United’s Hall of Fame must open its doors wider


The Chronicle - - Sport -

AND now there are 21! This week saw Andy Cole and Frank Clark in­ducted into New­cas­tle United’s Hall of Fame along­side fel­low greats down 126 years of kalei­do­scope his­tory.

If, like me, you have spent a life­time of de­vo­tion to the black-and­white cause then who has so far been left off the list is as great a de­bate as those so hon­oured.

Be­fore we can go any fur­ther we need to re­call who stands within the great Hall. This is the of­fi­cial list in al­pha­bet­i­cal or­der as to show no ob­vi­ous bias: Shola Ameobi, Peter Beard­s­ley, Frank Brennan, Frank Clark, Andy Cole, Les Fer­di­nand, Hughie Gal­lacher, Steve Harper, Joe Har­vey, Kevin Kee­gan, Jimmy Lawrence, Mal­colm Macdon­ald, Bill McCracken, Jackie Mil­burn, Bobby Mitchell, Bob Mon­cur, Bobby Rob­son, Jock Ruther­ford, Alan Shearer, Pavel Sr­nicek and Colin Veitch. So who are the great over­looked? One name im­me­di­ately leaps out in 6ft high red let­ters: Stan Sey­mour, though there are quite a few oth­ers.

The wing feed for No 9 leg­end Wee Hughie when United last won the cham­pi­onship of Eng­land in 1927 and an FA Cup win­ner three years be­fore, Sey­mour was also chair­man­man­ager dur­ing the Mag­pies’ great FA Cup ex­ploits of the early fifties.

Re­mem­ber the abil­ity to run the club as well as play comes into the of­fi­cial reck­on­ing...con­sider Joe Har­vey and Kevin Kee­gan, not to men­tion Sir Bobby, who only man­aged in our case.

No one should dare to un­der­es­ti­mate Sey­mour’s ul­ti­mate power in the glo­ri­ous fifties sign­ing the great play­ers and cre­at­ing the best knock­out team in the coun­try. If only sil­ver­ware counted then he is way ahead of the beloved Rob­son.

There are a few more whose claims I can sup­port. For ex­am­ple, if Steve Harper and Pavel Sr­nicek can be priv­i­leged then surely a cou­ple of other keep­ers have a more than gen­uine shout.

Shay Given for 12 years and 462 ap­pear­ances when he kept Harps out of the team for ex­cep­tion­ally long stretches, and Fairs Cup-win­ning keeper Wil­lie McFaul who boasted an in­cred­i­ble 22-year as­so­ci­a­tion with United cul­mi­nat­ing in man­ag­ing them of course.

I gen­uinely love both Steve and Pav as peo­ple, and they con­trib­uted much, but to make the 21 great­est over 126 years ahead of some we can name is stretch­ing gen­eros­ity to break­ing point.

So, for that mat­ter, is Shola.

Which brings us nicely to a cen­tre­for­ward of huge stature, Wyn Davies, the hu­man bat­ter­ing ram and at­tack­ing fo­cal point of the Fairs Cup years who struck ter­ror into de­fend­ers across Europe. If there is a leg­end built round No 9s and if Andy Cole qual­i­fies pri­mar­ily for an out­stand­ing sea­son of 40 goals then Wyn The Leap surely also has a shout for what he brought to th­ese parts. I know a lot of fans who would cry out for Len White with some jus­ti­fi­ca­tion and even Tony Green de­spite his trag­i­cally short ca­reer in blackand-white. There are more too of con­sid­er­able stature wor­thy of thought like Bobby Cow­ell, who played in all three Cup vic­to­ries at Wem­b­ley in the fifties (only the leg­endary Wor Jackie and Bobby Mitch did like­wise), the im­mac­u­late David Craig, who part­nered Frank Clark, and Su­perMac’s provider, Terry Hib­bitt.

In re­cent times we could con­sider a cou­ple of lo­cal lads who went on to en­joy il­lus­tri­ous ca­reers with Eng­land – Paul Gas­coigne and Chris Wad­dle.

And if we delve back deep into the mists of time, as we ought, then a fella called Frank Hud­speth has as strong a CV as any.

Born at Percy Main and known as ‘Old Sure­foot,’ he is sec­ond only to Jimmy Lawrence in United’s list of record ap­pear­ances with 472 over a 19-year ca­reer that saw him skip­per New­cas­tle to FA Cup fi­nal vic­tory in 1924.

Oh there are many still sit­ting in the wait­ing room who can in cho­rus yell: don’t for­get me!

Frank Clark and Andy Cole, be­low, are in­ducted into United’s Hall of Fame ear­lier this week

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.