Black & White Daft Issue 12 Now Available

The latest issue of hilarious, craic-filled Newcastle fanzine Black & White Daft is out now, available to buy in all good newsagents and some crap ones, as well as in The Back Page on St Andrews Street in Newcastle city centre.

Get your copy now for the usual banter, mixed with passionate opinion pieces and comprehensive historical reports.

Not to be missed – get it before it’s sold out. Or before it has to be printed completely in French.

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Summer 1975 – The Geordie Invasion Of Suffolk


When us older chaps reminisce about the “Good ole away days,” a game that always brings a laugh and a few outrageous stories was the opening game of the 1975/76 season away to Ipswich. I was at a funeral in North Shields recently and tales of this famous ‘Away Day’ had everyone laughing. The Toon had always had a huge travelling away support and the previous season had witnessed the fans travelling in unprecedented numbers, (FA Cup games at West Brom, those midweek replays against Forest at Goodison, the Semi Final at Hillsborough to name a few.)

The opener at Ipswich was to be no different with thousands making the trek to Ipswich (mostly overnight). Our particular journey involved a coach trip from the Gunner pub at the bottom of the Coast Rd at North Shields. These were the days when the coaches left at midnight for the long haul games and the summer licence laws saw the pub hours extended an extra half hour to 11pm closing, so by the time we got kicked out and had a few cans in the pub car park it was bang on time to leave. Some “Usual Culprits” on the bus and a lot of Shields lads making the journey in transit vans. One of the lads (Keith A from Shields) phoned his missus up at midnight and said he had been hijacked and was on a bus and he couldn’t get off!! This was a regular trick on the overnight hauls…grabbing people who were on their way home and pulling them on the bus! The usual sing songs for an hour and then trying to get some drunken half kip.

We rolled into some service station in the early hours on a beautiful sunny Summers morning about 5am. The bus emptied as hordes of half pissed youths took over the Services. A vague memory of a fully stocked bar in a Restaurant? Heard a crack as the shutters shot up and then total mayhem as about 20 Geordies ransacked the whole bar…like a locust invasion…it was cleaned in 2 minutes! Everyone headed back to the bus with bottles of whiskey, vodka, gin, rum….Creme de Menthe!! But it didn’t last long as the local Old Bill were there in 5 minutes and a comical sight of people throwing bottles in a field full of sheep, out of the bus skylights onto the roof. They kept us there for about 30 minutes and after they had collected up the contraband or, best part of it, we were allowed to travel on.

Some managed to hide a few bottles…and the sight of lads necking whiskey at 6am was a guarantee that the day was going to get boisterous!

When we rolled into Ipswich about 7am on a sunny morning it resembled Hexham or Alnwick more than a city. It was eerily quiet with very few folk on the streets, apart from the ever increasing drunken hordes of Geordies increasing by the minute. There was nowhere to get drink at that time so the customary game of football with 30 a side was organised. The chaps who had indulged in the free spirits were sleeping it off on the pavement. It wasn’t long before the Ipswich Old Bill realised this was a full scale invasion of drunken Northerners and they knew they were going to be overstretched and busy.

In those days there wasn’t one organised mob of Newcastle fans as such, it was all mobs from different areas and when they all met up…it was…sheer numbers. Buses started pouring into Ipswich from all over the North East with some well known crews evident.
A funny story which appeared on the front page of the Ipswich Evening News was about Johnny Dodd’s….sitting in the launderette in his underpants reading the newspaper…a big picture of him and a story of thousands of invading Geordies upsetting their rural Saturday mornings shopping!!! I think” Mags” from Shields may have joined Doddsy in the launderette after someone spewed up on his Pukka American jacket with the big M on it!

When the pubs did finally open there must have been at least 6,000 Geordies already in Ipswich and it was only 10.30am and a lot of the chaps were already mortal.
The day started to become blurred somewhat round about midday…remember a few Newcastle fans were now that inebriated they were fighting between themselves, I had a bit of a run in with a big lump from Chester Le St? Broony. I think we insulted them by calling them closet Mackems!

The police cars were now flying all over Ipswich with sirens wailing as thousands of Geordies, nearly all crazy ‘wi the bevvy,’ made their way up to the ground, shop windows going in, cars being damaged and the locals fleeing for their lives.

There were a lot of lads there from the ole NSAB… and we were hearing tales of “borrowed” driving licences (Quinnys!), ditched transit vans, stolen transit vans and general mayhem all round. There were a few running battles on the way to the ground and a few altercations outside their End but the only ones who seemed to be game were the black lads from Ipswich and give them their due, a few of them stood toe to toe at this advancing horde of Black n White.

Their End was divided into two, with Ipswich fans on the right hand side and Toon fans crammed into the left hand side with a few yards of No Mans Land between. The police didn’t really have a clue as they just stood separating supporters in 2 lines but come half time a mob of lads – mainly from Shields, I remember Johnna, Dickie, Steve, Vic and a few more, not that many really, going underneath the stand and running straight into the Ipswich End. Less than 15 Geordie fans had scattered the whole end with them clambering onto the pitch and paddock’s hey did regroup and a bit of a standoff with our soul brothers before the police came in and hurled us out. I stayed in their end for a while…singing songs on the police line before getting rumbled and getting a couple of smacks then getting dragged out. Quite a few Newcastle fans got thrown out of the ground.

I don’t remember much about the actual game, except it was played in glorious sunshine and I think we won 3-0, maybe goals from Supermac and eh, someone else??

Sure it was on Match of the Day that night?….remember Sir Bobby getting interviewed at the end of the game and someone walking straight in front of the cameras with shirt off, singing something, before getting hustled away by irate cameramen!….someone told me the interview had been live on Grandstand…a drunken Geordie singing in Sir Bobbys ear whilst he was being interviewed. The police had ensured a lot of the fans buses be escorted out of Ipswich and forwarded on to the likes of Great Yarmouth, they had put in a long days shift and couldn’t face an even harder night shift!

There were still lots of Newcastle fans in Ipswich and we found ourselves in a local disco/pub….was OK for a while, until I got rumbled as being the Geordie in their end….the familiar  black faces who were at the game in the pub and even caught a glimpse of a young Martin Burleigh! Doubtless to say it kicked off big style, hopelessly outnumbered we got forced out the pub. I still have a vivid memory of one of the lads Billy, who had scored sitting with his arm around a bird, whilst not just the windows landed on their heads in the pub, but…the whole window frame as well!

The Ipswich fans came out and a huge scrap in the street, again, hardly a white face amongst them and they were game, (the trick was not to let them out the door and cause a bottleneck!!). In the midst of all this madness…sure I spotted Martin Burleigh again.
Eventually the police turned up and scattered everyone. Sure one Newcastle fan got thrown over a wall and broke his arm. A few more running battles in the streets then time back for the bus home. A few of the Shields lads had to “jump” our bus as their transit vans had gone….amiss!

A memorable days outing, in sleepy old Ipswich and still up there amongst the best Away Days.”

Just wish Id kept the newspaper article on the chaps in the launderette…..Northern Heathens!! Big Lou, North Shields

Our trip to Ipswich in the summer of 1975, I can remember a lot of the events despite being pissed most of the time. I borrowed Quinny’s license off him the weekend before to hire a van to go shoplifting, that same weekend we talked about going to Ipswich the following week and the word got around so we hired two vans with Chris’s license (Chris didn’t know). The two vans were clapped out bangers but we loaded up in Shields on the Friday night with a good squad and some apprentices and set off with Johna driving one and “The Shark” driving the other. I was sitting in the front with Shark, we were on the A1 just North of Borobridge, we’d all had a good drink, when Shark started shouting the brakes have gone, I thought he was taking the piss but he wasn’t!

We ended up getting a tow truck to take us into a garage in Borobridge. Some out of our van got into the second van and carried on, I think there must have been about 16 or more in that one then. The rest of us stayed at the garage waiting to see if the van could be fixed loitering around inside the garage, to pass the time away me and Rat R. were nicking bunches of car/van keys which were hanging up on a rack. They said that they couldn’t look at it until the next morning then left and locked up the garage.

The lads who were left started thinking about how to get to Ipswich, I think about ten of us , but some decided just to try and get back home. ‘Vicars’ left and about three other’s including Shark who wouldn’t get into our new stolen van. Me and Rat set about trying all the vans with the keys we’d nicked and we found one, it had a load of fishing gear in the back and a full tank of fuel!  Six of us got into there including Paul ‘Guddles’ who’d fell out of the recovery tow truck on his head. I drove it down to Peterborough and we polished all the finger prints off it in the station car park with ‘flags and scarf’s then we jumped a train into Ipswich. The rest of the lads were already there then the mayhem started as early as about 8-9 am in the morning. Loads of shoplifting, slaps and punches at Ipswich fans with colours on. I took a scarf of a bloke on his way to work and he turned on me to have a go and I hit him and bust his nose, Doddsy said I was ‘out of order’ cos the bloke was going to work! Rich coming from him!

Went on the drink when the bars opened in the town and loads of other Toon fans arrived and we just took over the place. There were scuffles all the way up to the ground and a big battle outside the ground as we made our way into their end. In the battle outside the ground it turned out some of them were coppers in plain clothes and Vic put one of them down and gave him a good kicking. We got into their end and the coppers were going light looking for Vic in the crowd, I gave him my denim jacket and Chris remembers giving him some gear to try a disguise him, the copper Vic done over stood and looked into the crowd but didn’t pick him out.

We had a good mob in there end and it spilt in two, no major battle inside the ground just a few skirmishes. It was that day the song “’I can’t read and I can’t write but it don’t really matter I come from Ipswich Town and I can drive a tractor” came out. Some great banter going on and a lot of racist stuff cos there was a lot of the main Ipswich hard men were black and John and Tony I were with us and I remember John joining in with some of the songs!! Ha Ha

After the game we went in a bar in the town to gather, that was when Shark turned up on a bike he had nicked (alright to nick a bike but not a van). We had a drink then the main players made sure they got in the surviving van and we headed off to Great Yarmouth but got turned away by the law. I can’t remember much after that because I was well pissed.
Chris Quinn got visited on the Monday by the law from North Yorkshire because the vans were in his name but he didn’t know we had used it and with his usual quick thinking he just told them his license had been nicked, he could have shopped us but he didn’t, top man!  It would be interesting to know exactly who was among the estimated 24-26 were in the two vans, I could name most of the main men but I’ve never tried to write up a list. Great memories though … no regrets!

Steve, North Shields.

Two transits instead of mini buses. Left from Shields (I think The Ton), usual suspects. We needed mattresses for the back and got some in Shields and then went to Johns flat in Wallsend for more and off we went. Got as far as near Knaresborough on the A1at about 1am/ 2am and one van broke down. Got towed into Knaresborough by break down van, bear in mind Chris’s licence had been used for the hire but he was not there, and we all assembled in the yard of the breakdown company working out what to do next and how to bugger off and leave the van. Somebody opened the passenger door of the breakdown truck and Paul C was asleep on the inside and fell out into the yard, this was about an eight foot drop into a puddle on his napper!!!

Decisions were made some stole another van and carried on, some hitch hiked south, me Vicars and a couple of others walked back to the A1 and from there hitch hiked to York where we got a train home. Got into a compartment that had Chelsea fans going to the mackems and a tense stand off was underway until we all realised we were too tired to kick off. Funniest story was when Shark peddled into Ipswich on a stolen bike at 5.15pm, the match was of course finished.

Doddsy did take his gear off and washed it in a launderette , I think somebody was sick on him in the back of the van ? And he was in the local Ipswich evening rag front page picture … the heathens from the north!

Mr Burliegh, North Shields

My memories long gone, I know we stayed in Ipswich after the game, well served. I can remember on the way down stopping at a service station somewhere after Doncaster when the kids broke into the shop & off licence, then the police came on the bus & took loads of bottles of spirits off, can remember some kids had put bottles out the sky lights on the roof. There were loads of bottles lying in the field; everyone says the sheep were pissed!!! Remember being a good squad there, also that Ipswich had a lot of black supporters for the time!

Ham, North Shields

Frainy chucked up on one of the lads in the back of the mini bus, mortal drunk. ****ing thing stunk. I remember walking through Ipswich town centre at 7.30am looking for somewhere to eat. The two John’s in the laundrette with only undies on and reading the papers, priceless. (An article appeared on the front page of the Saturday evening Ipswich news with a photograph of 2 chaps in the launderette sitting in their underpants!!) Another memory is chanting at a new modern building “What the ****ing hell is that?”
Those were the days………….

Chris, North Shields

Originally published in Black & White Daft Issue 7.

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Ivor Allchurch: A Tribute To A Newcastle United Favourite

Words by Bob Day

I have been a supporter of Newcastle United for almost fifty five years now.  Over the years despite our lack of success I have seen many outstanding players.  In my early years of the late fifties and early sixties we had an inside forward trio of George Eastham, Len White and Ivor Allchurch.  Len White has been covered in early issues of this fanzine with excellent articles by Alan Duncan and I mentioned George Eastham back in issue 4 of Black and White Daft when covering season 1960/61.

Eastham went off to play for Arsenal as he obviously thought he would have greater success there – he didn’t!!  The club as usual came out of the situation with little credit which is a pity as they had given Eastham the opportunity to play football, didn’t want him to leave and he kicked them in the face.  This is reflected in the fact that George Eastham is not talked about in the same manner or even considered (as far as I am aware) as a Newcastle United great as Len White or the third member of the trio who I am going to write about, namely one Ivor Allchurch, are.

Ivor John Allchurch was born on the 16th October 1929 in Swansea. He was discovered by Joe Sykes a scout of Swansea Town and a former player. He was there to watch another player but it was Ivor who caught his eye and in Joe Sykes’ words felt that in Allchurch he had “unearthed a gem of great quality.”  After speaking to Ivor’s father and getting his permission Joe Sykes or Mr. Sykes as the players called him took Ivor along to meet the then Swansea Town manager Haydn Green.

Ivor was recruited to the ground staff at Swansea and after completing his National Service with the army made his senior debut in 1949 (Goodness knows what Mr. Tevez would have made of having to do National Service instead of sitting on the touchline and having a hizzy fit!!!)  This was a great period for Welsh football–a really golden age with Ivor as the golden boy.   Ivor made his Swansea debut in 1949 and his full Welsh International debut in 1951.  In total he earned 68 Welsh caps and was the record goal scorer for Wales with 23 which he held until overtaken by Ian Rush in the 1980′s.  He made 327 appearances for Swansea and scored 124 goals.

Along with Ivor Allchurch at this time Wales were blessed with players such as the Mighty John Charles who played for Leeds and Juventus in Italy, his brother Mel Charles, Mel Nurse who later captained Middlesbrough, Cliff Jones who was to play in the Tottenham double winning side of 1960/61, Terry Medwin who also played for Spurs and goalkeeper Jack Kelsey who played for Arsenal and was rated one of the World’s finest goalkeepers at the time. Ivor Allchurch’s brother Len was also an outstanding player also representing Wales and Swansea Town.  This array of great players helped Wales qualify for their one and only appearance in the World Cup finals in Sweden in the summer of 1958. They did well and reached the quarter-finals only to lose to a Brazil inspired by Pele 1-0.  On the DVD of the World Cup Final of 1958 there is excellent footage showing Ivor scoring with a fine left foot shot from the edge of the box against Hungary in a group play-off match.   Sadly there is not a great deal of footage of this great player which is a pity.

Research shows that a number of clubs would have liked to have signed Ivor but at that time there was the maximum wage and that was often the reason why players stayed with their clubs for long periods – Ivor being no different.  Testimonial games in the late fifties and early sixties were held quite often as players stayed with one club for ten years or more. This can be seen in the fact that Newcastle United gave testimonials to Bobby Cowell, Norman Smith, Bobby Mitchell, Alf McMichael and Jackie Milburn in this period. Today they are a rarity as greed and agents ensure players move on when contracts are nearing an end.  However manager of Newcastle United at the time Charlie Mitten took the plunge and brought the player to Newcastle for a cost of £28,000.  I have to say it was money well spent.   Described by club historian Paul Joannou as, “one of the finest post war players. A classy scheming forward who rarely put a pass astray and a gentleman on the field never to lose his cool.”

I can remember his debut against Leicester City where we won 3-1 with Ivor scoring two goals his first a brilliant free kick into the Leicester net down at the Leazes End.  And like most football mad kids at that time I went home trying to emulate and copy his free kick in the local park over the weekend.  My thoughts were what a great player and my thoughts never changed.  Sadly we never had any real success with Ivor Allchurch in our team but he was instrumental in two of the great Newcastle United games of season 1959/60 when we hammered Everton 8-2 Ivor scoring two and then beating Manchester United 7-3 with Ivor scoring once.  Special games and supporters of my age will know doubt still recall them vividly today. Ivor has one hell of a powerful shot and it is recalled by many that he seemed to hit the woodwork a lot with them. Although there were requests by him for a transfer back to Wales, a transfer never materialised. Despite the club being relegated in 1961 Ivor always gave his best on the pitch and desperately tried to lift the team often single handedly following the injury to Len White in the final weeks of that season but sadly to no avail.

Now unlike 2009 when certain players of the high reputation and even higher wage, Michael Owen (and others) couldn’t wait to get away Ivor remained to play for Newcastle United in the Second Division.  He was now captain of the side and despite a blip in relationship with the club in October of that season where he refused to captain the team as the club would not let him play for Wales (I think that was the reason, mind he was soon reinstated as captain) he always gave his best and led by example. For our younger readers I would compare his captaining the team similar to Alan Shearer who I always felt was playing for me and always giving it his best shot.  However what I cannot do is give him a comparison to a recent/current Newcastle United player as Ivor was a one off with his own brand of unique skills.   In the Second Division we of course faced Sunderland whose star at the time was on the up. They had in their ranks players such as Stan Anderson, Charlie Hurley, Brian Clough but when out on the pitch, none of them could compare to the Welshman in the black and white shirt. Cultured, stylish, class, Ivor Allchurch was definitely a Newcastle United player.

In August 1962 Ivor returned to Wales transferred to Cardiff City for a fee of £15,000 at the age of 32, a real veteran as in the early sixties a player who was 30 plus was considered a veteran.  He made 143 appearances for Newcastle and scored 46 goals.  I personally was sad to see such a fine player go but a new manager in Joe Harvey wanting to shape his own team and the opportunity to return to his native Wales probably were the big factors in Ivor leaving.   His first game for Cardiff was against us in the season opener at Ninian Park in what was a thrilling 4-4 draw, a game in which he scored. Ivor Allchurch made 103 appearances for Cardiff City before returning to his home town team of Swansea Town in 1965 for the princely sum of £6,500. Now turned 35 Ivor played for Swansea until 1968 before entering non league football until his retirement. After leaving Swansea he joined Worcester City which was followed by a spell as player manager of Haverfordwest County before ending his career at Pontardawe Athletic at the age of 50!!!  Fifty, 50 that is correct -how he must have loved playing football.

Two well deserved honours were awarded to Ivor in the 1960′s. He was a made an MBE in 1966 for his services to football and he was also made a member of the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame. In his professional career Ivor played 691 games scoring 249 goals.  He made his Welsh international debut in 1951 against England and won the last of his 68 caps against Chile in 1966 scoring 23 goals.

Bobby Charlton described Ivor as “a great player, with footballing presence and charisma” and Bobby Moore said of him, “One of the best inside forwards (central midfielders) I have ever played against and the late great Sir Matt Busby said “Ivor never needed a number on his back for identification.  His polish, his class could not be missed. He vies with the greatest of all time.”

Over the years Newcastle United have had some great Welsh players play for the club (we’ve had one or two not so great ones as well) namely Dave Hollins in goal, Ollie Burton at centre back, Wyn (the leap) Davies at centre  forward and more recently Gary Speed and Craig (the pain) Bellamy but none ever reached the heights of greatness that Ivor Allchurch attained.

Ivor Allchurch an unhurried player, the sprayer of pinpoint passes, an unflappable temperament.  Off the pitch he was described as a gentleman with a quiet unassuming manner.

Ivor died at the age of 67 in July 1997.  His funeral at Morriston Crematorium in his home town of Swansea was attended by hundreds including many famous players.  At The Liberty Stadium home of now Swansea City there is a statue of Ivor Allchurch the money to pay for it being raised by Swansea supporters.   Supporters only do that for a legend and one of their own. Ivor Allchurch was that.

Accolades are often written and said about players especially the players of today which exaggerate their ability and value to their teams and clubs but for Ivor no accolade or praise was to high. Ken Jones writing an obituary in The Independent newspaper about Ivor said today he would be worth an eight figure fee, true, very, very true.

I make no apologies for repeating myself again when I describe Ivor Allchurch as a Newcastle United great – a player of – culture, style, class.

Originally published in Issue 6 of Black & White Daft

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Black & White Daft Issue 10 Available Now

The summer special of Newcastle United fanzine Black & White Daft, published by some handsome and hilarious Geordies is available to buy now.

Featuring the usual Geordie and anti-mackem crack, this issue includes an exclusive interview with English cricketing legend and Newcastle fan Graeme Swann, as well as columns from Mad Mick, Simon Says and Atkinson’s Football Diary.

There’s also the usual features, including Newsdesk,, Geordies Pride of England and Match From The Day. Black & White Daft combines true Geordie passion with unrivalled historical knowledge and a genuine love for the club and the team – we won’t just whinge for the sake of it.

You can pick up your copy of the Black & white Daft Summer Special (Issue 10) from any good newsagent, as well as from the good folk at The Back Page on St Andrews Street.

Here’s the cover…

Posted in News | Tagged | Leave a comment The Big City & the little town – Shops

First seen in Black and White Daft Issue Five.

This issue we take a close look at the difference between Newcastle and sunderland as shopping centres. When we visited sunderland we had to return immediately as we didn’t realize that all the shops close at 5.30pm, yes sunderland was closed! Anyway we decided to return the next day as we had a spare 10 minutes so that we could take a real good look at the place.


Shops are open 9am – 8pm Monday to Friday, Sat 9am – 7pm, and Sun 11am – 5pm.
If you drive then you can park at any one of Newcastle’s 10,000 plus, car parking spaces in the City Centre. Or alternatively you can arrive from the north, south or east by underground metro train link. Newcastle is a very popular shopping destination for the thousands upon thousands of customers who fly in to Newcastle international airport and those who sail into the River Tyne by ferry.

There are different shopping areas within the city centre such as Eldon Square which is the heart of shopping in Newcastle upon Tyne and features an impressive list of over 150 high street names and specialist shops including Fenwick, John Lewis, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer, world famous brands including Apple, Guess and Hollister and flagship stores for New Look, River Island, Next and Topshop. Other shopping areas are the Grainger Market, Eldon Garden, The Central Arcade, Grainger Town and Northumberland Street (Which has the highest rents in the UK outside of London).

You will also be spoilt for choice when deciding where to eat, drink and relax during your visit with an exciting choice of cafés and restaurants including Esquires Coffee, Nando’s, Pizza Express, Starbucks Coffee, Strada, Wagamama and many, many more. The worlds largest Sports book shop ‘The Back Page’ is also in Newcastle.

Also on Tyneside is Europe’s largest shopping centre the Metro Centre on the banks of the River Tyne. Without doubt Tyneside is the number one destination in Europe for Shopoholics.


Shops in sunderland town centre are open 9am – 5.30pm Mon to Sat, & 11am – 5pm Sunday.

If you’ve got a car then sunderland allegedly has 3,599 car parking spaces within its 13 car parks. The shopping centre is known as The Bridges and proudly boasts high-street and designer fashions amongst Cafes, Confectioners, Bakeries, Charity Shops, Bakeries, Budget Shops, Discount Stores, Bakeries and Chocolatiers to boost your energy for even more shopping at their other jaw dropping, shopping venue – Jacky Whites Market which has been open for 80 years!!

Although Kentucky Fried Chicken had to close down due to locals feinting at their prices, Starbucks has surprisingly opened in sunderland but locals reckon that they won’t last long as the cost of a cuppa could actually pay for a pub meal elsewhere. (Newcastle City centre has 5 Starbucks). If anybody does actually visit sunderland they will find that 1 in 4 shops are derelict, whilst the other 3 are struggling. Many believe that it is Car Boot Sales that are threatening the future of sunderland’s shopping centre! The next few months will be crucial for shops such as Lava Towers Solarium, Mega Pound World, Robs Cooked Meat & Bacon, Amy’s Winehouse and Indian chippy, Harry Ramadans.

Yet officials recently boasted about improving the town; “The curved facade will create a light and airy unit, benefiting from views out over the activity and movement through Market Square.”

Below are some actual comments made by mackems about their own town.

“The views of the market square!!!!!! Why would we want any views of the market square? Please sunderland council – write off the market square, get rid of that godforsaken wind tunnel.”

“The only way to improve the town is to demolish the lot and start again.”
“It’s not that long ago that this council spent our money “doing up the market square. Great for scumbags to dump their fag ends, chewing gum and Gregg’s wrappers.”
“No surprise to see that the queue for Gregg’s is almost out of the door.”
We are going for title of fattest city in the UK that takes a lot of training and Gregg’s is the best place to train.”

“The whole area is a mess and requires huge investment to make the improvements required to stop Sunderland people shopping elsewhere, never mind bringing customers in from the surrounding area.”

“Jackie Whites has been screaming, absolutely SCREAMING out for a huge make-over the market is run down, cold, dank, messy and about as attractive as a drug den. Maybe find a way to control the stench coming from the butchers and fish mongers which hits you like …well a wet fish as soon as you walk in.”

“Today I went shopping with my good lady let’s as I thought I will have a closer look at our town centre. Well you don’t have to look too closely to see that the whole area needs re-generating, it is no better than Peterlee shopping centre. I had to agree with the Missus that to try and do shopping in sunderland is a waste of time. This was at midday and the city centre was like a ghost town especially High St West.”

No Shopping in Sunderland

Roy Keane once hit out against “weak and soft” players who wouldn’t sign for safc. “I don’t know, maybe I’m not a great shopper,” he fumed. “But if they don’t want to come to sunderland because their wife wants to go shopping, that is a sad state of affairs.”

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Geordies Pride of England: Lord Armstrong

Along with Joseph Swan, who was born in the dark place but quickly defected to the right part of the region, William Armstrong was one of the pioneers of the electrical revolution as well as a founding father of the North East’s manufacturing industry. He left a massive legacy in the region when he died in 1900, and his spirit lives on in his inventions and his acts of philanthropy, and biographer Stafford M. Linsley called him a “singular figure in science, industrial development, philanthropy and liberalism.”

Born in Shieldfield to a corn merchant father who would later become mayor, and the daughter of Addison Potter in 1810, the young Armstrong was educated at private schools in Newcastle and Whickham before joining Bishop Auckland Grammar School at the age of sixteen. Despite subsequently entering a career in law, on the wishes of his father William, Armstrong quickly developed a passion for engineering and frequently visited the engineering works of William Ramshaw while he was at grammar school.

Armstrong was a solicitor for eleven years, becoming a fellow of the Royal Society in 1846, while continuing his passion for engineering in his own time, especially in experimenting with hydraulic machinery and at the age of 36 he decided to turn his back on the legal profession completely to follow his passion. He had invented the hydraulically-powered crane in 1845, and left the legal firm he worked at, with the finanicial support of his former legal colleague Donkin and his father.

The company specialised in selling the hydraulic crane that Armstrong had invented, as well as other hydraulic machinery and bridges, before the Crimean War, and a special request from the British Government saw the Tynesider turn his attention to armaments and the specific problem of manouevring heavy field guns.

That shift to manufacturing weaponry proved successful, with the development of a far superior, heavier gun, but it also came with fierce opposition and anti-war protest against Armstrong from his industrial peers, despite his decision not to take any financial gain from the armaments. He surrendered the patent to the British Government, and was appointed Engineer of Rifled Ordnance to the War Department. Unfortunately the campaign against Armstrong took its toll and he found it all depressing.

1864 saw Armstrong’s company’s move into naval armament, in conjunction with a Newcastle ship-builder who he would later go into partnership with to form Sir William Armstrong, Mitchell and Co. Ltd in 1884. The company would go on to be one of the major shipbuilders in the world, and the only one to completely build and arm battleships. As a result of its success, the population of Elswick, which was 3,539 in 1851, had increased by 1871 to 27,800.

Lord Armstrong’s legacy to Newcastle is a tangible one – both in the region’s ship-building and armoury manufacturing spirit and in the existing landmarks that celebrate his life and commitment to engineering. Chief among them is the Swing Bridge over the Tyne, as charismatic, smaller but no less iconic brother to the infamous Tyne Bridge, which Armstrong’s company paid for in 1876 and in the name of the Armstrong Industrial Estate in Newcastle.

He was also, notably the owner of the first house in the world to to be lit by hydro-electricity, using incandescent lamps provided by Jospeh Swan, which used Cragside’s lakes to generate the hydro-electricity. Many parts of sunderland are yet to discover water, let alone the lightbulb.

His other to the region came from his role as a benefactor: throughout his life he made large donations and bequests to the city’s major institutions, and in some way he was involved in the development of all of Jesmond Dene, the Hancock Museum, the Armstrong Bridge and Park, the University of Newcastle and the Royal Victory Infirmary. Lord Armstrong was a committed supporter of his native region, and though history rather ignores him in favour of other Southern based industrialists, perhaps because his work only really had massive impact in the North, his historical importance to Tyneside cannot be over-estimated.

Armstrong was also instrumental in the preservation and development of two of the region’s major architectural treasures. His interest in archeology led to the restoration of one of the North’s most important heritage monuments when in 1893 he bought Bamburgh Castle and restored it, ensuring that it didn’t fall to complete ruin in other hands. A second landmark – Cragside Hall, which he spent a good deal of his later life perfecting – offers another stunning architectural monument to his life and work.

An inscribed granite tablet marks the spot where the house in which he was born once stood in Shieldfield. Geordies should take pride in celebrating the great man by visiting the dedication.

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When Football Was Football And Footballers Were Called Bob, Harry & Tommy

“I’m feeling all angry about these modern day footballers, I know why – they have gone all soft. It’s because of poncy names. That’s what it is. Remember the old days, when footy players kicked a fucking ball made out of ten pound of clay stitched inside a steel-reinforced leather shell with laces made out of piano wire? Well, in them days, players could only survive the rigours of the game because they were called things like Albert, Arthur, Bert, Harry, Bill, Eddie, Bob, Jack and Tommy. F***ing tough names for tough men, them was!

And what do we have now? Jason, Wayne, Dean, Ryan, Jamie, Robbie. Fucking tarts’ names, they are great big fucking puffs. No wonder the ball’s like a fucking balloon and their shin pads are like slices of bread. In the old days you never saw a Len Shackleton or a Billy Wright with a puffy little Sondico piece of paper down his little thin socks. F***ing shin pads in them days was made out of library books, and sock’s was like sackcloth. Same with the jerseys, fucking shirts with holes in now so they can breathe. Yes, so that little Jody’s hairless chest can breathe and he doesn’t get a chill. Fuck off. Stanley Matthews used to dribble round Europe’s finest wearing a f***ing tent and shorts cobbled together from the jacket of his de-mob suit. Aye, he fucking did. No wonder players fall over all the time whenever an opponent comes anywhere near them. And they never used to show their arses at one another either. Can you imagine what might have happened if Don Revie had flashed his ring at Nat Lofthouse during a Man City-Bolton Wanderers game? He’d have got one of them size 10 hobnail fuckers up his bastard chuff.

Fucking therapy for stress my arse! Stan Collymore slaps his missus about and he takes three seasons off with stress counselling. What the fuck is that all about? In the old days it was expected for footballers to belt the old sow about a bit, especially after a bad defeat. And the women used to expect it, and so they should have. They was lucky to be married to footballers. Ha! Trevor Morley got a kitchen knife in his back off his wife and was out of action for three month, soft twat. Archie McShitt of Port Vale got run over with horse and cart one Friday night and he still turned out against Bradford the following day and he scored two goals. That’s because his name wasn’t “Trevor”. Good old Archie. Broke his hip, both his legs, murdered his wife and buried her under the patio and still made the England team for the Home Internationals. Did he have any “stress counselling”? Did he bollocks!

And drugs? There was none of that in the old days. Oh, no. In them days it was a quick shot of morphine before kick-off and you was lucky if you got that. By half-time it had all but wore off so they pumped you full of laudanum. None of this cocaine sniffing and shooting up Class ‘A’ narcotics. ‘Goal celebrations’? Don’t talk to me about goal celebrations. Crawling on the floor and thrusting their hips at the crowd. Huh! I’d like to have seen Cliff Bastin do that after a run down the left flank and crossing for Alex James to fire home a winner. Handshakes…and that was all you got, that and a wank in the showers afterwards. But it was a proper wank, all man stuff. None of these puffy wanks between blokes that I reckon you get nowadays what with players like Greame Le Saux and Stephen Gerrard playing the game.

Allegedly, In them days there was now’t wrong with it cos it didn’t mean now’t. They used to say there was a “gay atmosphere” in the dressing room after the match. But it didn’t mean owt mucky. Just a bit of harmless spanking the plank among healthy young sportsmen, aye. I know me dad told me. Sixty grand a fucking week! Ha! I wouldn’t pay ‘em tuppence. Two bob Tommy Lawton used to get…a month! And Tom Finney still worked as a plumber four days a week when he was playing for England. It’s true, you know, it fucking is. Players had to work in them days just to make up their money. Not like today. Stan Pearson had to clean sewers and doubled up as Old Trafford shithouse cleaner. He had to go off during one game because some cunt had built a log cabin and blocked the U-bend. And that Eddie Hapgood was a male model…though he never liked to talk about it.

So I say we start calling kids real male names again. If you’re having a kid, don’t even consider puffy names and shit names like what people call their kids these days. Otherwise what we gonna get in twenty years’ time?

The England team full of players called Keanu, Ronan, Ashley and fucking Chesney. Fuck that! Call your kids Alf, Herbert, Len, Frank, Fred and Wilf. And let’s get the puffs out of the game once and for all.

Thanks to Big Gerry

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Exclusive Paul Cannell Interview Part 2: Beyond Newcastle United

As promised, and in anticipation of the release of former Newcastle United striker Paul Cannell’s autobiography today, we are bringing you the second part of our epic, hilarious interview with the man himself. Read on as we take in his super-stardom years in America…

So in 1978, it was off across the Atlantic to join the soccer revolution with the Washington Diplomats. Exciting times as George Best, Johann Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Gert Muller and various other world class players arrived Stateside…

It was like rock and roll! They’d had a league called the ASL (American Soccer League) in the early 70s, and then they became the North American Soccer League in 1975 or 76, but it was the New York Cosmos that was the thing that really built it up. But it was potty- the way they ran it. Like all of a sudden they put a team in Hawaii!So you were talking about a twelve hour time difference- it was crackers. But their biggest problem was that they employed too many English people- the likes of Charlie Cook- manager of Memphis…

Your second club?

Aye, I went to Washington Diplomats, then I went to the Memphis Rogues, then they were sold lock stock and barrel up to Calgary, so we ended up there, and I ended up becoming friends with Wayne Gretzky, one of the best ice hockey players in the world. But I hated Calgary, it was freezing! Minus 40 degrees in the morning, you know. They sold the team up there and they put us up in this place called the Palisser Hotel and I used to hear this thing saying “And there’s a 30 second warning today… There’s a 40 second warning today” And after about a month I asked this Canadian “listen, what’s this 30 second warning thing?” And they said, “It’s a frost bite warning- if you leave your skin exposed for more than 30 seconds it’ll fall off!” And I said “Ah, fucking nice of someone to tell us that, wasn’t it!”

When you signed for Washington, who else was playing there at the time?

Guus Hiddink, József Horváth, who played for Ujpest Dozsa against Newcastle in the Fairs Cup- I think he was actually captain in the final- and he says “I never forget the fans at Newcastle! I was scared! That is one hell of a crowd”. He looks like him out of Coronation Street, who’s son’s in the army- a bit like Mickey Horswill.

Did you win anything in America?

No, we got to the Play-offs, but the Cosmos beat us. I mean they had Pele, Beckenbauer, Rivelino- I spent two games trying to kick Beckenbauer, I couldn’t get fucking near him!

So you played against Pele and Beckenbauer?

Well, when I went there in 1976 we were playing the Cosmos and we beat them 3-2. I scored 2. And I’ve got it on 8mm Cine. I scored two, I put the goalkeeper in hospital- Bob Wrigley- and then me and Pele were wrestling on the ground. Pele scored a 40 yard volley. Honestly, it was unbelievable. And then we were wrestling. Both got booked. Cos Pele got stuck in, took it seriously.

What was a typical weekend in America in 1978? Did you have a Saturday game?

It varied from a Saturday to a Sunday, depending on whether you were playing at home or away. If we were playing at home in Washington- it was usually a Sunday in the RFA Stadium- you’d go out on the Friday night and get fucking lashed…

All the players together, or was there a certain clique?

They used to book apartments for them. But I’d been there for quite a while, so I’d bought two condos, which was a great investment. One was in the Watergate Complex. So I lived there, and rented the other one out to one of the other players. But then when Jimmy Hill’s team went bust, the player who was renting the other one couldn’t afford to pay for it.

Was Jimmy Hill a manager?

No he owned. What happened was the Detroit Express was owned by Jimmy Hill and his son Duncan Hill and I was playing for Calgary. The original Washington team was owned by the Maddison Square Garden Corporation, and they decided that it wasnt worth it and they just closed it down. Jimmy Hill saw an opportunity to move the Detroit Express team into Washington which had a good fanbase of about 30,000, but that wasn’t enough for Maddison Square Garden- what they wanted was to sell soccer on cable, that was their vision- they were ahead of their time. But let’s be honest, your best soccer is edited down highlights. You could watch 90 minutes of crap!

So all of a sudden, when I was at Calgary, Detroit Express came in and wanted to buy me- Ken Furphy was the manager, Eddie Culhoun was playing for them. And I thought it was a bit strange that they were trying to sign me for Detroit, but I thought, well ok, anything other than Calgary. So I went down to Motor City, cos I thought music- great, you know! But it was off-season, so we just played in-door soccer. So I signed for them, and I was supposed to be getting an $80,000 signing on fee, and then all of a sudden I found out the Detroit Express were relocating to Washington DC. What they did was, they knew I was a big name in Washington. So they thought they’d buy me, have me in place when they moved the team- so I went back right in a full circle to Washington. And when I got back it was like “Great, the heroes back, the ambassador of ill-will!” And when I got back PM Magazine over there followed me round for 24 hours, it was a National thing, to see what was me lifestyle for 24 hours. And Nike made a special pair of Disco dancing shoes for me- fluorescent bottoms and all sorts.

Disco dancing shoes?!

Aye. Tramp Disco was like the Studio 54 of Washington, and it was owned by Michael O’Hara, who I’m still friends with on facebook. That’s why I want to go over there again, to try and pick up bits of the trail. So anyway, we were in Tramp Disco, with the film crew, and they were all mortal, cos I’d been dragging them round the bars all afternoon. And Jimmy Hill was there, with his son Duncan giving it- it was all John Travolta stuff. There was a big disco scene- I mean everywhere they were opening little disco dancing schools, but I mean, I couldn’t dance. And they were opening Disco places, in like run-down warehouses. You had to know, to get there. And I can always say I got into Studio 54 regularly, and there wasn’t many people who could go up to the front of the queue and say “do you know who I am?!” Because I became friends with Pele and Ahmed Ertegun who was the head of Atlantic Records and who owned the Cosmos, so when we used to play them I used to go out with them and the likes of Wayne Gretzky.

Sometimes I think “God!” I mean I was just a lad from Newcastle who was just having a good time. One time, I was tapping this bird up in Tramps, and I thought who are these fucking geeks with her with their sunglasses on? And someone says that’s Susan Ford, the president’s daughter! So I asked her out on a date, and we went out the following night- so I took President Ford’s daughter out to a steakhouse. But I just couldn’t get the hang of these blokes in the glasses standing around. But I mean, it wasn’t going to be a lasting relationship!

What were the wages like over there, compared to home?

Aye they were great. I think it was £36,500 a year over there, and £200 a week over here. But as I say I invested it all into property, and when Jimmy Hill went bust I had two properties I was paying mortgages on, and it was the same year they moved interest rates up to 26%.

So Jimmy Hill went bust moving Detroit Express to Washington?

What he did was he went into Washington, took all the season ticket money, never paid the players all the time he was there. Paid nowt! And he went bust, so I was stuck with two apartments. And there were five or six other foreigners, who had nowt- because when Jimmy Hill brought them over, you were supposed to lodge their air fare with the NASL, so there was at least enough money for them to get home if the team went bust. But he never even did that. So I had to look after them too, with my credit card. You know, they had nowt to live on- I got them jobs.

Did you meet any other film stars or celebrities when you were out there?

Oh why aye, I went to the Kennedy’s- Eunace Kennedy- and they asked me if I’d go and be the soccer ambassador because they had this charity event where they’d invite under-privileged kids into their huge luxury farm in Virginia. So I got there, and I was introduced as the ambassador of football Paul Cannell. I went to the kitchen, as one does at a party, and there was Dan Blocker, Hoss Cartwright off Bonanza. So I was stuck there with him.

And I was in Memphis, I was their big signing, and the PR girl took me out that night around Memphis, and we ended up going to this place called Cowboys. And she said “Paul I’d like to introduce you to someone. You might have heard of him!” It was Jerry Lee Lewis. So I ended up sitting round this table with Jerry Lee Lewis and his entourage. Jerry says to me “Hey, where you from Paul?” So I said Newcastle Upon Tyne. And he says “Newcastle Upon Tyne?! Dave, we’re playing there in three months arent we?” And this Dave says “yeah, we’re playing in this place called The Mayfair”. So anyway I’m sitting there having a drink with Jerry Lee Lewis, and she says “come on, we are going to have to go to this other place, and we’ll come back later.” So we came back later, and he’d been arrested- he’d slapped this fucking waitress.

So you came back to the UK, and played briefly for North Shields…

Aye I’ve read that, but I can’t remember it! So, we went bust in America, the only assets that Jimmy Hill’s team had was the players, so the liquidators were trying to sell the players. But I was different from the rest, as I had a guaranteed contract- if you didn’t have one they could just say, we’ve sold you to such and such. I got to agree with wherever I went to, but I got sick of it over there, waiting, cos I had my houses up for sale and money going out left right and centre. It was the same year that DeLorean went bust, because he couldnt sell any cars because the interest rate was 26%. What I should have said was, Im not paying my mortgage. Just keep me savings, and take the houses back.

So I said, Im going back to England, let me know what’s happening and I went to the Corner House, usual haunt, and after about two weeks I was having a pint in there and who walks in but Geoff Allen and Stuart Bone- manager of Mansfield. And stupid me, I said, “Eeee, what are you doing here?” And they said “We’ve just popped in for a pint, what are you doing Paul? Do you not fancy coming down to Mansfield for a few weeks?” And I said, arr aye. Fucking dopey! Honestly, for an intelligent person I could have kicked myself. So they said just come down, keep fit, til you find out what’s happening.

I was there for about a month, and ended up signing a contract. They got sacked, Ian Grieves took over and we were playing against Crewe Alexandra, losing 1-0 at half-time and I put a vest on and I thought “What am I doing here?” And at the end of the game I said “I’m not coming back tomorrow” and that was it. I just walked out.

And then you went to Scotland, to play for Berwick.

Aye. I played a few games for Berwick. Whey, that was a fucking disaster. I was in the Corner House again, on the Friday- they had a game on the Saturday- and a film crew came in. They had this new karaoke machine, brand new. Noone knew what karaoke was. And they brought it in the Corner House. And I recognised some of the lads from Tyne Tees, so we ended up getting mortal and they said “Haway Paul, get up and let’s have a song!” So I get up, and it ended up on the telly on the Friday night. And on the Saturday, when I went up to Berwick they’d all been watching- “Were you drinking yesterday?” “Nar, nar” “Well, we saw you on the fucking telly!” I was off me tree. So I quit Berwick.

And then that was it, wasn’t it?

Aye, gave up. Started playing for the Lonsdale. Sunday League. And the American thing, I just gave up. We got new information from the liquidators, and I was owed 80-odd thousand dollars from Jimmy Hill and I saw nowt. And I had the residual of my contract, I was supposed to have the $80,000 signing on fee and the rest of my contract. But I shagged Duncan Hill’s wife. But it wasnt worth $80,000 I can tell you.

Since then you’ve done all sorts.

Aye, mostly in the pub game. And publishing. My first job was working as a free trade rep for Vaux breweries. The idea was to get an ex-Newcastle player to sell Sunderland beer over here. But I said, hey I can sell it for you, but I cant fucking drink it for you! Cos I could get it in, but neeone would drink it. We had the best five a side team of any brewery. There was me, Colin Todd, John Connelly, Tony Clark, the boss- great five a side team, but we couldn’t sell the beer to save our fucking lives. Then I took over Zoots with Dave Christie, ran that for a bit, then I started publishing a newspaper called Cheers, a free newspaper they have in all the pubs, in 1984 for about 4 years. It had the same logo as the Cheers bar. I did it through Newcastle Breweries to start with, and then I started publishing Hotel Magazine, and then I did the quiz books. I was doing everything myself.

Andy Carroll- do you think he’ll be a top player?

No. He frustrates me. He’s a bit like Darren Peacock- 6’8 but he doesn’t jump his height. I’d rather have a player like me or John Tudor, tiny, but who could jump! I think, unfortunately, he’s going to be a disappointment.

Which players do you enjoy watching these days?

I love Gutierrez and Enrique. The two of them together. They just work down that left hand side tremendous. I think Enrique is the best left-back in the country, he works his bollocks off. And I have to say I like Joey Barton. And Nolan too.

Paul Cannell’s exceptional autobiography – Fuckin’ Hell It’s Paul Cannell – is available to buy from today, from The Back Page in Newcastle. Get it before some bugger bans it.


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Newcastle United Fixtures 2012/13

The coming season will kick off in style with Newcastle hosting Harry Redknappless Tottenham Hotspur on the opening day at St James Park, and then heading down to Stamford Bridge for an eye-catching away fixture against Champions League winners Chelsea the following Saturday.

A colourful Christmas period will see Newcastle at Old Trafford on Boxing Day, before heading south to the Emirates to face Arsenal three days later, and seeing in the New Year with a home match against Everton.

The first derby match of the season falls in October, as the Mags head to the Stadium of Shite on the 6th to play bottom of the league sunderland (probably), with the return leg set for the 13th of April.

As usual, these fixtures are only provisional, with Sky yet to mess them all up for the benefit of TV coverage, so exactly how many Saturday 3pm kick-offs we actually get is up for debate at this stage. That first fixture certainly looks to have a good chance of shifting, though the Europa League qualifier in the midweek slot immediately following it will all but confirm that it can only be played in one of the TV slots allocated on the Saturday (midday or 5.15pm).

That is unless we are chosen for the Thursday Europa League slot, of course, which will allow us to play on the first Sunday of the season. All guess-work at this stage, but hopefully at least one of the derbies will be given TV treatment, with both likely be shifted to the usual early bird kick-off times to halt all-day drinking. Because that works.

You can see all of the fixtures at, because the Premier League don’t allow you to post them without paying a fee, and there’s nee chance of that.

The Back Page Travel club will be running buses to all of the Magpies’ away fixtures this season, including cup games and the pre-season friendly against Cardiff City on the 11th of August.

You can find out details of their Away fan trips by following @BackPageTravel on Twitter, or check the Back Page Travel website for more information.

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Issue 9: Last Copies On Sale Now

The last few copies of issue 9 of Black & White Daft are now on sale in all good newsagents across the region as well as The Back Page on St Andrews Street, and selected other Geordie venues around the city.

Here’s the cover, featuring The Dreamboat himself- Yohan Cabaye…

Only limited stock is now available from The Back Page.

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