Happy birthday Jackie Milburn.

One word: Legend!
Today would have been the 87th birthday of one of Newcastle United’s all-time legends.

He may not be with us to celebrate it anymore, but it would be foolish for us NUFC fans to let today pass without some form of tribute to the late, great Jackie Milburn. Wor Jackie was way before my time, so I’m going out on a limb here and hope I can do the great man justice with this article and hope that my research has paid off and that you all enjoy this little tribute to a true great.

It used to be the case that if Newcastle were looking for a new number nine then all they would have to do is whistle down a mineshaft and one would pop up, or something like that anyway. With Jackie employed as a fitter at a coal mine in Ashington you could say that the legend has some truth behind it.

Jackie signed on at Newcastle when he was just 21-years-old after replying to an advert in the local paper asking for players. Unfortunately this was during World War II which brought about a suspension of the Football League proper and meant that Milburn had to ply his trade in the Wartime League, which was always intended to be a ‘friendly’ league and as a result goals scored during that period are not counted.

The record book shows that Alan Shearer is Newcastle’s highest goalscorer, although he did score quite a few in Europe. Back in Milburn’s era there was no European football for Newcastle United, yet he still managed 200 ‘official’ domestic goals for the Toon. That puts him ahead of Shearer on that front. Add his wartime goals and he’s ahead of Shearer on total goals aswell.

Jackie always wanted to improve and was willing to listen to advice from others on his game. In one of his books, ‘Jackie Milburn’s Newcastle United scrapbook’, he recalls his conversations with another famous Newcastle number nine – the tragic Hughie Gallacher:

“I was fortunate enough to wear Hughie Gallacher’s shirt and virtually every Saturday he’d be waiting for me outside the main entrance, always at the same time in the same place, ten yards from the door. “Hi, Jackie, you’re doing fine,” he’d say, “but l’ve got a little tip for you…” Then he would mention something he had spotted in my play the previous game. Throughout my playing days I always listened intently to any advice the big names had to give.”

Jackie gave this club 14 years of his life. He played in 395 ‘official’ games, or 492 games if you count his appearances in the Wartime League aswell. His 1967 testimonial was attended by nearly 50,000 despite concerns from Milburn about the popularity of such a fixture. Needless to say he was taken aback by the reception he received ten years after leaving the club.

Quite simply they don’t make them like him anymore!

Wor Jackie managed to bag himself three FA Cup winners medals during his career with us. He scored twice in the 1951 final and scored the opening goal in the 1955 FA Cup final victory, which you can watch below.

A well-liked man, a modest man, a Newcastle United man. Few people epitomise the spirit of Newcastle United as much as Milburn. The word legend tends to get thrown around far too easily these days, but for Jackie it sticks, easily.

The sad thing is that I’ll never see another player like him in terms of goalscoring or loyalty. There have been exceptions of course, such as Alan Shearer, but it saddens me a little to think of all of the players we’ve had at this great club over the years and how they’ve earned a fortune for doing nothing like Milburn managed to do for us.

So happy birthday Jackie. A proper club legend.

71 thoughts on “Happy birthday Jackie Milburn.

  1. Best Newcastle centre forward of my lifetime.I still remember the fifties cup finals.Yes Im that old !!!!


  2. Yeah – be awesome if we were bought by a bunch of Indian chicken farmers, or better still – saddled with loads of foreign debt!!! πŸ™„


  3. Nice one Toonsy
    I was lucky enough to meet the “Geordie Gent” on lots of occasions
    when he did sprint training with my brother-in-law and with the rest of that great team when I was an apprentice chef.It was a different world then with loads of great memories.Lets hope our future team can give todays supporters such memories.


  4. Eenteresting that they got Jackie when he responded to an newspaper ad.

    Maybe we should try it this close season!



  5. Hitman – appreciate you hate Ashley but he has done the right thing by every fan long term – ie we will be a self supporting business without the need to get into debt.

    That however will only last as long as the owner is honourable. For example – the clubs accounts are so healthy now it would be very easy to leverage debt against us. FFS used marquee signings to hold the eyes while he bled the club dry into his own pockets. A large chunck of FFS’s wealth you see today really should be invested in our club.

    The other worst case scenario is a leveraged buyout – al la Man U and Liverpool.

    It should never be allowed in football imo.

    Though Ashley has made mistakes (I hate him for what he did to Chris) his financial intent is a dream scenario for us as fans


  6. It makes no difference what we wish for πŸ™
    IMO, Ashley doesn’t want the club(if he can get his money back), and for once I think there may be something in these rumours, as quasimodo once said though, “it’s just a hunch” πŸ˜‰


  7. I am also with stardust – I am quite happy for Ashley to continue as long as we have some invesment in the summer. I dont think theres any truth in the rumours, and Booby I only said Ambani as if we are to be bought I would rather it someone richer than Ashley and not going to saddle us with their debt and be a backward step a la Portsmouth for example


  8. toonsy thankyou so much for that write up mate , i defo picked the right man for the job , brilliant!!!


  9. Interesting read toonsy, I never new much about him at all with me being just 17, like you said we won’t see another player like him ever again for us.


  10. Good right up for a loyal player, as you said wor Al was up there with him.
    But its sad to think that the chances are we well never see their like again.
    Stardy I would love to see him selling up as i can’t bare to think of all the shite we have went through from he came here, but given the choice i would keep MA if he got a proper footie chairman/MD rather than that sack of shit owlheed, as i honestly believe he is behind most of the shit that has happened


  11. hitman @8

    So, vital are running a story that we have been sold and no doubt this has been generated by the unsettling voices of the southern media that’ll be trying to stir up a summer of uncertaintly and malcontent! That’s the last thing we need and the speculation’s best ignored and the flames not fanned.

    Stardust’s right in flagging up the possiblility of a leveraged buy-out and I agree with him that we’d be better to stick with MA, despite his sometimes cack-handed management.

    The club’s in good shape financially and with good stewardship, it can only get stronger.

    As Witters said, be careful what you wish for.


  12. Watching the Toon has been more enjoyable over the last two seasons. Who takes the credit Ashley, Hughton or Pardew? I don’t care so long as the Toon continues to progress but please let’s have a period of stability.


  13. nice read ,any 1 think its strange that jackie and shearer both played 559 games πŸ™‚ just been lookin it up on wiki


  14. I don’t agree with Stuart @ 29 – about him wanting out.

    And I disagreed with him about the same comment when he made it at the start of this season an’ all.


  15. Eeh Briasvegas.

    We’ve had a morning of accord – Stuart agreeing with Dusty, Batty with Stu, richie with Stu, Batty with richie, raffo with nick and big Dave with toonsy.

    Then what happens? You pop up and disagree with stu – difficult or what!

    πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†


  16. I dont think Ashley wants out either, neither do I think he wants to see the Toon fail again.
    On the otherhand tho, he doesn’t want to be dipping into his pockets just to keep us afloat. Not so much of a worry now tho that he is a billionaire again.
    Think he will be happy keeping us ticking over as a middle of the league club. πŸ‘Ώ


  17. hahaha a divnt nah why lovenkrands is getn in2 pics with the new strip , he wont be wearing it much if we have a mint summer in the transfers


  18. haway then lads , whos going down??? the three W’s ??? or do u think blackpool are going down?? im gana stick with it and say west ham , wolves , wigan!!! bye bye nzogbia


  19. ive just found out we are on sky 1.30 on sunday !! should i be happy or not?? in other words are we gna peform or not??? my line up for sunday will be



  20. I would like it to be Wigan, West Ham and Blackburn, but I think Blackpool may just go which will be a great shame.


  21. Army, I like that team but would have Enrique in for Kuqi, play Fergie on the LW of a 5 man midfield with Jonas on the RW and Barton inside, Nolan in the advanced role


  22. Wham, Wigan and Brum for me.

    Reckon blackpool will beat bolton and then hold on for a scrappy draw with manure reserves on the last day, I think Wolves will take 4 points from their matches, Wham and wigan will draw which effectively finishes them both off, I think brum will lose their last 2 matches and go down…

    Wolves 41
    Blackpool 40
    Brum 39
    Wigan 37
    Wham 35

    ^^^^A little Something like this ^^^^


  23. i hope blackburn , birmingham and wigan go down!! they are the most borin teams i have ever watched in my life!!!


  24. bolton then manure.

    I really wanted B’burn to go too, but it looks like them n brum will dodge the bullet this year.
    But there is always next season for them lol.

    The big q is will leeds make it thru the play offs?


  25. leeds arent in they play offs bud!! its forest , cardiff , swansea and reading!! swansea play forest and cardiff are playing reading!! i fancy swansea beating forest and reading beating cardiff then reading v swansea final , swansea is gna do it i think


  26. yeah I remembered as soon as I hit “post comment”.

    Wishful thinking on my behalf. cant stand swansea or cardiff.
    so I’m rooting for Forest.


  27. I have to say I hope it is a Readin v Forest final, keep them Taffies out of the EPL!!!

    I wouldnt take Gradel or anyone from Leeds, they have over achieved this year and so are good League 1 players.

    Has there been anything else on these takeover rumours today?


  28. Thank you so much for writing this article on me Grampa!! It tugged at me heart strings!! You defo did him justice and it is so much appreciated that you did this. My Boyfriend just showed me this and I am thrilled that he hasn’t been forgotten about!! THANK YOU!! Laura


  29. I agree with batty…….Happy Birthday, you will always be remembered by Geordies everywhere “Wor Jackie”


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