Players Managers Fans Seasons Miscellany

NUFC 1983/84 - Season Diary

NUFC Review 1983/84 NUFC Match Details 1983/84 NUFC Squad 1983/84


02/06 - Mick Robinson decides to stay at Brighton rather than go to Villa which would appear to scupper United’s chance of getting Peter Withe.

04/06 - Fr: Yamaha 0 Newcastle 1 - JAPANESE JOYRIDE - in their penultimate game in the Japan Cup Chris Waddle scores the only goal after six minutes, United only need a point from their last game to win the trophy.

07/06 - Fr: Botafogo 0 Newcastle 0 - UNITED BACK ON TROPHY TRAIL - A goalless draw against the Brazilians is enough to win the Japan Cup. The game is far from friendly with Botafogo adopting a very physical approach particularly towards Keegan who is felled sixteen times.

10/06 - A major cash boost for United as the Football League ratify the proposal that, in League games, the home side should keep the total receipts.

23/06 - In another vindication of Keegan’s signing, United’s attendances last season increased more than any other club in the country and they were the fifth best supported team.


06/07 - UNITED FENCE IN THE FAITHFUL - The club announce that fences are to be installed on three sides of the ground, with the East Stand side being the only one left unfenced.

11/07 - POMPEY IN MOVE FOR KEEGAN - With Keegan having sold his house in Morpeth and his family moving back to Hampshire ambitious Portsmouth are said to want Keegan whose current contract expires at the end of the month. Seymour is not concerned.

13/07 - UNITED SNAP UP THOMAS - Newcastle make Martin Thomas’ move from Bristol Rovers permanent for a bargain £20,000. More payments will be incurred dependent upon appearances and full international caps and United will also play a friendly at Eastville.

20/07 - BROWN GETS HIS WISH - United agree a £100,000 fee with Huddersfield for classy right-back Malcolm Brown, the deal will be completed next Monday if he completes his medical successfully. It should not be an issue as he has not missed a game in the last five years.

21/07 - HE COULD BE AWAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS - Keegan uses his column in the Sun to reveal that his new contract will include a clause which will allow him to leave during the season if he believes “things aren’t going as well as they should”. Keegan wants proof that the club’s ambitions are “as urgent and demanding as mine”. “If we are to achieve promotion while I am here it will have to be next season”. It is believed he will commute backwards and forwards to Hampshire whilst using the Gosforth Park Hotel as his Tyneside base.

24/07 - Malcolm Brown (26) passes his medical to complete the deal.

25/07 - United finally agree a £225,000 fee for Oldham England-U21 international left-back John Ryan. He is one of the fastest full-backs in the game and also scored ten goals last season. The delay in the deal has been down to the payment terms, United have now agreed to pay half the fee up front.

29/07 - BROWNED OFF - New signing Malcolm Brown falls awkwardly whilst performing a routine loosening up exercise and will have an operation this morning on a ruptured achilles tendon. He is likely to be out until Christmas.


02/08 - The John Ryan deal is finally completed. United also make a bid of £300,000 for Barnsley centre-back Mick McCarthy and open negotiations with Aston Villa striker David Geddis who is available for £50,000.

03/08 - Although McCarthy is very keen to join, Barnsley reject United’s bid.

08/08 - GEDDIS NO TO UNITED - Dave Geddis turns down a move to Tyneside as he is not keen on uprooting his family. The injury to Malcolm Brown has earned John Trewick a reprieve.

10/08 - Fr: Altona 93 1 Newcastle 6 - RYAN SPARKS SIX-HIT UNITED - Hamburg provide moderate opposition in a game in which the full-backs hit the goal trail. Ryan scores the first, Anderson gets a hat-trick and Wharton (who comes on as a sub in midfield) is also on target.

11/08 - Fr: SC Drochtersen 0 Newcastle 5 - VARADI GOAL STARTS RUSH - Keegan arrives in a helicopter which drops him in the centre-circle thirty minutes before kick off as he had been appearing in a live TV show in Hamburg. The Fifth Division side are not strong opposition.

15/08 - The pre-season photo call takes place. Cox refuses to comment on former striker Peter Withe who has handed in a transfer request at Villa.

17/08 - Fr: AEK Athens 0 Newcastle 0 - UNITED EFFORT PLEASES COX - A competitive game in which the Greeks frustrate United with their offside tactics.

19/08 - EXIT VARADI - United agree a fee of £150,000 with Sheffield Wednesday for the sale of Varadi. Cox is thought to be lining up Cambridge striker George Reilly as his replacement. The 6ft 5in Scot is currently in dispute with the club. Another possibility is Patrick Thistle striker Maurice Johnstone.

20/08 - Fr: Newcastle 3 League Of Ireland 0 - UNITED WIN IN A CANTER - United fans get their first look at the 7’ 6” high wire fencing and many of the fans directly behind it are not at all happy with some saying that they will be demanding their season ticket money back if they are not moved elsewhere. The unambitious Irishmen play five at the back and an offside game to try and limit the damage.

20/08 - Varidi holds talks with Howard Wilkinson, but does not agree to sign, it is believed he has no wish to leave.

22/08 - REILLY MOVE BLOCKED AND VARADI TO STAY - Furious Cambridge manager John Docherty is not impressed with Reilly or United and says he won’t be “blackmailed” into selling. And Varadi meets with Cox and tells him he would rather fight for his place in the reserves than leave.

23/08 - Cox makes a bid for Man City central defender Kevin Bond.

23/08 - Watford swoop for George Reilly with Newcastle failing in a last-ditch effort to bring him to Tyneside. Cambridge manager John Docherty says: “The deal with Watford was an honourable one and I am delighted to spike the guns of other clubs. Some of the things that have gone on are unbelievable”.

24/08 - SAD VARADI IS FORCED OUT - Varadi is called in to see chairman Seymour and eventually relents and agrees to join Wednesday. David Mills will move in the opposite direction, he is valued at only £20,000. Both players will have their medical tomorrow to complete the deals. A £150,000 bid for Burnley striker Billy Hamilton is turned down.

27/08 - D2: Leeds 0 Newcastle 1 - LIFT OFF FOR CLASSY UNITED - Eight thousand fans make the trip to Yorkshire. Even though the Magpies have to play nearly half the game with Chris Waddle in goal due to Carr suffering a suspected broken arm they are well worth their victory. Their football is controlled and precise and they could easily have won by more.

29/08 - Carr will have an operation today and is likely to be out for two months.

29/08 - D2: Newcastle 0 Shrewsbury 1 - BOMBER BROWN SHOCKS UNITED - Alan Brown, who enjoyed a loan spell at United in 1981/82, scores the only goal after a hugely ineffective United performance. One of the crowd’s chants is “send him back” which is cruelly aimed at new arrival David Mills.


01/09 - An £80,000 bid for Notts County striker Trevor Christie is rejected.

03/09 - D2: Newcastle 3 Oldham 0 - MILLS MAKES HIS MARK - David Mills makes the first and scores the third as the Magpies struggle through the first hour (they are also against a strong wind in the first half) before letting themselves off the leash for the last thirty minutes. Waddle is excellent, but Cox brings him back down to earth as usual. “He has another season to show whether he wants to be a very good player or just another professional footballer. He is capable of far more consistency than he has shown. I don’t know if the penny will ever drop with him”.


06/09 - D2: Middlesbrough 3 Newcastle 2 - BORO FIND A LAST GASP HERO - An estimated 6,500 travel to Teesside and see United equalise twice. But when teenager Gary Hamilton scores Boro’s third four minutes from time there is no way back in a game packed with thrills. All three goals come down United’s left with Ryan’s frequent forays up the pitch leaving gaps at the back. There is major trouble after the match when the police lock the United fans in. Bottles, bricks and other objects are thrown with much of it being thrown onto the street outside from the East End stand. Some of it causes windows to be smashed in nearby houses. Only 17 arrests are made.

08/09 - United are still chasing Christie and there appears to be only £10,000 difference in the clubs’ valuations.

10/09 - D2: Grimsby 1 Newcastle 1 - OLD FAITHFUL DOES THE TRICK - It is a frantic match of non-stop effort from both sides so there are inevitably mistakes too. United dominate the first forty-five without scoring and concede just before the break. It is more even in the second-half when McDermott threads a ball through for Keegan, who is struggling to find his touch so far this season, to score. The lack of scoring power in the side is, once more, very evident.

14/09 - BEARDSLEY IS NEW TARGET - It is understood that Newcastle have been in touch with North American side Vancouver Whitecaps with a view to signing Peter Beardsley.

16/09 - HOME AT LAST - Newcastle agree terms with Vancouver to sign Peter Beardsley for £150,000 although the player still has to agree personal terms and pass his medical. Beardsley was signed by Manchester United last season for £250,000 but the move did not work out and he returned to the Whitecaps. Cox may also bid for Beardsley’s team mate David Cross, the former West Ham player, who will be available for free until March.

17/09 - D2: Newcastle 3 Crystal Palace 1 - KEVIN’S ROYAL VARIETY PERFORMANCE - After struggling in the previous games Keegan comes back to form and makes one goal and scores another. Gilbert is sent-off for a bad foul on Wharton fifteen minutes from time.

18/09 - Cox says Kenny Wharton will be disciplined for butting Gilbert when the two clashed, an incident missed by the officials.

21/09 - Kevin Todd, who has been operating under a weekly contract after turning down the contract he was offered in the summer, signs for Darlington.

22/09 - Beardsley completes his move, but his debut may be delayed as the club awaits his international clearance.

23/09 - The clearance comes through but Cox may decide to delay his introduction due to the tiring week he has had.

24/09 - D2: Barnsley 1 Newcastle 1 - WADDLE EARNS LATE REPRIEVE - Although Barnsley have lost their last four games, United struggle to combat their drive and power and their tactics of getting in as many crosses for their tall frontman Tony Cunningham. The Jamaican puts them ahead, but six minutes from time Waddle, who had been blotted out all match, is left unmarked and equalises. Beardsley comes on as sub for the injured Clarke.

26/09 - CLARKE OUT FOR SIX WEEKS - Disastrous news as Clarke has suffered a knee ligament injury which will keep him out for at least six weeks. Cox is likely to try and get someone in on loan, a possibility is unsettled QPR centre-back Glenn Roeder.

29/09 - UNITED TARGET WANTS A TRANSFER - Barnsley centre-back Mick McCarthy, who United failed in with a bid for in the summer, hands in a transfer request and states: “I want first-team football and I would be interested in joining Newcastle”.


01/10 - D2: Newcastle 4 Portsmouth 2 - WADDLE A TON OF TROUBLE - Wes Saunders replaces the injured Clarke and Beardsley makes his full debut in a classic match played in rain-soaked conditions. Both sides have numerous chances, but it is United who are more ruthless in front of goal. Two brilliant efforts from Waddle (making his 100th appearance) and a Keegan penalty put United 3-0 up at the interval. Wharton scores a fourth and chances galore follow before Pompey score two late goals . In typical Cox style, he hauls Waddle off five minutes from the end because "he didn't show me that he was hungry for a hat-trick”.

05/10 - LC R2 L1: Newcastle 1 Oxford 1 - UNITED HIT LAST GASP EQUALISER - Third Division leaders Oxford have former United keeper Steve Hardwick in goal. United struggle to impose themselves in the first-half and go behind. And although they dominate after the break it takes until three minutes from time for Mcdermott to equalise. When Hardwick runs towards the Gallowgate End at the start of the second-half he applauds the crowd, but is greeted with hostility. And then he is left visibly shaken after being bombarded with coins during the game. Luckily for Newcastle he doesn’t say anything to the referee so the incident is not reported.


08/10 - D2: Newcastle 2 Charlton 1 - NEWCASTLE SEE JUSTICE DONE - The MoD cameras roll up to see what progress is being made and in true United fashion they struggle against a club looking for its first away win in a year. The Londoners, who were beaten 7-0 last week, take an ultra-defensive approach and then grab a shock lead. The frustration is getting to both players and fans in the pouring rain. Although the fans get another soaking, they eventually go home very happy after two Keegan goals in the last twenty minutes secures all three points.

13/10 - Striker David Byrne (21) who is currently playing with Toronto Blizzards joins on trial. He is the son of former West Ham and England player Roger Byrne.

15/10 - HARD DAY’S NIGHT FOR UNITED'S LOYAL ARMY - some 500 fans make the 400-mile trek to Swansea only to find out that the game has been postponed until tomorrow due to the pitch being waterlogged. The buses travel back to Tyneside, but about 150 fans stay who have to try and find lodgings or sleep rough. Some are put up by Swansea fans.


16/10 - D2: Swansea 1 Newcastle 2 - SUNDAY BEST! - The fifty or so fans who had opted not to go back on their coaches are given free seats by Swansea and the Welshman even put on a free coach to take them back to Tyneside after the game. United play in a competitive match for the first time on a Sunday and win with another late goal from substitute David Mills. Beardsley excels once more and Cox states boldly that: "by the time he is Kenny Dalglish's age I expect him to be as well-known”.


19/10 - D2: Cardiff 0 Newcastle 2 - PETER THE GREAT - Beardsley’s speed in movement and thought is the main inspiration for a scintillating display of attacking football that even has the partisan Welsh supporters applauding. Beardsley scores his first goal and the Magpies move into second place. Cox is delighted: "This should set us up nicely for the next home game against Manchester City."

22/10 - David Byrne has impressed on trial, but although he has only played in America he is a star there and Toronto are likely to want a big fee for him.


26/10 - LC R2 L2: Oxford 2 Newcastle 1 (agg 2-3) - OXFORD BLUES - An excellent first-half display from the Third Division leaders takes them through to the Third Round and continues the Magpies’ dire record in the competition. Right-winger George Lawrence gives Ryan a torrid time and is the main protagonist in what is an easy victory.


29/10 - D2: Newcastle 5 Man City 0 - HAIL UNITED’S HEIR APPARENT- City have displaced the Magpies in 2nd place. Queues form outside the ground long before kick off and the gates are locked; the atmosphere inside the ground is electric. Newcastle take apart their promotion rivals and but for the agility of keeper Alex Williams, United could have reached double figures. It is a superb team performance though Beardsley grabs the headlines with a great hat-trick. He is the first United player to achieve such a feat on Tyneside since Alan Gowling in January 1976. Cox says: "very few teams in the country could have stood up to us today. In fact we would have given most sides a pasting". City manager Billy McNeill agrees. "Newcastle were outstanding and may never play better". A lot of the fans present will probably agree with his sentiments. On the downside a bottle is thrown at the Man City ‘keeper.


01/11 - Auctioneer George Forbes is co-opted to the Board in place of Club President Fenton Braithwaite who recently resigned.


05/11 - D2: Newcastle 3 Fulham 2 - CLOCK WATCHERS CLOCK OUT! - Another thrilling game against Malcolm Macdonald’s Fulham ends with a sixth win in a row. After the Cottagers go 2-1 up just after the hour, United swarm forward, urged on by an increasingly frantic and vociferous crowd. Chance after chance is spurned until three minutes before the end when David Mills grabs the equaliser. Then deep into stoppage time, amid scenes that can only be described as bedlam on the terraces, Kenny Wharton grabs a winner. Delirious fans celebrate with an impromptu fireworks display as they leave the ground.

07/11 - United put the remaining Season Tickets up for sale and they are all sold within three hours leaving huge numbers disappointed.

08/11 - Kevin Carr has recovered from his injury.

12/11 - D2: Chelsea 4 Newcastle 0 - CHELSEA - FIT FOR A KING - Norway’s King Olaf is the principal guest at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea have won every home game bar one. An early injury to midfield lynchpin McCreery seems to knock the Magpies out of their stride and they are completely outplayed. Cox admits: "they gave us a real kick in the pants".

19/11 - D2: Sheff Wed 4 Newcastle 2 - COX TAKES IT ON THE CHIN - Leaders Wednesday are unbeaten for 17 games. Twelve thousand fans travel down to Hillsborough, swelling the crowd to an impressive 41,134. It is another thriller in which United play the better football, with Mcdermott especially in superb form. However a brace from former striker Varadi helps the Owls carry off the points. Cox admits: “we have a lot of hard work to do at the back”.

United invite fourteen young, unemployed, non league footballers to Benwell to take on a strong Newcastle side to give them a chance to impress. Cox says he will be inviting a couple of them back before Christmas to assess them further.

Keegan confirms that he is: "enjoying it and I shan't be leaving until the end of the season at least". And Chairman Stan Seymour is so impressed with the United fans at Hillsborough that he sees fit to praise them in the next programme. "We salute you and your exemplary behaviour at Hillsborough makes you all a credit to Newcastle United."

26/11 - D2: Newcastle 2 Cambridge 1 - REF ROCKS CAMBRIDGE- Even though rock-bottom Cambridge have lost their last nine games, United struggle to overcome them and do just enough to win. The most vociferous crowd reaction is reserved for referee Trelford Mills at the beginning of the game, but he actually upsets Cambridge by awarding United a penalty when they did not believe an offence had been committed and not giving them a penalty when Carney handled in the area.

28/11 - With United still looking for a centre-back, previous target Mick McCarthy, who is now on the transfer list, makes it clear he would still love to come to Tyneside.

The club make 500 more season tickets available, they are all snapped up within three hours.

Teenager Derek Bell is forced to retire from the game because of injury.



03/12 - D2: Derby 3 Newcastle 2 - DAVISON AT THE DOUBLE - United are 2-0 up at half time against struggling Derby and coasting. Then in the 53rd minute McCreery suffers a recurrence of his ankle injury and Newcastle’s inexperienced defence concedes three goals in ten minutes, two of which are scored by South Shields born Bobby Davison. United have now conceded 11 goals in the last three away games and have dropped out of the promotion places.

05/12 - A Birmingham bid of £150,000 for Waddle is rejected with Seymour saying he is not for sale.

06/12 - Fr: Bristol Rovers 5 Newcastle 4 - Although it is only a friendly to mark the end of Rovers’ centenary year the Magpies defence takes another battering. The game was organised as part of Martin Thomas’ transfer.

Phil Linacre on trial - check when from.

10/12 - D2: Newcastle 5 Huddersfield 2 - WADDLE WINS GLORY GAME - It is 2-2 at half time against the hard-working Yorkshiremen managed by Mick Buxton, but Newcastle eventually win in a game that underlines the best and worst of the side. Brilliant going forward, very shaky at the back. One suffering more than most is left back John Ryan who, after another nightmare performance, is barracked by the crowd and substituted on the hour.

12/12 - KEEGAN TO CHAIR STRIKE MEETING - The players of Newcastle and Liverpool have been asked by the PFA to withdraw their labour from the FA Cup Third Round tie in January due to be shown live on BBC TV. At the Annual Meeting a couple of weeks ago players voted not to play in televised Cup ties due to the dispute with the FA caused by the FA’s decision to cut the player’s share of the money.

12/12 - The AGM is held.

13/12 - After talking with PFA Chairman Gordon Taylor, Keegan confirms that the players will take strike action.

14/12 - Mick McCarthy joins Man. City in a £200,000 deal. Stan Seymour confirms that United were not prepared to match the fee paid because there was a danger it would put the club “back in the soup” if things did not work out this season.


17/12 - D2: Brighton 0 Newcastle 1 - A DODDLE! - Due to their dire financial position the Seagulls have just made every player available for transfer. It is a very scrappy game which only comes to life towards the end when Brighton throw caution to the wind. It is United’s first clean sheet in seven games.

20/12 - After four and a half hours of talks the PFA and the FA reach an agreement which means the Cup tie with Liverpool can be televised as planned.

21/12 - Arthur Cox holds positive talks with Glenn Roeder, but although the Londoner would “love” to come to Tyneside his one issue is that he currently helps his parents run a pub business.

23/12 - ROEDER SIGNS IN MIDLANDS - QPR centre-back and former captain Glenn Roeder (28) signs for £120,000. The stylish defender who has been capped at England “B” level, has fallen out of favour with boss Terry Venables.

26/12 - D2: Newcastle 1 Blackburn 1 - WADDLE’S CRACKER - new signing Roeder replaces Steve Carney for the Boxing Day clash with promotion rivals Blackburn. The visiting side are all over United in the first half and create seven clear cut chances, luckily they only score from one of them. Waddle scores just before the hour mark but Blackburn defend resolutely to ensure they do not concede again.

27/12 - D2: Carlisle 3 Newcastle 1 - UNITED BLOWN OFF COURSE - At a windswept Brunton Park Cox employs a sweeper system for the first time, with Roeder taking on that role. Waddle gives United the lead before former player Alan Shoulder scores from the spot. Although the Magpies are poor they appear to be heading for a draw until they concede two goals in the last three minutes. It was an all-ticket game and there had been fears of trouble, with the police worried that fans without tickets would travel. But the United fans earned praise from the police for their behaviour.

29/12 - An x-ray reveals that David Mills has fractured a rib.

31/12 - D2: Oldham 1 Newcastle 2 - KEEGAN DOUBLES UP - Keegan scores a brace with Henry pulling one back just before the end.


02/01 - D2: Newcastle 1 Barnsley 0 - WADDLE WAVES MAGIC WAND - In the programme Cox admits that the defence (which has been widely criticised in the press) has "been found wanting" on some occasions. But he sets out his stall. "But there is no way I will send out a team with the sole intention of playing for a clean sheet. I will not be associated with negative tactics". On cue and in appalling conditions, United don’t concede and scrape through with a single, albeit excellent, goal from Waddle.


06/01 - FAC R3: Liverpool 4 Newcastle 0 - UNITED KOP THE LOT! - Despite the fact that the game is televised live, over 11,000 United fans make the trip to Merseyside. Keegan and Mcdermott return to Anfield to take on the champions of the previous two seasons who are again leading the pack. Newcastle are swept aside contemptuously conceding four goals for the third time this season. As always Cox can see a positive side to a bad result. "It did our younger players good in that it showed them at first hand just how to really compete.” Although the United fans give the team fantastic support they are also guilty of damaging over 500 seats, towelling machines and parts of the fencing. Rival fans clash after the game and four United fans are taken to hospital with slashed faces. Seventeen fans are ejected and fifteen arrested. However Merseyside police praise the general behaviour of the Newcastle supporters.

11/01 - Stan Seymour is re-elected as Chairman and says: “Let’s finish the job off”.

12/01 - Roeder agrees to sign a contract which will see him stay at the club until the end of the 1985/86 season.

12/01 - Newcastle London Supporters club offer Liverpool £100 to help them repair the damage caused to Anfield.

13/01 - Nine United fans are charged with threatening behaviour at Derby magistrates. They had been travelling back from the Derby game when their bus broke down and they went into the John F. Kennedy pub for a drink. One of them was assaulted by a local youth and just before closing time they stormed the pub sparking a scene “resembling the Wild West”.

14/01 - UNITED BAN TV CAMERAS - In line with a number of other clubs United refuse to allow ITV news cameras into the ground for the home match with Leeds due to the current Sunday football TV blackout. Snow causes the game to be postponed anyway. There is no day off for the players though as Cox calls them in for training.

20/01 - John Trewick joins Oxford on a month’s loan.

21/01 - D2: Crystal Palace 3 Newcastle 1 - UNITED LEFT DEFENCELESS - Kevin Carr and Jeff Clarke are recalled but the Magpies crash at lowly Palace after defensive mistakes gift the Londoners three first-half goals.

27/01 - The re-arranged match with Leeds, due to be played tonight, is once again postponed due to snow.

28/01 - Celtic play at Berwick in the Scottish Cup and there is a huge police presence which the Scots claim is very heavy-handed. There are some problems, but there are allegations that this was caused by Newcastle supporters who had travelled North looking for trouble.


02/02 - There are once more press stories suggesting Keegan is on his way to Portsmouth; Keegan angrily denies the claims stating: "there is not an atom of substance in this one".


04/02 - D2: Portsmouth 1 Newcastle 4 - Keegan scores twice and makes the other two for Beardsley to inspire the team to an excellent victory in front of the MoD cameras. Beardsley's first is a truly memorable effort. After the game Keegan says he has “decided nothing” about what he is going to do next season.

06/02 - A Newcastle fan is jailed for using threatening behaviour after the game at Fratton Park.

07/02 - Another Newcastle supporter is jailed for two months. At the end of the match at Carlisle he ran onto the pitch and grabbed hold of Martin Thomas’ arm and when police intervened he kicked, punched and spat at them.

08/02 - Chris Waddle signs a new, improved contract.

09/02 - ANGRY UNITED SLAM POMPEY - Newcastle are considering reporting Portsmouth for an “illegal approach” for Keegan due to Chairman John Deacon’s public statements that he wants to sign Keegan for next season.

11/02 - D2: Newcastle 0 Grimsby 1 - UNITED FALTER IN PROMOTION STAKES - United play their first home game for six weeks, but they fail to score in a League game for only the third time and Grimsby climb above the Magpies who fall to fifth. Keegan is lucky not to get sent-off after verbally abusing the referee after he disallowed a Wharton goal because Keegan had taken a free kick before he had blown his whistle.

14/02 - The news that all the United fans have been dreading; Keegan announces that he will retire at the end of the season. The game at Anfield convinced him that he could no longer live with the elite players. "I don't think honestly I could play another year at my age trying to do the things that I could do five or six years ago".


18/02 - D2: Man City 1 Newcastle 2- KEVIN ON CUE - An all ticket game with United allocated 6,000 tickets. United storm into a two goal lead, but then concede a sloppy goal early in the second half which results in a nervous last forty minutes in an intimidating atmosphere.


25/02 - D2: Newcastle 3 Cardiff 1 - UNITED COAST TO VICTORY - United’s approach play is brilliant against the dreadful Welsh side and they could have easily doubled or even trebled their goal tally.



03/03 - D2: Fulham 2 Newcastle 2 - KEEGAN HEADS FOR GLORY - United are back on MoD for the game at a beach-like Craven Cottage. Beardsley's overhead kick puts the Magpies in front with only a couple of minutes gone, but in typical fashion they concede directly from the restart and the Londoners go ahead after dominating the first-half. After the break McDermott and McCreery gain control of midfield and Keegan heads in the equaliser. Newcastle move back into a promotion spot for the first time since the turn of the year.


10/03 - D2: Newcastle 1 Chelsea 1 - DRAW WAS FAIR RESULT - The attendance tops 35,000 for the first time for the visit of the table leaders. The atmosphere is fantastic although the game itself is tense. United never really get going until Speedie gives Chelsea the lead. Mcdermott equalises and United almost win it at the death; Waddle shooting into the side netting from a good position. Following the violence in 1981/82 extra police were drafted in and there were 77 arrests (half and half) in total, mainly for public order offences and drunkenness. The local police enlisted the help of a policeman from London who had knowledge of the local trouble-makers.

12/03 - Manchester United have watched Waddle four times and are reported to be interested in signing him.


17/03 - D2: Newcastle 3 Middlesbrough 1 - OLD MASTERS ARE TOP OF THE CLASS - In the run up to the game Middlesbrough manager Malcolm Allison said that Newcastle “are not good enough” to get promoted and Cox stuck the press cuttings upon the dressing room wall to motivate his players. It is a thrilling game in which the vociferous and intimidating crowd is in full throttle. The visitors take the lead with barely two minutes on the clock, but Beardsley responds ten minutes later. Both teams make and miss numerous chances with Sugrue missing a glorious opportunity just before Mcdermott and Keegan show their class. Fans in the paddock taunt Allison with chants of “Where’s your wife?”

22/03 - Despite frantic efforts to bring at least one player in on loan on transfer deadline day United remain left with only David Mills to cover potential injuries to Keegan, Waddle or Beardsley.

24/03 - D2: Shrewsbury 2 Newcastle 2 - PRECIOUS POINTS DROPPED - The home side have little to offer other than endeavour and graft, but United fail to get going in a bad-tempered first-half. The Shrews take the lead six minutes after the break only for United to score twice in the following four minutes to lead. However they do not kill the game off and Cross scores his second.

25/03 - It is reported in the press that Arthur Cox, whose contract expires next November, will only be offered a new contract if promotion is achieved. And it is claimed that, if he fails, the board will turn to Malcolm Macdonald, Jackie Charlton or Malcolm Allison.

26/03 - BOARD SPLIT OVER COX’S FUTURE - The Journal concurs with the claims, stating that some of the director’s want to appoint someone new. They are unhappy with some of the signings made and because they do not have enough money to replace Keegan with another star name, they believe a more charismatic manager is required. And sources within the club have privately stated that Jackie Charlton has already been sounded out.

26/03 - UNITED DENY COX SPLIT - Following the newspaper reports Cox meets with Seymour and the club feel compelled to put out a statement which includes the following: “Allegations regarding uncertainties over the future of team manager Arthur Cox were today refuted totally by the club’s board”.

27/03 - Journal reporter John Richardson does not back down. Seymour, in his statement, also challenged the papers involved to name their sources. Richardson’s response is that doing so would be against journalistic ethics and even if they did “there would be some red faces within the club’s boardroom”.

28/03 - D2: Newcastle 1 Leeds 0 - FANS LAP UP THE CREAM - A poor away record has left Leeds languishing in mid-table. United dominate the match with their free-flowing attacking football keeping the Tykes penned in their own half, but in the end only an own-goal by youngster Dennis Irwin separates the teams. The result opens up a four point gap over Carlisle and Man City who are 4th and 5th respectively.

31/03 - D2: Newcastle 2 Swansea 0 - WHARTON SINKS SWANS AGAIN - Although United beat the basement club they struggle to get their passing game going on the heavy pitch and have to wait until fourteen minutes from time to take the lead.


06/04 - COX STAYS - The Chronicle report that Arthur Cox has been offered a new contract that will keep him at the club.

07/04 - D2: Charlton 1 Newcastle 3 - JUMPING FOR JOY - Charlton have won 12 and lost only 1 of their 17 home games and they are the better team, but two late goals secure a vital 3-1 victory. Totally out-of-character Cox runs fifty-yards to jump on Mcdermott’s back after he puts United ahead two minutes from time and then he does a little dance with a local policeman when Beardsley scores a third a minute later. It is the first win in London this season and the result means that the post war record of eight away wins has been equalled. Twelve fans are arrested.


14/04 - D2: Newcastle 0 Sheff Wed 1 - SHELTON’S GOAL IS OUT OF PLACE - Although leaders Sheff Wed attract the biggest League gate of the day, their negative offside tactics infuriate the crowd and United's front runners fail to escape the attentions of the well-drilled and packed defence. Then on the 77th minute comes the sucker punch as a Shelton bicycle kick all but assures promotion for Wilkinson's men. It is a game where tensions run very high. United players surround Mick Lyons after he clashes with Kevin Carr, Keegan gets involved in a scuffle with a United fan who runs on to the pitch and Kenny Wharton is booked after the match for comments he made to the referee. As the Wednesday players leave the field they are subjected to howls of abuse from the home crowd and pelted with missiles. Several are hit by coins. There are now six games left and United have a lead of four points over fourth and fifth placed Manchester City and Grimsby.

18/04/- Terry Mcdermott appears in court charged with driving with excess alcohol and careless driving

20/04 - D2: Blackburn 1 Newcastle 1 - TREWICK GOAL RESCUES UNITED - On Good Friday about 10,000 fans make the trip to Lancashire. John Trewick scores sixteen minutes from time to equalise after Derek Fazackerley had put the home side ahead from the penalty spot. It is a tense, poor game as John Donoghue described in the Express: (the first half was) "about as anaemic as Newcastle's slate grey away strip and the big noises on the pitch couldn't hold a candle to those on the terraces". Man City also draw so the Magpies retain their advantage. After the game a number of the coaches head for Blackpool.

Malcolm Macdonald resigns as Fulham manager "for personal reasons."

22/04 - VANDALS DIG UP UNITED PITCH - Vandals dig up part of the St. James’ pitch during the night. Paint is also used and “Jim Conroy is Innocent”, relating to a current murder trial, is daubed on the pitch.


24/04 - D2: Newcastle 5 Carlisle 1 - DIVISION ONE - HERE WE COME - Easter Monday brings Carlisle to Tyneside who are sixth largely due to the soundness of their defence. They are managed by Bob Stokoe and include ex-United stars Alan Shoulder and Tommy Craig. The match is a sunshine spectacular with the turning point and the most memorable incident being the goal Keegan scores directly following Carr’s double penalty save. Man City lose at home to Huddersfield to open up a seven point gap with only four games remaining.

24/04 - In an unprecedented move Cambridge have made 7,000 tickets available to Newcastle, from their 12,000 capacity and made the game all-ticket. The following away match at Huddersfield is also all-ticket and United have been allocated 10,000.

It is reported that managerless Spurs are interested in Keegan. Keegan states that he could be interested, but not as a manager or coach, "I want nothing to do with coaching or anything like that". But he goes on to say that he would only be interested "if it involved Arthur Cox".

A Spurs spokesman denies the link saying that Keegan is "not even on our long list".

27/04 - A Newcastle United Souvenir album released which includes songs and radio commentaries.

28/04 - D2: Cambridge 1 Newcastle 0 - UNITED GET ABBEY HABIT - United’s away record is their best for fourteen years and Cambridge have just equalled the League record of 31 games without a win. United fans take over three quarters of the tiny Abbey Stadium. But typically United lose, making it six games on the bounce that they have lost here and the winner comes from Wallsend-born Kevin Smith. United are more skilful, but also display nerves and are undone by the home side’s workrate and honest endeavour. Luckily Man City lose again and there is still a six point gap between the Magpies and Grimsby with only three games left.

United players are on a £10,000 bonus if they achieve promotion.



05/05 - D2: Newcastle 4 Derby 0 - The crowd of 35,850 create a carnival atmosphere as the team turn on a dazzling display of football. With only two games left they hold a six point lead over Grimsby and although It is still mathematically possible for them to be caught, in reality they are up. Fifteen minutes before the end of the match a vast army of police lines along all four sides of the ground to prevent the crowd encroaching on the pitch, but the fans refuse to leave until the players go on a lap of honour. Chairman Seymour describes it as his "proudest moment" with the club. Keegan claims to have "never felt so emotional after a victory" and teetotal Cox says "I might just have a glass of champagne later. And I'll probably go to bed at 11.30pm instead of 11.00!"

05/05 - Amid all the celebrations there is still some doubt over Arthur Cox's future. He believes that he would be cheating the fans if three or four new players are not brought in to ensure the club survives in the First Division. Cox also feels he deserves a long term contract, but it is suggested that some board members think that he should only have a one-year deal until he has "proved himself". When asked about whether Cox will stay as manager, chairman Seymour says "without a doubt" and claims to have "backed him all the way". He also claims that "our sights are raised high" though there are no promises about money being made available for new players.

06/05 - The Sunday Sun reports that after the match half a dozen fans arrived at the Printers Pie pub at 5.30pm (opening time) then proceeded to force open the lock on the upstairs bar and help themselves to bottles of spirits. They then went back downstairs to the open public bar and proceeded to drink most of them.

07/05 - D2: Huddersfield 2 Newcastle 2- THERE ARE NO DOUBTS NOW - An estimated 12,000 (roughly half the crowd) travel down to continue the promotion celebrations. Mcdermott captains the side in the absence of Keegan who is still recovering from a blow to the head received while scoring against Derby. In an open game the Terriers shock United by opening up a two goal lead, but United fight back to equalise by half-time. No more goals followed and United are officially promoted.

07/05 - The celebrations are marred by significant crowd trouble. After the match about 1,000 United supporters invade the pitch. When they refuse to leave hundreds of police, many on horseback, make a charge whereupon the supporters retreat to the main stand. Then they go on the rampage. Between 300 and 400 seats are ripped out, several windows are smashed and even a broadcasting unit is attacked. Police make 70 arrests and several fans are taken to hospital. Several pubs are also damaged. Although the United fans are roundly condemned it is claimed that the brutality from the local police triggered the trouble.


12/05 - D2: Newcastle 3 Brighton 1 -

JUST PERFECT, KEV - The match is a celebration of Kevin Keegan’s last competitive game and - ever the man for the big occasion - he opens the scoring prompting firecrackers to be set off in the Gallowgate. However the competitive Seagulls equalise just before the break. Waddle heads the Magpies back in front and just before the end Beardsley scores with a wonderful chip to ensure the game finishes on a high.

13/05 - D2: Darlington 0 Newcastle 3 - A benefit match for former central-defender David Barton who has had to retire because of a serious knee ligament injury. Keegan (penalty), Clarke, and Wharton get the goals on the second-half.

17/05 - UNITED PRICES SOAR - It is reported that there will be a huge hike in Season Ticket prices for next season with increases of up to 80% for some areas.


17/05 - Test: Newcastle 2 Liverpool 2 - THE FINAL FAREWELL - Liverpool old boys Keegan and McDermott predictably get on the scoresheet. The game is standard testimonial fayre, but the send-off of fireworks and a helicopter departure are pure theatre.

18/05 - Liverpool schemer Craig Johnston, who has said he does not intend to sign a new contract admits: “I fancy the move to Newcastle. They are a big club and I enjoyed playing there last night”.

20/05 - The Sunday Sun claim that Cox is set to sign his new contract.

24/05 - THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING - Arthur Cox resigns and is expected to take over at Third Division Derby. There are believed to be two main reasons. Cox wanted a four-year contact, but the contract offered was for two years only. And he wanted a guarantee that all the money generated from season ticket sales would be made available to him for transfers. It is understood that the Board are only prepared to make £250,000 available as the club is still £600,000 in debt. All Cox says to the waiting press men is: “Thank you for everything”. Seymour claims: “It came as a great shock. We had long negotiations, but we were unable to change his mind”. Jackie Charlton is the favourite to take over with Malcolm Macdonald, Keith Burkinshaw and Malcolm Allison also being linked.

25/05 - BOARD LET ME DOWN - COX - At a packed press conference at Benwell Cox reveals that: "I felt the board did not appreciate what has been done and were not talking to me in a proper manner. Negotiations had been going on over my contract for three or four weeks. I'd had so many meetings with Stan Seymour, but I felt it wasn't right that things should drag on in this way. So, I resigned on a matter of principle." Cox also states he had been offered a three-year deal not two years as widely reported. "Stan Seymour has been a tower of strength to me on the big occasions which is when I was to sign a player. He loves the public of Newcastle and he's black and white through and through. He is a lovely man”. When asked if he felt he had the same support from other directors he replied: "I don't want to say anything about that”. “When I go over the Tyne Bridge I will go over it a proud man. We have achieved everything we were asked to achieve and we achieved it in style ”.

28/05 - POWER BATTLE IN BOARDROOM - The Journal report that there are divisions within the Board over who should be the new manager and how they should move ahead financially. United have new bankers, but there is unlikely to be any loosening of the purse strings. Seymour has gone on record that he doesn’t want a “glamour boy” as new manager and it is believed United are now considering Mick Buxton (Huddersfield), Jim Smith (Oxford) and Graham Turner (Shrewsbury).

29/05 - HANDS OFF - Both Huddersfield and Oxford make it clear that they will not welcome an approach from United. Malcolm Macdonald has applied but is not thought to have any boardroom support. Two other former players, Frank Clark and Bob Stokoe are also thought to be interested.