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38 THE  NUMBER                ’S WORDS//PETER MANN During the clubs formative years of 1897 and 1902 ‘Jock,’ real name John Hope Peddie, became the frontline fulcrum of the Magpies attack, partnering compatriots such as Wardrope, McFarlane, Fraser and Campbell. At the time United had only played football professionally for four seasons prior to his arrival. Peddie arrived three months into the 1898 campaign, and after the side had registered six victories from their opening nine matches, Wardrope netting seven times. At a cost of £135, Peddie joined from Scottish side Third Lanark, his debut coming as Newcastle travelled to Bank Street, the home of Newton Heath, the Magpies winning 1-0 with Wardrope netting his eighth in a productive start to his season. Peddie waited another fortnight before the next match was played, his home debut against Small Heath. Campbell would net a double, Wardrope another for himself and, in front of an 11,000 strong crowd, Peddie crowned his home debut with a goal, the first of many in a black and white shirt. What was more fitting is that he was wearing the number nine jersey that day as well. Come New Years Day 1898 the Peddie bandwagon was in full motion. Goals in successive home matches against Walsall and Loughborough in January showed his ability in front of goal. Just three weeks into 1898 and Peddie would have also registered his first treble for the club, Leicester succumbing 4-2 at St. James’ on January 22nd. Peddie was again at it four games later, netting all three goals in a 3-1 victory away to Darwen. A three match spell between March and April would see United score ten goals, Peddie registering six of them in what was part of a six match winning sequence. For Peddie though he would score twice in the 4-0 home win over Grimsby, a treble in the 5-2 demolition of Gainsborough. The last of what was a productive debut season, arrived in the 1-1 draw away to Leicester Fosse. Alongside bagging a double in the FA Cup First Round success at Preston, Peddie would finish that debut season at Newcastle as the Magpies leading goal scorer with an impressive eighteen goal haul. Not only that but promotion was achieved through the end of season ‘Test Matches’ with Stoke and Blackburn, a series of matches that were themselves riddled in controversy. Peddie’s second season, Newcastle first in the First Division, was just as productive, the Scotsman top scoring again, this time with twenty goals, eighteen arriving in the league. It would also be hard going as United took over two months and ten matches before success was first tasted. Peddie though began on the opening day when, in front of 20,000 at home, he would score both United’s goals in a 4-2 reverse against Wolves. Newcastle’s first victory in the First Division would see Peddie net twice in a 3-0 home win over Liverpool, compatriot and recent signing from Airdrie, MacFarlane, netting the other. Braces arrived on four further occasions throughout the season including what was to be an early Christmas present for the Magpies. December 24th 1898 would forever etch a then 21 year old Peddie into United folklore, the black and whites making the first of many visits to Roker Park, the home of rivals, Sunderland. It was the first TyneWear derby and, after Wardrope had equalised, Peddie struck a double in the hearts of the enemy, with a goal in each half, sealing what was a famous 3-2 win. He would begin the 1900 season with five in six culminating in a 6-0 home demolition of Notts County on October 7th Fraser (2), Peddie, MacFarlane, Stevenson and Wardrope, all registered. One win and no goals for Peddie in ten followed though before five in four including a brace in the 4-1 home win against Blackburn on January 13th, the others coming against West Brom, Glossop NE, and Everton. Seven goals, including a double in the 3-2 home win over Villa, in front of more than 19,500 spectators saw him finish his third season at the club with sixteen goals, again topping the scoring charts, and United finishing in a respectable fifth. Peddie some three matches to get started at the beginning of the 1901 season, following two goalless draws he opened his account in the 2-1 home win against, and then followed up with the only goal against West Brom. Braces then followed in the 3-2 reverse at Bolton and a 2-1 win away to Nottingham Forest on December 29th. Only five goals would be netted during the remainder of the season which included goals in successive 1-1 draws with West Brom and Derby. Peddie’s sixteenth of another productive campaign came in the match at Manchester City, in front of 18,000, and claim his spot as the club’s leading scorer. United would finish the season in a respectable sixth, seven points behind champions Liverpool. Peddie’s final season at the club, before moving to Manchester United, would see a return of eight from eighteen. Of those, a treble was the highlight as Notts County were routed at home on October 26th. Orr would lead the way with a four goal haul and Roberts the other in what was an 8-0 demolition. Peddie’s last strike in a black and white shirt arrived from the spot in a 1-1 home draw with Sheffield United in mid-December, United going on to finish the season in third place. The Scotsman though had played more than his part in the formative years of Newcastle United, his final tally reading an impressive yield of 78 goals in 136 appearances. LLAMBIAS 39 THE SLAUGHTER TO WORDS//PETER MANN It was supposed to that dawning of a bright, new era and the bringing of Newcastle United Football Club into the new, billion pound, business age. The days of the Sir John Hall ‘dreams’ had long since petered out, Kevin Keegan’s Entertainers with it, and new blood, if you will, was needed within the boardroom. In fact, in an in-depth interview with the former United supremo, Hall was quoted with Toon Talk Editor, Steve Wraith, that it was in fact the arrival of Chelsea’s Russian billionaire, Roman Abrahmovich, which signalled the end of his reign at the north east club. The reason’s provided, stated in Issue Five, were that “I decided to sell my shares because of Abrahmovich. “It took me just over two years.....I was keen to know why they wanted the club and they were quite honest. They wanted to market their sports goods in the Far East and would use the club to help do this. To me it made sense to market the club globally. “When they took over they put Chris Mort in to run things and went private. It was a good move. He’s not a fool and like Mike (Ashley) he came in with the best intentions. His subsequent departure caused a few problems and Mike made a mistake listening to the likes of Paul Kelmsley at Spurs.” That, in essence, became the beginning of the end for the football club. Mike Ashley had eventually gained full ownership from Hall and associates in 2008 and, within months of the takeover, there was a change behind the scenes. Mort was soon departed from the club, relinquishing his role as chairman having arrived with Ashley the previous summer. Sam Allardyce was manager at the time and after results went awry following provision of a vast transfer chest; ‘Big Sam’ was soon out the door. Ashley-Mort had a solution though, replace Allardyce with the legendary Keegan, but ‘King Kev’ had ideals beyond that of the United hierarchy and there were often clashes over funds and the like. News of Mort’s impending departure started filtering through in early May of 2008 and, within six weeks, ‘Dekka’ Derek Llambias was ‘shepherded in’ as the replacement, assuming the role of Managing Director. Llambias himself was quoted discussing his new role at the Premier League club that “Since coming to work at Newcastle United I have quickly begun to appreciate the passion people have for the football club. “I firmly believe we have the right people with the right expertise, with Kevin Keegan back as manager and being fully supported by Mike Ashley and the directors, to take the club forward again. At the same time I would like to pay tribute to all of the hard work done by Chris (Mort) during his time at St. James’ Park and wish him every success in the future.” Little did Newcastle United’s famed Toon Army supporters would know as to what would come over the next five years. Their football club being ridiculed and dragged through the mud, embarrassed and humiliated at the hands, or mouth as the case may be, or a ‘man’ who made bold claims of support to the CONTINUED 40