Today, more than other days, is a day that I really wish I lived in Newcastle. I would have cleared everything to see this team on the pitch, even 15 years later and in presumably worse shape. I have seen the inspiration for the charity rematch between The Entertainers and Liverpool described as "The Greatest Game Ever Played", and to be sure it was a tremendous display of attacking football. On the day, it was a heartbreaking result for us, but it encapsulates everything that was awesome about the product on the pitch in the mid-to-late '90s. Those Newcastle squads have every right to be in the discussion of most entertaining clubs to watch in the entire history of football.
I fully intend to delve into The Entertainers in the User's Guide to Newcastle series, and as such I'm not going to get into the '96 season specifically very much, but I do have a few links to share, and I've got video from the original NUFC v. Liverpool match from April 3, 1996 which contributed to perhaps the most epic collapse in EPL history (Newcastle having led the table by as many as 12 points in late January), and then also video of one of the greatest moments from that season as well.The Entertainers Re-United - Newcastle United Vs Liverpool - Replayed
This is from the site dedicated to the rematch, this particular page contains a lot of fun quotes from the players.
Alan Shearer's take on the match, and bonus material from the present about NUFC's current strikers.
It's all in the name of charity, and nothing is gained really if we do get revenge, but hey-- it'd be great, right?
As fun as it was to watch these guys on the pitch, it really has to be at least as much fun to be involved in the comaraderie with the players and personalities that made it happen. I'd relish it too, if it were me!
Open for discussion/analysis: Do you think that The Entertainers and Barcelona of today are cut from the same cloth?
Liverpool v. Newcastle United, April 3, 1996