It is exactly 30 years ago to the day, on Saturday 3 September 1988 the very first issue of The Mag went on sale to Newcastle fans.

Three relegations and a third style of ownership later, three decades of covering Newcastle United and all the madness that goes with it.

That very first issue of the paper magazine had a photo of Paul Gascoigne on the front and the caption ‘Laughing All The Way To The Bank’!

However, the inspiration for that cover and indeed the whole introduction of The Mag, was aimed at the owners of Newcastle United.

Gazza had just been sold, the final one of three local world class talents sold on due to a total lack of ambition, Chris Waddle and Peter Beardsley having already departed in previous seasons.

Not that Paul Gascoigne (or indeed Beardsley and especially Waddle) totally escaped the anger of the Newcastle supporters for leaving…but fans knew where the real problem was.

That (1988/89) season had started with a 4-0 hammering at Everton, conceding after only 30 seconds, which really set the tone for what lay ahead.

The Mag

Issue 1 – August 1988

The first home match saw Tottenham the visitors, Paul Gascoigne making a very quick return and pelted with Mars Bars (ask your dad) when he took a corner. Chris Waddle also in this Spurs team.

Newcastle raced into a two goal lead, only for Tottenham to reply with two of their own, including one from Waddle.

A few hundred unsuspecting Newcastle fans had bought a copy of The Mag outside St James Park before kick-off, setting in motion three decades and counting of independent coverage by Newcastle fans of their team.

The Mag

Issue 71 – November 1994

Difficult to imagine these days but back before September 1988, if you wanted to have your say, the options were the letters pages of the Sunday Sun and The Pink, that was it.

No internet, no Twitter, no websites, no blogs, no facebook and no football magazines produced by fans. A time when trolls were characters in children’s story books, not sad anonymous characters spreading malice online.

Altogether there were 26 years and 289 issues of The Mag, the final three years with a website running alongside it.

The Mag

Issue 289 – 5 April 2014

Moving with the times and the demands of people wanting immediacy, the decision was taken in 2014 to put all of our energies into the online presence of The Mag.

Now we are 30 years old since that very first paper issue went on sale and just as 1988/89 saw the club facing crisis and what proved to be relegation under the disastrous McKeag and others’ administration, we now in 2018 see a club in crisis and facing the very real possibility of a third relegation under the even more disastrous Mike Ashley ownership.

I say ‘even more disastrous’ because Gordon McKeag and associates weren’t billionaires, probably not even millionaires, just local people lacking the money and expertise to fulfil the club’s potential.

There has never been more money flowing into St James Park than there is these days and yet we have a super rich owner who still insisted that a profit on transfers was made this summer, this at a time when clubs such as Fulham and Bournemouth are spending almost £30m on single players.

The Mag

Issue 217 – 9 June 2007

Just like back in 1988, The Mag can’t cure the problems at Newcastle United but hopefully we can still be doing our bit to try and push things in the right direction.

One thing that hasn’t changed is that despite the very different format, all Newcastle fans are given the platform to have their say and write articles (see below), no matter whether we agree with what anybody has to say or not.

The Mag

Issue 238 – 15 August 2009

Obviously the more observant amongst you will have spotted that this has been 30 years without a trophy, difficult now to look back and think that in 1988 it had ‘only’ been 19 years since the Fairs Cup win and indeed ‘only’ 33 years since the third of three FA Cup wins in five seasons.

Thanks to everybody who has contributed to this journey and of course every single person who bought a copy of The Mag, or who visits the website in this paper-free era.

Onwards and upwards, or at least we hope so with Newcastle United…

To feature like Mark Jensen submit your article to [email protected] and/or for more info go here

  • Tweed Mag

    Happy Birthday. I must admit I preferred the hard copy version of ‘The Mag’, but times have to move on. And we all know who we would like to move on the most! Looking forward to a bumper edition when Ashley finally departs.

  • Jimblag23

    25 years of great reading, 5 years of click bait and betting ads. 🎉

    • grumpyoldmag

      Spot on. I used to love reading the magazine – great writers with great humour and great shared stories of the match day experience. The web site is completely laughs free – why?

  • Wezza

    Happy Birthday to The Mag!

  • Leicester Mag

    Still got copies of the first 50 or so editions. Really miss Walker Dan and our famous Scottish forward Wayne McHuge.

    How about a commemorative Walker Dan t shirt?

  • Leazes the Gray

    There was a reason why there was a need for an independent voice, and that reason is still there……

    ……its the Chronicle’s…..”back the regime and support the team” Political philosophy….. yes its to get us into the inner sanctum key where we will furnish you with exclusives on a daily basis…. all saying nothing!

    Ashley couldn’t have made it to eleven years without the Chronicle and their backing for the Big Lie…. a debt that wasn’t.

    Congratulations to Lowes and Anderson, Oliver and Ryder, Douglas and Brown, Wise and Keys, Redknapp and Ferdinand, Grey and Bishop…. and all of those who have all but destroyed the club…..well done!!!

    …..and well done to all those fans who sat on their hands and waved their flags while wondering where the atmosphere had gone and wondering why it had gone!… that takes a special kind of fan, a one that doesn’t know what its looking at on the field but is happy to turn up to an ambition-less and unmotivated farce and hope for better next week.

    Truly a special club with very special fans, and I’m most sincere in that.

    Why do we need an independent voice when we can just listen to Ryder’s five things we learned?

    Happy Birthday Mag.

  • Billmag

    Happy birthday to The Mag I for one much preferred the hard copy version, unfortunately we have to move with the times and put up with the influx of troll’s on this website, never mind here’s hoping we get rid of the poison that owns our club and good luck to The Mag for the future.

  • John D Williams

    Football has totally moved on in the last 30 years, apart from Newcastle United. Stuck in the siding waiting for the fat controller to leave.
    Happy Birthday to The Mag. Lets at least have one day with no trolls.

  • Leazes the Gray

    I was just going through some of the old Mags, an editorial from 2009 caught the eye… early in the Ashley tenure some people knew the score then… the chronicle also knew the score….the club was to be run on a shoestring for the foreseeable future…. no communication means no debate…. ask Luke Edwards.

    Thats’ how it get away with it….. lets play find Charnley…. or is it where’s Wally?

    …..attitudes in society have changed… the club is now in the hands of a boyhood Chelsea fan and you can’t tell me he’s not getting his advice from the original Co**ney mafia on running it into the ground.

    ….Ashley does communicate with some people…. he’s not mute….the dumb silent routine is deliberate….. its to do what he’s done….asset stripped….theft….the arrogance of it.

  • Peaky

    Hope you’re not going to go all Ya Ya Toure or Ivan Toney on us if we don’t wish you a happy birthday… the way who’s that on the photo with Pamela Anderson & ‘Steve McManaman’…???

    • Leazes.

      Simon Van der Velde and Mark Jensen

      • Mrkgw

        Could it be my phone but, have you gone green to grey Leazes?

    • Kenny

      the one on the left is playing with himself, nasty

      • Peaky

        😂😂 aye you’re right..

  • Toon

    Such a shame what has happened to The Mag, it used to be an independent voice for the fans which was informative, fair and amusing, now and as a website it is simply awful.

  • paudngu

    c︁h︁еck m︁y b︁r︁а︁nd n︁е︁w r︁u︁dе h︁оm︁еm︁аdе – v︁i︁dе︁о w︁i︁th m︁y p︁us︁s︁i︁е︁s︁, ch︁аt m︁е hе︁r︁е ̩
    S︁i︁n︁g u︁p a︁nd a︁dd m︁e︁: i︁a︁l︁︁m︁︁a︁︁z︁︁.︁︁c︁om︁/︁︁a︁︁l︁︁b︁︁u︁m︁-︁︁0︁7︁7︁9︁7︁9

  • Mrkgw

    Many Happy Returns to The Mag. And, here’s hoping to another 30years of following Newcastle, majority of those without Mike Ashley whom we need out of the club. Wishing writers and fellow contributors the very best.

  • mactoon

    I remember that game when Gazza got pelted with Mars bars. He took a bite of one and stuffed it in his sock. Happy days

  • When Saturday Comes

    While I do not get to many matches as I would like I remember the Mag being a well balanced magazine the letters page especially. Now Mark Jensen allows death threats to the likes of Fleckmen and Monkseaton who seem two intelligent chaps but because there view is different to others they are subjected to a torrent of abuse. The same used to happen to a poster called Alan Pardew’s Black and White Army and now Ben Jones and to a certain extent Ghostrider and Clarko.
    Mark Jensen allows this and is a disgrace letting these appalling coments on his site on a daily basis. One time the Mag was about football now it is about having a go at fellow supporters.

    • Wezza

      Blocked. No not paranoia. Fact.

  • gancupik

    n︂е︂w sо︂c︂iаl n︂е︂t wh︂е︂r︂е i sh︂оw w︂hо︂l︂е m︂y cr︂а︂zy s︂hо︂t︂s & lu︂rk︂i︂n’ 4 dа︂tе ̩
    Si︂n︂g u︂p an︂d a︂d︂d m︂e︂: i︂a︂︂l︂m︂a︂z︂︂.︂c︂o︂︂m︂︂/︂g︂︂a︂l︂︂l︂e︂r︂︂y8︂︂3︂4︂6︂2︂1

    • zandermag

      ︂OMG︂!︂ yo︂u lo︂o︂k l︂i︂k︂e a︂n a︂ng︂e︂l !︂!︂! amaz︂in︂g ph︂o︂t︂o !!