Newcastle United has one of the largest and vehemently loyal football supporter groups in the world.
Coming from a one-club city The Magpies, or more affectionately The Toon regularly attracts 50,000+ crowds.
Despite no major success to speak of with their main rivalry being with nearby Sunderland. Although in recent times the two have been two divisions apart and have not played competitive games.
Newcastle United Club History
Football in and around Newcastle dates back to 1877, though two clubs were present in the early days; Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End.
The latter had financial trouble and may need to fold, but possessed St James’ Park which was the better home ground. In 1892, a deal was struck to merge the two clubs, finally forming Newcastle United FC.
The new club would go on to parade its famous black and white striped kit to great effect in its early days. Winning numerous trophies and quickly establishing itself as the main form of entertainment and endearment for the vast majority of the city.
Because of the popularity of football, soon it was acknowledged that football players in the Newcastle United team weren’t simply sportsmen, they were representing the whole town (the ‘toon’) whenever they pulled on the jersey.
This has given managing and playing for Newcastle United huge significance for those who understand it.
In the Premier League era, the trophy cabinet has remained unaltered at Newcastle, though after gaining promotion to the new top-level for the first time in 1993 the club became known as The Entertainers under Kevin Keegan, playing the best football anywhere in Europe at the time.
Runners-up under Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalglish, third, fourth and fifth under Sir Bobby Robson and then fifth again in 2012 are the closest Newcastle have come to winning the Premier League, though with talk of big-money takeovers surrounding the club they could yet compete with the biggest in the world soon.
St James’ Park
St James’ Park has hosted football since 1880 and has been home to Newcastle United since its inception in 1892.
One of very few major sports venues to be situated right in the heart of the city centre, the venue is unique. It has been noted in all of its numerous guises over the years to have one of the best atmospheres in Britain.
Various changes were made to the ground throughout the 1900s, including building the East Stand and Milburn Stand which in part remain today. However, the biggest change was when the ground was hugely extended from 1998 to 2000.
The extension, the last major work at the ground, took the capacity to its current 52,300. At the time this made it the second biggest club stadium in England behind Old Trafford.
As work cannot be done on one side of the stadium at least, to achieve its capacity St James’ Park has been extended so high on two sides that it is taller there than any part of the Camp Nou in Barcelona.
Newcastle’s Greatest Names
While trophies have been scarce, Newcastle has possessed some great players over the years. Commonly acknowledged to be among the best are the likes of local lads:
- Alan Shearer, Paul Gascoigne, Peter Beardsley and Jackie Milburn.
Players of the quality of David Ginola, Nolberto Solano, Gary Speed, Shay Given, Les Ferdinand, Philippe Albert, Andy Cole and Rob Lee have graced the Premier League here. While in the past Hughie Gallacher, Len White, Bobby Moncur, Joe Harvey and Malcolm Macdonald all wore the kit with distinction.
Great managers to have led Newcastle out include:
- 1927 title-winning manager Frank Watt,
- dual FA Cup winner Stan Seymour,
- Fair Cup winner Joe Harvey,
- Kevin Keegan,
- Sir Bobby Robson and
- Rafael Benitez.
Other than second-tier title wins to gain promotion to the Premier League; Division One winner in 1993 and Championship winners in 2010 and 2017 Newcastle’s success has all come way back in their history.
The last major honour won by the club was the Inter-City Fairs Cup in 1969. They beat Hungarian outfit Ujpesti Dozsa 6-2 on aggregate, with domestic wins coming even further back than that.
The Toon were English champions on four occasions: 1905, 1907, 1909 and 1927. While they also took the FA Cup six times. Wins in 1910, 1924 and 1932 were backed up by their golden cup era featuring Jackie Milburn when they landed the Wembley showpiece in 1951, 1952 and 1955.
Their league success in 1909 led to them competing in the Charity Shield the same year, something they won for the only time.
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