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1989/1990


Stevie
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I started doing a diary from memory of the 1989/1990, through the eyes of an 11 year old lad, me.  My intention was to do loads of seasons, so in 30 years time my memories will become more vivid, as I'll have a record of what happened, but it's hard fucking work, but enjoyable at the same time.  I'll do about 6 different parts of 89/90, I've written about 20 paragraphs for the first one, and the opening game against Leeds hasn't even kicked off yet!  If you're not interested that's fine, but if you're some wank like Invicta Toon, if you have nothing good to say, say nothing, and for those who want to read more about this tragic season, I'll update it every three days.

 

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My memories of 89/90 Part One

 

I was 11 years old in the summer of 1989, and my whole world revolved around Newcastle.  Even at 11 I was mortified and quite depressed at how things had gone so terribly wrong since we’d sold Gazza just 12 months before.  We were relegated, and as ever Newcastle were as ever THE National joke.  We were a feeder club.  We bought players off Portsmouth, Birmingham and Crewe, and we’d sell players to Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton.  That was the way it was in 1989.  We had no self respect at all as a club.  The fans had seen years of false dawns, all of their players were being sold and for what?  A new stand that probably wouldn’t be filled due to the numerous body blows the side was consistently taking by, a draconian board failing to appreciate what the fans wanted.

 

All through the summer there was a lot of talk of mass boycotts.  People had just about had enough of McKeag and a hierarchy who had achieved nothing really since the mid 50’s.  A group formed during the summer going under the name of USFC (United Supporters For Change), looking back they were nothing more than a few teenagers and early twenties lads who thought the best course of action was to boycott matches, thus forcing senior board members to resign, enabling Malcolm Dix, Hall and the Magpie Group to take us to the promised land.  While ethically I appreciate why the USFC did this, as a young child my life wouldn’t be complete without a Saturday afternoon in the Gallowgate, and there was no way I was allowing my dad and my friends to follow suit. 

 

On the playing side we basically finished the previous season, with a joke side.  I remember we in essence didn’t have a striker, Anth Lormor and Steve Howey played up front in the final desperate act in a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford.  Mirandinha was still on the books, but he couldn’t be arsed towards the end, and he was shunted off to Portuguese side Belenenses, Smith didn’t like him at all, that much was obvious and the feeling was very much mutual. 

 

On a brighter note a few of the summer arrivals, certainly proved to be decent value.  Mick Quinn came in from Portsmouth for £680,000 (a big fee then), Mark McGhee crossed the border from Celtic, another Scot to join the club was young winger John Gallacher for a tiny fee, Kevin Dillon the experienced Birmingham schemer came in on a free and Smith made him club captain immediately, while Mark Stimson came North  from Tottenham.  Added to this we still retained a few decent players from the previous season, Bjorn Kristensen (Benny) for one, Kevin Scott, Brock was mediocre but was a decent passer, Andy Thorn was at the club, and in Tommy (the barman) Wright, we had a competent keeper, who loved the club from the word go..

 

The Second Division was looking extremely strong though aside from Newcastle.  Newcastle had finished rock bottom of the First Division, and also relegated West Ham and Boro were well clear of us despite demotion.  Leeds United, had done something that was almost unprecedented outside the top flight.  They spent approaching £12m building what was to prove to be a brilliant side.  Strachan, Sterland, Chapman, Vinny Jones, Chris Fairclough and John Hendrie, amongst others came in all with hefty fees on their heads, adding to a few magnificent young players, like David Batty who went on to play 39 games that season, and the effervescent Gary Speed.  They weren’t the only decent side though, oh no.  Sheffield United and Wolves both came up, from the Third Division, with feared striking partnerships.  Wolves’ strikers were arguably the most potent in the division with Steve Bull, who became the clubs leading ever scorer, and Andy Mutch.  Leicester had a reasonable side buoyed their inspirational captain Gary McAllister, and young impressive Arsenal loanee Kevin Campbell.  Sunderland as much as I hate admitting it were one of the better sides, all in all it was a hugely competitive league.  When you consider Reading won it in 2005/2006 with 112 points, it demonstrates how competitive the league was in the 89/90 season when 85 points was good enough to capture the title.

 

Leeds, who had been in almost terminal decline since their hugely controversial 1975 European Cup Final defeat to Bayern Munich, were installed as low as 6/4 to win the league, and when the fixture list came out the biggest two clubs in the division would lock horns at St James’ on the opening Saturday. 

 

I remember my mates dad, who was likeable in a way despite being a foul mouthed, drunken, abusive, psychopath at times, said there was no way he was allowing his son to go to the Leeds game.  He recounted countless tales of serious violence with Leeds fans in the 70’s and 80’s and he tried his best to convince me not to go, “they’re animals, they’re not human, they smashed up The Magpie (on Barrack Road)….”  His comments seemed to me even more poignant by the fact that it had been reported in the local press that after selling the 5,000 Leazes End tickets in a matter of hours, many hundreds of Leeds fans had obtained tickets for the Newcastle sections of the ground, and without being cynical, ticket sales were so slow it wouldn’t have surprised many if the club had unofficially sanctioned it. 

 

Anyway this was the first season I was allowed to go on my own, although my dad came along a lot but against Leeds there was me and two of my mates, as we walked along Stawberry Place, we picked up our usual hot dog with onions, from this funny lookin bloke, with KEEGAN’S HOTDOGS, in big letters along the side of his little food trolley, we could see that estimates of a gate under 20,000 were going to be wide of the mark.  That said there were scores of people in these USFC, telling us we were killing the club by going in, **** them I thought at the time.  So in we went handed over our £2 to the turnstile operator, straight up the Gallowgate steps turn right for a quick piss, in what was, for younger people reading who never had to put up with this, basically an open sewer, but I look back fondly on the Gallowgate bogs.

 

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1989/1990 Part Two - Leeds, Leeds, and Leeds.... 1st December

 

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Very good read. The 1989-90 season was when I started taking notice of football even though I was only 5. I seem to remember us on Match of the Day that season at Old Trafford running Man U very close (think they beat us 3-2?). Remember signing Roy Aitken and then being excited at us having a player in Italia 90.  :lol:

 

And of course, my first two heroes, Micky Quinn and...Mark Stimson (used to like his hair as a kid  :lol:). Was also my first match that season. We played Ipswich at home, was the unveiling of the Milburn Stand where me and my dad sat that day. Remember Mick Quinn scoring two that day.

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Very good read. The 1989-90 season was when I started taking notice of football even though I was only 5. I seem to remember us on Match of the Day that season at Old Trafford running Man U very close (think they beat us 3-2?). Remember signing Roy Aitken and then being excited at us having a player in Italia 90.  :lol:

 

And of course, my first two heroes, Micky Quinn and...Mark Stimson (used to like his hair as a kid  :lol:). Was also my first match that season. We played Ipswich at home, was the unveiling of the Milburn Stand where me and my dad sat that day. Remember Mick Quinn scoring two that day.

Aye 3-2, that was at home, great atmosphere that day, we had a pen that was never a pen, and Kevin Scott scored a goal that was the most blatant foul on Leighton you'll ever see, but no cunt was complaining.  It was 2-2 with a few minutes to go, and everyone in the Gallowgate was talking about going to Old Trafford and then Brian McClair scored an open goal  :(.  You know what though, going off topic, despite his scoring record, I always thought McClair was shite.  I remember watching it again when you got home as you did in them days, and Jimmy Hill saying "the top flight is never quite the same without Newcarssel United."  :thup:

 

Anyway more to follow for those interested...........

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Good read, interesting to hear what it was like before my time (didnt start going til 92/93 season when i was 7) and helps put into perspective where the club has come from and what it has achieved in the last 16 years  :thup: :thup:

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McGhee's goal v Bradford  bluecool.gif

My mate had fucked off home with 2 minutes left and missed it  bluelaugh.gif

 

One of the worst games of football in history, with one of the worst penalties ever, Quinn nearly hit the scoreboard, punctuated by one of the best goals the ground has ever seen.

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Can't remember that goal but saw it on the Newcastle Goals DVD. Class. Was this the year we had Scott Sweeney or was that not until the following season?

No Paul Sweeney was there, he had the best game I saw him in a toon shirt against Derby that season in the Simod Cup, shame he couldn't recreate that form very often in the league.  He was also the most ginger person in the history of the homosapien species, no disrespect to ginger people.

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He was another one of my heroes purely down to his hair.  :lol:

 

And who can forget Budgie? I remember our school went on a trip to the Garden Festival and seeing him, Ray Ranson, Mark McGhee there and being starstruck.

Aye Budgie loved the toon, with all his heart, he gets kicked in the face by Paul Hardyman in Part Six of my piece, but I won't spoil it for cunts who don't know what happened that season.  Budgie had a shop under the Swallow Hotel selling football shirts, but there was some scandal about tax or something and the poor cunt ended up in jail.  When he left the toon I was delighted for him, he went up to Hibs for a little spell and finally won the first proper medal of his career winning the Scottish League Cup at 41 or 42.

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Leicester, one of the best games ever.

 

Kevin Campbell ran us ragged, Roy Aitken's debut too I believe.

 

Thought it was. Will you be mentioning the horror of the Mackem ice cream man and gargoyle? - one of my worst ever experiences watching the Toon. I had my GCSEs the next day and all I could think about was how gutted I was.

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I remember being very impressed at the time with John Gallacher but he seemed to completely disappear without trace. Didn't Sumo get 36 goals and McGhee 25? Awesome statistics it must be said.

I will mention that horrible night yes, the joint worst Newcastle experience for me along with Poyet at Wembley :(

 

Quinn got 36 but I thought McGhee got 21, I'll check before I write about that.  I remember McGhee didn't score for ages though when he first came and then they all started flying in.  I thought we had the new Stanley Matthews after Gallacher's goal and performance against Leeds, but as with a lot of young players at Newcastle he just seemed to drift away to obscurity.  Michael O'Neill is the classic example of that, and everyone who saw him at 18 thought he'd be a world beater.

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Keegan's Hotdogs  :lol: Wtf was in them btw?

Fuck knows but they were nice "aye plenty onions" those were the days.  I could take my £5 pocket money, get me hot dog for 60p. get in the match for £2, 30p there and back on the bus, £1 for the programme and still have £1 left for crisps and sweets.

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Keegan's Hotdogs  :lol: Wtf was in them btw?

Fuck knows but they were nice "aye plenty onions" those were the days.  I could take my £5 pocket money, get me hot dog for 60p. get in the match for £2, 30p there and back on the bus, £1 for the programme and still have £1 left for crisps and sweets.

Good read by the way Stevie.

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Keegan's Hotdogs  :lol: Wtf was in them btw?

Fuck knows but they were nice "aye plenty onions" those were the days.  I could take my £5 pocket money, get me hot dog for 60p. get in the match for £2, 30p there and back on the bus, £1 for the programme and still have £1 left for crisps and sweets.

Good read by the way Stevie.

Cheers Alex, there'll be more to follow soon.

 

It was one of the most interesting seasons of my time supporting the toon I think, even though it ended in a catastrophic manner.  Certainly of the most memorable for me anyway.  I just remember loads of things.  The horrible revival of flared jeans of the lads at the match, pink wallabee shoes, stepped hair cuts, ocean pacific t shirts...I had them all, hehe tragic looking back.

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