Joe Harvey was a half-back for Newcastle when he played for us from 1945 through 1953 – and Joe captained Newcastle United to two successive Cup Final wins in 1951 and 1952.
And then he came back to manage Newcastle in 1961 after we had been relegated under then manager Charlie Mitten – that was strange because we had finished 8th top in the previous season.
I know that well because I was playing for Newcastle Juniors when we were relegated way back then, and a certain Bobby Moncur was also on the team.
Joe Harvey was brought in as manager to get us out of the Second Division, and he finally did that in 1965 when we finished top of the league.
And then we went on to win the Inter-City Fairs Cup under Joe with Bob Moncur now the Newcastle captain.
Joe Harvey holds aloft the FA Cup in 1951
On the shoulders of Jackie Milburn and big Frank Brennan
Bob Moncur has talked about manager Joe Harvey and how he compares with our current manager – Rafa Benitez.
This is what has told the Chronicle today:
“Both Joe and Rafa are both winners.” “Both of them have the backing of the supporters and there is a feeling that something special can happen.”
“I was skipper for 10 years and he was my boss. A lot of people said we were alike, because we used to shout and bawl.”
“People used to think I was his son because we both had the same haircut!” “As a man manager he was brilliant.”
“He was fortunate in the promotion season in 1965 he had Stan Anderson and Jim Iley who had experience.”
“In 1969 he had the likes of Frank Clark in there and we’d talk about what we needed to do in games to react to moments.”
“We’d think about the games and had good players. Joe used to always just say: ‘Get out there and get on with it boys.’”
“Tactically it would be funny sometimes as we’d be going out there against somebody like George Best and Joe would say: ‘You need to stop him!’ And we’d be like: ‘Yeah we know boss!’”
“But you couldn’t fault his motivational side and that’s what reminds me so much of Rafa.”
“I’m told that Rafa will present players with a dossier on who they are marking.” “Joe was a bit different in that respect.”
“But basically both are great motivators.”
“Rafa is the same now and he knows how to handle the media.” “Newcastle are always a story. It’s our club.”
“Other clubs have the same problems too, but we aren’t interested in Man United or Southampton.”
“We analyze all the good points and bad points.” “United are the heartbeat of the city and Rafa knows that.”
“We still have a few games and I am quite optimistic.”
“We’ve had the bad run earlier in the season but it’s how you get over it.”
Those were the days, but we have a feeling the greatness will soon return to Newcastle United – whether or not Mike Ashley still owns the club.
Rafa’s drive and ambition to be successful seems so overwhelming that he can even overcome a stubborn owner – if he needs to.
But we hope Ashley sells the club very soon to an ambitious owner, and that will make it that much easier for Mr. Benitez.