No Tickets for us!

This is a trip down memory lane from a reader of ours that has experienced more of the Toon highs and lows than the vast majority of us. Tom Page has captured our imaginations with vivid stories of his experiences of Newcastle United from times before man landed on the moon or PC’s ever existed. He has even witnessed what has ling been a Holy Grail for most of us fans – our club winning meaningful silverware… The following is just one of Tom’s many Toon memories.


For the 1952 and 1953 Wembley appearances tickets were issued some months before. My Dad and I sent in our postal orders for some tickets as required by our season ticket books. Unfortunately, they were returned, without the tickets and with no explanation other than we had been unsuccessful.

Consequently, we went to the Lyric Cinema in Heaton to watch the movie to news on both occasions and were thrilled with the performances of our favourite team. We also went to the Newcastle Central Station to see the team return with the cup and mingled among the crowds who were there to cheer the team aboard a bus as they moved along from the central station to Collingwood Street. We then hurried up Pink Lane, then up Bath Lane and along Stowell Street to St James Park. We took our seats and watched the cup paraded around the ground and heard the players each give their little speech about their great day at Wembley, before returning home.

Sometime later, stories started circulating around Tyneside about the club allocating ‘blocks of tickets’ to the players so that they could give them to family and friends. However, the stories going around were not related to the gifts of these tickets to the players but were concerning as to the amount of blocks of tickets being sold around the region by the players. Eventually, the Evening Chronicle printed the allegations that the players had indeed been selling the Wembley tickets that were meant for families and friends, to anyone who would pay.

Several well-known stars of the time were alleged to have been involved. One of whom, was reportedly selling his share in a well-known Newcastle West End social club. John Gibson was at the time on the staff of the Evening Chronicle and may recall these events.

Undaunted, we both resumed to attend the games following the return of the team. However, from then on we were both very sceptical about the running of the club.

I was luckier than my Dad because I was able to draw a ticket for the 1955 cup final. For our two tickets only one was available from the club. My Dad gave the ticket to me so that I might be able to go to London and see my team win the cup.

Footnote:

I would like to make it clear that Newcastle United football club have not always had their fans considerations at heart. And today’s directors don’t appear to be any different.

Tom Page

49 thoughts on “No Tickets for us!

  1. Tom

    Thanks for another great piece mate, may I ask what you used to do? – you write really well, did you used to be a journo or write or something?.

    That was some gesture from your dad giving you the ticket!!!. In hindsight it’s probably more valuable than one of Willy Wonkas golden ones!! ?.

    IMO owners, chairmen, people on the board are fat cat business – out only to make money & profit and don’t care how it’s done. I would to know how many actually support the club – and how many only started to show interest since the Keegan era?!.
    For me they will never be the measure of any club – that would be the fans for me.

    Thanks again Tom, really hope you become a regular on here mate ?

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  2. I’d also say thanks to Sham for pestering Tom into putting this together (joking) ?.

    I know Rob has done a few articles lately, but the running of the blog seems to have been left to Sham.
    Can’t believe QPR has been another game where there’s been no pre-match and certainly no post match article?!?!?!!.

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  3. My Grandad got tickets for all 3 of the fifties finals (by the way Tom/Sham it was 51, 52 and 55. Not 53). Don’t know how he got them but it was common knowledge that poorly paid players would get a little extra from selling theirs on.
    Tom doesn’t mention it but the Cup was the holy grail in those days. Nobody paid that much attention to the ordinary league games.

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  4. Tom, thank you for more of your wonderful memories, I love reading them. Thank you Sham also for sorting it out for Tom.
    Sharpy, Tom writes so well because he is from a generation where at school the art of writing was drilled into you I suspect. I know both my parents handwriting was really good as was their spelling and grammar, no spellchecker or pc’s back then. No calculators either, if your maths wasn’t up to scratch you were screwed.

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  5. There’s a long history of them up here Kim. Lord Westwood, McKeag, Seymour etc etc. Len Shackleton had it right in his book when he entitled one chapter “What the average director know about football.” A blank page followed.
    A sense of superiority, ignorance and corruption ruled the boardrooms of clubs from Whitley Bay through to the FA.

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  6. georgio:
    There’s a long history of them up here Kim. Lord Westwood, McKeag, Seymouretc etc. Len Shackleton had it right in his book when he entitled one chapter “What the average director know about football.” A blank page followed.
    A sense of superiority, ignorance and corruption ruled the boardrooms of clubs from Whitley Bay through to the FA.

    Spot on mate, got it in one

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  7. How lucky the fan’s were in those day’s to see 3 fa cup win’s in the space of 5 years. Some where lucky enough to see the fair’s cup but for me no major trophy in my lifetime. I thought Robson would be the one to change that however we couldn’t get past Chelsea to play Villa in the final. Rafa’s doing a really good job as manager. He seem’s calm, very honest and respectful to other team’s which I like. No more Bull**** McClaren, Carver or yours truely bull****ter no.1 Pardew.

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  8. Stem, that’s the key isn’t it, when people talk about the Rafalution press, media and opo fans all seem to think it’s about us thinking we’ll be in the PL top 6 under Rafa. They don’t get it at all, it’s about so much more than that, it’s about reconnecting the club and players to the fans. It’s about a manager who has respect for the club and opposition teams as well, who doesn’t call opo managers the C word and think the club starts and ends with him only. It’s about bringing the women’s team into the fold and restructuring the academy, medical side and facilities at the club. It’s about fostering links to the community and local charities, all things which should of been done before and which are routinely done at various other clubs. In short the Rafalution for me is about instilling some respectability back to Newcastle united and taking us away from the laughing stock we’d become and not some side show for Sports Direct.

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  9. Given we have so few injuries I am not really sure what the team will be on Saturday. I think he will bring Gayle, MBemba and Diame back and might even rest Ritchie. This is what I think:

    Selz

    Anita Hanley MBemba Lazaar

    Diame Shelvey Hayden Gouffy

    Gayle

    Mitro

    It helps that we have a cup match and can give others a run out. It is so strange to have this problem and not be top of that physioroom website. There is a chance that Atsu will start but I am not sure how many debuts Rafa will give in one game. More likely in the cup?

    Also, I am not sure if Diame can even play on the right, I just think he will be recalled and has to fit in somewhere 🙂

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  10. One of my problems with the three stooges is that even when we were on top we never pushed on and gave a team a real battering. I remember Pardew beating West Ham 5-0 with Hughton’s team and that is about it. I remember us taking Fulham apart away in the first half and then capitulating and losing in the second. There were many, many hammerings of us which proved how sh!t that lot were. It looks like Rafa may have changed this as well even if it is only The Championship.

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  11. Tom, a great read thank you. I wonder just how many tickets the players got their hand on exactly?

    There was the 5 or 6-2 win over Norwich last season Eric, but that was about it.

    I think Yedlin will be playing right wing quite often, as we have no cover for Ritchie out there – and we are stacked at right back.

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  12. Good try Eric but second guessing Rafa’s plans is impossible. Apparently he decides line ups at least 2 weeks in advance so even with a 6-0 under the belt he’ll change it and has already planned the team for the Norwich and Villa games. Extraordinary stuff.

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  13. Kim I agree with you 100 percent there mate. 6-0 against QPR what a result. I enjoyed watching the highlights let me tell you. Ritchie looks brilliant. Shelvey’s coming to life. We have a group of player’s that wan’t to be here and fight for Rafa all the way. It’s excellent to be a Newcastle fan and watch a club winning the respect it truely deserves. 30 million for Sissoko what a deal.

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  14. well i think Rafa will change the front two with Murphy and Gayle coming in for Mitro and Perez

    great read by the way,keep it up 😆 😆

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  15. excellent write up Tom, many thanks for sharing your memories with us. Thanks also to Shamrock for keeping it all ticking over…you’re a star..

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  16. Georgio: I think I read the same article as you. It said he decides who and when to rest players weeks ahead. I am not sure if that means that he decides on the full line up though (although that may be the case, it didn’t say). I would suspect that he will pick players on form and has only decided a fixed schedule on who to rest to maintain their fitness and hopefully guard against injury.

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  17. I am not sure if Rafa has decided on his best 11 yet, but if he is thinking of who to rest weeks in advance you would think he would want our best lineup against Villa regardless of their current form. On paper, that was one of our toughest games so we should see his preferred team/squad and get an idea of his thinking?

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  18. In a nutshell KT. The other stuff you wrote is right but it’s that last line that has me properly interested in the club again. It’ll be ineresting to see how far Rafa can take it

    kimtoon:
    Stem, that’s the key isn’t it, when people talk about the Rafalution press, media and opo fans all seem to think it’s about us thinking we’ll be in the PL top 6 under Rafa. They don’t get it at all, it’s about so much more than that, it’s about reconnecting the club and players to the fans.

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  19. Thanks from me as well Tom and Shamrock. Well done lads. My dad still talks about those teams of the 50’s. His favourite memories of the club by far.

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  20. Nothing to thank me for. This is all Tom’s good work and contribution. Tom has sent another one in, so I will publish that in between the next fixtures at some point.

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  21. Thanks Sham for doing the work of all the publishing. And thanks Tom, this has been a great read to see how things were in the past and all the glory days, when footballers also had to work for a living as well as play.
    Speaking of that, a relative of mine who played from the 60’s to late 70’s who got paid £10 a week then another £10 if in first team and bonuses said when I asked, bet you wish you were playing now with the big money, said not at all. Got paid well enough but did it because loved the game and playing, didn’t do it just for the cash. I just wish players could be like that now

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  22. Simon:
    Thanks Sham for doing the work of all the publishing. And thanks Tom, this has been a great read to see how things were in the past and all the glory days, when footballers also had to work for a living as well as play.
    Speaking of that, a relative of mine who played from the 60’s to late 70’s who got paid £10 a week then another £10 if in first team and bonuses said when I asked, bet you wish you were playing now with the big money, said not at all. Got paid well enough but did it because loved the game and playing, didn’t do it just for the cash. I just wish players could be like that now

    Yes, so do I mate.

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  23. Yeah Kim, I remember when his son Gavin signed a new contract with us for somewhere between £4-£6k a week, massive money for us, and they thought wow, but so pleased he was just playing and enjoying his football. Course he gave up his media career in football after as wasnt bothered about cash and other goals to follow. Like you just wish people now who are lucky enough to have the skills to play, just happy enough to do it and not think about cash. I also remember when Keane was Sunderland manager, he got upset when players asked first what their pay would be when signing a contract. He said that they would always be well paid, they should be asking how often will I play and how will you develop me. Its the attitude of some of todays players that annoys me. I know not all, but seems like most.

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  24. I am absolutely going to be putting money on a 1-0 or 2-1 result tomorrow. It happens all the time, after the Lord Mayors Show. It will be close and nobody as a clue what team Rafa will pick!

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  25. Quiet on here given there is a game tomorrow. Rafa has said he will not play Lazaar tomorrow so I will amend my team. He also said MBemba got a knock and that is why he didn’t go to QPR. This is now my prediction Stuart:

    Selz

    Anita MBamba Lascelles Dummett

    Ritchie Hayden Shelvey Perez

    Gayle

    Mitro

    I had thought Lazaar would start and therefore had Gouffy in as protection. If a more defensive minded player like Dummett starts then that allows Rafa to get either Perez or Diame on the left. I tossed a coin and got Perez.

    I think this is probably our strongest team given a lot of the others do not have much experience yet and he will play it due to the fact we have a midweek cup tie and can satisfy the players who did not play this game.

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  26. Also Tom, thank you for that great read and Sham for uploading.

    I wonder what allocation of tickets players get these days? Two or three?

    Onto tomorrow’s matters, I really fancy us to smash a Wolves team who would have been rocked by that defeat midweek. My friend, a season ticket holder at Wolves went and unsurprisingly wanted to blow his brains out at the end. I fancied Wolves to stake a claim for the play-offs a couple of weeks ago but capitulating like that against a Barnsley side at home doesn’t bode well.

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  27. Andy the Magpie, you might find that some have changed there nicks….. or just moved on.
    Of the old group from Workytickets blog, who then moved over to Toonsy’s blog, Big Dave, Icedog and Richietoon are still regular posters on here..

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  28. Jay Jay popped on a couple of months ago. Mark Toon disappeared long ago, he is a good mate of Toonsy’s, so would probably not have hung around after he sold anyway. Stardust got banned ages ago and never really came back.
    Not sure where the likes JJ, Archie and Batty went. I joined in July of that year and am still here! There were a few characters back then. Wolfie springs to mind! Shame we don’t have quite that level of diversity or number of posters any more.

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  29. As far as old posters go some of them might have changed user names possibly? I can’t remember when I first found the blog but it took me a while. It wasn’t obvious to find at first. Lots of fun since then though although I admit I’ve probably driven a few on here slightly mad over the years. 😳

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  30. And what happened to Aussie Magpie Fan? Did Troy finally drive him away? They had quite the war going on! I and others had quite the battles with Toon Darn Sarf as well. For me it was all in fun. No offense intended whatsoever. Anybody who defends Ashley will always get an argument from me though! 😆

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  31. G2 come on mate Ashley’s done some good thing’s over the years. Hiring Dennis Wise and Joe Kinnear for example. Renaming the stadium stadium to attract another sponsor. Making a profit and hiring head coaches like McClaren and Carver.

    Give TDS some credit.

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  32. Andy, I was first on Ed’s blog, then joined workie’s blog when it started. When this one was started by Toonsy I then joined this one. I started out as Shanghai Toon (whilst living in Shanghai) then moved to Cologne so transformed to Cologne Toon, before moving to Dubai just over 3 years ago and thus transformed once again to Dubai Toon… But they are all me.. ?? I don’t post too often but read everyday!

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  33. Torsten:
    Hello all. Is the game televised tomorrow?

    No mate but we can usually get a radio link up if you pop back on just before the game. The Villa game next Saturday is live on Sky 5.30pm .

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  34. Sharpy17:
    Tom

    Thanks for another great piece mate, may I ask what you used to do? – you write really well, did you used to be a journo or write or something?.

    That was some gesture from your dad giving you the ticket!!!.In hindsight it’s probably more valuable than one of Willy Wonkas golden ones!! .

    IMO owners, chairmen, people on the board are fat cat business – out only to make money & profit and don’t care how it’s done.I would to know how many actually support the club – and how many only started to show interest since the Keegan era?!.
    For me they will never be the measure of any club – that would be the fans for me.

    Thanks again Tom, really hope you become a regular on here mate

    For Sharpy17

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  35. For Sharpy17

    I’m just a lad that was raised in a pit village outside of the toon, went to a grammar school, served my apprenticeship at Vickers who were good enough to send me to Rutherford College in Bath Lane and then to Ncle University where I finished my engineering. Then Vickers gave me a job in the drawing office before I moved on into the wide world of Tyneside in the 1940s following the War. I started my football interest at school, played for South Northumberland but wasn’t much good. Certainly not good enough to attract any scouts from any of the clubs, not even Hartlepool! Ah well, I’m no footballer, that’s for sure.
    Funnily enough, from todays pint of view, my first visit to a football game was when I was taken by my Dad to Roker Park, Sunderland. He was a railway worker during the week but on a Saturday he had permission from my Mam to go to the match. So he had a ticket at St. James’ Park as well as a seat at Roker Park, so could go to see Newcastle one week and Sunderland the next!
    In 1946 we both went to Ellend Road, Leeds to see Newcastle play Charlton Athletic and my favourite player was to play, Charlie Wayman, Newcastle’s No. 9. However, the board dropped Charlie and played a new bloke they had signed, I think the day before. He was called George Stobbart. He went on to be a reasonable player but on that day he rarely gat a kick of the ball and we got stuffed 4-0. I came home devastated, no Charlie Wayman, their player Don Welch getting a hat-trick and my team out of the semi-final of the Cup, all in one afternoon!
    So Charlton went to Wembley to play Derby County, who had a magnificent football team. From Vic Woodley in goal, Leon Luety, centre half, to a forward line boasting three wonderful Internationals. Centre forward, Jack Stamp of England, Raich Carter of England and the magnificent Irish International, Peter Doherty. What a team they were! Unfortunately for Charlton, Derby turned on the heat winning 1-0 with a goal from the Derby winger, Chris Duffy and so Derby were the winning team that year. Their first game of the next season was at Roker Park, the former team of England’s Raich Carter. My Dad took me to see them believing, for the first Cup winners after the War, that they would parade around Roker with the Cup we had just missed out on. Unfortunately, they didn’t but I did get to see those wonderful footballers of the 1940s. For the record, I think, Derby won 2–0, with one scored by the former Sunderland idol. That’s football for you!

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