Team Highlight : Newcastle United Football Club
Three time First Division champions Newcastle United. Photo: premierskillsenglish
Newcastle United Football Club also known as The Magpies, is an English professional football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End Football Club and Newcastle West End Football Club, Newcastle United has since gone on to keep themselves in the Premier League consistently and never falling below the second tier of the Football League. Since the unification, the club has maintained their home ground, St. James’ Park, and managed to develop it into an all-seater stadium which now has a capacity of 52,405. Donning the club’s iconic black and white stripes, the kit reflects the identity of Newcastle United and the city of Newcastle upon Tyne. Newcastle United’s fan base includes politicians near and afar from the likes of UK’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair to Thailand’s former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Origin of Newcastle United
East meets West: the start of Newcastle United. Photo: nufc.co.uk
While the popularity of football has flourished in other parts of the UK, it took several years before the sport became popular in the North East region. Two minor football clubs, mainly Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End were the rudimentary start of Newcastle United, playing both organised and unorganised games during that period of time.
Newcastle East End was formed when Stanley football club and Rosewood football club decided to combine forces for a stronger team as they progressed and played bigger games. Coincidentally at the other side of the city, another club by the name of West End Football Club was making waves when they defeated Rosewood in their first game and subsequently moved to take over the lease of St. James’ Park a year later.
While both teams were involved in forming the Northern League and even landed on the top five of the table, with West End ranking second and East End finishing fourth, it became obvious that having two football clubs was too much for the city to accommodate. Hence, the combination of West End and East End formed Newcastle United Football Club and adopted St. James’ Park as their home.
Records over the years
One of the greatest known managers Sir Bobby Robson appointed as Newcastle’s manager. Photo: nufc.co.uk
The then manager Ruud Gullit who was in charge of the club for only a year and a day, resigned after his controversial decisions which led to the defeat of the club, leading to the opening up of a managerial seat for Sir Bobby Robson. A true gentleman well known in the football world for earning respect from both players and supporters alike, Sir Bobby Robson collected trophies in whichever team he headed and even gained a knightship for his contributions to football. While Newcastle United had always been consistent in smaller league table rankings, winning multiple times in Division Two games and championships such as the FA Cup, real change could be felt in the club with Sir Robson when he avenged the last loss by sending a stunning 8-0 win at home ground, St. James’ Park to the elation of Newcastle’s fans. He also sailed the football club back on track, away from being relegated to reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup. Even though Newcastle United under the direction of Sir Robson lost the opening fixture of the 2000-2001 season, supporters of the football club had seen the dedication and knew that Sir Robson will be bringing Newcastle United to places.
With a good campaign in the Intertoto Cup which landed Newcastle United in the Champions League, Sir Robson also made the impossible possible when the football club, despite losing their first three Champions League games, still managed to qualify to the next round. Newcastle United then continued to rise in the ranks and clinched third at the end of season.
Unfortunately for Sir Robson, the slow progress of the football club in the 2004-2005 season coupled with the final standing in fifth position for the 2003-2004 season in the Premier League, only led to his dismissal by chairman Freddy Shepherd.
Present Day Newcastle United
Statue of the late Sir Bobby Robson for remembrance outside of St. James Park. Photo: nufc.co.uk
Following the departure of Sir Robson, things took a downturn for Newcastle United as they slipped quickly from being one of the top five in the Premier League table to the bottom half. Graeme Souness, the replacement of Sir Robson also could not follow through with the high standards and was subsequently sacked in 2006.
Through a series of ups and downs, Newcastle United still did not manage to win any major trophy and the poorest performance was being relegated for the third time from the Premier League in the 2016 season when their main rivals Sunderland pulled off a 3-0 victory against Everton. In the 2018-2019 Premier League season, Newcastle United did enough to prevent themselves from being relegated but still landed in the bottom half of the Premier League table.