Blast from the past – Len White.

lenwhiteThis series would not be possible if it were not for some excellent past articles constructed by contributors to sites such as the Chronicle, Spartacus-Educational and several other open sources – so thank you.

Len White was born in Skellow near Doncaster in 1930. His love of the game was formed whilst turning out for Upton Colliery before he joined Rotherham United in May 1948. Len was employed a right winger and managed 15 goals in 43 appearances for the Millers during his two seasons with them.

By now Newcastle United had taken notice of Len. We needed a replacement for the ageing Tommy Walker, the Newcastle winger who had now turned 30-years-old and was beginning his inevitable decline. Len signed for the Magpies in February 1953 for £12,000 – leading to Walker’s exit in 1954 following 12 loyal and dependable years with the Toon. The same season would see the arrival of Jimmy Scoular for £26,000, with Jimmy immediately being handed the Captain’s armband. Len would find himself in the company of some very good players in the shape of Scoular, Jackie Milburn and 1 goal-in-4 left winger Bobby Mitchell. We have some brilliant wide players back in those days and knew how to supply the forward line, something we sadly lack today.

Len White was signed as a winger. He made his debut against Liverpool and scored 2 goals in 12 appearances that season. The following season Len scored 14 goals in 29 appearances from the wing – helping the Toon to finish Division One in 8th place. In 1955 Newcastle would win the FA Cup for the 3rd time in 5 years. Len had scored in a 2-0 semi final victory versus York following an assist by Jackie Milburn, which you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVIWOA6pnBo

In the final, Len set Jackie up from a corner kick to put the Toon one up against Man City after just 1 minute. City pulled one back by half time, but they had lost a player to injury. This was significant because substitutions were not introduced until 1965, so the Magpies were playing against 10 men. In the second half Jimmy Scoular tuned into a beast, spraying the ball across field with a series of pin point passes to set the likes of Mitchell and White off on marauding runs down the wings. It was a real Captain’s performance and Newcastle would go on to win comprehensively with a 3-1 victory.

Interestingly, Wor Jackie had spend a lot of time injured in the run up to the final and the manager Dugald Livingstone had planned not to start Milburn. Back in those days, managers had to present their proposed line-ups to the Board and upon seeing Milburn excluded, Livingstone was ordered to play him. They could see a fan backlash if their hero was left out. A a result of this forced change, Len White was removed from the team. However he was given a reprieve when Reg Davies went down with laryngitis. Lucky Len!

White had an unspectacular season following the FA Cup win, but did find himself playing as a centre forward following injuries to Wor Jackie and Vic Keeble. By the end of 1958 Len was the undistributed #9, following in the footsteps of the great Hughie Gallagher. He was unstoppable, running at players with power and pace, creating his own goals and getting the Gallowgate end on their feet in rapturous applause on many an occasion. He was only 5’6’’, but as proven by many great diminutive players down the years, sized means nothing so long as you have the talent and drive to succeed. Ken McKenzie, the Newcastle reporter for The Journal, described Newcastle’s second goal during a 4-1victory over Man City in 1958;
“A solo dribble by Len White from 15 yards inside his own half ending with a great 12-yard shot into the net past the advancing Bert Trautmann, the best goalkeeper in football, made memorable the burial of the relegation blues in the St James’ Park floodlights last night. The crowd of 53,280 cheered a back to form Newcastle off the field for a stirring show.” That Ryan Giggsesque goal helped keep Newcastle in the top flight.

In the next 2 seasons Len would score 53 goals in 70 games. The 1961 season would see Len score 28 goals in 33 games. Len took part in two spectacular wins in the 1959-1960 season. The first was an 8-2 drubbing of Everton at St. James’ Park. Newcastle were not doing well in the League and nobody expected the Toon to come up with much, however Len was in devastating form and secured a hat-trick by half time as the Magpies went in 4-0 up at the break. Expectations had been so low, only in the region of 23,000 fans turned up. In January 1960 Len would secure another hat-trick in a stunning 7-3 win against Manchester United, with 4 goals being scored at the Leazes End. There were calls made for Len to be recognised by England, but the call never came.

By the end of the season Len had been moved to outside left, but the goals continue to flow and he scored a screamer against Wolves in a goal regarded as goal of the season. Unfortunately his footballing year would end prematurely in March 1961. A nasty tackle came in from Spurs’ Dave McKay during a 2-1 victory for the Toon in a year that we were again fighting relegation whilst Spurs were aiming for the double. We had won that game having gone 1 down. That’s the difference between then and now, fighting spirit. Our current crop need to read up about our past hero’s and realise what wearing the shirt means.

Len would never truly recover from that tackle and was moved on to Huddersfield Town in 1962. He would return to St. James’ park in 1963 with the Terriers, receiving a massive applause before helping his new side take all 3 points in a 2-1 victory. He’d go on to turn out for Stockport County before retiring in 1966. Despite his retirement, he’d play on in non-league football into his 50th year! Over 25 years after his Newcastle exit, the fans arranged a testimonial for him in 1989 – such was their admiration for him. Of course Newcastle United would not allow this to happen to St.James’ (why?!), so it was done at Whitley Bay and 2,000 fans turned out. This Newcastle United legend passed away in 1994, aged 64. No personal controversies in this bloke’s career. He was described as quiet and hard working. A proper pro.

Newcastle record: 245 appearances, 197 goals. What a record. He is a 3rd highest total goal scorer in history, behind only Alan Shearer (206) and Jackie Milburn (201). What is so impressive is that a lot of Len’s appearances came as a winger. Furthermore, Shearer need 395 appearances to reach his 206 goals, whilst Wor Jackie needed 399.

Written by Shamrock.

About Shamrock

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

279 thoughts on “Blast from the past – Len White.

  1. DAVE someone like Dein who ran the Gunners very well for many years thing is he will what to run it properly that takes money so that will be a no go

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  2. Ice we have talked about David Dein 5-6 yrs ago plus he was supposed to be friendly with Jabba, he is the type of guy we need and have needed but as you say he would want to do it properly, and not cut corners. Which ruled him out

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  3. There’s a nasty smell coming from NE1 these days.
    The smell of decay and a slow lingering death
    Its gotta be bad when even the rats are bailing out.
    Actually it’s getting more entertaining than the football
    Howay the Zombies

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  4. KMI@128 sorry about your opp,go back to your docs tell him you want it done at your nearest private hospital a lot don’t know you can pick your hospital for opps,I got my last opp at private hospital even though there is a nh hospital quite near

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  5. G2 – you’re right when you say “Ashley can’t and won’t trust anyone….”
    Truly a fool if ever there was one.

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  6. Ashley doesn’t need a finance director anyway, as there is no finance to sort out.
    Fatty does all the adding up on his special ‘big button’ calculator. Specially made for his pudgy bloated fingers.
    It has an extra large display too for all the extra 000000000’s
    When he pushes = it makes a lovely ‘kerching’ sound too.

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  7. Ice, Cheers for the tip, I’ll look into that. GP is trying to speed things up as they know I go into Dad every day and have Lew to take care of too. I am paying a guy from the day centre to help me with Lew this weekend as Hazel’s in London so not around if the knee gets bad and I need her help. I can’t get help from continuing health care as there is non out there. 😯 The care system is over subscribed and under staffed that’s why oap’s are bed blocking every where. Well enough to go home but stuck in hospital because a care package can’t be gotten 🙁

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  8. Jeez – now they have sent out Riviere to tell us all sundays match is a cup final (yes another one)
    we really don’t know how lucky we are. All these cup finals, yet we’ve lost every one of them.
    Doh!

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  9. It stands to reason that the toon accountants will move on because there will be less money to manage next season in the Championship, so they need less people. Obvious isn’t it..or am I missing something here ? 😉

    Apparently they were both toon supporters too.Imagine the situation…you are a toon supporter and you get the chance to work for them. Flipping heck, I would giving it the big yahoo !!! By the same token, imagine how sad the whole situation must be to force you to quit ?…. Pretty strange if you ask me.

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  10. When all the dust settles, the only bloke left to take over at the toon…… get your spondoolicks on him now….

    Harry Redknapp…. 😳

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  11. KIM that’s a bloody shit and the torys won’t help the problem but let’s not get into that,your having a rough trot lass pity you live so far as the Mrs would have helped you in an heartbeat its in her DNA she loves it but cannot understand why people want paying for helping each other,from the old school I suppose

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  12. MM – nar mate he is going to be helping out at Bournmouth next season.
    anyhoo, you know deep down that Carver is a shoe in.
    Ashley knows how much it will piss the fans off too

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  13. Right guys n Dolls, its getting about time we had a straw poll before the weekend:
    Relegation or Survival ❓
    Gut feelings
    I’m going to go survival 😯

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  14. Ice, your mrs sounds lush as we say down here. 🙂 Lew’s day centre crew are brilliant, do lot’s extra for nowt but I couldn’t expect them to give up their weekend time for free. Anyway you can always ask again if you pay 😉

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  15. I reckon the fans would take to Harry Redknapp actually….
    …and JC can go back to what he does best…. 2ic at the toon and golfing…

    😆

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  16. Dave@158, I bet he’s got a bloody ejector button in all. Anyone let him down and he presses the button like something out of James Bond.

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  17. BB ……relegation for me mate. The planets have colluded against us for so long now mate, QPR at the weekend; AND THE MANNER IN WHICH WE LOST THE GAME was the final straw for me mate. That was the last big chance……
    Having said that, the makkems aren’t quite out of it yet…they could easily concede 5 goals in the next 2 games against Arsenal and Chelsea……Wenger keeps driving Arsenal no matter what, and Chelsea will be wanting to piut the West Brom debacle straight…

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  18. He wouldn’t hire Floppy chops cause he likes to spend cash too much and he has a dogs bank account to keep topped up 😆

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  19. Mackems are only surviving again this season thanks to the 6 points we gifted them.

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  20. MM @ 176 yeah because it would mean that Jabba would have to be willing to change the whole set up. Cause Harry wouldnt come unless he did change 😉

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  21. KIM@170 aye mate Mrs used to be a nurse in the metal health side she loved it best rewarding job in the world she used to say,I was sick of her getting broken bones made her pack it in,now she has only one metal health case to look after ME

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  22. Ice@ 182 :lol Seriously though, gosh that’s a demanding job she had mate, fair play to her.

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  23. The whole club is a laughing stock but what upsets me is jabba doesn’t give a monkeys jot he’s just happy to make money by any means

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  24. Directors are jumping ship this week. Come Monday it will be the players. Why can’t Carver do the same

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  25. Here’s his address if you fancy writing a letter for Ashley to sell the club.

    Mr M Ashley montebello 19 totteridge close totteridge common north london

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  26. The man with the worst record in the history of the PL goes on a jolly the week before the most important game of his career and what he says is the most important game for NUFC for years. Some people on here say to me – no man give him a break, it is all in the name of charity and I should cut him some slack. How many have been to these charity gigs? I have been to many. They are a day off work with a lunch, a few beers and an auction. The organisers deserve credit but people like Carver are there for their name and for a jolly. On the other hand, Shearer seems to put a lot of himself into benefiting the charities he works with and I applaud him for that.

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  27. Eric you slate Carver as much as you like mate. I wanted him sacked after the QPR’s match only for TDS to say there’s no better alternative.

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  28. And as for Carvs REPRESENTING NUFC at these charity dos. He said 3 weeks ago that he likes to go on the golf course to get away (run away) from the NUFC fans who might say something bad to him. He is a joke of a man – he backtracks on everything he says, he wants to have fights with fans, he blames everybody else for his own failings LLLLLLLLDL.

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  29. There’s loads of better alternative’s out there it’s just the powers at be won’t do anything about it. What does Lee do to earn his salary ? Give a very lame statement to the cronicle. Stare at a balance sheet all day. Watch a game with Mike from time to time. Ignoring the issues on the field as always.

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  30. Terry: the weather is very variable at the moment in Chicago. 85 on Sunday and 54 on Tuesday. I am used to that and can deal with it, just can’t deal with a loser like Carvs coaching/managing our team 🙂

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  31. Eric I know but we are stuck with him unfortunately. A bad workmen always blames his tools. His going to get the job in the summer. Get some cheap upgrade’s and spout his rubbish that his the best manager in the league. It’s the true fan’s like Troy and Blackley and Brownie that suffer the most mate.

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  32. John Carver is wor manager at the moment, and is trying his very best to get us out of the shoyt. The fans should get off his back and give him a chance to pull things round.

    Being in charge at Newcastle is just a job at the end of the day.
    Does this job mean that he can’t have a social life and go out and play a game of golf now and then ? Or go to the Chieftain with his missus ? Everyone mentions, including himself, that he is in the office at 06:00 and leaves late. That sounds like commitment to me. If he is good enough for the job, and if he should be there at all is another issue. You need to question the bloke who put him in the position about that. He is the bloke accountable at the end of the day…

    The fans have no say in the issue cos the club isn’t our club, and never has been.. The only thing the fans can do is boycott, and there are 50,000 unsuspecing victims getting shafted every other week and coming back for more… now that really is daft… the owner is loving it man, he shafts the geordies and they thank him for it…

    Imagine how he’ll cut the wage bill when we get relegated… brilliant man…. what a genius the owner is…

    Get off Carver’s back…he is entitled to a private life as much as the next man. How would you like being hounded out every time you cross your doorstep ? It’s only a job at the end of the day…

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  33. f**king us over since february is the biggest and most expensive gamble that Ashley has made so far.

    i hope he falls flat on his arse and we’re relegated. Honestly…. the fizzy pop league holds good memories for me from the last time.

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  34. So ings is coming to the toon if we stay up so the storey goes,does not want to go to a big team as he might not play every week oh aye

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  35. Ice – I hope that’s right about Ings. Respect to him for putting football over coin at this stage in his career. Looks like Sterling is going the other way. I’m a fan of Ings and think he has leadership qualities too – but I’ll be amazed if he does end up with us.

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  36. SHARPY imo there must be a little truth in it as a few rags are going with it also they are now saying L/Pool are going after the QPR striker and saying nowt about ings so maybe there could be summit in it

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  37. SHARPY also if its true it will be announced within a week of seasons end,of coarse it depends on staying up,if not targets will change

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  38. Ice – I think the kid has a great attitude & is defo the type of player we need in our dressing room I reckon. It’s just crazy that we are in a position where we can’t yet prepare for next season. We should have been safe months ago.

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  39. Clown Carver has had another bizarre press conference saying that he has told the players not to watch football as it will wear them out. Yeah, sitting on your couch watching football is stressful? only if it is replays of our games and that will give you nightmares. Speaking of which, John said that honestly he is only sleeping 4 hours a night. The stress isn’t getting to him then 🙂

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  40. And another thing Carvs said was that NUFC had previously pulled out of this charity golf event and had got criticised for it. So everybody taking the holier than thou attitude that it was for the children, oh think of the children, can now take that one back as well.

    I don’t mind Carver having a social life or doing things for charity – just don’t say so much stupid and contradictory stuff. And quit NUFC and crawl into a hole for 10 years so I don’t have to listen to you.

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  41. More totally bizarre stuff from The Gauardian on Clown Carver:

    “On Tuesday Carver invited non-playing club staff to a squad meeting. The idea was to remind Newcastle’s players that they would be responsible for backroom personnel losing their jobs in the event of relegation. “There’s an awful lot of good local people who’ve been here a long time and a lot of their friends lost their jobs here last time,” said Carver. “That’s one of the reasons I brought all of the staff into the meeting with the players. Sometimes that can be a motivation for players.

    “I gave the players an opportunity if they didn’t fancy it to leave the room and nobody left the room – that tells me they’re up for the fight. There’s going to be pressure on them, they’ve got to play the game not the occasion. They’ve got to stay composed, as I have, and not fear wanting to get on the ball and play. If we do that I’m fairly confident.”

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  42. So Clown Carver holds a meeting on Tuesday where:

    1. he has staff members there and tries to guilt our players into playing for them as they will lose their jobs otherwise.

    2. says he gave players the option to leave the meeting. Who in their right mind would leave an emergency meeting their boss had called?

    3. He says they the players “have to stay composed, as I have”. Yes Ugly John we have evidence of this composure when you offered fans out for a fight, are only sleeping 4 hours a night and say you lost a stone in weight (although I don’t see any evidence of that).

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  43. And I am going to repeat myself for clarity, Clown Carver said that NUFC PULLED OUT OF THE SAME CHARITY GOLF EVENT 2 YEARS AGO – so anyone having a go at me about saying Carver is a contradictory clown and we should all think of the children, should think again.

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  44. It is a snowball effect with Clown Carver. He says a few stupid and bizarre things and then gets asked about them and says even more bizarre stuff in his own defense. He is an idiot who is running our club. The players have meetings to tune him out and now he is imposing a complete media blackout – no football watching for you Ayoze, or you Sammy – you will go to your room now young men with no supper and no play station or x-box either. Clown Carver is a mental midget who is trying to treat his players like children.

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  45. i see there’s more pleading from carver for the fans to turn up and get behind the team again.

    some people make a really good living from begging.

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  46. I almost understand Carvers logic in bringing in normal folk from the staff and saying to multi-millionaire players that these people are who you are playing for. As a one off it is a decent motivational method. From Carver it is another step too far into the David Brent school of management.

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  47. Eric, It’s a reality check that a lot of the players needed. He’s basically saying to the players, hey you have to look these folk in the eye after sunday so up your game for their sakes. Is it a guilt trip ,yes. Is it right, yes imo.

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  48. Kimtoon: it is the way he does it though man. Him having the sitdown and offering the players the option to leave is just so pathetic and so Clown Carver – “I have gathered all of these good people here to show what the real world is like but also to show all of you players up, any of you can leave now, it is your choice” Give me a break, that is hobson’s choice and a pathetic Carverism . As I said above, if he did it once it might be motivational but it smacks of desperation now just like everything else he says and does. His latest press conference is a new low in his idiocy. I wouldn’t trust this man to run an ice cream van never mind NUFC.

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  49. And I am going to say this again, we see Carver for 10 minutes a week and the players see him for 3 hours a day. After a while we would all tune out this deranged lunatic. He can hardly string a sentence together without his empty platitudes and blames everyone and everything but himself. Just about every player has lost confidence I am sure ignores Clown Carver now because they are just sick of his constant drivel.

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  50. When I see Carver now I just want to reach for the sick bag. He is so boring but aggressive at the same time. Without going to the thesaurus, this is what I think of him:

    Trite
    Stupid
    full of platitudes
    sanctimonious
    self-serving
    defensive, but aggressive (if that is even possible)
    an idiot promoted to way above his merit
    bollock-brain

    That’s enough ,as I might start swearing soon and get a telling off that I didn’t think of the children that might be reading.

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  51. Actually Eric your drivel is getting a tad wearysome now too.
    Go and get an iced coffee or something.
    You’ve made your point. Carvers a shit coach and a clown of a manager.
    Got it. ;):

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  52. oh, and vainglorious, as in – honestly I wouldn’t be doing this job if I thought I couldn’t do it, I would walk away. Even though my record is LLLLLLLDL I think I am the best manager in the league, and why wouldn’t I? What we need is the fans to get behind us 110% on Sunda and forget about the record. This is a cup final and as I started saying 6 games ago there are all of these cup finals that the fans have to get up for. Honestly. Trust me. Help me. Please…

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  53. Boots. I know I am going on a bit too much but when I read newsnow I just get more cr@p from Carvs everyday and it sets me of again.

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  54. Boots @219: I think that ugly might be implied if you call someone a pickled walnut with hair 🙂

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  55. So UEFA are changing financial fair play so it allows owners to plough as much money into their club as they want. About time! Does that mean we now become more attractive to buy?

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