On a recent visit to my mother’s she asked me to ‘chuck out’ an old box of stuff that had been in a cupboard for a canny few years…well 30 years plus to be honest.

Before ‘hoying’ the box out I had a look through and it revealed a veritable treasure trove of old Newcastle ‘stuff’ from when I was a kid in the early 70’s….programmes from various seasons, badges, membership of the supporters club when it was at the Haymarket prefabs, an old John Gibson book and also Jackie Milburn Testimonial programme .

However, there was one thing that caught my eye because it was not something I expected to find….a page from an old newspaper with the headline, ’’WHITTLE GOAL KNOCKS SUNDERLAND OUT OF THE CUP’’. Unfortunately, I’d only kept the article itself , not the newspaper or the date , so I began to search my brain to reflect  on what the article related to. After some searching, the internet can be of great use even to old cynics like me, I found out what it was all about.

It transpired that when Malcolm Allison took over Crystal Palace in the early 70s they were a third division club and went on a run to the semi- final (75/76 season). He was famous at the time for wearing a fedora  hat which still crops up even now in old articles about the FA  Cup in the 70’s.

Anyway, they drew the Mackems at Joker Park in the quarter-finals and against all odds knocked them out with a goal by ex-Everton wide man Alan Whittle. It made the headlines in all the papers the next day and even as a 13 year old I’d been programmed to give some stick to sunderland fans at school. As a result I’d obviously cut the headline out of the paper and took it into school. The memories came flooding back. Taking the mick out of the Mackems…some things never change!