This piece previously appeared in a digital version of TRUE FAITH some time ago but we thought it was good enough to give a haircut to and get out there again. We all hope you enjoy a walk down memory lane. 

As we head into another FA Cup campaign with a trip to Arsenal on Saturday it’s fast approaching 66 years since we last lifted a domestic trophy with that 3-1 win over Manchester City in 1955’s final. A third triumph in only 5 seasons, our sixth FA Cup win appears to be something of a monkey on our back and the days of being FA Cup specialists appear to be well gone.  Reaching the final on only 3 occasions since would have been unimaginable back then but, including a then record 11th Cup Final appearance in 1974, 3 shockingly mundane performances that followed sadly remind us that only the supporters are guaranteed to turn up.

However we’ve had some memorable games during that period and having the opportunity to recall a few Round 3 ties definitely gets the juices flowing in anticipation! Could this be our year?  Probably not, but here we go:

Hendon, Away, 9 Jan 1974

When top flight Newcastle drew Hendon in 1974’s FA Cup, instant comparisons were made to the shambolic 1972 exit at the hands of another non-league side, Hereford.  Pat Howard’s goal for United in front of 33,840 was cancelled out by Rod Haider in the initial tie at St James Park.  Following that 1-1 draw, the BBC cameras would ensure they would be there to witness a potential giant killing in the replay.

Result: 4-0
Attendance: 15,385 (Played at Vicarage Road, Watford)

For the record:

This was a largest FA Cup victory since 1969’s 4-0 home hammering of Reading.

Remarkably, Newcastle would win only 2 league games for the remainder of the season with the Cup having an obvious impact on the squad in the days when this trophy was THE one to win.

FA Cup Run: Finalists. No further comment necessary

Queens Park Rangers, Home, 7 Jan 1976

The initial tie between the two First Division (old school) sides 4 days earlier had seen a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road in front of 20,102.  Considering QPR had been top only a month earlier this was an excellent result for a mid-table United side.  Listen out for some classic old school chanting following QPR’s goal.

Result: 2-1
Attendance: 37,225

For the record:

Newcastle would also knock QPR out of the League Cup that season with a 3-1 win at Loftus Road only to go on and lose the final to Man City 1-2.

United’s form was starting to pick up with this being game 5 of a 15 league and cup match spell that would return only 1 defeat (League Cup Semi Final, First Leg, 0-1 at Spurs).

FA Cup Exit: Round 6.  A week after the League Cup Final defeat United went down 2-4 at Derby that saw the only appearance for 19 year old Goalkeeper Eddie Edgar

Brighton & Hove Albion, Home, 8 Jan 1983

With 17,111 present, Terry McDermott equalised an Andy Ritchie opener 4 days earlier at The Goldstone Ground earning Div 2 United a replay against a team a league above them but in a relegation battle.  Despite intense United pressure in the replay, a Peter Ward strike had given Brighton the lead at St James Park.  Trelford Mills, who was also the man in black for Kevin Keegan’s United debut, disallowed2 late legitimate goals.  Even the decisions were discussedin a perplexed manner by commentator Barry Davies, saying: “(Imre) Varadi controlled it with his arm or what?” and then for the second, “A push on (Michael) Robinson…. in the referee’s view.”  Despite constant attacks on goal to no success, the game was seen out with chants of “Geordie Aggro” and “It’s a fix!” in the air as the United faithful felt cheated.  Overlooking United’s “penalty issue” v Burton in 2017 that ultimately didn’t have an impact on the points, alongside Brian Coddington sending off 3 players at Derby in 1992this Brighton game is arguably the worst and most talked about refereeing display in our history.

Result: 0-1
Attendance: 32,687

For the record:

Brighton would go on to lose the Final to Manchester United and be relegated.

This was the fourth home FA Cup game in a row that United would fail to win.

Despite getting revenge with a league double the following season (3-1, 1-0), The Seagulls would also knock The Mag’s out at St James Park in the same round 4 years later, 0-2.

Mills would later disallow a late George Reilly goal at home to Watford early in the 1985-86 season for a ‘push’.

Liverpool, Away, 6 Jan 1984

When the draw for the 3rd Round paired United with a trip to Liverpool, it was without doubt the most interesting tie of the round.  Terry McDermott’s return to Liverpool after leaving them only 15 months earlier was somewhat overlooked in the frenzy that came with Kevin Keegan also going back to Anfield.  An estimated 13,000 travelled for a Friday night game live on the BBC and approaching kick off, it was evident that the supporters were taking great pride in the club and the area they were representing.  With constant noise full of zest and gusto, commentator John Motson was in apparent disbelief, saying:“Anfield over the years, the scene of many great cup competitions, but very rarely have the Liverpool fans been in danger of being outshouted.” A sample here proves he wasn’t wrong.

The game itself was never a contest but off the pitch United’s incredible support continued well past the final whistle.  If you must see the goals…

Result: 0-4

Attendance: 33,566

For the record:

Only 3 years had passed since Newcastle’s largest FA Cup defeat prior to this game, a more embarrassing 0-4 hammering at Division 3 Exeter City.

Failing to outpace Mark Lawrenson in this game was later used as a reason Keegan would retire come May.  Liverpool would go out to our friends from Brighton in the next round.

Newcastle of course clinched Promotion whilst Liverpool settled for The European Cup, The League Title and The League Cup.  A “year of hurt” followed in 1985 as they failed to win anything.

Northampton Town, Home, 21 Jan 1987

By the time runaway 4th Division leaders Northampton Town came to St James Park for this cup tie, United had lost their previous 5 league gamesand were once again rooted to the bottom of Division 1.  With record signing Paul Goddard scoring only once in his 11 games since arriving from West Ham, a genuine giant killing act was predicted by many in the game.

Result: 2-1

Attendance: 23,177

For the record:

This was the first time Newcastle has progressed past Round 3 since a 4-3 replay victory at Colchester in 1982.

The tie was played 11 days late due to continuous bad weather on NE1 and Round 3 wasn’t fully completed until 31/Jan!

Former Newcastle head scout Graham Carr was Northampton’s manager and would guide them to Promotion.

Newcastle avoided relegation with games to spare.

FA Cup Exit:  Round 5 albeit due to a Richard Gough dive resulting in a Clive Allen penalty success at Tottenham, 0-1.

Crystal Palace, Home, 9 Jan 1988

Finding recent, decent form, Newcastle were predicted by many with having an outside chance of winning the FA Cup.  Thanks to the emerging talent of youngsters, especially the soon to be in demand Paul Gascoigne, unexpected wins over top 3 side’s Manchester United and Nottingham Forest had raised confidence furthermore and Palace, 2nd in Division 2, came to SJP following a recent 4-4 draw at Leicester.  One of the best goals seen at St James Park followed but sadly, the star player’s predicted departure would be more evident once the month was out.

Result: 1-0
Attendance: 20,415

For the record:
Due to postponements around the country, this was the second home game of 7 that United played in an 8 game spell.

Ex United manager Alan Pardew featured for Palace that day and as the clip shows, almost changed the headlines.

Gascoigne’s goal was a chance for the players to show off the rather peculiar ‘jumping high five’ celebration that was seen throughout the season.

FA Cup Exit: The hugely disappointing Round 5 defeat at home to Wimbledon (1-3) with a sell out28,796 present.  The soon to be named ‘Milburn Stand’ was still to be completed hence the lower capacity.

Hull City, Away – 6 Jan 1990

If 1989’s relegation season was ‘Annus horribilis’ then Newcastle showed little signs of giving the supporters much to shout about in the new decade heading into this cup tie.  The New Days Day hammering at home to Wolves (1-4) was the 4th defeat in 9 games that saw only 1 win and a drop in the table from 3rd to 7th in Division 2.  Hull had won 4 off the bounce and climbed the table but still faced a relegation battle.  A scrappy game followed but an excellent team goal scored by an eventual Cult Hero would clinch it for The Mag’s.

Result: 1-0
Attendance: 10,743

For the record:
Following a 3-1 league win at Boothferry Park the previous September, this was the 2nd of 3 wins over The Tigers that season. This would be United’s first away win in the FA Cup since the aforementioned victory at Colchester in 1982.  The Mag’s would then fail to win their next 6 ties away from St James Park in this competition.

FA Cup Exit:  Round 5, 2-3 at home to Manchester United played in one of the best modern day atmospheres at St James Park.

Derby County, Home, 5 Jan 1991

United welcomed Division 1 strugglers Derby County to St James Park well off the Division 2 promotion race following only 3 wins in 19 games.  The last game could have seen a forth if it wasn’t for a last minute own goal by Mark Stimson at Oldham Athletic.  With the board failing to attract supporter’s investment during the previous November’s Shares Issue and attendances starting to fall noticeably, things had to take a turn for the best in the Cup to keep the season alive.  With Newcastle Breweries having the ‘Blue Star’ back on the strip, Stimson would answer his critics in style.

Result: 2-0
Attendance: 19,748

For the record:
Stimson wouldn’t win over the boy boys.  Getting sent off at home to Wolves 6 weeks later didn’t help his cause but the supporters cheering when the red card was shown is certainly one of the darker moments on our terraces.
Old manager Arthur Cox managed Derby that day with their star striker Dean Saunders a future United ‘coach’.

FA Cup Exit: A 0-3  Round 4 replay defeat at eventual runners up Nottingham Forest followed a 2-2 draw in freezing conditions at St James Park.

Blackburn Rovers, Home, 8 Jan 1995

Newcastle’s league from had dropped at such an alarming rate that the 1 win in 9 previous games resulted in United losing top place and sitting fifth by the time Blackburn Rovers came to St James Park.  Rovers had taken over at the to becoming clear title favourites thanks to an incredible 31 points from a possible 33 in their previous 11 games.  Star striker Andy Cole’s form had suffered too. Complaints of shin splints saw 5 games missed and only 1 goal in 9 competitive games following his return to action.  Something didn’t appear right and following this 1-1 draw, bigger headlines would develop in the following days.

Result: 1-1
Attendance: 31,721

For the record:

Successful in 3 previous attempts, not since 1988-89’s 4 game marathon with Watford had United failed to progress immediately when drawn at home in Round 3.

Blackburn Rovers, Away (replay), 18 Jan 1995

Kevin Keegan shocked Newcastle supporters by selling Cole to fellow title contenders Manchester United.  Getting winger Keith Gillespie as part of the deal didn’t appease the masses but once Keegan bravely explained his long term strategy to angry supporters asking questions at the Milburn Entrance, the assembled hordes were eating out of his hands again.  Once the replay commenced at Ewood Park, yet another unbelievable show of support to Keegan came from the away end.

Result: 2-1
Attendance: 22,658

For the record:

The Newcastle support chanted Keegan’s name for almost an hour after the match.

This would be United’s last away triumph in the FA Cup until a 1-0 win at Everton in January 1998.

Following a 0-1 exit at Ewood Park in 1993, United’s 2-1 win would be the first of 3 FA Cup victories at Ewood Park over 6 seasons.

Blackburn would win the title and United would fail to qualify for Europe following a shocking away record of 1 win in 16 games.

FA Cup Exit: Round 6 exit at the eventual winners Everton, 0-1.

The omens for this fixture aren’t good. 3-0 wins for Arsenal in both the 2008 and 2002 (replay) seasons followed the Gunners Cup Final victory in 1998.  You have to go back to 1952’s Wembley win for a United success.

Marc Corby @NUFC_1980_1994