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Opinion

Imre Varadi – Has his old Newcastle United strip hanging on the wall in his office

4 months ago
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In the 1980/81 season, Newcastle United scored a paltry 30 league goals in the old Second Division, the worst ever total in our entire history.

Arthur Cox knew that a goalscorer was drastically required and went and bought a relatively unknown striker from Everton, called Imre Varadi.

Varadi would soon become a hero to the Gallowgate faithful. He so that quick that the Chronicle’s John Gibson famously said that ” he could catch pigeons.”

Imre Varadi scored 20 goals in his first season on Tyneside, before Newcastle shook the football world in the summer of 1982, by signing the current PFA Footballer of the Year and England captain, Kevin Keegan.

Varadi has previously admitted himself, that Keegan’s professionalism resonated throughout the whole of the Newcastle team.

Keegan and Varadi helped themselves to 43 goals in 1982/83 and Imre proudly pipped KK as top-scorer with 22.

On the eve of the following season, Imre Varadi was sold to Sheffield Wednesday against his initial wishes, and Peter Beardsley eventually brought in as his replacement.

He may have got the last laugh, after scoring twice against Newcastle at Hillsborough in a 4-2 home victory, but both teams would go on to gain promotion to the First Division in 1984.

Varadi became a journeyman and played for 16 different clubs. He never spent more than two seasons, or played a hundred times, for any of them.

He was actually in the Leeds squad that lifted the old First Division title in 1992, under his old Sheff Weds boss Howard Wilkinson (Imre never received a medal as he only played three games).

After 42 Toon goals in two seasons, Imre Varadi will always be remembered for his efforts and ability in the famous number 9 shirt, a striker who proved he was worthy to wear it.

When he first arrived at Newcastle he admitted that he didn’t know of the significance of the jersey.

He is now 62 and still working as a football agent and guess what?

Imre Varadi has his old Newcastle United strip hanging on the wall in his office.

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