A wander through Newcastle’s early history to discover how the club came to mean so much to so many. Covering the first 30 years, from its foundation as Stanley FC in 1881 to the triumphant FA Cup win in 1910, the book visits the grounds, meets the players, mingles with the fans, and relives the matches that made Newcastle United.
A quirky and fascinating collection of trivia, facts and anecdotes from football’s earliest years. Delve into an absorbing world of ox-bladder balls, baggy-kneed knickerbockers and outstanding moustaches, and read remarkable tales of the first ever cup final, the invention of the shinpad, the evolution of dribbling, the first own goal and a penalty-taking elephant.
Revisiting Danny Baker’s Sunday League football TV show The Game, featuring hungover players and forgotten boots, potato-patch pitches and taped-up goal-nets, half-time cigarettes and full-time cans of lager, and plenty of swearing. A match is called off when the ref doesn’t turn up, and at least one ball ends up under a passing London bus. Certainly a TV format that seems fit for revival.
John Cairney doesn’t remember much about the actual match, but he does remember the vast sea of people, the ear-splitting wall of noise and the sort-of collective madness that surrounded and enveloped him. The date was Saturday 17 April 1937, the match was Scotland versus England, and John was part of the British football’s biggest ever crowd.