There are many connections between Newcastle United and Liverpool but Terry McDermott is hard to beat for the sheer number of years he has spent at the two clubs.
Winning League titles and European Cups at Anfield, McDermott was a talented midfielder for Newcastle in the 70s, before later returning in the 80s to play alongside Kevin Keegan and help tale NUFC back into the top tier.
However, for most Newcastle fans, the abiding memories will be of Terry McDermott at the side of Kevin Keegan in the dugout, as the pair of them almost brought the Premier League title to St James Park.
McDermott holds Rafa Benitez in the same regard and says that while Jose Mourinho thinks of himself as the ‘Special One’, he believes Rafa is the ‘Great One’.
However, the former midfielder believes there are obvious differences between Newcastle managers past and present.
Whereas Keegan was famous for his attacking style, McDermott says that Rafa Benitez ‘sets up teams not to lose’.
Nevertheless he lives ‘in hope’ that ‘the Newcastle of the 90s can be replicated now’.
Terry McDermott talking to NUFC TV:
“Rafa Benitez is a top manager, isn’t he? He’s not just any manager.
“Jose Mourinho keeps saying he is the ‘special one’ but I think Rafa is the ‘great one’ – because he has been a great over the years. I just hope he’s going to be here for the long haul.
“He (Rafa) sets up teams not to lose; Kevin never did that, Kevin wanted to put a team out that won every game. It was inevitable that they would concede but they didn’t half entertain in those years.
“Let’s hope the Newcastle of the 90s can be replicated now, it’s not going to be easy to follow those players, but we live in hope.
“(It has been brilliant seeing all the ex-players (at the recent NUFC 125 year celebration night at Newcastle races) – Jimmy Smith, Malcolm Macdonald, Jackie Charlton, Mick Martin. It’s a fantastic occasion and rightly so for a great club.
“It’s great talking to the lads about games and it’s nice to be with some people that you haven’t seen for a long time.
“We’re all getting older, we’re all changing. I’m the only one one who hasn’t really changed…I’ve been told!
“‘Jinky (Jimmy) Smith looks better now than when he was about 30 and Mick Martin hasn’t changed because he looked like that when he was three!
“It’s great to see them and great to be part of it. It’s a great club. I’m one of the lucky ones; I played for a great club with great, great supporters.”