Introducing: Newcastle United!
Newcastle United FC, a name that resonates with passion, heritage and football fervour. The club was founded back in 1892 in the Heart of Newcastle upon Tyne. Since their creation, they have etched their name into the annals of football history. Learn more about the club, starting with their early history to the club they are today.
About Newcastle United FC
Newcastle United, affectionately known as the Magpies, are a renowned football club from the vibrant city of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Their starting days reach as far back as 1892.
In their long history, they have won four top-flight league titles and six FA Cup championships. Their trophy cabinet also includes one English Super Cup trophy, and one Inter-Cities Fairs Cup championship. They were also relegated several times, so their list of achievements includes four second-tier English football championships.
Their iconic black and white stripes have become synonymous with the North East, and their passionate fan base. The so-called Toon Army is among the most devoted and dedicated fan base in the world of football.
But how did Newcastle become one of the most prestigious football clubs not only in England, but also worldwide? Let’s find out by starting from their early history and see how they evolved into the club they are today.
Early History – The East Prevails
The origin of the club can be traced back to 1881, when the Stanley Cricket Club formed a football club. The club changed its name to Newcastle East End FC in 1882. Soon after, Rosewood FC of Byker merged with Newcastle East End soon after, and the club moved to Heaton.
In 1882, Newcastle West End FC started as the West End Cricket Club. In 1886, this club moved to St James’ Park. However, their short-lived history only lasted for a decade before the club ran into financial difficulties.
The East and West quickly became rivals in the Northern League. While the East End had great success and became a professional football club, West End hit a brick wall. As they ran into financial trouble, they approached East for a potential takeover.
In the end, West End was dissolved, with a large chunk of its players and staff joining Newcastle East End. This successfully merged the two clubs and saw East End take over the lease on St. James’ Park in 1892.
In honour of the merger, the club finally adopted a new name. Among the numerous names considered, such as Newcastle Rangers, Newcastle City, and City of Newcastle, Newcastle United had the most significant symbolism. It signified the unification of the two teams.
First Glory Years and Dominating the Top League
The first promising year in the club’s history was in 1903/04, when the team had numerous promising players. The team went on to dominate the top English league for close to a decade.
In this period, the Magpies won three titles, in 1904, 1906, and 1908. Despite their success in the national league, they couldn’t get their hands on a double and lost several FA Cup finals.
Their first FA Cup trophy came in 1909/10 after losing in the finals in 1905, 1906, and 1908. Furthermore, they lost again in the following year against Bradford City.
The second FA Cup trophy got into their hands in 1924 when they beat Aston Villa for the title. Three years later, in 1926/27, the Magpies got their fourth top English league title.
However, soon after their great success in both the national league and cup, they ran into problems. Newcastle dropped into the second league at the end of the 1933/34 season after 35 years at the top.
After their relegation in 1933/34, the Magpies continued to struggle. They were almost relegated to the third level of football in the 1937/38 season. However, the war allowed them to regroup, and they returned to the top after the 1947/48 season.
After returning to the top, Newcastle United added three more FA Cup titles in just five years. However, once again, after taking the trophies in the national cup, the club ran into problems again. The Magpies were relegated again after the 1960/61 season with Charlie Mitten as the manager.
The leadership of Joe Harvey, former player, took some time but brought Newcastle back to the top again. In 1967/68, the club qualified for European competition for the first time. After that, they won the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup with a win over Hungary’s Ujpest in the final.
In the years that followed, up until 1992, the club had its ups and downs. They reached the FA Cup final again in 1974, but dropped into the Second Division in 1978.
The Entertainers of the Premier League
Newcastle’s return to the top flight league in 1993/94, was another significant event. With Keegan at the front, the club got their nickname, The Entertainers, from Sky Sports. Keegan’s attractive football wasn’t just for show, as he took the club to two runners-up finishes in the top league.
In one of the matches between Liverpool and Newcastle, the Magpies lost the title after a 4:3 loss. The game at Enfield is, for many, one of the greatest matches in Premier League history.
Mike Ashley Era
One of the more significant eras of the club was under Mike Ashley. After the change in ownership, the club brought back Kevin Keegan in 2007/08. However, due to countless changes and disruptions from the club board, Keegan left in 2008.
Soon after, under Joe Kinnear, or rather Alan Shearer as interim manager, Newcastle dropped to the Championship. Chris Hughton took over only to take the club back into the Premier League.
His successor was Alan Pardew, who had his ups and downs but overall an average five seasons at Newcastle. His biggest success was finishing 5th and ensuring a place in the Europa League. However, no other success came from Pardew, so the fans campaigned to get Alen to leave.
Again, unfortunately for the club, Rafael Benitez, who took over after Steve McClaren, couldn’t keep the club afloat. Another relegation for Newcastle was another disastrous event under Mike Ashley. Nonetheless, they made a return only after one season.
Benitez left the club despite having an offer for a new contract with the Magpies in 2019. After Benitez, Steve Bruce came in as the manager, on a three-year contract.
Newcastle Under PIF
Finally, Mike Ashley, after countless terrible years at Newcastle, sold the club in 2021. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media bought the club for £305 million. The PIF holds around 80% of all shares.
The new owners mutually agreed with Steve Bruce to leave the club. Eddie Howe came in as the replacement, and the club finished 11th in his first season. However, his second year at the club saw much more success, as the Magpies finished 4th, and got a spot in the Champions League. Their best results in decades.
Throughout the long history of Newcastle United, their home venue has been St. James’ Park. It is the oldest and largest stadium in North East England, but the 8th largest in the Premier League. The stadium’s seating capacity is 52,305 seats.
Rivalries and Derbies
In addition to having some of the most passionate football fans in the world, Newcastle also has some ferocious rivalries. While it has been some time since we last saw these derbies, we are certain once we see them again, they will have lost no severity.
For example, one of their derbies is with Sunderland, with whom they compete in the Tyne-Wear derby. It also ranks as one of the biggest derbies in England. It features two of the biggest clubs in the region fighting for more than three league points. Newcastle also have a big rivalry with Middlesbrough in the infamous Tyne-Tees derby.
Newcastle Today and Their Future
Eddie Howe continues to lead Newcastle after finishing 4th in the 2022/23 season. The club secured a fourth-place finish, but could have easily finished one spot higher or one lower. In 38 games, the Magpies won 19, ended 14 in a draw, and only lost four.
With these more or less impressive results, they had 71 points, only four behind third-ranked Manchester United. At the same time, Liverpool was four points behind them. Newcastle ended their last two games in a draw, which would have secured them third place if they had managed to win them.
By finishing in fourth spot, Newcastle earned a spot in the Champions League. Of course, with participation in the biggest European competition comes more funding. Combined with the new owners from Saudi Arabia, the Magpies have the potential to grow.
We can expect to see Newcastle more often in the Premier League top. They definitely have the opportunity to secure their fifth title, if they play their cards right.