Magical Magpie Memories: The 80s Part Two – Coming Full Circle.

Posted on February 12th, 2012 | 16 Comments |

“Jossys Giants” visit Bobby Charlton and Willie McFaul at St James’ Park – 1985.

Aye Bobby Charlton, not Jackie Charlton who had left the club as manager in the huff over player sales and such before McFaul stepped in and faced the same old problem.

After introducing the Jossy’s lads to McFaul the ex Northern Ireland goalie, Bobby then takes them through the bowels of the old St James Park, the old away dressing room with the old plunge bath, the old physio room and so on. A magical trip down Magpie memory lane. As you can see, Bobby’s no Al Pacino when it comes to acting; then again, he could probably teach Pacino a thing or two on playing against the likes of Eusebio and Beckenbauer!

As some of you may know already, Jossy’s Giants was written by Nothumberland’s greatest living polymathic genius, Sid Waddell, the man who also raised Darts commentary into the realms of high art amongst other things.

The signing of Mirandinha – 1987.

With top players such as Keegan, Waddle and Beardsley now sold (or retired in Keegan’s case), manager Willie McFaul brought in Brazilian star Francisco Ernani Lima da Silva aka “Mirandinha” to plug the gap. Incidentally, he was the first Brazilian to play for an English side, and as you can see in the video, Newcastle’s new number 9 was signed through one of the club’s most legendary older ones, Malcolm MacDonald aka “Supermac.” Newcastle United also still had another reasonably talented midfield playmaker on the books called Paul Gascoigne aka “Daft Get.” However he was go too in the fullness of time, joining Chris Waddle at Tottenham in 1988.

Mirandinha went on to score 23 goals in a total of 67 appearences for Newcastle, eventually returning to Brazil to join Palmeiras in 1989.

Newcastle United face Sheffield United in the Rumbelows Cup after the sacking of Willie McFaul – 1988.

Four and a half years after the glory of promotion under Arthur Cox. On Oct 12th 1988. after being frequently undermined by the sale of top players at the club, Newcastle United manager Willie McFaul has just been sacked as the now troubled Magpies go into their Rumbelows Cup 2nd Round, 2nd Leg clash against Sheffield United 3 goals down. Meanwhile an aggressive local property shark called Sir John Hall is circling with Chairman of the time, Gordon McKeag, trying to fend him off. Hall and his so called “Magpie Group” rode on a ticket of democratising the club and handing the power to supporters. Of course Hall eventually completed a takeover in the early ‘nineties, becoming chairman of the club in 1992.

Tracking back though, after the departure of McFaul we had youth coach Colin Suggett as caretaker for a nine match spell until Jim “Bald Eagle” Smith was brought in to try and steady the ship, which he didn’t. After 38 games, the Magpies finished rock bottom of the league with 31 points and were thus relegated.

The season after they nearly made it, coming third as Cox and Keegan did five years before. This time though promotion was much as it is today, ie the top two automatically went up and there was a playoff amongst the third to sixth teams. In those depressing times, fans would often say “things couldn’t get any worse”, just before some cruel twist of fate promptly made it get worse. Well, fourth placed Swindon Town won the Second Division playoff final, then they admitted to a series of financial irregularities which started off a horrendously complicated carry on which resulted in Swindon being relegated initially instead of promoted, then they changed their minds and it was a very messy business overall. Anyway, the upshot was that third placed Newcastle stayed down, yet a certain team from the Wearside area who go by the name of “Sunderland” were promoted even though they only came sixth! They beat us 2-0 in the playoff semi final and got the final place in the Premiership as Samiritans’ switchboards in the Tyneside area went into overdrive.

The teams form then slumped in the next season, we had virtually no hope of promotion and the Bald Eagle walked out amid a boardroom struggle, describing the club as “unmanagable”. World Cup winner Ossie Ardiles was came in and he was something of a proto Ruud Gullit, ie great player, not so great manager. The once mighty Newcastle United’s fall from grace continued, right to the bottom of the Second Division.

And so we turn full circle, ending up in much the same place where this trip down Magpie memory lane began in part one. It was time to give the permed Messiah another call!

Contrary to popular myth, of which there are many at Newcastle United, it was actually Sir John Hall’s predecessor as Chairman, George Forbes, who was the first to approach Kevin Keegan for his second coming as manager, the period which subsequently became known as the “Entertainers” era. Peter Mallinger’s book “So You Think You Want To Be A Director of a Football Club: A View from Inside the Boardrooms at Newcastle United and Kettering Town” gives an interesting insight on this important transitional period in the club’s history.

Relegation 1988/9

Liverpool v Newcastle United, October 1st, 1988.

Despite the Eighties ending on a very low note for Newcastle United, with the lowest note of all, relegation coming in the 88-89 season, there were a few highlights in that season which sent us back to the second tier. Keegan had gone, Waddle had gone, Gazza had (just) gone, and Beardsley was now playing for the other team in this match! However, however, despite no wins, 3 defeats and 12 goals conceded in the games preceding this one, we still managed to go to Anfield and take the fight to one the two predominant teams of the time (along with George Graham’s “one nil to the Arsenal” side). We had a new star upfront, Francisco Ernani Lima da Silva AKA “Mirandinha”, who was the first Brazilian to sign for an English club. His silky Brazilian skills could give way to overelaboration sometimes, but he went on to score 23 goals in a total of 67 appearences fpr the Magpies.

It looked like it could’ve been a massacre in the early stages against Division One’s bottom feeders. Liverpool’s Gary Gillespie chalked one up for the mighty Reds within the first five minutes as the home side dominated possession. However that was to be the only Liverpool goal, with McFaul’s Magpies striking back, firstly with John Hendrie’s debut goal for the club. With the game deadlocked in the final stages, the scorer of the Liverpool’s first goal, Gillespie, fouled the scorer of United’s first goal, Hendrie, just inside the box. Penalty to the Magpies said the ref! Mirandinha slotted it home and the Mighty Reds were vanquished by the first division’s bottom club. It was Willie McFaul’s birthday too!

Newcastle United 3-0 Smoggies, October 26th 1988 – A “Braziliant” brace for Mirandinha.

Another rare highlight from Newcastle United’s 88-89 season. With McFaul now sacked, and caretaker Colin Suggett now in temporary charge until Jim Smith’s eventual appointment, Newcastle took on fellow North Eastern strugglers in Bruce Rioch’s Middlesborough at SJP. It was a great 3-0 victory for the Magpies with the first goal coming when a young Gary Pallister, who of course went on to fame and fortune with Manchester United, headed the ball into his own net. The rest was the Mirandinha show with two goals from the “Braziliant” number nine. The first was a 20 yard bullet of a free kick which went beyond the reach of Stephen Pears in the Middlesbrough goal. The second saw Mira using his pace to bomb thorugh a gaggle of Smoggy defenders, smacking his initial effort into Pears, then finally finding his target on the rebound.

Newcastle v Liverpool, February 4th, 1989

With McFaul the Bald Eagle now at the helm, Newcastle United took on Liverpool at St James’ Park later in the season. In this one number 9, Mirandinha, opened the scoring for Newcastle in what would be a 2-2 draw. But this game also features the only goal (off the back of his heed) from Smith’s star striker signing, a name who will live forever in the pantheon of NUFC legends, the “Danish Destroyer” himself, Frank Pingel. Rather shamefully, it also shows some of the lesser Newcastle United fans having the gall to boo Saint Peter when he came on for Liverpool in the second half.

Famously the First Division title that season was decided by the narrowest possible margin, with Liverpool eventually being pipped to the post by Arsenal after the Gunners beat the Reds 2-0. At the end of that, both their points and their goal difference were the same and the Championship was decided on goals scored. It was somewhat ironic that a rule which was originally brought in for the 1975/76 season to discourage boring defensive play would later be the rule which handed the title to George Graham’s boring defensive “one nil to the Arsenal” side!

Magical Magpie Memories: The 80s Part One (Promotion, Helicopters and Tearful Farewells)

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1092 articles on this blog.

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16 Responses

  1. I’ve just updated this piece with another video and some more verbiage.

    The new one’s about the signing of Mirandinha in 1987, and also the involvement of “Supermac” in the deal to aquire the first Brazilian to play for an English club.

  2. maze u see you are doing well in your predictions.

    whats the secret mate? did you miss a week?

    unfortunately i missed two weeks so im way down the line.
    did ok at the weekend like, got 9 points.

    how about you?

  3. Yeah I missed a week like haha. I worked out I would have got 7 points from that aswell. I think I did ok last time around but missed 2 weeks in that one. My secret is I watch too much football, which my gf can vouch for! ;)

  4. How come so many people are missing their predictions when there’s a whole week? It isn’t just you two.

    Stephen I replied to your e.mail BTW.

    I guess that no-one’s interested in all of this NUFC history shite then?

  5. Well I only just figured out that you could do a few weeks in advance, it should probably be a bit more noticable.

  6. cheers worky i got your email.

    i agree with you about the February issue, i think that is probably the main reason the guy has donated so many.

    but i promised i help raise some cash.

    as far as i’m aware the charity sends shoe boxes out to disadvantaged kids all over the world. places like Bulgaria and Kosovo etc. each person fills a shoe box or boxes with small gifts, tooth brushes, colouring books etc. just enough to fill a shoe box. the boxes are dropped off and then packed on a truck or plain and flown to where ever they are needed at Christmas.

    lots of kids around the world never get a thing and don’t even know its Christmas so its good to get involved.

    the women as far as i’m aware is now in her 80s and shes still going strong.

    i know its supposed to be a Christmas appeal but people fill these boxes all year, they never stop. my mother has about 500 toothbrushes in the house.

    ive got about 80 of these 2012 north east calendars i can pretty much ship them anywhere. some nice north east scenery i’ve pretty much stuck a £2 price tag on them but its a charity so i think they would except anything. i can send some pictures of them if you like. front and back will do.

    as for the NUFC history shite. i read it this morning it was quite good. the jossys giants stuff was great. i used to love it. far better than byker grove.

    i cant believe sid didn’t release this on DVD, it would keep the royalties coming in for years. long live Joswell Blair.

    as for missing weeks, i think people are to busy reading it and participating in the post rather than the competition. personally i have been sat watching tv when i suddenly remember that i need to do my predictions then when i eventually get online to do them im side tracked with the daily or sometime thrice daily posts and then time flies and i completely forget where i was.

    one thing i did notice today, you mentioned earlier that you had updated the comp, but when i checked the Sunday results weren’t added, im dues another 2 points me thinks

  7. Oops! I divvent knaa what happened there Stephen but everything should definitely be updated now and you should have your 2 points. Really sorry about that. Maze is still in front and the organ grinder is back from India now so normal levels of incompetence should be resumed from now on.

    I’ve updated the story above too with a bit more Miandinha action, a brace against the Smoggies.

    Aye, Jossy’s Giants was better than Byker Grove. As I mentioned in the story, Sid Waddell’s a genius.

    How much are the calendars with P&P?

  8. well i’ve just measured them and they come under the PACKET size delivery and providing they don’t weight anymore than 50g will come to £1.53 p&p

    so with a guide only i would say £3.70 inc P&P (£2 per calendar + £1.53 + 3% PayPal fee) although the postage will be fixed, as these are for charity i wouldn’t like to refuse any reasonable offers for the calendars

  9. just checked postage is £1.96

    so ideally price would be £4.10 but around £3.50 – £4.00 would be nice.

  10. Stephen, put me down for one at a fiver then, I’ll nag the other contributors too. If it’s Paypal send me the Paypal e.mail address in another e.mail. Divven’t put it on here as spam bots harvest e.mail addresses from websites all the time and put them on spam lists.

    I used to be a fundraiser for various organisations so I’ll have a think about fundraising ideas for the shoebox lady.

  11. I’ve sent you an email worky.

    I’ve got one packed ready to go.

    cheers for the advice on the bots, i could do without any more spam. i get enough as it is.

  12. Stephen C says:
    February 13, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    “I’ve sent you an email worky.”

    Cheers Stephen! I have to literally run out of the house once I’ve made this comment and shut down. Will sort things oot when I get back.