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Archive for category: Jim Smith.

Magical Magpie Memories: The 80s Part Two – Coming Full Circle.

February 12th, 2012 | 16 Comments |

“Jossys Giants” visit Bobby Charlton and Willie McFaul at St James’ Park – 1985.

Aye Bobby Charlton, not Jackie Charlton who had left the club as manager in the huff over player sales and such before McFaul stepped in and faced the same old problem.

After introducing the Jossy’s lads to McFaul the ex Northern Ireland goalie, Bobby then takes them through the bowels of the old St James Park, the old away dressing room with the old plunge bath, the old physio room and so on. A magical trip down Magpie memory lane. As you can see, Bobby’s no Al Pacino when it comes to acting; then again, he could probably teach Pacino a thing or two on playing against the likes of Eusebio and Beckenbauer! (more…)


From another era – interview with a former Toon player!

October 5th, 2009 | 14 Comments |

Living the dream!
Living the dream!
Back in the day, when all I had to worry about was hiding my hickies in a rollneck top, Jolly Ranchers were poisoning us with watermelon flavoured boiled sweets and a young Take That were barely a twinkle in the eye, a young man was trying to make his way in the hard knock world of professional football.

John Watson was an apprentice when I was a young whippersnapper following eagerly in his path at Wallsend Boys Club and trying to follow in his footsteps at the Toon school of excellence. John was generous enough to help out the younger lads and along with Lee Makel, Tommy Heron and Alan Thompson, he imparted his knowledge and experience on us and helped out with training sessions.

Some years later in the twighlight of his career and with me on my way towards my own premature retirement, our paths crossed again when he played in the same team as me at Annfield Plain in the Wearside League. Mine was but a fleeting pipedream but John Watson actually lived that dream of playing for his hometown club, albeit by his own admission, for a fleeting moment in time. But like Chesney Hawkes sang just as John was realising that dream, no matter how short a period it was, he played on that hollowed turf, in those famous stripes and ‘you can’t take that away from him’. (more…)