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Newcastle United Mark Hedley

 

(Picture1) It is 1969 and Newcastle United have just shocked the football world by winning a European trophy. The Inter City Fairs Cup on their first season in Europe. I was 18 then and on a bus “gannin along the Scotswood Road”. Now that would be a good line for a song. At Cowie’s garage near the city centre I notice that they have had the cup on show and you could get your photo taken with it. I think I paid 3 shilling (15p) for this sketchy polaroid photo. This was my first meeting with the Fairs Cup, but not my last.

(Picture 2) It is 40 years later, the cup hasn’t changed, but I have. Newcastle had borrowed the trophy from Barcelona to show at a dinner celebrating the 40th anniversary of lifting the trophy. I was invited to St James’ Park and had my photo taken with it again.

(Picture 3) My third meeting with the trophy is at the dinner itself. This time I am taking the photo as my wife Barbara holds the cup with the ‘Mighty Wyn’, Wyn Davies. Wyn was instrumental in Newcastle winning the cup as continental defences could not handle his aerial ability. After the dinner the trophy went back to Barcelona.

(Picture 4) A couple of years later, on holiday in Spain we had a day in Barcelona and had to pay a visit to the Nou Camp for a stadium tour. Barcelona was the first team to win the cup three times and as a result they were allowed to keep the original trophy. When we went into their trophy room where there must have been dozens upon dozens of trophies but my wife finally found The Fairs Cup in its own cabinet, This then was my fourth meeting with the trophy spanning 42 years.

Will I see the trophy again? In 2019 it will be the 50th anniversary and if there is another dinner then all being well I might!

Mark Hedley

 

 

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, gavin.ferry@nufc.co.uk

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