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The History of the Tyne-Wear Derby

Posted on December 14th, 2017 | One Comment |

Sunderland fans.
Sunderland: Relegated this season.
Sunderland’s relegation from the Premier League last season means that there is no Tyne-Wear derby on the fixture list for a second consecutive season, unless we draw each other in the FA Cup.

The Tyne-Wear derby is one of the oldest, with the first meeting between the two sides taking place in 1883, and also one of the biggest in English football with two of the most passionate sets of fans in the country following two of England’s biggest clubs.

Betfair, the sports exchange whose services allows punters to place football bets against each other, have produced the below graphic highlighting the biggest derby games in England.

Naturally, the Newcastle-Sunderland derby is there, showing that the Magpies have lifted more trophies in our history than our local neighbours, albeit that Sunderland’s 1973 FA Cup success is the only major trophy between us two since the war. It is worth pointing out that we did win the 1969 Inter-City Fairs Cup but this isn’t officially recognised by UEFA.

When it comes to head-to-head battles, we have been victorious on 51 of the 142 league meetings between the two (126 of these have been in the top flight), compared to Sunderland’s 47 wins, and 44 draws. Sunderland however have the biggest victory between the two sides with a 9-1 victory in 1908, with the greatest Newcastle’s biggest victories being two 6-1 victories in 1920 and 1955. Oddly though, Sunderland’s 9-1 record was against what was probably the greatest side in Newcastle United’s history, the triple League winning Edwardian side captained by Colin Veitch, which also won Newcastle their first FA Cup in 1910 after several appearences in the final.

The highest scorers for each team in the derby have been George Holley for Sunderland with 15 (League and Cup) and Jackie Milburn for Newcastle with 11 (Ditto).

In terms of attendances the highest in Newcastle was 70,000 in 1901, and 68004 in Sunderland in 1950.

It’s very tight between the two right now largely down to the six-game winning run Sunderland had been on until we drew our last meeting back in March 2016.

Some classics between the two of us in the Premier League era include the first-ever meeting between us in the new era of the English top flight, when we were 2-1 winners at Roker Park in September 1996 where they wouldn’t let any Newcastle fans attend. Peter Beardsley and Les Ferdinand scored the goals in the second half as we came from behind to win.

And who can forget our 3-2 win at St James’ Park in October 2005? The Mackem Slayer himself, Shola Ameobi scored twice, only to see Sunderland cancel his goals out both times, before Emre scored the winner just after the hour mark.

From our point of view it’s very unfortunate that we don’t have the derby this season to take six points off the Championship strugglers! The closest they’ll be getting to St James’ Park next season is at Exeter City.

Football Derbies in the UK
Football Derbies in the UK
NUFCBlog Author: Frankly Various Frankly Various has written 12 articles on this blog.

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