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Fans Leave Tributes To Jackie Milburn and The History Of Newcastle United

8 years ago

Wednesday was the 25 year anniversary of Jackie Milburn’s passing and following one reader querying;

“Seriously, does anyone care about the 1950s? I was born in ’71. Supermac is as far back as I go…”

We ran an article which has since drawn some excellent points from a number of Newcastle fans about Jackie Milburn and exactly what Newcastle United’s history means to them, we thought they deserved a bigger audience as not everybody reads the comments after articles – feel free to add your own thoughts at the end.

(Send in your letters/articles for the magazine/website to [email protected])


‘History is part of the fabric of our club – our record overall before the 60s to date was excellent in the FA Cup and many years previously as Champions.

I first saw the team play in the mid 60s and attended most of the Fairs Cup home matches. I was brought up on my Dad’s memories of the 50s cup winning sides.

All the older players like Milburn, Frank Brennan, Joe Harvey, Len White etc. were extremely proud to wear the shirt and didn’t earn the fortunes that players make today.

That pride should be part of all fans support of the club and I find it very sad that some fans are only interested in recent years.

This is a great club and everything about it matters, even the bad times.’

Ron Smith

‘In the late 1970s I had just moved to live in Gosforth. I went to the ground to buy a match ticket and I asked a bloke where the ticket office was. He said, “Howay bonny lad, I’ll take you there”. It took a few minutes until I realised that it was Jackie. Later that evening I heard that he was there to talk with the board about a temporary role to manage the club after the manager had been sacked. Why would he take the time to look after me? Because he was the nicest bloke you could hope to meet. I know that because he was a boyhood friend of my uncle. I have a badge from one of Jackie’s England shirts (it’s a long story!) but I was too overawed to mention that. Such a shame.’


‘Perhaps if he doesn’t understand this, then maybe he just doesn’t belong in The Cathedral on the Hill. At the time Supermac was here, I was a snot nosed kid standing outside of the players entrance from 16:50 onwards on a Saturday afternoon, waiting for autographs on my programme. One man who always took time to talk to us was Jackie Milburn ( if we asked him like, cos more than once I heard him say “what do you want MY Autograph for ?”) which incidentally was usually more than McDonald would ever do when he came out.

Point is, J.E.T embodies Newcastle United for me, he is everything we should encourage in young kids playing football; honest, generous, in short a true gentleman of the game.

So my answer would be yes, people do still care about that old timer and I hope that in this region if nowhere else on earth, his name will forever be linked our club.

RIP Jackie, ’88 was a good year for me personally, only dark time on it was having to stand outside of St Nick’s Cathedral and see you carried in

John Edward Thompson Milburn

11 May 1924 – 9 October 1988

A Geordie and a legend.’

Les Avey

‘As an ex-pat living down south I often drive past Milburn Drive, Yiewsley, named after JET, built on the site of the old Yiewsley [later Hillingdon Boro] ground where he wound down his playing career, [He also managed them]. The people of Yiewsley remember him with fondness, so every Geordie should be proud of the greatest ever Local Hero.’


‘The club and fans would not be what they are today without what has gone on before – it is criminal to believe the past does not matter.

We should never forget those that have gone before!

Also, knowing our history helps prevents mistakes recurring. If people in influential positions knew more about the club’s history then perhaps we might see some better decisions made now.’


‘I couldn’t agree more with the last paragraph of Haddaaway’s comment. The current administration at SJP clearly know little or nothing about much of club’s history – given the way they seem to be repeating so many of its most infamous parts. Sadly, I doubt that even if they did realise, they would care all that much.

Unfortunately, modern players too are a million miles removed from Jackie Milburn and his ilk – even from Supermac and those of his era – and I doubt that many care about stats such as appearances, goals and even the medals they’ve won, when they’re counting the £££s they get for a far easier life than Jackie or Mac had. Take away the need to feel hunger and you take away the hunger itself…’


‘If you were to take away the achievements of Milburn et al in the 50s Cup Finals then our history would be even worse (other than for ’69) and NUFC would arguably be less important nationally. We owe all those past medal winners for making NUFC what it has become. It’s just a shame the current lot (players) don’t seem motivated or the board (MA) have any ambition to create the next great chapter in our history!!’


‘Personally, I don’t think we can really grasp how great our club is unless we delve into its illustrious past. From the birth of the club, through the magnificent “Edwardian Masters” to Hughie Gallacher, the cup winners of the 50s, the Fairs Cup heroes of the 60s, through Keegan, Sir Bobby etc..You look at the photographs, the footage, the characters in the black & white stripes and their stories, then you start to see how great our club has always been and you see how great our fans have always been. We have all had the pleasure of listening to old boys recounting their tales. The game might have changed beyond all recognition, but the range of emotions we all go through never has and never will. If your interest only starts with Supermac, then surely you’re missing the point? Our history would bring a tear to a glass eye man.’

Greg Codling

‘I care, I have a shirt with J.E.T Milburn on the back, our problem as a club is we don’t have anything that outwardly shows him off. At P.N.E Tom Finney is in the stand seats. I know we have statues and a stand for the great man, and so we should, but it’s nothing that anyone not from Newcastle can see. Also, media bias that never show off Newcastle will always concede the toon nothing! We always hear of the Matthews final and the Ronnie Radfords but not of our domination of the cup with Milburn on point!! It’s that terrible feeling that you know Newcastle will always draw a plucky underdog in the cup and it will be on TV and our players will go missing. It’s best we educate within and keep it a secret!! JET Milburn fan here!!’


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