Five Past Newcastle United Greats – Where Are They Now?

As one of the oldest professional football establishments in the world, the Magpies have launched or helped in the launching of some great and legendary players in the course of 122 years of pure football history that went on to be England’s best football players.

Who can forget Hughie Gallacher, Jackie Milburn, Bobby Mitchell, Bobby Moncur, Wyn Davies, and Malcolm Macdonald? These players are one of the first greats that NUFC has produced that played during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

However, our friends at will in this article focus on some of the greats that have played in the last 20-30 years, players that even younger generation football fans may remember.

Chris Waddle

This is the player that Coventry City and Sunderland rejected when he was 19 years old. Newcastle however took a gamble by signing Waddle when he was just a sausage seasoner from Gateshead and for £1,000 from Tow Low Town in 1980. At first he appeared as a player with very little skill and gangly running style, but later on he went to be one of the best wingers that have played for Newcastle, Tottenham, Olympique de Marseille and the England national team.

Currently Waddle is somewhat active in semi-professional football, although he hasn’t played an official game since his 2013/2014 season for Hallam, a Non-league team where he played only one official game. He also works as a co-commentator at ESPN and BBC 5 Live and mostly works as a media pundit.


Peter Beardsley

This locally born Newcastle legend is considered by many Magpies as probably the best player that wore the black and white shirt. He has appeared 276 times for NUFC and scored 108 goals during his 8 years at the club. He had two 4-year stints as NUFC player between 1983 and 1987 and between 1993 and 1997. Some would say that he spent his most productive years at Everton and Liverpool, but he has always played with heart for his favourite team, Newcastle United. He possessed marvellous vision and lovely ball skills, had a high work-rate, great stamina and enthusiasm. Currently Peter works as a football development manager at Newcastle and was leading the Newcastle United Reserves during the last season.

Paul Gascoigne

Ah… Gazza. This is the man that captured and disappointed the hearts of the entire English football community. After Beardsley and Waddle left Newcastle he became the new hero of NUFC. He had an all-action performance and skills that helped him nail down a regular first-team place. He had a fiery temperament and was famous for quarrelling with the referees, but he still was one of the best during his time, which he proved at the 1990 World Cup in Italy with the help of his dazzling displays. After receiving a red card in the semi-final against West Germany the entire nation went mad and a year later he picked up an injury after which his career went downhill.

After retiring in 2004 Gazza’s life was dominated by his alcoholism, various forms of gambling, emotional and mental problems such as bipolar disorder, OCD, addictive personality and bulimia. He tried himself as the coach of Kettering Town in 2005, but his alcohol problems ended his coaching career and he has never worked ever since, although he claims the opposite. He was arrested on numerous occasions for drunk driving and possession of cocaine. In 2008 he was close to declaring bankruptcy and in 2010 he almost became the manager of Garforth Town. In 2013 his manager told BBC 5 Radio Live that he has relapsed to his old problems and that he needs immediate help. Despite entering rehab the same and the following year, Gazza still has frequent relapses.

Andy Cole

Cole stayed only 22 months at Newcastle, but during that brief time he managed to become a favourite among the fans and he even earned his own chant “He gets the ball, he scores a goal, Andy Andy Cole”. Andy Cole even broke the clubs goalscoring record during his first season which had been set by another NUFC legend, Hughie Gallacher and at one stage had a 100% goal-per-game ratio. Currently he is the second-highest goalscorer in the Premier League behind Alan Shearer.

He retired after 19 years and 12 clubs ending up in his hometown playing briefly for Nottingham Forest in 2008. In 2009 he was hired by Paul Ince, then a Milton Keynes Dons manager to coach his forwards, while at the same time he was coaching the forwards of Huddersfield Town. He is also an ambassador of Manchester United and appears on the BBC as a match analyst.


Alan Shearer

Shearer is made of the same stuff of which only true legends are made. Many will agree that he is one of the world’s best strikers, the classic English centre-forward. He started his career in Southampton where he became the youngest ever player to score a hat-trick in the Premier League at his debut for Southampton against Arsenal, and then was acquired by Blackburn. But Newcastle was the club where he made history, where he became the Premier League’s all-time record goalscorer.

He had aerial abilities that even the best strikers wish for and was able to score a goal from almost anywhere. Newcastle tried to get him in 1992 when they offered £3 million, but Shearer accepted Blackburn’s £3.6 million offer and helped the team lift the Premier League title later on. After his successful years at Blackburn, Newcastle made another attempt to bring him at St. James’ Park in 1996 and the rest is history. He left an imprint on the club that the fans will never forget.

After retiring Shearer declined an offer to coach the England team and manage Newcastle United until he accepted the manager role in 2009. After that he was negotiating to manage Cardiff City, but that never happened. He is currently a big media pundit and match analyst and does charities with the help of his Alan Shearer Foundation.

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