Newcastle United F.C.

Steve Bruce
Nick Name
The Magpies
St James' Park
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Newcastle United F.C.

FOOTBALL in its modern form arouses passions on Tyneside like no other sport or pastime. Yet the North East region was one of the country's late developers and not until around 1890 did Tyneside see rapid progress made, several years after other parts of the country had seen football flourish.

Even then support was a trickle compared to the 65,000 crowds that were to roar encouragement to Newcastle United in their heyday and the 51,000 that watch the Magpies at the new St James Park in the Millennium.

The first recorded game of football on Tyneside took place on 3rd March 1877 at the Elswick Rugby Club when a few keen enthusiasts formed two scratch teams - eight against nine - the nine winning 2-0. Shortly afterwards Newcastle's first club was born, Tyne Association being formed in 1877.

Another side, Newcastle Rangers started life in 1878 and first played on the Drill Field in Gateshead because they could not find a pitch north of the river. They eventually moved across the Tyne taking over an enclosed ground close to Leazes Terrace in September 1880. The pitch was immediately referred to as St James Park. The foundation had been laid in Newcastle United's development.

The year of 1882 was an important 12 months in the history of the club as two new sides arrived on the scene which eventually were to lead to the present-day Magpies. Newcastle United's origins are to be found with two minor football clubs on the east of the city, Stanley and Rosewood.

Stanley had originated from a cricket eleven, formed in November 1881 - the rudimentary start of Newcastle United, although some official records note that the club were playing an unorganised game a year earlier.

As Stanley progressed with their pioneering game, they were often confused with other clubs of the same name in County Durham, so they decided to change their title in October 1882 to Newcastle East End. Rosewood had been formed a couple of months earlier and soon joined forces with East End to form a stronger outfit, their side being integrated as East End's reserve eleven.

In the summer of 1884 East End moved the short distance from Stanley Street in Byker to a new pitch close by, then again two years later to Chillingham Road, near to the sprawling railway network on the Byker and Heaton border.

On the other side of the city at the same...

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