "will have to have a big heart and broad shoulders". Ratko Svilar breaks his toe in training and Harvey suggests he is unlikely to get another trial.

04/09 - COX RETURNS IN TRIUMPH - Arthur Cox is confirmed as the new United manager although the Chesterfield Board still need to sanction the deal. He has been at Chesterfield for four seasons and has a reputation for having an insatiable appetite for work, being firm but fair with players and being an excellent wheeler dealer in the transfer market. Harvey certainly believes the club have made a sound decision. "The fans will love him eventually", he is "passionate about his football" and "if he achieves what I did in the sixties by getting us promotion then I will kiss his feet". "This is one of the top six jobs in the country," Arthur states boldly, "there's plenty to be done, but with the help of people like Joe Harvey I know I can do it. I want to see fans queuing around St. James' Park again - and they will be". He will officially take over on Monday.

05/09 Chesterfield sanction Cox's move after agreeing a compensation deal with Newcastle. Chesterfield captain Bill Green is sorry to see Cox go and has a warning for the players. "He will put a bomb under a few people at St James'. The lads in our dressing room always reckoned he was sacked by the gestapo for being too tough".

05/09 Leeds United, looking for a replacement for Jimmy Adamson, made an approach at director level for Cox, but he had already agreed to join Newcastle.

06/09 - D2: Newcastle 2 Cardiff 1 - In his last game as caretaker manager Harvey secures another home win. Both United's goals have an element of controversy about them and it is a very nervy second-half display.

11/09 - Cox tries to take some of the pressure off the players: "no player will be judged by one performance. All I ask of them is that they play for their pride and that of the fans".

13/09 - D2: QPR 1 Newcastle 2 - United play reasonably well in the first period and take the lead, but after QPR equalise they start to struggle and are put under intense pressure. However Hibbitt grabs an unlikely winner. Cox is full of praise for the couple of hundred travelling fans: "they made more noise than the home crowd". It is United's first win away from home for ten months.


15/09 - In an article in the Daily Express, Brian Clough slams United's appointment of Cox whom he implies will be a "yes man" due to his relative inexperience. "It is yet another example of how the tightly closed shop boardroom at St James' Park is prepared to gamble, no matter what the circumstances, to retain their suffocating stranglehold". He argues that "if they had been at all serious in their intent to get things right" they would have tried for one of the big-name locally-born managers citing himself, Bob Paisley, Lawrie McMenemy and Bobby Robson. He concedes it would have been difficult to get any of them, but criticises them for not even trying. "I wish Arthur Cox every success in a most difficult quest. Only time will tell if he is capable of working miracles. I just hope that Cox can prove himself to be a man with a back that is broad enough, a heart that is strong enough and a knowledge which is great enough to stand the inevitable strain". John Brownlie - who has had his leg in plaster since the start of the season - is due to start light training next week.

16/09 - Cox pins Clough's article on the dressing room wall and hits back. He states he is not hurt by Clough’s opinions, but takes exception to any suggestion that he will not be in charge. He vows to make Clough "eat his words".

19/09 - Cox wants the team "to have the sort of spirit that has always existed down coal mines, where a mate always looks after a mate no matter what the circumstances".

20/09 - D2: Newcastle 0 Oldham 0 - In the programme Cox promises that "I will never give you less than one hundred per cent in effort and commitment. I am very proud to be your manager and I hope that one day you will be just as proud of me". Unfortunately United are desperate in the first half and despite great support from the terraces they cannot add a finish to their decent approach play in the second period. Oldham manager Frizzel comments: "I wish we had a crowd like that. I was never worried until they got behind the team and tried to win the match for them". The stars of the game are the Norwegian band. Cox pays tribute to the Newcastle fans and states: "It's our responsibility to give them more to shout about."

27/09 - D2: Bristol Rovers 0 Newcastle 0 - United put in a laboured performance against their equally goal-shy hosts and Cox admits that "there is an awful lot of hard work to do yet before anyone at this club can even start to think in promotion terms".

29/09 - Basil Hayward is "amicably" relieved of his duties as Chief Scout and will not be replaced; Joe Harvey is assisting Cox with scouting duties.


04/10 - D2: Newcastle 0 West Ham 0 - United record a third "all-blanker" in a row. The players clearly show more fighting spirit, but precious little else. Sixty arrests are made, mainly for threatening behaviour and drunkenness.

07/10 - D2: Preston 2 Newcastle 3 - Shinton scores twice as the return of long term absentee Mick Martin to the side inspires United to victory in the torrential rain at Preston. Cox is “still not happy”.

09/10 - Both Cox and Harvey are continually scouting with their latest targets including St. Johnstone's 18-year-old striker Ally McCoist and Morton's John McNeil.

11/10 - D2: Bristol City 2 Newcastle 0 - Cox suffers his first reverse when United concede twice In the last twenty minutes against the struggling home side.

16/10 - Cox misses out on Andy Ritchie of Manchester United, who moves to Brighton. Although Newcastle are deep in the red they are allegedly prepared to spend big for a quality player and Cox is said to be interested in his former Chesterfield players Alan Birch and Danny Wilson.

18/10 - D2: Newcastle 1 Swansea 2 - The fans have been very supportive since Cox's appointment, but slow handclaps and chants of "what a load of rubbish" reverberate around the stadium again as United are destroyed by Chris Waddle's Newcastle supporting cousin Alan. An unhappy Arthur warns the players; "I will give Individuals the chance to redeem themselves, but If they can't, they can have no comeback at all. They can move on".

21/10 - Teenagers Chris Waddle (19) and Chris Wlthe (18) are included In the squad for the match with Shrewsbury. Waddle has been impressing in the reserves and has scored 9 times in the last 10 games. Withe is the younger brother of former player Peter and only signed professional forms a couple of weeks ago.

22/10 - D2: Newcastle 1 Shrewsbury 0 - Shoulder, Kelly and Davies all get the chop and Cox hands debuts to Waddle and Withe. It is a dismal wet and foggy night and the football is often as bleak as the weather. Cox says of Waddle: "he was competent....but I'm sure he is capable of far more".

25/10 - D2: Chelsea 6 Newcastle 0 - Central defender Bruce Halliday (19) is the latest youngster to be handed a debut. "If he has a weakness then so far I haven't spotted what it is", says Cox. Unfortunately the Match of the Day cameras are there to see United's inexperienced back four ripped to shreds in what is the heaviest League defeat since 1967. It is believed that there is money to spend and Cox says "I won't panic. There will be new faces at St. James' in time, but my time".


28/10 - Cox steps up his player search and declares "I'm only interested in quality". With (allegedly) half a million to spend Cox is said to be interested in strikers Mick Harford (Lincoln), Gerry Armstrong (Watford) and Peter Beardsley (Carlisle).

30/10 - Cox signs Middlesbrough's reserve left-back Peter Johnson for £60,000. Not the quality of player expected, but Cox explains his decision. "He's young, he's hungry and he's got lots of potential". He is 22 and has played 42 times for Middlesbrough.


01/11 - D2: Newcastle 2 Watford 1 - Only five players keep their place in the team and Johnson performs well on his debut. United, with a strong wind behind them, start well and score twice before conceding just before half-time. The setback knocks them completely out of their stride and they struggle badly in the second period.

03/11 - Cox talks home truths about Bobby Shinton. "He thinks he worked hard against Watford on Saturday. Well I think he is capable of working a lot harder than that and he should have doubled the amount of goals against his name".

04/11 - After resigning as Carlisle scout, Brian Watson becomes Newcastle’s Youth Development Officer.

08/11 - D2: Cambridge 2 Newcastle 1 - Newcastle are deservedly beaten at Cambridge where they lack ruthlessness upfront and (as Cox suggests) "ran about like ants in the sun instead of trying to control the game".

11/11 - D2: Notts County 0 Newcastle 0 - United get a deserved point against the nervy League leaders after a battling display in which both sides are guilty of squandering good chances.

15/11 - D2: Newcastle 1 Sheff. Wed. 0 - BOBBY’S DAZZLER SETS UP UNITED - Fuelled by two noisy sets of supporters it is a full-blooded match played more like a cup-tie. Shinton nets the only goal.

22/11 - D2: Newcastle 0 Wrexham 1 - COX CRUCIFIES FEEBLE UNITED - The Magpies are outplayed and only a superb performance from Carr prevents a much heavier defeat. It is a disgraceful performance with the players lacking in drive and confidence. They are booed off at the end of each half and one fan stages a sit-down protest in the centre-circle during the second period. Cox admits “I’m angry about it and the players have had a rollicking”.

25/11 - Cox makes a £350,000 joint bid for two of his former players, Danny Wilson and Alan Birch, but Chesterfield turn the offer down.

Peter Kelly is out of action with a broken wrist, another unlucky injury for the Scot.

28/11 - With Cox wanting to boost his spending power, Ray Clarke, lan Davies, Colin Suggett (who is helping out with coaching the Juniors, but is still registered as a player) and Brian Ferguson are all transfer listed.

29/11 - D2: Orient 1 Newcastle 1 - A mistake by Boam gifts the home side an equaliser just before the end. Cox is buoyed by the fact that it is "the best we have played all season," but annoyed with the late leveller.


06/12 - United’s new £65,000 scoreboard was due to have its grand unveiling today and Cox said "I hope we can light It up with a few goals"; however the game is cancelled, due to the freezing conditions. Cox takes the opportunity to watch Peter Beardsley score twice In Carlisle's 4-0 win over Colchester.

10/12 - Billy Rafferty, who cost £170,000 when he was signed 18 months ago, is sold to Portsmouth for £80,000.

11/12 - Cox bids for Lincoln City centre-forward Mick Harford.

12/12: Chris Withe is in hospital for a knee operation.

13/12 - D2: Swansea 4 Newcastle 0 - A drubbing for United at the Vetch Field. "I don't think we played too badly" is Cox's unexpected response to a result which leaves United only two points above the drop zone.


16/12 - Reserve midfielder Brian Ferguson signs for Hull City on a free transfer.

18/12 - United pay out a record fee of £250,000 for Bedllngton born West Brom midfielder John Trewlck. Cox still wants "an old-fashioned centre-forward" and rumoured targets are Alan Waddle (Swansea), Ray Hankin (Vancouver Whltecaps) and Mlck Harford (Lincoln).

18/12 - Former United chairman Lord Westwood steps down from his position as vice-chairman although he remains a director and club president. Stan Seymour junior replaces him.

20/12 - D2: Newcastle 0 Bristol City 0 - Trewick makes his debut and Chris Waddle is given the chance to lead the line against the team one off the bottom. But it is quite obvious that the attack is too lightweight.

23/12 - United sign Lincoln City forward Mick Harford for £150,000 - a record fee for a Fourth Division player. Harford has scored 15 times In 21 games so far this season. Cox admits "he's a nasty so and so.... I'm going to have to tame him".

26/12 - D2: Grimsby 0 Newcastle 0 - Debutant Harford replaces the dropped Shoulder. Both sides lack the killer punch despite playing some reasonable football although the home side are unlucky to hit the bar and have a goal chalked off for a marginal offside.

27/12 - D2: Newcastle 0 Derby 2 - United never recover from conceding an own goal within two minutes and are beaten with embarrassing ease.


03/01 - FA R3: Newcastle 2 Sheff. Wed. 1 - Waddle is the star of the show scoring his first two senior goals. Wednesday manager Jackie Charlton is, as ever, gracious in defeat; "lucky b******s, they'll never get away with that again". Cox on the other hand says: "I though we just about snatched it, you couldn't question anybody's effort and honesty out there and I think we deserved to win”.

06/01 - Newcastle defied FA rules by wearing their (sponsored) Blue Star shirts (and were later fined £1,000 for doing so).

07/01 - Pop Robson (now 35) could be returning to St James' Park according to the local press, however Cox will not be drawn on the speculation.

10/01 - D2: Wrexham 0 Newcastle 0 - Bad finishing, especially by Shlnton on his return to his former club, proves to be United’s downfall again. They have now gone five games without scoring a goal In the League and have the worst scoring record In all four divisions. Mick Martin says: "Don't put the blame on the strikers, we've all got to accept responsibility."

12/01 - Terry Hibbitt undergoes a cartilage operation to rectify trouble when he twisted his knee in the Wembley five a side championships during November.

16/01 - Former United manager, Duggie Livingstone, passes away.

17/01 - D2: Luton 0 Newcastle 1 - United bag a League goal at last as Mick Harford scores his first for the Club and United's first in 491 minutes of League football. Cox says: "We battled and battled, but we did it with composure. We've got it all to do again next week." Carr saves a penalty.

20/01 - United announce a complete overhaul of their scouting staff, sacking all of their scouts outside the North East area. Newcastle will now concentrate on looking for local talent.

24/01 - FAC R4: Newcastle 2 Luton 1- Luton manager David Pleat is full of praise for the "passion" of the United players and the fervour of the crowd, Cox offers his normal unique take on the match: "they came at us like Red Indians In the second half but we refused to surrender". And describing the frantic defending towards the end Cox claims that United "were clearing the ball so high It was coming down with altitude poisoning on It".

31/01 - D2: Newcastle 2 Bolton 1- Cox rewards Clarke's efforts In the Luton cup game by retaining him In the side suggesting that he could stay If he continues to perform well. Chairman Bob Rutherford, in one of his rare interviews, says that he is "absolutely delighted" with Arthur Cox.

31/01 - Joe Harvey is joined by Sunderland's chief scout to watch Peter Beardsley turn in an excellent performance for Carlisle against Colchester. It Is likely that one or both of them will make a move soon.


07/02 - After four wins and a draw, Cox wins the Division 2 Manager of the Month award for January. "The award is an honour for the Club, players and supporters. Everyone at the Club has worked hard."

07/02 - D2: Newcastle 1 QPR 0 - QPR outplay a nervy United, but Waddle's first goal In the League secures an unlikely victory. Martin suffers a knee injury.

10/02 Frans Koenan suffers knee ligament damage; he could be out for the rest of the season.

13/02 - At his pre-Cup press conference Cox declares that he "would back it (the side) against any other in the country". On the basis that It Is 36,000 strong.

14/02 - FAC R5: Newcastle 1 Exeter 1 - Third Division Exeter City arrive at St. James’ on the back of a 5-0 hammering at Portsmouth, but they put up a spirited performance and deservedly equalise just before the end. Now United face the 370 mile journey to the other St James' Park. Cox says: "The trip doesn't worry us at all."

16/02 - Shinton damaged knee ligaments in the game on Saturday; an injury which brings a premature end to his season.

18/02 - FAC R5r: Exeter 4 Newcastle 0 - United put in a disastrous performance in front of the Sportsnight cameras and are 3-0 down at the interval with the first goal coming direct from a corner. Exeter's coach says: "Newcastle United are not the Newcastle United of old, and after Saturday’s game my players believed me”.

19/02 - Respected journalist David Miller lambasts the club in his newspaper column. "Newcastle are little short of a music hall joke" and "are an insult to the most loyal supporters in English football". Not the team but "the Board of Directors, which over twenty years or so has allowed this great club to rot".

21/02 - D2: Newcastle 0 Bristol Rovers 0 - It Is a desperately poor game against bottom of the table Rovers. Randall executes two amazing misses whilst Wharton and Shoulder both fail when one-on-one against the 'keeper. Cox refuses to be downbeat and claims his side are still in the promotion hunt. But he admits "this team Is very much In the Infancy stage. I am putting together a team that will take us back in time". Bristol player-manager Terry Cooper says: "Newcastle is a tragedy. I remember it on big match days not so long ago, yet when I came here before the match this morning it was a graveyard. The atmosphere’s gone".

25/02 - D2: Cardiff 1 Newcastle 0 - Struggling Cardiff have lost their last four games, but Newcastle fail to register a shot on target after the break. Cox admits: "We never really threatened their goal".

28/02 - D2: Oldham 0 Newcastle 0 - Oldham manager Frlzzell's damning verdict sums up the game: "we didn't lose because they were so bad". It is a turgid game with United failing to muster a shot on target until ten minutes from time and even that effort was blocked before it reached its goal.


Alan Ball (now 35) resigns as player-manager of Blackpool and Cox makes it clear that he would be happy to have him playing on Tyneside; the States is a much more likely destination however.

01/03 - United are linked with Sunderland strikers Alan Brown and Gary Rowell.

07/03 - D2: West Ham 1 Newcastle 0 - WHAT A CROSS TO BEAR, NEWCASTLE - Although David Cross puts the runaway leaders ahead after only two minutes the Magpies battle them all the way.

10/03 - It is announced that Lord Westwood, Bob Rutherford and David Salkeld are all to resign from the board next Monday after the club's bank's request that each director should pay £16,000 to ease the club's financial position. Westwood (who is 73) states that he is "too old to take on that sort of mountainous problem." Stan Seymour junior takes over as Chairman. Sir George Bowman and Peter. Tbc

10/03 - Fulham chairman Ernie Clay declares that he would "crawl all the way to the North East to take over the club" and also claims he would pay off the club's £500,000 debt, Stan Seymour says the club "wouldn't entertain such thoughts".

14/03 - D2: Newcastle 2 Preston 0 - The attendance takes another dip as supporters continue to vote with their feet; United just about deserve their victory over the struggling Lancastrians.

Stan Seymour outlines the new policy for the future. “Never again will we buy old players. We are where we are because of our dealings in the transfer market. We're finished with buying players who are 31, 32 and 33. We want players with a future... we must put our faith in youth and we must utilise local talent. We will do everything we can for our fans and for the Club. We want to be big again. But I have to use the word eventually because our job is to get us out of our current mess and that means steady progress rather than spectacular."

21/03 - D2: Shrewsbury 1 Newcastle 0 - The struggling Shrews graft overcomes the Magpies craft.

28/03 - D2: Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0 - Bruce Halliday notches his first goal for the club to help wipe out some of the memories from his disastrous debut at Stamford Bridge. Cox Is delighted with the "maximum effort" from the team.

30/03 - Both Peter Beardsley and his manager Bob Stokoe defend his decision to move to the USA to play for Vancouver Whltecaps. Stokoe states that not one English club made a concrete bid. Cox disapproves; "when you have talent you don't need to chase cash".


03/04 - Rather than the standard summer break the players will be allowed five full weeks off, taken at any time, but on a rota. And in the remaining weeks they will have to attend training twice a week. Cox wants to keep fitness levels up and for the players to work hard on improving their technique.

04/04 - D2: Watford 0 Newcastle 0 - A terrible game in which the ball is in the air more than on the ground and the frustration amongst the players is reflected on the terraces where fighting breaks out.

11/04 - D2: Newcastle 2 Cambridge 1 - The lowest home crowd so far, 11,013, turns up to watch United struggle to beat humble Cambridge; the only bright spot being a cracker of a goal from Shoulder.

15/04 - D2: Newcastle 0 Blackburn 0 - UNITED FAIL TO END GOAL FAMINE - Struggling Blackburn adopt ultra-defensive tactics particularly in a turgid first-half and despite a late flurry of pressure Newcastle draw a blank once more.

18/04 - D2: Derby 2 Newcastle 0 - Veteran defender Roy McFarland has no problem holding United's blunt attack at bay and defensive errors cost United.

20/04 - D2: Newcastle 1 Grimsby 1 - The visitors dominate the first half and deservedly go ahead on the stroke of half-time. United improve after the break but spurn a number of opportunities before Shoulder grabs an equaliser thirteen minutes from the end.

25/04 - D2: Blackburn 3 Newcastle 0 - Promotion hopefuls Blackburn could easily have doubled their score as they outplay United. Newcastle are shocking; they are disorganised at the back and show an embarrassing lack of penetration upfront. Most of the travelling fans miss the majority of the game because of freak snow storms crossing the Pennines.

02/05 - D2: Newcastle 3 Orient 1 - LETS BE THANKFUL FOR THE GOALS - An open and reasonably entertaining game to finish the season

02/05 - Frans Koenen is transfer listed and may well return to Holland. Arthur Cox is back on the trail of Barnsley striker Ronnie Glavin.

05/05 - Terry Hibbit and Peter Kelly (for the second time) are both advised to quit the game by specialists.