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Club Connections – Newcastle United

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Of course on Saturday, Manchester United will face-off against Newcastle United at Old Trafford. It will be a game that both sides will want to win. With that in mind it’s worth looking at 8 individuals who have both spent time at United and Newcastle in their careers in the game.

Peter Beardsley

There are not too many players who have played for both Merseyside and Manchester clubs but Beardsley is one of them. It’s easy to forget that arguably one of the best wingers in English football, played just the once for United in 1982 after signing from Canadian side Vancouver Whitecaps.

Surprisingly Ron Atkinson failed to see Peter’s talent and his time at Old Trafford was cut short as he would return back to Vancouver. After that the rest is history as Peter signed for Newcastle United in 1983 before becoming a household name on Merseyside and for England. He would enjoy a brief loan spell with Manchester City in the twilight of his career.

Nicky Butt

Few local lads ever get the chance to play for their boyhood club. Hard-working midfielder Butt was one of those and after impressing in United’s youth team alongside the likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham became a key player at Old Trafford in his own right.

He left the club to join Newcastle after 387 appearances and 15 trophies later. Nicky initially struggled up in the north-east but after a disappointing season on-loan at Birmingham became the club’s captain in his final years at St James’ Park where he led the club to promotion back to the Premier League to earn another title-winning medal to his illustrious career.

Andrew Cole

Despite scoring 121 goals for United, it’s easy to forget that Cole started his career at Arsenal after coming through their ranks as a schoolboy. After only making 2 first team appearances, he left London in 1992 and moved to Bristol City.

After impressing at City the forward joined Newcastle United where he rose to prominence in the Premier League. He surprisingly joined United in January 1995 in a deal that saw Keith Gillespie go the other way. Andrew would prove to be one of the best strikers of his generation and despite leaving United in 2001, would go onto score many more goals before retiring.

Alan Gowling

Alan, one of a handful of graduates to have played for United enjoyed four steady seasons at the club and has a unique honour of playing both his first (where he scored) and last (as a sub for Bobby Charlton) games for the club against Stoke City in the old first division.

Despite having a decent record at Old Trafford, Gowling was sold to Huddersfield in 1972 at the age of 23. He enjoyed a successful time for Town before moving onto Newcastle United, who he scored for in their 1976 League Cup Final defeat to Manchester City. In 1978 he joined Bolton, whom he scored 28 goals for in 149 apps before retiring after a spell at Preston.

Gabriel Obertan

Being a talented French winger can be problematic as it can lead to comparisons to Theirry Henry. Some players thrive on pressure whilst for others it can work against them. Sadly that was the case for Obertan who struggled in a disappointing two-year spell at Old Trafford.

The skills and pace showed that Gabriel was a good player for the future but too often he would misplace an easy pass or lose the ball trying to dribble past a player when he had already beaten two beforehand. Thankfully the move to Newcastle has worked wonders and with less pressure on his shoulders, the talented former Bordeaux player looks a class act at last.

Michael Owen

He may not have the pace that he once had, but make no mistake about it Owen is still somebody who despite having a glittering career behind him, clearly has something to prove.  In his prime in his early 20’s when he was at Liverpool there were few better forwards about across the planet.

Sadly a number of hamstring injuries caught up with Michael and after he came back to England after a short stint with Real Madrid to join Newcastle his game had changed and he was now dropping into deeper areas to link up the play more. His goal record at United hasn’t been bad either and he has proved when selected that he is not quite finished scoring goals yet.

Louis Saha

Very few people would argue the fact that when fit there are few better strikers in the Premier League than Saha. He has pace, flair, a powerful shot and a knack of scoring a variety of goals regularly. It’s just that injuries have held back his career which is rather sad to see.

After a stint at Newcastle, Louis adapted to the English game well at Fulham before making a big-money £12.6 move to United in January 2004. Sadly despite scoring more often than not, he was always prone to niggling injuries and left Old Trafford in 2008 to join Everton where this problem has reoccurred on a regular basis much to the striker’s frustration.

Alan Smith

In his younger years Smith was compared to Alan Shearer. Whilst there was no doubt the forward was talented, he was a different type of forward to the legendary Newcastle and England forward and won many admirers for his hard-working and old-fashioned style of play.

Upon Leeds’ relegation from the Premier League in 2004, Alan joined United and had a decent first season at the club scoring nine goals with his no-nonsense approach winning over the Old Trafford fans. Sadly he was unable to recover fully from an horrific injury suffered away to Liverpool in an FA Cup tie and joined Newcastle Untied in 2007 where he’s remained since.

By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87

1 thought on “Club Connections – Newcastle United”

  1. Peter Beardsley was more of a second striker than a winger.

    Equally, Newcastle is in the North East, not the North West as your comments on Nicky Butt suggest.

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