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Newcastle United made history 60 years ago today

6 years ago

It is 60 years ago to the day that Newcastle United and Portsmouth made history, with the first Football League match under floodlights.

The initiative came from Sunderland ironically, who put forward a proposal that if the two clubs agreed, they could play postponed league matches under the floodlights.

So at 7pm on 22 February 1956, Newcastle United kicked off at Fratton Park against Portsmouth, in the first ever Football League match under the lights (there had been cup matches under lights previously).

Even better, Newcastle won 2-0 under the floodlights with goals from Bill Curry and Vic Keeble in front of 15,831 fans.

The match almost didn’t go ahead due to a floodlights failure before kick-off but the problem was fixed in time.

This match set in motion some great nights for myself and many other football fans.

Night matches can still be special now (that Europa quarter final against Benfica was very good, as was the round before when I think Cisse scored the winner very late on) and whilst youth played a part back then for me, the combination of the old fashioned floodlights and standing on the terraces was intoxicating at times.

The younger you were, obviously the fact you were out somewhere at a time when you’d usually be tucked up in the house/in bed also was a factor.

Walking up towards St James Park with the floodlights switched on and kick-off approaching….happy days.


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