NUFC – Some Things Never Change.

Posted on September 29th, 2009 | 21 Comments |

Waddle hattrick.
Waddle hattrick.
As we look forward to the Newcastle United v QPR game tomorrow evening, it has made me reminisce about an unbelievable match I witnessed between the two teams 25 years ago this month.

I was a homesick student nurse living in London and in fact QPR was probably the nearest big ground to where I lived.

One of the best bits about following the Toon away from home for an exiled geordie was being surrounded by your own people. Hearing the geordie voices, the usual banter, talk of familiar places was like being wrapped in a cloak of familiarity that you didn’t want to take off. A couple of hours later it all came to an end. Watching the Toon fans get back on the coaches – knowing their next stop later that evening would be Newcastle – I would fight the urge to jump on the coach as well to go back home. Anyway on to the game …

Our manager at the time was big Jack Charlton (I know), and our first 3 wins of the season had been swiftly followed by 3 defeats when we started what was our seventh game of the season at Loftus Road on Saturday September 22nd 1984. Looking back at the attendance figures a crowd of only 14,234 were present but I remember quite a lot of mags being in the crowd. Loftus Road had recently installed their plastic pitch, remember them?

The Newcastle team that day comprised: Carr, Brown, Saunders, Roeder, Anderson, Haddock, Macdonald, Mcreery, Wharton, Beardsley and Waddle.

Charlton decided we needed to tighten up defense after leaking 10 goals in the previous 3 games so while everyone else battened down the hatches, Chris Waddle was left to go it alone, and it seemed to work as Chris Waddle scored a great hat trick after a fourth minute goal by the young Neil McDonald. With the Toon winning 4-0 at half time, who could have predicted what was to follow in the second half …

QPR had clearly had a mighty rocket from their then manager Alan Mullery and looked a different team in the second half and Newcastle just fell apart. With Newcastle complacent with the 4 goal lead, QPR took advantage and pulled one back within 4 minutes of the restart. Clearly our lot wanted a bit more of a challenge so a freak own goal made it 2-4 to QPR.

QPR clearly sensed all was not lost and bombarded the Mags until their third went in with a john Gregory effort on 74 minutes.

Now we’ve all been here too many times to mention, when a nice comfortable lead is obliterated and it was odds on that QPR would equalise with their fourth. Undaunted with 6 minutes to go a nice piece of play between Waddle and Beardsley ended with Kenny Wharton scoring our 5th from 3 yards out. 5-3 surely that was it a two goal cushion and just under 6 minutes of normal play left? Clearly not when just a few minutes later they got their fourth. With Toon fans screaming for the final whistle the unbelievable happened on the 90th minute when QPR equalised. 5-5 unbelievable!

The Mags were absolutely stunned while QPR understandebly went mental. It was one of those games when you wonder if you really had just witnessed that or whether it had all been a really really bad dream. I remember walking away from the ground to get the tube home from White City and just feeling absolute disbelief at what I had just witnessed. Another day in the life of a Toon supporter.

NUFCBlog Author: geordie deb geordie deb has written 38 articles on this blog.

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21 Responses

  1. “Hearing the geordie voices, the usual banter, talk of familiar places was like being wrapped in a cloak of familiarity that you didn’t want to take off.”

    Exactly what I feel as an exiled Geordie at matches too.

    Nice article BTW.

  2. I was at that game, got given 2 season tickets (for that match) from a qpr supporter.

    Plastic pitch and wind, lots and lots of wind.

    Kick the ball down that way and see what happens.

    Even I thought we had won at 5-3

  3. oh, and it was just about a sell out. Not a big ground but not a lot of spaces. Their capacity, at the time, could not have been much more.

  4. I’m too young to remember properly! ;)

    worky, you not using the wrong one? I noticed you did the other day because my reply bounced back from that address!

  5. Peter says:
    September 29, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    “oh, and it was just about a sell out. Not a big ground but not a lot of spaces. Their capacity, at the time, could not have been much more.”

    It’s still only around 18,000 capacity at Loftus Road, Peter.

  6. The video is on you tube, im just after watching it. It said on the score board 6-2 before it even kicked off.
    How did they let that lead go?

    Thats what being a fan is all about looking back to all the memories good and bad.

    Never heard about this match before so its nice to be educated from life long fans.

  7. Memories … i was 14 years old and at this match with my mate – my second ever away game; if you can also recall QPR had two goals disallowed in the second half .. nearest thing i’ve seen to basketball.

    Good article!

    Gatesheed Mags

  8. Peter

    I don’t remember it being windy but I do remember it being crowded. Yes at 5-3 we should have won it, but then this is the Toon!

  9. Norn Iron Mag

    It is good to look back at some of these matches which have contributed to our history. Maybe we could make it a regular feature. Sure there’s lots of people out there who have some great tales to share.

  10. TC

    Thanks Tony, you’re right regarding the two disallowed goals. What a great game to attend for an early ‘away’ experience.

  11. geordie deb

    was blown away by it … think this is what attracted me to more away games lol – just pleased the plastic pitches were eventually ditched; don’t think I could have taken it every week ; )


  12. Deb

    Im sure most fans have a romantic story to tell about following the club up and down the country. It would be nice to hear them.

  13. The shorts were terrible in those days, especially in the ‘crown jewels’ department. The players used to spend half the game playing around down there, and it wasn’t a very pretty sight.