Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Night of Pride and Glory for Moncur's Magpies

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Night of Pride and Glory for Moncur's Magpies

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Rushworth

Not since 1969 have Newcastle United stood on the brink of European glory. Chief Sports Writer Simon Rushworth looks back 35 years to a memorable semi-final tie against Rangers.

Marsielle may boast the most passionate fans in France but it is unlikely those travelling to Tyneside ahead of tomorrow night's Uefa Cup semi-final first leg at St James's Park will make an impression quite like the infamous Rangers rabble who disgraced the Scottish game 35 years ago.

In 1969, with a place in the Inter Cities' Fairs Cup final at stake, Newcastle United were paired with the Ibrox giants in a tie which would see future so-called `battles of Britain' pale into insignificance.

But it was not until the return leg on Tyneside that the visiting supporters allowed their frustration to boil over, having witnessed the Magpies' stifling defence at its very best.

That frustration was undoubtedly borne out of Willie McFaul's man-of-the-match performance north of the border - a display which laid the platform for an invaluable 0-0 draw and immediately piled the pressure on Rangers ahead of the return leg.

Looking back, skipper Bob Moncur admits the hard work was done in Scotland and the last captain to lift silverware with Newcastle explained: "On that day we had five Scots in the side including myself. There was John McNamee, Tommy Gibb, Jimmy Scott and Jackie Sinclair.

"The one thing I remember when we were walking out at Ibrox was the awe in the eyes of the boys who had played in Scotland. I never had but they were used to going there and getting hammered.

"As a result we had to do a bit of a job on them before kick-off. They were used to getting stuffed there but we had to tell them, `we're better than Rangers and we'll beat them'.

"It worked and the same thing can happen this time around. …

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