Andy Cole talks about Newcastle fans reaction to him leaving “It’s always annoyed me”
Andy Cole signed for Newcastle United on 12 March 1993.
A club record £1.75m transfer fee at the time.
Against some pretty fierce competition, Andy Cole was arguably Kevin Keegan’s greatest signing.
No doubt though you will find plenty of people also putting forward the case for Robert Lee, Les Ferdinand, Peter Beardsley, David Ginola and so on. What a time to be alive!
Kevin Keegan’s forward planning was superb when he was at St James Park and with Newcastle all but promoted, KK in March 1993 brought in Scott Sellars and Mark Robinson as well as Andy Cole, in order to help prepare for the imminent step up to the Premier League (a year later Keegan did the same when buying Ruel Fox in February 1994 and Darren Peacock a month later, allowing them to bed in ahead of the following season).
Andy Cole was superb for Newcastle, scoring 12 in 12 Championship appearances in 1992/93 for NUFC, then an incredible 34 goals in 41 Premier League appearances in 1993/94, 41 goals in total in 46 appearances in all competitions. Adding in Peter Beardsley’s goals that season, the pair scored 55 in the Premier League and 65 in total.
If they weren’t Newcastle United’s best ever strike partnership that season, you would have to go a long way to beat it.
The best ever PL team after being promoted, Keegan, Cole and NUFC finished third that season in 1993/94.
Newcastle United weren’t poor that next season of 1994/95 but not reaching the heights of the previous one. Kevin Keegan then taking the gobsmacking decision to sell Andy Cole mid-season, £6m plus Keith Gillespie came from Man Utd for the striker.
In a new interview (see below) with a Man Utd podcast, Andy Cole has talked about leaving Newcastle United and references a falling out he had with Kevin Keegan a few months earlier.
Andy Cole saying ‘It’s always annoyed me’ when talking about the reaction of Newcastle fans to his departure, making out that a sizeable number of NUFC supporters blamed the player for it.
However, my memory tells a very different story, at the time the only criticism was aimed at Kevin Keegan as fans couldn’t believe he’d just sold our best player.
KK of course knew best and was as always planning ahead.
Only months later we saw the likes of Les Ferdinand and David Ginola arrive and Kevin Keegan, with the help of the Andy Cole cash, had put together an even better team than the 1993/93 one.
Yes Man Utd won the league in 1995/96 but Newcastle United were clearly the best team, just didn’t have the squad Man Utd have and just small margins and luck went against them.
The sale of Andy Cole was good for both NUFC and MUFC as it ended up helping produce a better team for both clubs, Newcastle United with Ferdinand and Beardsley, supported by Lee, Ginola, Clark and Gillespie were just phenomenal in that ‘so close’ season.
The only negativity for Andy Cole came later. The odd comment in interviews not helping but it was post-match at Wembley when Andy Cole was singing on the pitch the ‘Cheer up Kevin Keegan’ song that did very much annoy many Newcastle supporters.
It didn’t totally ruin the memories of Andy Cole at Newcastle United but it did harm them to an extent, especially when it was so unnecessary and embarrassing what Cole did on that Wembley pitch.
Andy Cole speaking to the UTD Podcast, as reported by the official Man Utd site:
“I enjoyed Newcastle.
“The only problem, for me, personally, it came too early for me.
”I’m not a big fan of people idolising me. I think that’s mad. When I went to the supermarket, I couldn’t shop. People were chasing me for autographs and I was like “what is this?”
“In the few England squads I got in, I talked to Incey [Paul Ince] and he always mentioned “the gaffer likes you” and I was like “Nah, no chance, Newcastle will never sell me”. For me it was just banter, I didn’t really take it seriously.
“I know me and Kevin [Keegan] had a fallout, he cheesed me off with the way he treated Clarky (Lee Clark) one day.
“Then we lost a game and I was cheesed off because we lost, so when we came to the hotel Kevin told me to “do one”. And I said “alright, no problem”, I packed my bags and walked out. The relationship was never the same.
“I wasn’t looking to leave Newcastle, I was very happy there. When that episode happened at the hotel I basically said “nah, I’m not going to have you talking to me like that.” So when I went walking for five days, we had a meeting, settled it and he handed me a new contract but I don’t think he let go of that situation.
“It’s always annoyed me,” Cole said about the Newcastle fans’ reaction to his departure.
“I remember a few years ago I went up with Les (Ferdinand) to do interviews. People came up and heckled me and I said “you might as well go home or I’ll get up and walk out. I’m not really fussed by it.” Previously, people have understood what’s going on. The club made the decision that they wanted to sell me.”
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