We’ve got Malcolm Macdonald and Les Ferdinand on the bench. That would have taken the worry out of that second half against Blackburn in the FA Cup 3rd round but of course they aren’t really current incumbents of the home dugout at St James’ Park (pity).

Like the team and the subs below they exist in my head, my cobbled together team of the best players I have seen at St James’ Park in my lifetime. No longer down with the kids (I had my 50th birthday cake last summer) but I’m too young to have seen the likes of Jackie Milburn in the flesh to give an obvious example of my very simple rule. It sounds easy but it isn’t.

I’ve offended myself by leaving Malcolm Macdonald and Terry Hibbit out of the team (the memory of the latter hitting a long ball for the former makes the hairs on the palms of my hands stand up). It’s all opinions and you can’t please everyone and I hope all you Frank Pingel fans out there take that on board. I reserve the right to change my mind, agree and buddy up with anyone who has better ideas and say they were my own all along. Pleased you’re cool with that disclaimer, now on with the show…

4-4-2 Formation

Manager Bobby Robson

GK Shay Given

Right Back Irving Nattrass

Left Back Jose Enrique

Central Defender Philippe Albert

Central Defender Fabricio Coloccini

Midfield Terry McDermott

Midfield Paul Gascoigne

Midfield Kevin Keegan

Midfield David Ginola

Forward Alan Shearer

Forward Peter Beardsley

Seven Subs: Tim Krul, Malcolm Macdonald, Chris Waddle, Les Ferdinand, Nobby Solano, Jonathan Woodgate, Terry Hibbitt

The Fallen

In my parallel universe, several greats are now rumoured in the parallel press to be unsettled. Some will be easier to soothe than others. It’s just possible that Frank Clark prizes his European Cup winner’s medal at Forest medal higher than being in my dream team but we can’t know that for sure of course.

Many Mag gentlemen of a certain age will be yelling, “Tony Green”, but in the flesh I only clearly recall him from a testimonial (Ollie Burton’s I think). I went to my first match in 1971 and others in the early 70s but wasn’t a home regular until the mid 70s and then ever since.

I was going to do a player by player justification of others who I can’t believe I left out but I’d be here until the end of the season. I could have picked players on stats – Robert by numbers is better than Ginola on extinct. However, the latter was still one of the best players I have ever seen up close and personal. Similarly Rob Lee really should have been in there somewhere but I’d stop speaking to myself if I left out Gazza and I love Nobby Solano.

Then what is the point of having Supermac’s cannon ball shot if Terry Hibbitt isn’t in there supplying the ammo. I said I wasn’t going to go through player by player………………………..

  • Esr

    I’m disappointed Billy askew doesn’t even make the bench!

  • Anonymous

    best and worst, perfect pub games and now on tinternet. Can’t agree with ESR about the ginger goblin but I certainly would have had Robert Lee in the team, I reckon he was the best player over the longest period of time in our best modern day team. I think KK just loved him.

  • Anonymous

    Well done Percy, have to say though that midfield looks a bit(!) lightweight and would have Tiote instead of Terry Mac.

  • Anonymous

    Laurent Robert would get into my team ahead of Ginola every day, just count the goals and assists Barry.

  • Timkilgallon

    No one like you ever Barry, miss you so much

  • Amy

    Can’t believe the news, and so very very sad to hear you’ve left us for another Universe.
    Hope your dream team is playing every week.

  • Patricia

    I still can’t accept that I won’t bump into you in the Leazes, read your posts, your brilliant articles in The Mag and exchange the odd email or phone call at work.  My sincere condolences to your family – I cannot imagine the pain and devastation they must be feeling.  RIP bonny lad.

  • Nige

    So very very sad. A top bloke “Percy”. You’ll be missed.

  • Rasputin

    I contribute to the forum Afterhoursfc which Percy occasionally contributed to. I have been horrified to learn that he has died. I am not a Newcastle supporter but obviously deaths transcend any kind of club loyalties. Percy was a wonderful poster and to anyone who knew him my sincerest condolences
    Rasputin, (AHFC)

  • Davey

    Top patter, top bloke. RIP mate.


  • Steve H

    Barry; a wonderfully sincere and and gracious man whom i had so much time for.  RIP mate.

  • Patrick Leonard

    Couldn’t be prouder to have you as my Godfather.

    RIP mate.

  • Tony Fiddes

    Just read the Chron – didn’t know Barry but as a fellow Mag writer all I can say is a heartfelt –  God Bless and my sincere condolences to his family. Rest In Peace my fellow MAG.

  • George Tullin

    Totally shocked by the sad news. I knew Barry from my time at the Council. He always had time for a chat, especially about the Mags. No matter what was going on at St James he always had a smile on his face. Will miss that smile and the handshake at every match from now on. RIP mate

  • jbs

    enjoyed the beer and banter….. to absent friends
    lord smudger of boleyn