Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cult Hero Liam's Hope for United; O'Brien Eager to See Good Times Return

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cult Hero Liam's Hope for United; O'Brien Eager to See Good Times Return

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER

THE last time Newcastle United played second-tier football, Toon cult hero Liam O'Brien had to jump over a wall in Whickham in order to enjoy a well-deserved pint of Guinness following his neverto-be-forgotten derby winner at Roker Park.

The Dubliner, along with fellow Irishman Tommy Wright, was part of the team that went an amazing 11 games without dropping a single point as they proudly laid the foundations for promotion in the 1992/93 season.

But for many the highlight of that season came undoubtedly from O'Brien's right boot as he curled the ball over the wall and beyond Tim Carter to net a spectacular winner.

Licensing laws back then meant allday drinking was not an option for many. So Wright and O'Brien headed straight for the nearest pub back within Tyneside's "green zone" in order to join in the celebrations in an old-fashioned lockin.

Fast forward to 2009 and O'Brien, who tasted relegation 20 years ago in blackand-white before helping win top-flight status back in '93, is as concerned as any United fan about the current state of the much-maligned Magpies.

He told the Chronicle from Dublin: "It's very sad for a club like that.

"There was a lot of work put into getting Newcastle into the Premier League, and it was very sad to see them go out of it.

"It's a fantastic club with great support, and they don't deserve it.

"Hopefully, whoever comes in will turn the club around and get them back into the Premier League, where they belong.

"It's going to be tough - it's not easy to get out of the Championship.

"It was tough for us. I actually signed for the club when they were going through a bit of turmoil to do with the boardroom, but John Hall took over and Kevin Keegan came in.

"They turned the club right around. "They had some fantastic years there, but over the last few seasons they've changed the manager every couple of years, which hasn't helped.

"There's been no stability at the club. "Hopefully, whoever comes in will give the manager a chance to get things right. …

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