Boro’ have taken on their fare share of opponents over the years and some of those teams have simply been no more than passing acquaintances. Meanwhile, there are also those others that became – well – annoyingly familiar, right? For all the many times that we’ve faced the likes of W*king, for example, there are no shortage of rare match-ups either. So, it makes sense for us to look back through our archives to see how many you can remember. For example, where do Newcastle United stand in the grand scheme of things?
Now, this is a tale that could probably fill a book. Yes, that’s right. A proper book. One with pages and pretty pictures and everything like that. Perhaps even one of those hardback covers, y’know, with an arty grayscale photograph. We’re thinking Giuliano Grazioli astride a tank or Gary Crawshaw taming a lion. No! Wait! It’s Robin Trott painting a topless Page Three model! Or maybe we ought to just wait for that publishing deal before we decide. But, let’s make no mistake for the time being, this is one of the stories from our club’s history.
Newcastle United: Us And Them
We said you could fill a book with this tale. We’re going to try and do it in 500-odd words. And we’ve already wasted 200 of them! Boro’ were hardly setting the Conference alight in the 1997-8 season, but at least the FA Cup was on hand, providing famous wins over Cambridge and Swindon. In beating the latter, Boro’ made the Fourth Round for the first time ever and were handed a home tie against the Geordies. Now, let’s not forget this was a Newcastle outfit who had beaten Barcelona in the Champions League that term. Somehow.
It all kicked off when Boro’ decided to be totally unreasonable in demanding our home tie was played at, y’know, home. A bit of a fuss was sent down the East Coast mainline, but we had our moment in the sun and in The Sun. Though our respectful guests put us on the back foot early doors through some bloke called Alan, Graz nodded us level and earned a deserved replay up north. In a modern football mystery, however, that replay ended up all square with both teams scoring one legitimate goal each. And yet they progressed. Odd.
You can hear John Beresford’s view here.
Fast forward 13 years to 2011 and Boro’ are tearing things up, now a Football League club. Newcastle are back in town for the FA Cup and a school reunion of sorts. This time, the rules are different. As, to be fair, are the chairman, players, manager and South Stand. But the fans aren’t. And Stevenage exploded into life in the second half of the ESPN-screened game to dazzle the Premier League side. A famous win. Sweet revenge. And, arguably, the catalyst for a super second half of the season that helped catapult us into League One?
Watch highlights with uninspiring FA commentary here.
Newcastle United: The Aftermath
Since that date in January 2011, the bug bears have been put to rest. Alan Shearer has finally emerged from Mark Smith’s pocket to become a decent enough Beeb pundit. Kenny Dalglish is still rabbiting on about bouncy balls. And Newcastle are once again in the second tier of English football after relegation last season. It lacked the same hilarity as when Shearer managed Toon to their 2009 relegation, however. It’ll probably be some time before we meet again, but it’s given us more than enough to talk about until the end of days – don’t you think?
BoroGuide’s Newcastle United club profile – for old time’s sake…