Nicky Butt Explains His Shame Of Newcastle’s Relegation


We expect Nicky Butt to retire at the end of the season, and as we’ve said before, we’d love to see Nicky stay on Tyneside in a coaching  capacity. Even more so now that we understand how ashamed he was when Newcastle were relegated last May, and elected to stay to right that wrong.

Nicky Butt – ashamed when Newcastle were relegated

And after reading Nicky’s interview today in the News Of  The World, Newcastle fans will realize the pride Nicky has gained for the Newcastle club and their fans.

But not only that, it comes across that Nicky Butt was ashamed when Newcastle were relegated last May, and only now is he coming to terms with the fact that the Magpies relegation nightmare is in a way quickly being corrected, with the lads  gaining promotion at their very first attempt.

This is what Nicky said today:

“The hurt from last season and regaining pride was a big motivation.We didn’t want to fail the public as we had the year before.”

“You go on holiday and you don’t feel like you should be enjoying yourself. I have kids and a family and I didn’t feel I should be seen laughing and joking on the beach or anything like that.”

“We should never have gone down but the pressure got so much people went into their shells and stopped playing.”

And of course last summer the club seemed to be in complete disarray, with no plans at all on which players they should sell, and which ones they should keep, so everybody was  put up for transfer, and it seemed haphazard as to who was moved out and who remained.

But  some of the players wanted to stay, and said so at the time, and one of those was Nicky Butt, and other players – like Steve Harper, Steven Taylor, Kevin Nolan, Alan Smith, Jose Enrique, Fabricio Coloccini and others,  have all played a huge part in transforming the Newcastle United club in just one single season.

A players committee of  Nicky Butt, Kevin Nolan, Steve Harper and Alan Smith was formed last summer at the players initiative, and has worked hand in hand with manager Chris Hughton, in ensuring all is right with the players, and that they remain committed to the Newcastle club.

The unlikely Chris Hughton was made temporary manager last July 1st, if only  to take the pre-season training (somebody had to) and he immediately hired Colin Calderwood, who was on a  weekly contract until both were hired full time last October, after owner Mike Ashley’s efforts to sell the club fell through – for a second time.

And it was a pre-season trip to Ireland, when players like Michael Owen, Oba Martins, Mark Viduka, Seb Bassong and Habib Beye had all left the club, after deciding they didn’t want to stay at Newcastle, and that actually turned out to be the beginning of  a new-found team spirit and passion at the Tyneside club.

Nicky continued, and talked about the Ireland pre=season mini-tour:

“In Dublin, we had meals together, we played golf and with us having such small numbers, there weren’t cliques.”   “Everyone was together on the same table. There weren’t groups of five here or six there.”

“There were players I didn’t know too well, maybe because they were foreign lads and didn’t speak much English, but I got to know them.”  “I looked at different people in different ways and I liked them.”

“That was the case for everybody. The team spirit has been very strong ever since.”

“This season, we have felt what Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United feel every year because everyone has wanted to beat us. We have been the cup final for these teams, but we have dealt with that all season long.”

“To get back up would be up there with all the good times I’ve had in my career. Obviously the Champions League is my No 1 memory but this is up there with League titles. It’s more important than the FA Cup.”

“Relegation was a blemish on my career and last season was my worst. The best thing is to put it right. I’ll enjoy my summer holidays more this year, definitely!”

And Chris Hughton has become an unlikely hero on Tynesode. and this pragmatic and down-to-earth gentleman, who doesn’t seem to have a bad word to say about anybody, has led the side into every  game, fully ready to play, but more importantly, ready to go through hell and high water to get all 3 points – in every single game.

And it’s still a little unbelievable what Newcastle have been able to do this season – scrap with the best of them – and it’s  something that was sorely missing last season when over-paid players like Michael Owen, Oba Martins and Mark Viduka were in the side, and when things went wrong they went missing – along with other gutless players.

It seems those players were on Tyneside for themselves, and the players currently at the Newcastle club are there because they want to be on Tyneside, and want to play in front of the most loyal and passionate fans anywhere, and don’t forget Newcastle have an average home gate in excess of 42,000, the 4th best in England.

And not only that, but the players are now proud to wear the famous black and white stripes of  the  Newcastle United club, known the world over, and you can see that every week in the way they play.

Passion and commitment has returned to the Newcastle club this season in no small measure, to the surprise and delight of Newcastle fans everywhere.

And we’re so proud of every single Newcastle player this season, none more so than Nicky Butt.

Howay The Lads!!


14 comments so far

  • Charlietoon

    Apr 4, 2010 at 12:09 AM

    Comment #1

    Viduka was injured and out of contract and was certainly never offered a new deal so I dont think I’d call him gutless.

    Good on Butt for saying those things. You look at Owen and you would have thought he’d never even been at the club, let alone been paid millions of dollars to be injured and captain the team to relegation.

    He’ll be playing at Sunderland next year…or Villa.

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  • Paul141726

    Apr 4, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    Comment #2

    I know many-myself included-thought many times that NB was just here for the paycheck. I think that his staying at the club does go a good way to putting those thoughts to rest. Maybe I’m being naive but I don’t think so. And I bet that he has been a good influence in the changing room too. If so then maybe a coaching position at the club would be something to offer him. Doubt that he’d take it however. On Monday I hope he gets just as much applause as the rest of the team, the gaffer and his coaches, if only for staying to see us back up. HTL

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  • AussieToon

    Apr 4, 2010 at 1:21 AM

    Comment #3

    Good article on Nicky Butt.

    But Ed, can you take Mark Viduka’s name out of the gutless sledge? I know Mark, his family live 2 minutes from my house, I worked with his sister when I was a teenager and I have spoken to him since he is back in Melbourne and nothing hurt him more than the relegation for Newcastle. He was devastated and that’s why he has been questioning himself coming back to play even in Australia. His body let him down, but when he did play towards the end he was very good. He gave his all.

    I know Mark has been delighted with Newcastle this season and still follows us closely. He is well loved by the players and staff and most will realise he gave his all, but his body was stuffed.

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  • Yorkie Dave

    Apr 4, 2010 at 1:39 AM

    Comment #4

    First of all well done to the lads, lets face it promotion in the bag now. Only the biggest collapse in football history will stop us now.

    As for all you “REAL FANS” why not give MA a break. Our club was on the verge before he bought us and yeah fair nuff he has lent the club probably over 100 mill but if you owned the club and remember its not his true love…. Would you give the business 100mill of your own money?????
    NO you would loan it interest free like MA has. Yes im the first to pipe up with the old “he has made too many mistakes” but he is human who hasnt???
    Have none of you thought relegation is a good thing get rid of the biggest cancer at our club…OWEN. get rid of the overpaid spungers the you “REAL FANS” complained so much about and start again!
    Id rather owe MA 100 mill then owe the banks 100mill with piles and piles of interest on top every year.
    Our clubs stratagy is right, concentrate on youth and each year maybe spend 20mill on players. The club should try and pay 10mill a year to MA so the club can become DEBT FREE!!! we would be one of the very free clubs in the world debt free. we will never be Barca or Real we will never be government funded. But with hard work and bringing through the youth and making the right contracts with smaller clubs to loan our players out to then we will become a big club within the premiership! Theres alot of work to be done at our club but i believe that it will be done.
    I still believe that our youth players should play as our cup team for the next 3 seasons, if they can push on and into the first team great if not sell them those who arent ready loan out. Remember our business model is the way arsenal have run their business for years now! Patience is the word now!

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  • NUFCELITE

    Apr 4, 2010 at 4:40 AM

    Comment #5

    Think every1 at the clubs done a great job for the club this season, and yes we are back in the prem part 1 complete.Now its time for 1 more big push from the team, and give chris the championship title that he and the team both deserve for this season efforts.

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  • NUFCELITE

    Apr 4, 2010 at 4:58 AM

    Comment #6

    AussieToon dont think ed means to upset any1, just with viduka alot of newcastles fans hopes went on him,and he did not really deliever.Good to hear hes pleased with newcastle form this season and maybe some of us newcastle fans were wrong about him,just the man did not deliver when we realy needed him to.

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  • Sgt. Heagerty

    Apr 4, 2010 at 5:46 AM

    Comment #7

    Great piece Ed. I already had great respect for the skipper. But this just makes that respect grow even more. As far as last season goes you are absolutely right. We had some overpaid, gutless, cowardly, selfish chumps posing as magpies. I don’t want anybody putting on that magical, historical, and tradition rich black and white kit that doesn’t want to be here and lay it on the line for the toon army. MO, Oba, Seb, Viduka all bailed out on us. Some stayed til the end of the season but in reality they packed it in long before the last match. I had tons or respect for shay given but he bailed on us in the most trying time for our club in 15 years. Selfish with a capital S. It makes me sick thinking about how these guys betrayed us. And out of all of em Shay UNFOR-given hurt the worst. As an irish american it hurt to see an irishman do the toon that way. Especially with so many great irish ties to the toon. I hope it was worth it for him to sale us out to go fight for a champions league spot that they wont make it to the knockout stage for…enough about the past the nightmare is over. Now we got lads who want to be here and love newcastle and respect the history, the tradition, and the blue collar ethics we stand for. I don’t want any 20 million pound signings like owen to come in and halfass perform for us. Ill take a young 4 million pound kid who is gonna spill his guts out fot us.

    All the way from the USA,
    Howay the lads!!!!

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  • NUFCELITE

    Apr 4, 2010 at 6:08 AM

    Comment #8

    Viduka didn’t bail out on us Sgt. Heagerty, Newcastle did not offer him a contract cause of his injury props.

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  • Mags

    Apr 4, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    Comment #9

    Thanks Nicky Butt.

    I realise he gets much abuse from bloggers, but the guy has been nothing but professional in all his dealings with our club both on and off the pitch.

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  • gazcumps

    Apr 4, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #10

    I and i bet i am not alone will admit that over the last few seasons i slowly started to fall out of love with my club. I have been supporting the toon since birth and started going to games in the early eighties and seen far worse than what we have seen in recent years but football was different back then. It was £1.50 to get in, i got the bus, a programme, entry to the game and a famous “keegan” burger and still had change out of £5!! We put up with players like Pingle, Reilly, Fereday, Sweeney, Askew the list can go on and on and on, because we were Newcastle United.Back then football was your only release, saturday was all that mattered. In recent years we were not United, we were a stop off for overpaid has beens who did not think once about the people who put food on their table, us the supporters. Now i feel that the club has it’s heart back, Chris Hughton and the boys have given the pride back to this club. Anyone not attached to NUFC wanted us to fail this season, this has brought the whole club together and i include MA in that, now lets enjoy this moment and let the hard work to begin in the summer. I think as fans we need to lower our sights a little and be happy with mid table next season and build from there, no more money grabbing leeches just players with the same pride in the club as us. We are once again Newcastle United. Keep The Faith.

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  • Captain Beefheart

    Apr 4, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #11

    gazcumps, what a wonderful and heartfelt contribution. My own time started in the late 60s, and we got in for 2’6 (12.5p) if I remember correctly. I am lucky enough to have attended the Fairs Cup winning run, so have tasted success, and unlucky enough to have witnessed the FA Cup final debacle at Wembley in ’74 when things just seemed to fall apart.

    A whole generation of supporters have known nothing but disappointments, for them above all I hope that this is a new dawn. Let’s give Chris and Colin some breathing space now without getting on their backs and baying for new management before October, because they aren’t going to be able to repeat these winning sequences next season no matter who we buy in the summer.

    Just remember they sussed out the Championship (not an easy task, ask Strachan), but the Prem might take a little longer to crack.

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  • gazcumps

    Apr 4, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #12

    Thanks Beefheart, i grew up on tales of the Fairs Cup. My dad told me how he lost his shoes and watch after the Rangers game!!! I think the penny dropped with the current group of players and they have bought in to what representing NUFC actually means. You dont have to be the best in the world, all we ask is give 100% when you pull on that shirt and that is all we ask. You dont have to come from the area to understand what it means, take Jose Enrique who has been absolutely brilliant this season and i swear that he would bleed black and white if you cut him open. Could you say the same about messrs Owen, Martins, Duff and most dissapointingly Habib Beye? We are the best fans in the country because we appreciate effort and pride in the black and white, ask Les Ferdinand, ask Peter Beardsley, ask Mick Quinn, ask David Kelly etc etc etc. We are also no fools, we know we need strengthening but the core of the squad has the foundation we need and more importantly we have no leeches. Give Chris Hughton his chance he more than deserves it, i think MA deserves a chance. It doesn’t bare thinking about where we would be if he hadn’t bailed us out, yes he has made mistakes and big ones at that but we have had a bit of stability these past few months and it has worked wonders. Lets look forward but we should never forget the pain of these last few seasons and as one club make sure it never happens again. Keep The Faith.

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  • 41 years of pain

    Apr 4, 2010 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #13

    Capt Beef- 1st game v Spurs home 1967, lost 2-0 it was two shillings (1op) to get in (Gallowgate or Popular end, the Leazes was 2 shillings and sixpennce), 1 shilling and 1p (5 1/2 p) return on the old coast pre Metro train from Percy Main and sixpence (2 1/2 p) for either a bag of peanuts and or a match programme. Had to get there an hour before to make sure you got in. Saw all the fairs cup home games other than 4-1 over Victoria Setubal (spelling?) Last year was the lowest ever, worse than blowing the Premiership in 95-96 and the following two cup finals, having to put up with gloating Mackems and the rest of the country laughing at us has been a nightmare. Its amazing the difference in the squads attitude this year well done to Chris H and all his staff, lets hope we do it in style on Monday night.
    Gazcumps, I wish I could lose interest in the Toon, it would make life so much easier, its not right that your weekend is determined how well 11 blokes have kicked an inflated pigs bladder` around a piece of grass its mad but when they win there’s nothing better.

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  • NUFCELITE

    Apr 4, 2010 at 9:47 PM

    Comment #14

    gazcumps, Captain Beefheart, 41 years of pain ,well said fellas.

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