Ex-star spotlight – Nikos Dabizas

Anyone who scores the winning goal against the Mackems deserves a place in the NUFC Hall of Fame.

Nick the Greek signed for us in March 1998 and went on to have a very successful tenure in front of the Gallowgate. In his first season he clocked up 11 appearances as Newcastle finished with 44 points – only four points above the relegation zone.

This was an absolutely horrific season by Newcastle’s standards at the time as the side had never finished below 6th since the return to the top flight. Before the season started, Kenny Dalglish, in a whiskey induced stupor, sold David Ginola and Les Ferdinand replacing them with his old mates John Barnes and Ian Rush.

This was Kenny’s first full season in charge and although he recorded a famous 3-2 win against Barca and reached the FA Cup final, his defence needed some serious muscle going into the home straight if we were to secure Premier League status.

Enter Nikos Dabizas – one of Kenny’s only decent signings. Dabizas was recommended to Dalglish by Temuri Ketsbaia who had spoken about his struggle whilst playing against Nikos in the Greek league. We paid £2 million for Nikos who went on to make 119 starts and 11 sub appearances in a six year stint at the club.

Cheers Temuri! Step aside Graham Carr!

Dabizas was 6 foot 2 and was instantly liked on Tyneside. He received a rapturous ovation on his debut, coming on as a sub for the injured ‘Psycho’ Stuart Pearce. Nikos was also the first Greek player to EVER feature in an FA Cup final.

His strength and leadership skills at the back were a great benefit to a shaky Newcastle defence and whilst Nikos wasn’t the best defender I have ever seen, I always remember that he would stand up to be counted whilst always being 100% committed to the cause.

Kenny soon departed after a less than successful time upon-Tyne and was replaced by Ruud Gullit. The opportunities started to dry up under Gullit, as Ruud brought in his own players in the shape of Domi, Marcelino, Doumas and Goma. Now looking back, that has to be four of the worst defensive signings anyone could have possibly made in the history of human existence.

Dabizas was linked with numerous moves away from the club, until Sir Bobby came back to grace us with his amazing presence. RIP the Geordie Grandad.

Sir Bobby showed faith in Nikos, giving him the captains armband in a pre-season tour of the States and Nikos gave Robson back plenty in return – probably his best season yet in a Black and White shirt.

24th February 2002. The Stadium of Light. Dabizas 1 – 0 Sunderland.

Dabizas left the club to join Leicester City in 2003, as his playing time was reduced by the arrival of Wobble Heed Jonny Woodgate and a car crash injury to Nick saw other players come to the fore for the Tyneside club.

“Football is a spectacle, it’s for the fans. We’re ultimately the servants of football, we’re there to entertain. Without the fans, football has no meaning.”

Wise words from a cracking player!

About Moreno

Raised in Tyneside and now spreading the Gospel of Shola down in shandyland! Follow @MorenoToon on Twitter !

61 thoughts on “Ex-star spotlight – Nikos Dabizas

  1. Good article Moreno, finally someone who I’m old enough to remember 😆

    He always seemed to pop up with crucial goals, vs Sunderland and Man U away spring to mind!


  2. I remember Nikos as being hard as nails and like a brick wall to run into – strikers kind of bounced off him as if he was standing up against a concrete post. That picture says it all – takes some spirit to stand up to that fella; he’s scary up close!

    Not sure if we’ve ever really replaced him with anyone with quite the same presence. Skill, yes – but sheer pant-pebbling, reducer-tackling presence, no.


  3. Shearer – There’s only one man who can have that song. Well two actually 😆

    Or any O’Brien to be fair 😛


  4. I was trying to remember how the song went last night. Cheers for posting toonsy, didn’t have time 😉


  5. 100% club player,was just not one of the better c/h knocking aboot at the time imo,but give all for the toon thats all you can ask like


  6. Off topic lads, but I’ve just been on a Villa blog for a bit of healthy cheering up and I can honestly say that I’m now almost entirely convinced we won’t go down. I’ll be honest, after Stoke I did start to worry slightly, but the Villain’s posts/articles are so outrageously similar to the things being said by us two years ago that I genuinely don’t think we’ve anything to worry about. The mood around our camp (fans and players) seems about a billion light-years away from Villa’s, and that can only be a good sign. If we beat Wolves, I’ll say we’ve basically made it. I’m feeling positively positive about the whole thing now 🙂
    And, for your reading pleasure, here’s the pick of their comments:

    “The way I’m feeling, I’d take Sam Allardyce tomorrow”


  7. DM nowt like a sticky-beak like,this wolves game does worry me if ime honest apart from the fans,how will the players re-act if we lose this one 😕


  8. DM, for Villa it’s all too similar as when we went down. Turmoil at the very start of the season. Players fighting each other in training. People saying ‘they’re too good to go down with the players they’ve got and how much they’ve spent’.

    Wouldn’t mind one or two of there players mind if they do go down 😆


  9. ice 😆

    If they did go down though would anyone be against a bid for a certain former Sunderland striker 😯


  10. It’s a bit of a shame that we’ve not got Villa away as our last game. It would be such poetry to be the team to send them down..

    Ok, schadenfreud in overdrive for a moment there… 😳


  11. not at that price dan,hes more into money than most players to leave the scum to a team on the down for sure,was all aboot cash imo,would you want such a player we have had them sort in the past,and still have a few


  12. Villa could easily go down with the manager not having the dressing room, any team in a dog fight needs to have a good team sprit and Villa dont have one.

    I always said we were too good to go down and look what happend…


  13. …so to extend the joke:

    I hear Gary Glitter is interested in taking over at Villa since he heard the players were keane, young, bent and going down at any moment. 😈


  14. personally I don’t want em to go down as my best mate is a die-hard fan and season ticket holder, and it’s only a 2 and a half hour drive from Exeter so I’ve been up to Villa park a fair few times to see em play, decent fans, decent atmosphere, a good honest English club. I know they were w*nkers when we went down and that still riles me but I wouldn’t want any of my mates to go through what I went through the day we left the premier league. To be fair, they bring a lot more to the league than the likes of Wolves, West Brom, Wigan and even more established teams like Blackburn, Brum etc. However, if they did go down there would be some seriously tasty deals up for grabs- Young, Bent, Downing, Delph etc. I’d have no problem taking Bent Dan- it’d p*ss the unwashed right off!


  15. ice, true I was just thinking if they went down he would be a lot cheaper but I defiantly agree with the him just wanting money. Maybe Agbonlahor 💡


  16. To be honest I’d feel sorry for almost (!) any set of fans that saw their team relegated. Just shittier than the nappy of a scared baby with the shits and a coughing fit. 😥


  17. The way the Villa fans went on after the game DM I hope they do, they celebrated like they had won the league.


  18. is beye still at villa,not even been on bench that ive seen,would tak there ex rangers c/h like if we needed one,hes done canny in the PL like


  19. Having to be around a lot of Villa fans makes me want to see them implode. The amount if shite I put up with from them after we went down was immense. Paying some of that back would be cracking 😉


  20. I see Ed’s just put up an article about Nolan in talks to sign a new contract.

    Seems like you were on the ball on that one toonsy 😉


  21. toonsy dunno if you went there when we went down but they way they acted was a disgrace. Remeber this big fat guy after laughing then these two lads jumped on him, there was loads of trouble.

    When the whistle went it was like a blur for me cant really remember much, just seeing all the villa fans to my right waving.


  22. Andrew – Nah. Sold out before I even had a chance to get a ticket, but I was in the boozer watching it. It wasn’t until after I got home that I really say what them shitbags had been up to and ever soince then I’ve sworn that Karma would kick in.


  23. TOONSY aye there struggling to find owt to write,there was even talk of a deal with the rout deal at the time i belive


  24. Not long to go before the game fortunately!

    Seen Capello has let certain players leave the squad early?
    Players with champs league games in particular.

    Example: If you are Arsenal, and Jack Wilshire gets injured whilst Wayne Rooney is left out and that affects the title race, you ain’t going to be happy and rightly so.

    Just proves Cappello’s love affair with the top clubs.


  25. Moreno – True. But as Dan said, hopefully Jarvis and Gyan will clatter each other and injure each other. Maybe throw Carroll in there as well 😈


  26. Andrew – You do know that the ticket news is on the right don’t you? They are restricted view or severely restricted view seats. No points required. One per season ticket holder and they won’t make members sale 😉


  27. Andrew – You ever been to Anfield? If you’re at the back of the lower tier it’s severely restricted. Basically it’s like trying to watch the game through a postbox. Restricted will be because of the supporting pillars I would imagine.

    Shit ground, shit fans, shit coppers 👿

    And no beer 😯


  28. I don’t really have a problem with Villa (despite how they acted when putting us down) prefer to see other teams go down. They can have Bent but I’d take a punt on Ashley Young if the price were right.

    Don’t see us really going in for Taarabt. Can’t see QPR selling one of their top players if they are promoed. With the added revenues they’l be looking to buy not sell- seem like a club with ambitions


  29. I think it’s 8/11 Toonsy with only 8 starts…

    Anyone hearing anything about a preeason US tour this summmer? Saw there’s some rumors floating around of matches with Columbus and Kansas City


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