Tommy Wright Talks About Keegan’s First Reign

Goalkeeper Tommy Wright, who is now 44, first joined Newcastle back in January, 1988 for a transfer fee of £30,000 from Linfield.


Tommy Wright – former Newcastle United goalkeeper

Tommy was a Northern Ireland International, who today is manager of Ballymena United. In his playing days he won 31 caps for his country in a ten year period from 1989 to 1999, and in his first spell at Newcastle, from 1988 until 1994, he played 83 times for Newcastle. He then moved on to Nottingham Forest for a fee of £450,000.

Tommy was at Newcastle when Kevin first arrived as manager back in 1992, and he talked to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle today about what things were like back then.

“If you think this is a crisis – you should have been here in 1992.”

“When Kevin arrived last time we’d just lost 5-2 to Oxford, which proved to be the downfall of Ossie Ardiles.”

“Kevin came in and instantly the crowd soared from around 15,000 to over 30,000 – it was an amazing time to be at the club.”

“Speaking as a goalkeeper, Ossie’s tactics were certainly entertaining, and we won a lot of games 4-3 and such like, but defensively we were badly exposed.”

“Kevin came in and we comfortably beat Bristol City 3-0 in one of my quietest games for the club!”

“But it was still a roller-coaster ride during that time. We ended up needing four points from the last two games, and as everyone knows we still went to Leicester on the final day needing something out of the game to stay up.”

“In the end, the other results went our way and we won, but we weren’t to know that before.” “In fact, we laid the foundations for the next few years because the three after that were probably the most successful of the Premier League years.”

Wright came back to Newcastle, as an emergency goalkeeper, in September of 1999, and played 3 league games for the club. When he returned, there was a terrific new stadium that seated over 52,000 in place, a huge difference to when he left.

Tommy continued:

“It’s maybe only now when you look back on things that you see what Kevin and the players of 1992 did for the club.”

“You probably don’t realize it at the time, but it shows how important it was to do well back then, first time around.”

“When you think about it, the current situation is serious, but with 12 games left and the club six points clear, it’s not quite a crisis, whereas back in 1992 it really was a crisis as we came so close.”

As we’ve said before, it’s always very difficult to expect someone, who is an icon, to have the same success at a club, the second time around. It doesn’t happen very often, that’s for sure.

Things are a lot different now than in the early 1990s, but everybody who supports Newcastle United are hoping that Kevin can be successful again.

If he’s not, it will not be for the lack of trying or the passion Kevin still has for both the club and the Newcastle area. It will also not because the Newcastle faithful don’t support him and the club 100% in the next few seasons.

Comments welcome.

9 comments so far


    Feb 16, 2008 at 7:57 PM

    Comment #1

    Why dont we get Tommy Wright back as a goalkeeping coach and f**k Sams bloke back off to smoggsville

    also shearer, beardsley and howey back as coaches

  • daiv

    Feb 16, 2008 at 8:19 PM

    Comment #2

    Lets hope the second reign is as good as the first. I have my doubts but it can only get better. The alternative is relegation and KK did not come to NUFC for that.

  • CJ

    Feb 16, 2008 at 10:25 PM

    Comment #3

    Howey as coach he is a fooking maccum.

  • UTD111

    Feb 17, 2008 at 12:16 AM

    Comment #4

    Good to see Manure wearing themselves out against the Arsenal today – and of course they have some nondescript european game in midweek – they should be knackered by the time they take on the Mighty United :o)

  • George

    Feb 17, 2008 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #5

    All us older fans remember KKs time at the toon both as a player and manager and fantastic times they were to.
    This time round KK is older and wiser. but will he be able to get the players of quality that is required.
    During KKs first spell of management, there was not the big influx of foreign players like now, so when the likes of Albert, Ginola, Asprilla etc came to town, they were the best at the time, however, this time round i think it will be hard to attract these big named players.
    Just looking at the back pages of some of the comics all you read about is this clubs after spanish player whoever, this club is after italian player whoever etc etc. Thats all you here about is foreign imports to this country. mkaes you wonder if KK could turn the tide and go for the british players that are available and who without doubt tend to give a bit more than foreign players over 90 mins. (Not all imports)
    It would be nice to start a trend just like he did the last time, but somehow i think this may be a job too far.

  • tony

    Feb 17, 2008 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #6

    u cant judge keegan untill he has his owm team in place

  • Leo*

    Feb 17, 2008 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #7

    i like the optimism UTD111

  • Macca

    Feb 17, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #8 offense but even with our tired weak side we could still crush you, like we did Arsenal.

    When it comes down to it, you’ve only one player who’d make it on to our team and that’s the keeper, Given.

  • GP

    Feb 17, 2008 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #9

    Piss off you glory hunting, plane crashing wanker.


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