Sunday, September 25, 2016

Newcastle United Greatest All-Time Team

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1969

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

North East EnglandNorthWest England.
Manchester UnitedLiverpoolArsenal,
ChelseaTottenhamManchester CityEverton,
Aston VillaNewcastle UnitedNottingham Forest
Leeds UnitedLeicester CityWest HamBlackburn Rovers

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for Newcastle United.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

The club was founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, and has played at its current home ground, St James' Park, ever since.  They have won four League Championship titles, six FA Cups and a Charity Shield, as well as the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and the 2006 UEFA Intertoto Cup. Newcastle United has the ninth highest total of trophies won by an English club.

Newcastle has a local rivalry with Sunderland, with whom they have contested the Tyne–Wear derby since 1898. The club's traditional kit colours are black and white striped shirts, black shorts and black socks. Their crest has elements of the city coat of arms, which features two grey seahorses. Before each home game, the team enters the field to "Local Hero", and "Blaydon Races" is also sung during games.
1955 FA Cup Winner

GK: Shay Given (Ireland)
Shay Given started his career with Celtic in Scotland, but made his professional debut with Blackburn Rovers.  He was remembered for playing with Newcastle United from 1997 to 2009.  He was voted into PFA Team of the Year twice, 2001-2002 and 2005-2006.  He later played for Manchester City, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough F.C. and Stoke.  He earned 126 caps for Ireland. He played in the 2002 World Cup Finals and the European Championship in 2010 and 2016.
Shay Given
GK:  Ronnie Simpson (Scotland)
Ronnie Simpson was one of the "Lisbon Lions" who won the European Cup in 1967.  He also played for Queen's Park, Third Lanark and Hibernian. From 1951 to 1960, he played for Newcastle United. He represented Great Britain at the 1948 Olympics, but he did not play for Scotland until 1966.  He set a new record for being the oldest player to make his Scotland debut, aged 36 years and 196 days.  He was considered to be Celtics' best ever keeper.

GK: Jimmy Lawrence (Scotland)
Born in Glasgow, Lawrence's first club was Partick Athletic, from where he moved to Glasgow Perthshire. Although still connected to Glasgow Perthshire, he sporadically played for Edinburgh side Hibernian. He played with Newcastle for eighteen years after joining the Tyneside club in 1904 and still holds the record for making the most appearances for them, 496 matches in total.  Capped once.

RB: Billy McCracken (Northern Ireland)
He was one of the most successful defender of his time.  McCracken played for the English club Newcastle United from 1904 to 1924, helping them win three League titles and the FA Cup. He was known for setting the offside trap for the attackers.  The offside rule was changed because of him. He was a part of Ireland(IFA) that became the co-champion of the 1903 British Home Championship, the first time the tournament was not won by England or Scotland.

RB: David Craig (Northern Ireland)
David Craig joined Newcastle United in 1962 and went on to make 412 appearances for the club, scoring 12 goals. He left the club in 1978 after retiring from the game, and remains seventh-highest appearance-maker for the club. Frank Clark played on the other side. He played 25 times for Northern Ireland, fighting a position with Arsenal's Pat Rice at the time.

CB/RB: Warren Barton (England)
Barton began his league career with Maidstone United.  He was transferred to First Division side Wimbledon on 7 June 1990 as the most expensive for a 4th Division player.  In 1995, he became the most expensive defender in English football when he moved to Newcastle United for £4 million. He later played QPR and Derby. Capped 3 times.

CB: Bobby Moncur (Scotland)
Bobby Moncur played a total of 296 times for Newcastle United, scoring three goals – all in the two-legged final of the 1969 Fairs Cup. He also played 16 times for Scotland between 1968 and 1972. In 1974 after Captaining Newcastle in the FA Cup final, he was transferred to Sunderland, moving again to Carlisle United in 1976, where he ended his playing career.

CB: Philippe Albert (Belgium)
Philippe Albert made 41 appearances for Belgium from 1987 to 1997, and represented his country at the 1990 and 1994 World Cup Finals.   He played for Charleroi, KV Mechelen and Anderlecht in his native Belgium, and for English clubs Newcastle United and Fulham. He was known as an attack-minded centre-back for his forward runs from defence in the team dubbed as "the Entertainers"
Philippe Albert
CB: Frank Brennan (Scotland)
Brennan was a tough centre half who moved to Newcastle United from Airdrieonians for £7,500 in 1946.  He appeared on 351 occasions for the Magpies between 1946 and 1956.  He was a part of Newcastle United's victory at the FA Cup in 1951 and 1952. He was indicted into Newcastle Hall of Fame. Capped 8 times.

LB: Frank Hudspeth (England) 
Hudspeth spent nineteen seasons at Newcastle, from 1910 to 1929. This makes him the joint longest servant for the club along with Billy McCracken. During his time at the club he became a popular figure amongst the fans and gained the nickname 'Old Surefoot' for his reliability. He captained the team from 1923 to 1926.

LB: Alf McMichael (Northern Ireland)
He played over 400 times for Newcastle United between 1950 and 1963.  He won the 1952 FA Cup. At one point he was considered the best left-back in Britain and was a popular player amongst Newcastle United supporters. Before Newcastle United, he played for Linfield from 1945 to 1950. He represented Northern Ireland 40 times.

DM: Joe Harvey (England)
Joe Harvey played briefly for different clubs and then, joined Newcastle in 1945, where he stayed until his retirement in 1953.  He spent much of his career at Newcastle United. He was the club's longest serving captain.  He captained the team to two successive FA Cup victories in 1951 and 1952.  Later, he became Newcastle's most successful manager, and as of the 2014–15 season, the last to win a major trophy. Harvey was a member of Newcastle United's Hall of Fame.
Joe Harvey with the 1951 FA Cup
CM: Rob Lee (England)
Rob Lee came through the academy of Charlton Athletic and established himself in the first team by the 1984–85 season.  He was sold after the start of 1992–93 season to Newcastle United.  He was on the PFA Team of the Year (Premier League) in 1996. He played for England between 1994 and 1998, scoring twice in 21 appearances. He was in the squad for the 1998 World Cup under Glenn Hoddle. 

RW: Jock Rutherford  (England)
Rutherford was known for his longevity; he played nearly six hundred Football League and FA Cup matches, despite four seasons of football being cancelled due to World War I. He started his career at Newcastle United. Nicknamed "the Newcastle flyer", he spent ten seasons at the "Magpies", picked up three First Division medals, and played in five FA Cup finals (1905, 1906, 1908, 1910 and 1911). Won 11 caps.

AM/LW: Gary Speed (England)
Gary Speed played for Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United.  At one point, he held the record for the most appearances in the Premier League until surpassed by David James.  He was best remembered for winning the English league title in 1992 with Leeds United.  He made the PFA Team of the year in 1993. From 19988 to 2004, he played for Newcastle United. He was capped 85 times for Wales and served as the captain.
Gary Speed
LW: David Ginola (France)
For the national team, David Ginola only played17 times.  He was blamed for the goal against Bulgaria that eliminated France for the 1994 World Cup qualification.  He moved to England shortly afterward.  Ginola became a big star at the English Preimer League in the late 1990's.  In England, he played for Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspurs, Aston Villa and Everton.  He won both PFA and FWA Player of the Year in 1998-1999.
David Ginola
AM/RW: Nolberto Solano (Peru)
In 1998, Nolberto Solano became the first Peruvian to play in the Premier League when he joined Newcastle United from Boca Juniors. He played 15 seasons in England.  He also played for Aston Villa, West Ham and Leicester City. At home, he is associated with Sporting Cristal. He earned 95 caps for Peru.  He made his debut as a 18 years old in 1994.

AM: Paul Gascoigne (England)
Gazza was the most gifted player of his generation, but his career was marked controversy and injuries.  He played for Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Lazio.   In 1995, he joined Rangers with a club record fee. He had a successful career at Rangers, but he left in 1998 and went to play for many clubs all over the world.  For England, he earned 57 times.  He was remembered for the tears in his eyes as he received his yellow card against West Germany in the semi-final.
Paul Gazza
FW: Jorge Robledo (Chile)
Robledo was born in Iquique, Chile to a Chilean father and an English mother.   He joined Newcastle United in 1949.  In the 1950–51 season, he became the first South American to play in the FA Cup final and also winning it. He finished as Division One's top scorer in the 1951–52 season with 33 goals, becoming the first non-British to win the title. Chile recruited Robledo for the 1950 World Cup. He made his debut in the opening group game against England.  He would be capped 31 times.  He would also play for Colo Colo.

FW: Peter Beardsley (England)
Peter Beardsley was one of the few players i history to have played for Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United and Manchester City. His first successes came in the early 1980's while playing for Newcastle United.  In 1987, he joined Liverpool as the most expensive player in England's history.  Together with John Barnes, they formed one of the best English sides of the later 1980's. He had 56 caps for England.

CF: Jackie Milburn (England)
Jackie Milburn was best remembered for his career with Newcastle United and was considered legend there.  He was also known as Wor Jackie (particularly in North East England, a Geordie dialectal version of 'Our Jackie'). He won three FA Cup titles in 5 years during the 1950's. He was a second cousin to Jack and Bobby Charlton.  He had 13 caps for England.  He went to the World Cup finals in 1950, which was England's first ever appearance in the Finals.
Jackie Milburn
ST: Les Ferdinand (England)
Les Ferdinand's playing career included spells at Queens Park Rangers, Beşiktaş, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Leicester City, Bolton Wanderers, Reading and Watford during which period he earned 17 caps for England. Ferdinand is the eighth highest scorer in the Premier League with 149 goals.  He was also the PFA Players' Player of the Year in the 1995–96 season.  He is Rio Ferdinand's cousin.

ST: Hughie Gallacher (Scotland)
Hughie Gallacher is one of the greatest British footballers in the pre-war generation. He scored 463 goals, playing senior league football for Airdrieonians, Newcastle United, Chelsea, Derby County, Notts County, Grimsby Town and Gateshead. Prior to his he also played and scored for then non-league Queen of the South. For Scotland,  he scored 23 goals in 20 games for Scotland.  He was also a member of "Wembley Wizards", the Scottish team that beat England 5-1 in 1928.
Hughie Gallacher
ST/SS: Kevin Keegan (England)
Kevin Keegan was two-time European Footballer of the Year in 1978 and 1979. He won the European Cup in 1977 with Liverpool. He also found successes in the Bundesliga with Hamburger SV, where he played between 1977 and 1980.  He later played for Southampton and Newcastle United. He had 63 caps for England. However, his World Cup appearance was limited to 20 minutes against Spain at the World Cup Finals in 1982. 

ST: Alan Shearer (England)
Shearer is the all-time leading top-scorer for the Premiership.  In 1992, he joined Blackburn Rovers from Southampton in a record transfer. He won the Premiership for 1994-1995 season.  In 1996, he joined his home town club, Newcastle United for a world record transfer fees. He was FWA Player of the Year in 1994, and PFA Player of the Year in 1995 and 1997.  For England, he earned 63 caps. IN 1996, he led England to the semi-final of Euro 1996 at home, winning the Golden boot award. He also played the 1998 WC Finals and Euro 2000.
Alan Sheaer

Honorable Mention
Malcolm McDonald (England), Andy Cole (England), Steve Watson, Faustino Asprilla (Colombia), Chris Waddle (England), Jimmy Scoular (Scotland), Bobby Mitchell (Scotland), Jonathan Woodgate (England), Pavel Srmicek (Czech Republic), Shola Ameobi (England), Steve Harper (England), Colin Veitch (England), Fabricio Coloccini (Argentina), Willie McFaul (N.Ireland), John Beresford (England), Kelvin Nolan (England), Kieron Dyer (England), Irving Nattrass (England), Glenn Roeder (England), Terry Hibbitt (England).

Squad Explanation
-- Alan Shearer is probably Newcastle United's greatest player.  Hughie Gallacher, Shay Given and Jackie Milburn are undisputed selection for the club.
-- Newcastle won the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final, but only two players made my team(David Craig and Bobby Moncur). Jim Scott who scored one of the goals in the Final only played two seasons at St James Park.
-- Shay Given spent over a decade with the club. Ronnie Simpson was known for his career with Celtic.  He actually spent 9 seasons with Newcastle United from 1951 to 1960 before returning to Scotland. He won the FA Cup twice with Newcastle. He would join Celtic in 1964. Lawrence is the record holder for the most competitive appearances in a Newcastle.   Pavel Srníček was my 4th choice.
-- David Craig and Billy McCracken spent 20 years with the Magpies.  They locked up the two rightback position.
-- Phillipe Albert and  Bobby Moncur are voted as the two greatest centerbacks of the club by the Evening Chronicle.  Fabricio Coloccini's career never stood out, but with Newcastle United, he finally fulfilled his potential. He was on the PFA Team of the Year in 2011-2012 season. He made my honourable mention.  Jonathan Woodgate only played a handful of games for the Magpies.
-- Frank Hudspeth and Alf McMichael edged out John Beresford for the two left back spots.  Hudspeth is second in appearance for the club while McMichael was one of the best leftback during his time.
-- I took Jock Rutherford over Jimmy Scoular at right wing because he won more trophies and at a time when Newcastle dominated.
-- David Ginola won both PFA and FWA Player of the Year in 1998-1999.
--  Both Chris Waddle and Bobby Mitchell were left wings, but I already have Gary Speed and David Ginola.  Both players were more associated with the club than Waddle.  Then, I prefer the younger players than Mitchell.  So I have no space for Waddle and Mitchell, but I might have made a mistake with Mitchell.
-- Paul Gascoigne is a homegrown player. He was named as the PFA Young Player of the Year and listed on the PFA Team of the Year in the 1987–88 season.
-- Nolberto Solano was a big fan favourite at his time.  He can also play on the right wing.
-- Hughie Gallacher, Jackie Milburn and Alan Shearer were locked for two of the strikers' position.  Kevin Keegan only played two seasons with Newcastle, but he helped Newcastle to gain promotion from the second division.  The promotion itself was a historical moment for the club.  I have rewarded players on other teams who helped their club for historical moment.  For Newcastle, that player happened to be Keegan.  He was also a popular figure with the fans.  Andy Cole and Malcolm Macdonald were seriously considered, but he is up against some of the greatest British strikers ever played the game.
-- Some fans put Peter Beardsley among the greatest ever player for Newcastle United.  He joined Newcastle United in the summer of 1993 as a "has-been player".  However, he revitalised his career here.  He helped Andy Cole to become the top scorer of the Preimership in the 1993-1994 season.  Peter Beardsley was on the PFA Team of the Year.  
-- I do not know if Jorge "George" Robledo belongs to this team. He was selected because he broke a historical milestone.  He was the first non-British to be the top scorer in England.  He was known to be the striker partner of Jackie Milburn.  For nearly 50 years, he  was the highest scoring (non-Irish) overseas player in the English top flight. Having said that, I do believe Andy Cole could have taken his space.
Jorge Robledo and 1952 FA Cup

-- The final striker position was between Les Ferdinand and Andy Cole. Andy Cole played for the club from 1993 to 1995, scoring 68 goals in 86 appearances. Both players scored a lot of goals, and only spent two seasons there in the Preimership (Cole spent one more season in Division One). Cole scored 40 goals in his first season, which was a record for the club in all competition for a single season. Hughie Gallacher holds the record for the highest number of "league" goals in a season with 36. However, I selected Ferdinand because his team came second twice in the league in his only two seasons. He was also the PFA Players' Player of the Year in the 1995–96 season.  He formed a successful strike partnership with Alan Shearer.  The fans gave him the nickname "Sir Les".  Cole on the other hand might have a better strike ratio than Ferdinand, but he was only a young player on the rise over here. Ferdinand was more established, I felt.
-- In 1987, Mirandinha became the first Brazilian to play in England, but his career was not too good in England. He does not make my all-time team, but I put him on Honorable Mention for his historical role.
--  Malcolm McDonald, Shola Ameobi, Steve Harper and Colin Veitch are into their Hall of Fame, but they only made my honorable mention.

-- Bobby and Jack Charlton's mother Cissie was related to Jackie Milburn.  Some sites suggested that they were brother and sister, but others said that she was his cousin.  Her meridian name was Milburn.



  1. How could Colin Veitch not be here? Shameful.

  2. Given
    Watson McCracken Hudspeth Peter-McWilliam
    Keegan David-Batty Lee Laurent-Robert
    Shearer Gallacher

    Watson, poty 97, is the only player not belonging to the backline that broke the game with offside traps.
    Robert played twice as many games as Ginola.
    Batty was twice in the PFA team of the year in the club's best period in the Premier League.