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Opinion

A best Newcastle United Scots eleven – Part one

3 months ago
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After a recent article from one of our new contributors regarding St James’ Park once having been a popular destination and playground for talented footballers from north of the border, one of the lads in the comments section asked if I could come up with my own ‘Best Newcastle United Scots eleven’.

This will be the first article of two and I will name my Newcastle United Scots team and formation in the second.

My keeper would be the excellent shot-stopper Ronnie Simpson, who won FA Cup winners medals with Newcastle in 1952 and 1955.

He was a Gallowgate crowd favourite and made nearly 300 appearances for us between 1951 and 1960.

In the twilight of his career Ronnie became one of the immortal ‘Lisbon Lions’ when he became a European Cup winner with Celtic.

The assured John Brownlie was a rare beacon of hope in a miserable period in Newcastle’s history.

John had been regarded in his prime as the best right-back in Scotland whilst playing for Hibernian.

Bill McGarry brought him 100 miles down the North East coast in 1978, and John went on to make 124 League appearances for the Toon in four seasons at the club.

Frank Brennan joined Newcastle United from Airdrieonians for £7,500 in 1946.

He spent a full decade at the club, becoming a back to back FA Cup winner in 1951 and 52, and made 318 league appearances.

Frank went on to have two spells as manager of North Shields and was boss when the Robins won the Amateur Cup at Wembley in 1969.

Newcastle United were Bob Moncur’s first club when he joined us in 1962. He became a pivotal player for Joe Harvey and was made captain in the late 1960s.

Bob scored three goals over two legs in our 1969 Inter City Fairs Cup triumph over Ujpest Dozsa, becoming our last captain to date to lift silverware.

He went on to captain Scotland in the early 1970s.

Jimmy Scoular had won back to back Division 1 League titles at Portsmouth by the time he arrived at Newcastle United in 1953. He was immediately made captain and made a winning debut against the mackems.

Jimmy was as tough as they come and had an uncompromising reputation, however, he was also a fine player who prided himself on his supreme fitness.

Jimmy Scoular hoisted aloft our last domestic honour at Wembley, when he captained Newcastle to victory in the 1955 FA Cup Final against Manchester City.

Jimmy ‘Jinky’ Smith arrived from Aberdeen in an £80,000 deal in 1969 and quickly became a crowd favourite.

He was a member of the Newcastle United team that contested the ill-fated 1974 FA Cup final against Bill Shankly’s Liverpool. We had a long and mesmerising run to the final in that year’s competition, which had included numerous replays and pitch invasions etc, and Jinky had been a stand out performer.

During Jinky’s time at Gallowgate he was constantly plagued by knee injuries and after a loan spell at Celtic to try and regain his fitness, he quit football at the age of 29.

Me and Wor Neale attended a benefit game for him at St James’ Park in 1978.

I did a piece on The Mag a couple of years ago titled ‘The legend that still is… Tony Green’. I cannot do justice to Tony’s impact at Newcastle United in this a sentence or two, so if you are interested I suggest you read that original article, it’s a bit of a tear jerker mind.

Needless to say, Tony Green would be the first name on my ‘Best Newcastle United Scots eleven’ teamsheet.

I will finish the rest of the team and name the subs in part two.

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