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Opinion

The greatest Newcastle United player ever

4 months ago
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Colin Campbell McKechnie Veitch wasn’t an extra from Braveheat, but a Geordie lad born and bred, who in my opinion is Newcastle United’s greatest ever player in our 130 year old history.

Born in Heaton, Colin Veitch was a gifted footballer and scholar and became the first captain of Newcastle schools in 1895.

This grabbed the attention of the rising Newcastle United who were about to dominate the Edwardian era.

The rest is history, of which we can only hope we are going to at last see again.

Colin Veitch signed for Newcastle in 1899, only seven years after the East and West end of the city of Newcastle had amalgamated to become the country’s only ever true United.

Once Colin Veitch became captain of his hometown club, they never looked back. Winning the League Title in 1905, 1907 and 1909, becoming the first team to accomplish a hat-trick of triumphs under the 92 league team format (Divisions 3 and 4, North and South).

Before getting called up for service in the First World War, Veitch also admirably led Newcastle to five FA Cup Finals. Colin, who was a great lover of the arts, co-founded the People’s Theatre in 1911 and was a good friend of George Bernard Shaw.

When he came back home from the Somme he was embraced by the club and became a coach, before landing his dream job as our first head of youth football.

Always having a social conscience and an eye for politics, he was asked by the Labour Party to stand to be member of Parliament. Instead he became an influential spokesman for the PFA.

He eventually left Newcastle United and became manager of Bradford City in 1926/27 (the last time Newcastle won the title and the year Brown Ale was born), before becoming a journalist.

Not being a shrinking violet by any stretch of the imagination, Colin Veitch had more than enough to say on how he believed his beloved Newcastle United should have been being run, often getting himself into hot water.

After a short illness in 1938, he went to Switzerland to recuperate. It was there that the truly great Colin Veitch died aged only 57.

I think the best comparison from what I have read and observed about Colin, is that modern day he probably would have been a combination of Philippe Albert and Rob Lee. So he would have been ideal for King Kev….enough said (well not yet).

He scored 49 goals in 322 League appearances for Newcastle United.

He was also capped six times by England and his versatility was his finest attribute other than being a magnificent human being.

Colin Veitch, a scholar, a gentleman and Newcastle United’s most successful ever captain.

You were and still are the greatest.

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