Every club has their own ‘what if’ stories and Newcastle United are certainly no different.
What if Newcastle had won the Premier League in 1996?
What could have been if Kevin Keegan had refocused and decided to push on again at St James Park, rather than the disastrous handover to Kenny Dalglish?
What might history show is Wayne Rooney, or indeed Socrates, had signed for NUFC?
What if Alan Shearer hadn’t come home?
The story of Gary Bradshaw though, might just trump them all…
Gary Bradshaw speaking to the Hull Daily Mail:
“I don’t know what was going through my mind at that time.
“I got invited to play for Barham Boys in a friendly they were playing against Newcastle United Boys team in the north east.
“I scored three goals and I guess they wanted to sign me up after that. I always said I never regretted it (signing for Newcastle United), but thinking about it more recently, I am beginning to.
“It would have been nice to see where the move might have taken me and how my career would have panned out.
“But it’s in the past and there is nothing I can do about it now. Back then, all I wanted to do was to play for my hometown club.”
Yes, I bet a bit like me you probably lie awake most nights and wonder, if only Gary Bradshaw had signed….
Just in case you were wondering who Gary Bradshaw actually is, he was a 12 year old schoolboy when he claims Newcastle wanted to sign him.
Born in 1982, that would mean Kevin Keegan was Newcastle Manager and Andy Cole & Peter Beardsley were playing up front when Gary Bradshaw almost signed…with Les Ferdinand to follow and then of course, Alan Shearer.
As for Gary Bradshaw, he eventually landed a contract at hometown club Hull City and was there whilst they were fight off relegation to the Conference from 2000-2003.
Making only 22 appearances and scoring one goal, the 5ft 6 striker then went on to play all of his career non-league for Scarborough, Harrogate, North Ferriby, Cheltenham, Scarborough Athletic and Hull United.
Now 33 he is considering retiring shortly and is currently playing in the NCEL Premier Division (9th tier of the English pyramid system) for AFC Mansfield.
Gary though, still hasn’t given on the possibility of glory…
“We’re going well at AFC Mansfield and hopefully we can win something this season.
“It would be great to end my playing career and hang my boots up with some sort of silverware.
“I’m starting a new job at Siemens shortly and won’t be able to commit to football as much as I have.
“Football is all I’ve done since the age of seven and I’m sure there will come a time where I will miss it.”
What might have been if Gary Bradshaw had signed for Newcastle United!