As you might have noticed, Newcastle United haven’t won many trophies recently…

So wen the old debate about which are ‘big’ clubs and which are not, putting recent trophies is a non-starter.

However, one area where Newcastle fans can take justifiable pride and enjoyment in, is the sheer number of European matches played by NUFC in the Premier League era, at least that is until Mike Ashley appeared…

Very interested to read last night on The Mag, that it was exactly 50 years since Newcastle’s first ever competitive match in Europe (see below).

I have had a look back at what has happened the last 25 years and the figures are stunning.

In the 13 seasons (1994/95 to 2006/07) before Ashley’s arrival, Newcastle played in Europe in 11 of those 13 seasons. The only exceptions being 1995/96 and 2000/01.

In the 12 seasons (2007/08 to 2018/19) under Mike Ashley, Newcastle have had no European football in 12 of those 13 seasons.

In the 13 pre-Ashley seasons, Newcastle United had 96 games in Europe (including 12 in Intertoto).

In 12 years under Mike Ashley there have been only 14.

Some people might laugh at the Intertoto Cup but at least it gave the Newcastle fans some great away trips AND proved to be a route into ‘proper’ European football at times.

The bottom line is that under Mike Ashley, there is no chance that any invitation to take part in the Intertoto would even have been accepted.

After our one European season (2012/13) under Mike Ashley, the attitude was summed up when the following season Alan Pardew said ‘Thank God Newcastle aren’t in Europe again’, referring to the extra games and impact it might have on the Premier League performances.

No doubt this is why the club also had/have a policy of getting out of the domestic cups as quick as possible.

I dream of Europe and one day we will be back there, great nights at Inter Milan (photo above), Feyenoord, Dynamo Kiev and many others still fresh in the memory.

Plus of course great home days against Juventus, Barcelona and the rest.

Under Mike Ashley this will never happen but once he is gone we will have hope again.

The Mag – 11 September 2018:

A special anniversary for Newcastle United today.

It is exactly 50 years since they played their first competitive match in European competition.

At home on 11 September 1968, Newcastle hammered Feyenoord 4-0 at St James Park in the first round of the Fairs Cup.

Joe Harvey’s team of course going on to win a European trophy at the first time of asking.

Newcastle have now played 122 European matches in total, which doesn’t include the dozen Intertoto games.

An impressive record of 67 wins, 26 draws, with only 29 defeats.

With 195 goals scored and 116 conceded, it gives a goal difference of +79.

Here is the split by competition:

UEFA Champions League

Played 24 Won 11 Drawn 3 Lost 10 Goals For 33 Goals Against 33 Goal Difference +0

UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League

Played 72 Won 42 Drawn 17 Lost 13 Goals For 123 Goals Against 60 Goal Difference +63

UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup

Played 2 Won 1 Drawn 0 Lost 1 Goals For 2 Goals Against 2 Goal Difference +0

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup

Played 24 Won 13 Drawn 6 Lost 5 Goals For 37 Goals Against 21 Goal Difference +16

Newcastle United’s full European record (not including 12 Intertoto matches):        

Played 122 Won 67 Drawn 26 Lost 29 Goals For 195 Goals Against 116 Goal Difference +79

(Sunderland’s full European record: Played 4 Won 3 Drawn 0 Lost 1 Goals For 5 Goals Against 3 Goal Difference +2)

Top NUFC European Goalscorers

30 Alan Shearer

15 Shola Ameobi

11 Craig Bellamy

10 Wyn Davies

9 Pop Robson

9 Tino Asprilla

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  • Jezza

    We will never play European football again as long as Ashley remains.

    • Ron

      It gets a bit much when pre season friendlies will be the only “European” football a whole generation will experience.

      How I hate that man.

      • Good old Brexit

        Some clubs never see it in there whole existence. We have and will again. Just go with the flow.

        • kingfisher

          Hopefully you are right, however time is fast running out for us 60 somethings, and I very much doubt I will see us win anything in my remaing years,because by the time Ashley eventually decides to sell,and the time it will take for us to recover,I think even 5 years may be a tad optimistic,which would put me at 70 😓😢

          • Ron

            I was told the other day that I was galloping towards death. Cheery sole.

            So you have a valid point!

          • Good old Brexit

            Keep the faith you got too. That’s how I look at it.

      • Jezza

        Good point. I was at my most active attending Newcastle games home and away from the late 70’s to the early 90’s so I saw no European football at all between Bastia and Antwerp but at least in those days there was always hope. There is no hope now with that vile obese ogre runing our club.

  • kingfisher

    I was there for our first Fairs Cup match in 1968 aged 15, and went to every Fairs Cup home game from then on. A bright eyed and hopefull Newcastle supporter watching these foreign teams getting turned over at SJP. Magical exciting nights. Playing in a snow blizzard under the floodlights,Pop Robson,Wyn (the leap) Davies, Bob Moncur,all heroes.
    Freezing cold and soaking wet but these European nights helped nuture a love for Newcastle United that lasted until Ashley destroyed my club,my hope and my dreams.
    I can perhaps understand why the younger fans who never witnessed the REAL football of the 60’s and 70’s still go regularly.But it’s beyond my comprehension how anyone of a certain age who witnessed our Fairs Cup journey can still buy season tickets year after year to watch this plastic,boring, struggling for survival pathetic excuse for a football club.
    Ashley has not only destroyed MY club, but he has destroyed my dreams, my hopes and worst of all, my lifelong love of Newcastle United,and there are thousands like me who have had enough of this man and who refuse to give him our support,and if more people took a similar stance then perhaps we could rid OUR club of this man and dare to start dreaming once again !!!

    • Jezza

      Wonderful comment.

    • Milburn_Taylor

      i was at the Fairs Cup final aged 14 with my dad. our era has seen the good and the bad but nothing like it is now under that degenerate Ashley

    • Ron

      100% agree – can you remember pouring over the radio for the away leg in Ujpest? Fantastic memories, I was 12 so it must have been 1969.

      And Rangers in the Semis – more and more Memories.

      Thank you very much for this – nostalgia for me; ancient history for my grandkids. I would love them to experience a tiny piece of that.

      • kingfisher

        Yes I can remember listening to the radio Ron, thinking we had blown it losing 2-0, but we came good in the end.Super Bob Moncur won it for us with 3 goals over the two legs.No one would have known at the time that the Fairs Cup would be the last meaningful trophy we would win for 50 years !
        I have this abiding memory of Pop Robson scoring a volley in the Gallowgate end during a snowstorm under the floodlights, not to mention the pitch invasion against Rangers !
        Happy days indeed.😁

        • Ron

          They really were the days. Joe Harvey telling them to “Spread out in Packs” in the 2nd half. If Rafa said that it would be put down to the language barrier.

          • kingfisher

            Excellent 😁👍

  • Good old Brexit

    I went Marseille, remember them nearly setting there own stand alight off a flare. Atmosphere was something else through the day. Also went to benfica. You’ve got to take the rough with the smooth.

    • Milburn_Taylor

      not Ashleys rough, he is destroying our club

  • Leicester Mag

    We know this, we know what comes next,why TF do fans stomach this?