My Dad has a funny old habit of wandering into charity shops and finding football books that later transpire to be bargains, only the other day it was ‘A Complete Record of the World Cup 1930-1990’.

In my lifetime I don’t really have much of a memory with regards to Newcastle players at the World Cup.

Born in 95, I suppose my first memory is watching Michael Owen being stretchered off the pitch in Germany. Then Jonas Gutierrez lining up for Argentina alongside the likes of Messi in 2010… while 2014 brought us the Tim Krul penalty shoot-out and Shola Ameobi gracing the greatest stage of them all.

The point being, that Newcastle players have never done much on the international stage… at least not while they were actually representing us. Of course, down the years some big players have walked through our doors: Ardiles, Pearce, Barnes… while Geordies such as Gazza, Waddle, Beardsley, Shearer, Carrick, and even the Charlton brothers have performed for England at a World Cup.

With Mitrovic likely to leave, this could be the first World Cup in 24 years where Newcastle don’t have a player at the finals. Another sign of the downward spiral that Mike Ashley has taken us on.

Every then current Newcastle player who went to the World Cup finals, as well as past and future NUFC players, as well as Geordies who made it there.

Uruguay 1930 – 0

Italy 1934 – 0

France 1938 – 0

Newcastle had no representatives at the first three World Cups, nor did any of the players at the tournament have any sort of obvious link with the club.

This is hardly a surprise given that there was no representation from the British Isles until 1950.

Brazil 19502 (Jackie Milburn and George Robledo)

Jackie Milburn:

This was the only World Cup that Milburn would play in and he only managed the one game. It turned out to be a meaningless game against Spain which England lost 1-0. Jackie’s inclusion in the team came after that famous 1-0 defeat to the USA in the previous game.

The 1950 England squad did include former Newcastle player Roy Bentley who played for the club between 1946-48. Meanwhile, a couple of local lads were also in the squad that travelled to Brazil; Stan Mortensen was from South Shields and Jimmy Mullen was from Newcastle, although he never played for the club at senior level, despite playing for Newcastle boys.

George Robledo was the other Newcastle representative at the World Cup with Chile. He played in the opening game against England, but didn’t square up against Milburn.

In 1974, future NUFC player John Blackley, future manager Kenny Dalglish and future reserve team manager Willie Donachie played for Scotland.

Switzerland 1954 – 1 (Ivor Broadis)

I recently read an article about Ivor Broadis, which stated that he was England’s oldest surviving player, still going at 95. He was Newcastle’s sole representative at the 1954 World Cup. He played in all of England’s games and even managed two goals.

The England team also included former Newcastle manager Bill McGarry.

Sweden 1958 – 3 (Alf McMichael, Dick Keith and Tommy Casey)

Surprisingly, all three of Newcastle’s representatives played for Northern Ireland in Sweden. Perhaps even more surprising was that McMichael, Keith and Casey were part of a team that went further than England did in the tournament.

This was an England squad that included two Geordies in Sir Bobby Robson (Langley Park) and Bobby Charlton – born in Ashington and went to Bedlington Grammar School, nephew of Jackie Milburn.

Also, the Wales squad included Ivor Allchurch who signed for Newcastle just after the tournament, he would go on to play over 150 times for us. Don’t forget about Wales’ Ken Leek either, who had a brief stay at Newcastle in 1961 scoring a pretty decent 6 goals in 13 games.

For the next five tournaments, Newcastle amazingly had no representative at a World Cup.

Chile 1962 – 0

However, in 1962 the England squad featured both Jimmy Adamson and Bobby Charlton, who were both born in Ashington. It also included George Eastham, who played over 100 times for us. Finally, Stan Anderson from Horden was in the squad in Chile. He is known for being one of the players to have played for Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Sunderland but not many people know that he is the only one to captain all three.

England 1966 – 0

When England won the World Cup in 1966, Bobby Charlton had been joined by his brother Jack Charlton, who would later manage Newcastle. The squad also included Norman Hunter, who I didn’t actually know was from Gateshead.

Mexico 1970 – 0

The same three players (Charlton brothers and Norman Hunter) would also be in England’s squad in 1970.

West Germany 1974 – 0

In 1974, future NUFC player John Blackley, future manager Kenny Dalglish and future reserve team manager Willie Donachie played for Scotland.

Argentina 1978 – 0

Four years later in Argentina 1978, future NUFC manager Ossie Ardiles was part of the Argentina squad that won the World Cup, while the Scotland squad included two more future Newcastle managers in Graeme Souness and Kenny Dalglish.

Spain 1982 – 1 (David McCreery)

Newcastle finally had a representative at the World Cup in 1982, although it must be noted that despite being signed before the tournament, David McCreery hadn’t actually played for Newcastle at that point. Also in the same Northern Ireland squad was former NUFC player Tommy Cassidy.

Ardiles would again play for Argentina, strangely wearing the number 1 shirt, while Argentina’s goalkeeper was forced to wear the number 2 shirt. Souness and Dalglish again showed up in the Scotland squad.

Kevin Keegan and Terry McDermott were a part of the England side. So too was Kenny Samson (who I didn’t actually know had gone on to play for Newcastle, came as a surprise) and Peter Withe – who is one of a select few of former Newcastle players to have won the European Cup. I also found out that Trevor Brooking actually played one game for Newcastle Blue Star in 1985, who knew that?

Last comment from ’82- does Bryan Robson count as a Geordie coming from Chester Le-Street? Yes, he does. He supports Newcastle so that’s good enough for me (I would say that as a Newcastle fan who grew up in Durham).

Mexico 1986 – 3 (Peter Beardsley, David McCreery and Ian Stewart)

Peter Beardsley was a big player for England in a side that was managed Sir Bobby Robson, he would play in that famous game versus Argentina. David McCreery and Ian Stewart represented Newcastle playing for Northern Ireland.

Graeme Souness would again play for Scotland and future Newcastle player Roy Aitken was also in the Scotland squad. As for the rest of the England team, it featured Bryan Robson, Chris Waddle (born in Felling), who had played for Newcastle only a year previous, and John Barnes.

Italy 1990 – 1 (Roy Aitken)

Roy Aitken was our sole representative at the tournament as he captained Scotland.

It’s at this point that lots of names start to pop up with Philippe Albert in the Belgium team, Ruud Gullit captaining Holland and the Republic of Ireland squad (managed by Jack Charlton) included Kevin Sheedy, Chris Hughton and David Kelly.

As for England, managed again by Sir Bobby; Stuart Pearce, Bryan Robson, Waddle, Beardsley, Barnes, Gascoigne… and Dave Beasant! David Seaman had originally been selected ahead of him but had to pull out through injury and was replaced by Beasant.

USA 1994 – 0

With England not qualifying at a time when Newcastle were near the top of the league, there were no representatives in USA. However, those who were there include; Asprilla (Colombia), Hottiger (Switzerland), Albert (Belgium) and Kelly (Ireland).

Another former Newcastle ‘player’ there was Brad Friedel of the USA, who we signed after the tournament, although he never managed to get a work permit so that he could play for us.

Interestingly, France didn’t qualify for that tournament thanks largely to a moment of madness by David Ginola, it was rumored that this was he left France and subsequently joined Newcastle, largely because of the backlash he faced at home.

France 1998 – 3 (Alan Shearer, David Batty and Rob Lee)

This is where it gets long. Alan Shearer (captain), David Batty and Rob Lee all played for an England side that reached the quarter finals. They were helped by former player Les Ferdinand and future NUFC players Sol Campbell andMichael Owen.

Following the tournament, Newcastle brought in a few others who had featured, including Hamann (Germany), World Cup winner Stephane Guivarc’h (France) and Silvio Maric (Croatia).

Familiar names again; Ronny Johnsen (Norway) Clarence Acuna (Chile), Babayaro (Nigeria), Kluivert (Holland), Friedel (USA), Asprilla (Colombia).

Scotland squad also featured Chris Hughton’s assistant manager Colin Calderwood, along with former players Kevin Gallacher and Darren Jackson,

Japan and South Korea 2002 – 3 (Kieron Dyer, Shay Given and Andy O’Brien)

Kieron Dyer featured in the England squad (also included Sol Campbell, Nicky Butt and Michael Owen) making three appearances, all as a substitute.

As for Ireland, they had two Newcastle players in Shay Given and Andy O’Brien, while Damien Duff had a great tournament seeing Ireland through to the knockout phase.

Peter Lovenkrands and John Dahl Tomasson played for Denmark.

There was a strong African contingent with Amdy Faye, Lamine Diatta and Habib Beye playing for Senegal; Geremi for Cameroon and Babayaro again for Nigeria.

Previously mentioned names include Friedel (USA), Hamann (Germany), while some new ones like Gavilan (Paraguay), Emre (Turkey), Andreas Andersson (Sweden), Albert Luque was in the Spain squad, and a very young Hugo Viana travelled with Portugal.

Even the Italy squad featured Francesco Coco who was on trial at Newcastle but turned down a move in favour of staying in Italy.

Germany 2006 – 3 (Michael Owen, Craig Moore and Jean Alain Boumsong)

This one will be remembered for that Michael Owen injury. England again featured Sol Campbell but also included Jermaine Jenas and local lad Michael Carrick.

Craig Moore played for an Australia side captained by Mark Viduka. While Jean Alain Boumsong made it all the way to the final, alongside Louis Saha.

Other notable names; Gavilan (Paraguay), Shaka Hislop (Trinidad and Tobago), Coloccini (Argentina), Viana (Portugal), Rozehnal (Czech Republic) and Oguchi Onyewu (USA).

South Africa 2010 – 1 (Jonas Gutierrez)

I was 14 by the time South Africa came along, so this is the first World Cup I remember properly taking in. Diego Maradona came out with an incredible quote before the tournament in which he stated his Argentina side would be “Mascherano, Messi, Jonas and eight more”.

Others include; Ignacio Gonzalez (Uruguay), Obafemi Martins (Nigeria), Milner & Carrick (England), Onyewu (USA), Moore (Australia), Bassong & Geremi (Cameroon), Tiote & Doumbia (Ivory Coast), meanwhile John Dahl Tomasson captained Denmark.

Brazil 2014 – 6 (Tim Krul, Cheick Tiote, Mathieu Debuchy, Moussa Sissoko, Loic Remy and Shola Ameobi)

This was by far the most players Newcastle have had at a tournament. Tim Krul for Holland in a memorable penalty shoot-out against Costa Rica. Both Janmaat and Wijnaldum were also in the Dutch Squad.:

Cheick Tiote played for Ivory Coast and Shola Ameobi made it to the big stage with Nigeria.

The France squad included Newcastle players Mathieu Debuchy, Moussa Sissoko and Loic Remy, as well as past and future players in Cabaye and Cabella.

Former academy players James Troisi (Australia) and Fraser Forster (England) were in Brazil. While others included; Atsu (Ghana), Yedlin (USA) Milner (England) and Slimani (Algeria).

Russia 2018 – 1 (Aleksandar Mitrovic)

This summer there will only be one Newcastle player, that is Mitrovic leading the line for Serbia. Aside from Florian Thauvin in the France squad, that is just about it, which is a fair representation of just how much we have declined.

Finally, best of luck to Nobby Solano, who will be the assistant manager of Peru this summer.

You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn

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  • Leazes.

    Norman Hunter from Gateshead….. I didn’t know that

    • TheNutJob

      the Tory boy did
      😂😂😂😂

  • gold coast mag

    An enjoyable read-did you google every player in your dads books or only after educated guesses?

  • Wor Lass

    Do you and your dad get matching anoraks for Christmas, Jonathan? That was an interesting, if particularly obscure, read and made a pleasant change fom the diet of past players/managers we don`t really want to know about any more, transfer window inaction/players on the radar rubbish, Sunderland-gloating and Villa-bashing that we`re normally subjected to. Have you got a book on the Champions` League/European Cup?

  • GC

    Wow, an interesting read in the Mag, ‘makes a change.

  • Mark Potter

    An interesting read, but Loic Remy was never a proper Newcastle player. We had him on loan from QPR in the 2013-14. Infamously, he couldn’t be bothered to play our final game of the season. The loan period was over, and he had returned to QPR by the time of the WC. So there were only 5 NUFC players in 2014.

    One of them was the opposite way round. Technically Debuchy was still a Newcastle player during the WC. But we all knew he was leaving. The day after the Final it was announced he had signed for Arsenal.

    You get to count him, but the 5 in 2014 is very much a statistical outlier. There is a high degree of chance in how many attend, not dependent on the ability of players to perform at international level, but largely whether their nation qualified while they were playing for NUFC. Speed and Solano, both international captains, never played at a WC.

    With an average about 1.5 the normal attendance at World Cups since WW2 is 1 or 2 Newcastle players. 1 in 2018 is normal. It is not “a fair representation of just how much we have declined”. That is not supported by the stats.

    • Jonathan Drape-Comyn

      fair comment but it wasn’t a reference to the whole world cup period.

      more in relation to the fact that considering Mitro isn’t really our player, meaning we don’t really have a player at the world cup for the first time in 24 years (especially in this day and age where most PL teams do, think there is only one other side who don’t)… then it is just another reminder, or fact of how we have declined in status as a club, and the continued lack of ambition that goes into transfer targets.

      also, using averages across the entire world cup i think is unfair. considering that every four years, the football market gets more globalised. when you think about it, it is actually mental that Newcastle had a player playing for Chile in 1950! Up until the 70s, almost every player played in the nation they represented.