Blast from the past – Hughie Gallagher.

Hughie Gallacher, Newcastle UnitedThis series will take a look back at some of the original Newcastle United legends. With all the doom and gloom around our current crop of so called management and players, it seems a look back at some our old guard is in order. A little reminder of what makes this club a great one. A club with a tradition of having sublime players amongst its ranks. A club that has tasted success on multiple occasions and is engrained in English football’s history as one of the Giants. Maybe a little reminder of our proud history and past heroes will spur our current club representatives to have a little pride in the shirt and even try to emulate these Newcastle United legends. Maybe it will help convince Ashley to invest in some genuine talent for a change – and build a team round that talent instead of flogging it off. Or maybe the club will continue to be run like some cheap tat shop used as a giant mannequin to showcase Ashley’s personal business interests instead…
Hughie Gallagher was born in February 1903 in Belshill, Scotland. To give a little perspective to how much the world has changed since then, On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright made four brief flights at Kitty Hawk with their first powered aircraft. The Wright brothers had invented the first successful airplane.
Hughie would play locally for Tannockside Athletic and Hattonrigg Thistle before signing his first professional contract with Queen of the South in 1920, the same year traffic lights, plasters and the washing machine were introduced to the world. He married the same year and had 2 children. The following year he joined Airdrieonians, scoring 91 goals in 111 games over a 4-year period and securing the Scottish Cup. By now he had split from his wife in the first of many personal problems in his life.
In March 1924 Hughie represented Scotland for the first time. He scored 5 goals in his first 4 games including twice in a 2-0 victory over England in front of 92,000 fans at Hampden Park. Imagine the atmosphere back then… Hughie’s form was so prolific that Newcastle United broke their transfer record when they shelled out £6,500 to land him in 1925 – the same year the humble television came alive. Gallagher would spend 5 years with the Toon and he was a screaming success.
In his first season Hughie netted 23 times in only 19 appearances, including 2 on his debut against Everton. He was made Captain the following season, scoring 36 times in 38 games helping Newcastle United to secure the First Division Title for the last time to date in 1926-1927. He would go on to score an impressive 74 goals in 103 appearances throughout the following 3 seasons. To date, no Toon striker has managed to match Hughie’s potency in front of goal when you compare his strike rate to his number of appearances – 82%. Total Toon stats: 174 games, 143 goals.
He continued to do well for his Country, securing a hat-trick against Northern Ireland in 1926 and being part of the team that thrashed England 5-1 in 1928. That Scotland team would forever be known as the ‘Wembley Wizards’ as a result of that game. You can see some of the footage here The link in the 1st Comment. As if that was not enough, Hughie would score all 4 goals the following season in a 4-2 win over Northern Ireland. He’d only represent Scotland 20 times, but he scored 23 goals and only lost one game.
Hughie is described as being two footed with a powerful and accurate shot. At only 5’5’’ tall, he was surprisingly good in the air and he was a grafter – getting stuck in for the cause. Despite his talent, he was also a hot head. He would fall victim to the referee’s wrath on a regular basis and got himself a 2-month ban whilst in Toon colours, something the Newcastle hierarchy and new coach Andy Cunningham were not impressed about. What had he done? Pushed the referee Mr. Fogg into the team bath of course! He was a heavy drinker off the pitch and got involved with a local Inn keeper’s daughter. This resulted in Court action against Hughie, who had assaulted the young lady’s brother who was not happy with a still married Hughie besmirching his little sister’s honour. Hughie would right this wrong, by divorcing the mother of his 2 children and wedding the young lady. Unfortunately, his divorce cost him in the region of £4,000 (over £200 grand in today’s money during a time that footballers earnt less than the equivalent of £25,000-a-year). He was in financial ruin.
By now penicillin and liquid rocket fuel had been invented. In 1930 Hughie was sold to Chelsea for a record £10,000. A £3,500 profit for the club. Mike Ashley would be proud. Toon fans were gutted to lose Hughie and set a crowd record of 68,386 when he returned to St.James’ Park with the Blues later that year. 20,000 fans had to make do with being locked out of the stadium.
Hughie still liked the drink and was actually accused of being Drunk & Disorderly whilst on the pitch. He claimed he had used whiskey as a mouth wash! He failed to land any silverware with Chelsea, but still managed a tidy return of 81 goals in 144 games for the club, was their top scorer for 3 years and saved them from relegation in 1933 – the year the electron microscope was invented. Gallagher was moved on to Derby County after this. At the time of the move, Hughie was in financial dire-straits and part of his move to Derby included the Rams clearing his debts. He found the back of the net 38 times in 51 appearances. He was now on the decline and turned out for clubs such as Notts County, Grimsby Town and Gateshead.
Hughie finished up his career just prior to World War 2 with 624 senior appearances, netting 463 times. His life would end in tragedy in 1957. He had thrown an ashtray at his misbehaving 14-year-old son Matthew and clipped him with it, drawing blood. He was in drink at the time and in the throes of depression. His wife had died in 1950 and Hughie had never gotten over it. Gallagher’s eldest son Hughie junior had just returned from a tour with the RAF and was not impressed with what his Dad had done. He took Matthew to a friend’s house and turned his Dad away the following day, telling him he never wanted to see him again. That was the last time the two Hughie’s ever saw each other and Hughie junior has regretted it ever since, insisting his Dad had never raised a hand against any of his kids on any other occasion.The day before he was due to appear at Court he threw himself in front of the York to Edinburgh train, losing his head in the process. At his inquest a letter of apology penned by Gallagher was read out. Part of that letter read: ‘I’ll never forgive myself for having struck Matthew, even if I live to be a hundred.’
Hughie is a true Newcastle United Icon. A record purchase, highest return in goals to games and the man that began the Cult status of the famed number 9 shirt. In the 1926-1927 season Hughie sealed no less than 5 hat-tricks in that famous black and white #9 shirt and his 36 league goals that year is a record that still stands today. Hughie is considered as one of the first true football celebrities. He liked the social scene, was popular with fans and was up-to-date in the fashion stakes. He’d walk around Tyneside dressed like a gangster in a broad-brimmed hat, double breasted suits and spats. On top of that, he had bag loads of skill and knew how to put a shift in. A true legend of the game.
Written by Shamrock. Content from various open sources.

About Shamrock

Like everyone here, support Newcastle United. Not the easiest side to feel good about at times, but it's our side!

326 thoughts on “Blast from the past – Hughie Gallagher.

  1. Kimtoon: the Carvs and Pards hatred is heartfelt. All I have is love for Troy though, bless him. I can only feel sorry for people who climb out of washing baskets in their underwear and post it on faceboose/you-embarrassment. As I said, bless.


  2. just looking at the crystal palace form….


    it’s looking a bit familiar – you can probably guarantee sticking another L on the end tonight 😉

    it doesn’t matter where pardew goes – he takes his cast iron form with him.

    he certainly taught carver well – LLLLLLLL

    their like two peas in a pod – both full of **** & loving the L’s


  3. I see Psychs didn’t answer that simple question. Did you enjoy the Bobby Robson period when we fi is he’d 3rd and were in the CL. Yes or No?

    I predicted he would answer with a rant. 😆

    Carver of the blog. 😆


  4. Troysta: I did answer your question. See my replies @267 and 270. If you choose to ignore what I say that is your problem man.

    Here is what I wrote:

    “Troysta: the Bobby Robson era was a long time ago when a useless coach was dragged up by his bootstraps by a genius man-manager. Are you enjoying the John Carver era now :)”


  5. I am not really understanding how I could be the Carver of this blog, Troy? I have pointed out Carver’s inconsistencies and Troy’s inconsistencies about Carver. Now Troysta calls ME Carver? I don’t know which one of them two is more insane, Troy “unreality” train Stavers or John “pickled walnut with hair Carver?


  6. I must admit I like the “pickled walnut with hair description” and wish I had though of it (although the original guy on the Chron comments only said “pickled walnut”. I added the “with hair” bit because I think that describes him even better 🙂


  7. can’t see us picking up much today. i can see it going down to qpr away. 45,000 today at sjp


  8. I see Karen Brady has been talking about Jabba again 😆 “Rarely is it thought necessary for a club captain, in this case centre-back Fabricio Coloccini, to issue a letter apologising for the way the team have been playing, pleading with fans to unite behind them for the last three matches.
    “I think someone at the top must have had a brainwave and whistled up the club captain to do it, and probably wrote it for him.”


  9. Big D: whatever I am saying on here is nothing as compared to Ed’s rants and his bloggers 🙂 Even have gone wild against Carvs. The ghost of Toonsy (and maybe even Worky 🙂 ) may be haunting what has become of our great club?

    But, Howay the Lads. Send the Mackems doon, or at least Hull.


  10. Oh and I see they have wheeled Cisse out to get the fans behind them
    “It has been very hard during the seven games I have been out,” explained Cisse.
    “I have watched every match and it is not an easy time for the fans, the players or the staff.
    “There are three games left and we have to forget about everything that has happened before and just focus ahead. We have to play game by game and at 200 per cent. That starts against West Brom.
    “Everyone knows we need points. We have to work hard to get them and we will.
    “This team is not about the players – this team is about the fans.
    “The fans are angry, and that is normal in a situation like this because no-one wants to see their team lose every game for a long time.
    “But we need them to come and support the team on Saturday. They need to show us they are with us, that we are together and hopefully we can win the game for them.
    “I know that 100 per cent the players need the fans. We need them more than ever – we need their help to stay in this division.
    “I know it is not easy at the moment but I say to them ‘come and do this together’.”

    As I said its all good getting the players and everyone else coming out doing PR work for the club but still the head man hasn’t got the balls to come out and talk, and after all he is the one that has caused all the ****


  11. Pyschs

    So it suits your argument that Carver was just a useless coach dragged along by a top manager. Your logic is great. 😉

    I’ve been very consistent about Carver as a manager. As with most things in life, you give people a chance. Not once have I rated him as a manager.

    Coaching, well he’s had some good and bad spells. Only managers can give you a real insight into that and he seems to keep his job as one.


  12. Big D: ****, it is great that our team is getting behind us:

    * Cisse, suspended, operated on and injured.
    * de Jong, injured again? A scan and a contradictory tweet?
    * Williamson, suspended. Mocked by his manager to fans 🙂
    * Anita, making fun of JCs tactics to the press, short arse.
    * Janmaat – sent off in the 94th minute after Carver wound him up.
    * Gouffran – where he?
    * Jonas – fell out with Carver, but welcomed back when there was no alternative.
    * Coloccini – wrote a letter in Spanish, mocked by as if he was Neville Chamberlain.
    * Steven Taylor, injured again. Says Carver is looking bad under the stress.
    * Sissoko, when is Arsene Wenger going to make an offer?
    * Armstrong – give me more than 3 minutes to make an impact JC FFS.
    * Riviere – I scored in the League Cup, you know?
    * Aarons – where did the last 6 months of my career go?


  13. What are you on about now Troysta? You gave Carver a chance and he failed you so wake up and agree with what you, yourself, have written in the last 2 weeks. Stops criticizing me because I saw the obvious, that Carver is a useless, ugly c@nt.


  14. Troysta says @314:

    “I’ve been very consistent about Carver as a manager.”

    No you ****ing well haven’t. You said he isn’t a manager here or at Toronto. You said he couldn’t be judged as a manager when he was only a head coach – until now at NUFC when you are not sure if he is a head coach or manager or needs more time or not? Make up your ****ing mind and be consistent.

    Do you want me to reference what I am saying here, or can you just admit that you make no ****ing sense man?


  15. * Rangers 5, maybe 1 or 2 might help now?
    * Jak Alnwick – goalkeeper?
    * Davide Santon, Hatem ben Arfa, Mapou Mbiwa – where are you now?


  16. Troysta says @314:

    So it suits your argument that Carver was just a useless coach dragged along by a top manager. Your logic is great. 😉 ”

    YES, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I AM SAYING AND HE PROVES IT EVERY DAY. Hopefully, that will be different today (for once) as I don’t want us relegated.


  17. Oh Fuck: I did almost forget that our BRAIN TRUST reached out to McClaren as a replacement for Carver for the last 3 games and then backtracked like the true Troysta’s they are and said they never did it 🙂 FFS NUFC and Troysta, several peas in a pod you know 🙂


  18. Hahaha. You have to love Psycho Carver. He uses one set of rules when it suits his point and then changes them when it doesn’t suit.
    So Carver takes no credit for the robson era and all the blame for when he was coach under Pards.

    He’s the head honcho now Psychsy. The first time he’s never been a number 2.

    You really should brush up on your facts. 😉


  19. Facts, Troysta? The fact is that he has lost 8 in a row as Manager, that he has 9 points out of 45, that he has fallen out with players and fans. How many more facts do you need?


  20. What is with the wink anyway Troysta? I never wink at you. It is not that funny what you say, most of it is inane and pathetic. I just think you are a Pardew and Carver apologist.


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