As we continue our series into the 80s, you will likely see a similar face. Not all fans will remember the 1980s, myself included because I was not born in the 80s. Fans may not have been fans of football in the 80s and will not be able to tell you what it was like. Well.
It was hell.
The 80s decade was one of ups and downs for Newcastle United, quite literally. The club could not stabilize itself in the First Division, and did not get to the first division following their demise in the late 70s until 1982 when the club brought in former English captain Kevin Keegan to revive the club’s fortunes, which he did. In the 1983-84 season, Kevin Keegan led the club to a third place finish in the second division, gaining the club automatic promotion back to the first division.
It was during this period that Newcastle found some stability in the First Division, while cultivating young talents such as Peter Beardsley, Chris Waddle, and Paul Gascoigne.
Upon their promotion to the first division, the club was now under the leadership of Jack Charlton after previous manager Arthur Cox departed due to a lack of support from the board to strengthen the squad for the First Division. Charlton failed to get the club the results desired by fans, finishing 14th and seeing off Chris Waddle to Spurs.
This wouldn’t be the only time this decade that the club sold off one of their best players. And the club would soon find itself in danger of relegation again without their top players.
The next season, Peter Beardsley continued being the elite forward he was projected to be, being Newcastle United’s top goalscorer, and helping lead the club to a respectable 11th place finish in the First Division. Paul Gascoigne also emerged as a top tier midfielder. These spectacular careers at Newcastle would be short-lived, however.
Peter Beardsley was sold to Liverpool in 1987 and Paul Gascoigne was sold only a year later to Spurs. The lack of these stars, as well as a boardroom war over the club caused a period of unrest at the club.
The club would find itself at the bottom of the First Division in 1988-89. But this failure can be seen as a blessing in disguise for the club, as the relegation brought the club one of its greatest teams in history.