Bobby Moncur thinks Newcastle United will avoid relegation and remembers today when he joined the club in 1960, Newcastle were relegated that very first season. I remember that well because I played that first season with Bob for Newcastle Juniors (called the Ns in those days) that very season.
Bobby Moncur – thinks Newcastle can stay up – just
Bobby Moncur is convinced that Kevin Keegan will keep Newcastle United in the Premier League â€“ but he is concerned by the lack of fight shown by the players, especially in away games.
Bobby was never involved in a relegation battle after breaking into the first and spoke with the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.
â€œLooking at the other teams at the wrong end of the table, I donâ€™t think Newcastle will go down.”
â€œI just think there is more quality in the Newcastle side to stay up, although obviously I am concerned with just three points out of the last 36.”
â€œWhen I came here as a kid in 1960-61 we had Lenny White scoring goals for fun. Newcastle hit over 100 goals and still got relegated.”
â€œWe all said that it could not happen, not the way they were scoring goals, but it did, and of course Jim Smith took us down again after that in the late 80s.”
â€œSo sadly, twice in my lifetime, I have seen Newcastle relegated.â€
It’s interesting because I joined the club in 1960 too, after playing for Newcastle and Northumberland schoolboys (goalkeeper), but as an amateur and was still at school. However I did play the full 1960-1961 season with Bobby and I recall that Benny Craig (?) in those days was our coach – a great guy. In those days Bobby had played the previous season for Scotland schoolboys and he was a half back back then. (central midfielder in today’s terms).
David Craig was also in the side and had played for Ireland schoolboys the season before. Alan Suddick (Sooty) was also in the side, but Alan got to play for the first team later in that season. He was a revelation on the left wing. Sooty was always a strange personality but was full of fun and always good for a laugh. Anyway, Alan was then 17 as I recall, when he made his debut that season.
We used to play our home games up Barrack Road at Hunters Moor, which was a short trip up Barrack Road from St. James’ Park and our games generally kicked off at 2pm. That allowed us to nip in to see the second half of our games, when Newcastle United were at home.
Charlie Mitten was manager in those days and we thought we had a decent team, and had finished 8th the previous season. Charlie had introduced those jazzy strips with the white band around the bottom of the shorts and black and white stripes at the top of the socks.
It got so bad with Mitten , who was hardly a good man-manager, that he had a game between the first team and the reserve side – at St. James’ Park on Thursday nights, towards the end of the season. Mitten then picked the best 11 players for the game for the following Saturday. In those days there were no substitutes of course. We never thought that was a very good way to instill confidence in the players.
It was terrible when Newcastle were relegated that year, and we couldn’t believe it would ever happen – not to Newcastle United – we were all then 16 years old and don’t forget we had won 3 FA Cup Finals in the 1950s.
Hey, but the feeling then that we couldn’t possibly go down seems very familiar with today’s situation. At least way back then, the lads used to fight for the team – that’s the big difference with today, and it’s so sad to have to say that. 🙁
But it’s interesting that Bobby (guess we call him Bob now) remembers those times. He was a great guy even then and leadership oozed out of him. Of course he was bossy even then on the pitch, when he used to tell everybody where to play and what to do – he was very vocal. No change there 😀
David Craig on the other hand never said a word, but went on to be one of Newcastle’s greatest ever full backs with 412 appearances for the club. Of course Moncur went onto captain the side and David Craig also became a big star.
The game we remember most was a derby game against Sunderland Juniors at Hunters Moor on Good Friday morning in 1961. We won 2-1 and the other goalkeeper was a young lad called Jimmy Montgomery. Of course after that Jimmy went on to become one of the great goalkeepers.
But back to today, Bob also has concerns about the fighting qualities of our current bunch of players, as we have expressed rather forcefully since last Saturday’s latest pathetic capitulation. It’s a worry, because if anybody can pick out those shirking their duty on the pitch, it has to be Bob Moncur.
But at least Bob thinks we’ll survive. We’ll just have to wait and see how we do at Birmingham on Monday night but we are worried the Birmingham players may just out fight our lot 🙁
If that happens, the storm clouds will further gather over the Tyne on Monday night, and we’ll report on the game and the aftermath – whatever happens.
If anybody remembers those days in the very early 1960s we’d be happy to hear from you.
All comments very welcome.