Newcastle United Change

Newcastle United Joe Greenwell

Joe’s Story

As part of Newcastle United Foundation’s Toon Times Project we met Joe Greenwell at a memory session held at St. Oswald’s Hospice, Gosforth. Over the two sessions that Joe attended he shared his personal memories of supporting Newcastle United over the decades and in particular fond memories of the 1952 FA Cup Final win over Arsenal.

Born in Dudley but moving to Seaton Delaval, Joe was very open in telling us of his fondness of players such as; Frank Brennan, Bobby Mitchell, Bobby Cowell, Ronnie Simpson, Ernie Taylor, the Robledo Brothers and his favourite player of them all – Jackie Milburn.

Comparing the modern game to that of the past Joe spoke of ‘how quick the game is now compared to that of the 1950’s’ and how ‘money has spoilt the game’. Joe was proud to tell us of how he fought for his country but was also from the generation who ‘didn’t own a television until the late 1950’s’. Joe associates ‘football with happy times and good times’ but ‘with no cars and being lucky if you had a bike, the only intereston a Saturday afternoon was football’ .

Joe’s fondest memories of supporting Newcastle United centre on attending the 1952 FA Cup Final win against Arsenal in 1952. Joe’s memories of the match could have been a lot different as a ticket promised from Newcastle United’s Tommy Walker failed to materialise Joe thought he had missed his opportunity. That was until a chance phone call whilst at work…

‘I had one week to find a ticket! Then when I was at work the week before the final, my boss at the Co-op said I was wanted on the phone by Ted Issacs from The Ministry. Ted offered me a ticket for 3 Guineas (nearly a week’s pay!)TAKE IT!! I shouted. I thought I’d never get another chance to see Newcastle United play at Wembley so I’m going!’

‘I told my boss I’m away to Wembley to see Newcastle in the Cup Final and would not be in work in the morning! I had to call in at Ted’s house to get the ticket and also went on my bike to book a train ticket to London.’

Joe went on to vividly explain how he went to the match with his cousin and stayed with a relative who lived in London and worked at a Lyon’s Tea House. Joe’s experience of going to Wembley’s famous twin towers to watch Newcastle United in an FA Cup Final is something modern fans could only dream about.

Going on to state; ‘The Final was frustrating, me and the rest of the Newcastle United supporters were shouting ‘we’re never gonna bloody score!’ Bobby Mitchell put in cross, after cross but nothing came of it.’

‘That was until George Robledo scored in the 84th minute and we could celebrate with a few bevvies! Wey Hey!’

Joe’s FA Cup experience is brought to life through the items he kindly donated to the Toon Times Project. His ticket stub from the Semi-Final against Blackburn which he also attended ‘leaving a snowy North East behind to travel to Sheffield I didn’t think the game would be on’ showed Joe’s love of the club andhow despite his relatively low wages he still followed his team.

Joe’s 1952 FA Cup memories shine through with his railway card instructions on how to get to Wembley, the black and white rosette he proudly wore on the day of the Final and his programme from the match itself which is signed by Manchester City’s German goalkeeper, Bert Trautmann, who Joe told us was in the crowd watching the game and coincidentally played against Newcastle United in the 3-1 FA Cup Final win of 1955. Despite Joe stating; ‘Like the staples in the programme all old things get a little rusty like my memory’ he spoke fondly of his FA Cup Final experience and the life long memories that it has given him.

Joe who married his wife Joyce in 1954 stopped going to watch Newcastle as regularly due to the cost of running a home and ‘having more to do than spend my money on football’ but looks back with fondness and states the closest the club has come since come to match the success of the 1950’s was under Kevin Keegan.

And in Joe’s words ‘Memories last longer than dreams’

Joe Greenwell


Newcastle United Foundation have a heritage project for fans of all ages called Toon Times.

Toon Times will culminate with a major Newcastle United exhibition at the Discovery Museum, Newcastle, although in the lead up to this event Toon Times wishes to reach out to all Newcastle United fans across the North East and further afield to get involved and share their memories, experiences, photos and memorabilia what people have collected over the years.

We are supporting the project by helping to collect NUFC memories online - fans can share their memories on the Replay Football website, simply select the Toon Times tag when submitting yours.

For more info contact the Toon Times Heritage Project Coordinator, Newcastle United Foundation,




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Toon TimesToon TimesJoe with his memorabilia sharing his memories with Project Coordinator, Gavin Ferry Joe with his memorabilia sharing his memories with Project Coordinator, Gavin Ferry Joe’s rosette worn at Wembley in 1952.Joe’s rosette worn at Wembley in 1952.1952 FA Cup Final Programme 1952 FA Cup Final Programme 1952 FA Cup Final Programme signed by Bert Trautmann.1952 FA Cup Final Programme signed by Bert Trautmann.