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Opinion

The man who should be king – Jackie Milburn

5 days ago
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The history of Newcastle United has always interested me, culminating in most of the nostalgic articles I write on the Mag.

I used to enjoy reading club historian and statistician Paul Joannou’s delve down memory lane in the club’s official matchday programmes, back in the late 1970s and throughout most of the eighties.

Jackie Milburn was well before my time, but I grew up listening to tales from my father and uncles, of the blistering pace and stunning goals.

A combination that helped “Wor Jackie” propel Newcastle to FA Cup glory three times in the early 1950s.

I was working offshore in October 1988 when I heard of his passing at the age of 64 and I was genuinely saddened.

The man that I had been more familiar with in his later years, was the local newspaper columnist, or when he gave some of his warm and friendly TV interviews.

I remember gentleman Jackie getting excited on a rare occasion (I think it was on Saint and Greavsie) when a fresh faced Paul Gascoigne burst on the scene at Newcastle.

John Edward Thompson(JET) Milburn is officially Newcastle United’s highest ever scorer in the league with 177 goals.

Alan Shearer became Newcastle’s record overall scorer in 2006 when he retired with 206 goals to the 200 of Jackie Milburn.

However, is this really a true reflection on such an important issue, because we aren’t just talking about any old club….. but Newcastle United and number nines here.

Shearer’s goalscoring exploits in black and white stripes are a phenomenal achievement…but do his credentials stand up to Milburn’s??

During Jackie’s Newcastle career there was no League Cup competition in England, Jackie was also never given the opportunity to play in European games for his beloved Magpies.

What Wor Jackie did do though, is score 38 wartime goals for Newcastle United, goals that somehow still escape the record books.

This has always been an injustice in my eyes to great players, the likes of Albert Stubbins…and of course Jackie Milburn.

These “missing” goals alter the landscape considerably, and are why I believe, Jackie Milburn is the “True” goalscoring King of Tyneside.

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