Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fans Can Raise a Glass to Club's Best No 9s

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fans Can Raise a Glass to Club's Best No 9s

Article excerpt

Byline: John GIBSON

THE No 9s are the stuff of legends. Always have been, always will be.

Nowhere is the shirt more revered than here on Tyneside, where Geordies will discuss well into the night who the greatest of Newcastle United's centre-forwards were and pay homage to them.

United's official historian Paul Joannou wrote a book about a very special clan, kindly asking me to do an introduction and Alan Shearer a foreword.

Well, a No 9 bar has been opened again within the shadow of St James' Park - and so it should be.

Steve Wraith asked all those of black-and-white persuasion to vote for their favourites through his Toon Talk Fanzine and the result is nine of the best No 9s now adorn the walls of the No 9 Bar which is just above the Cosmic Ballroom (formerly the Stage Door) in Stowell Street's Chinatown.

The nine - in order of playing, not preference - are Hughie Gallacher, Jackie Milburn, Len White, Wyn Davies, Malcolm Macdonald, Micky Quinn, Andy Cole, Les Ferdinand and Alan Shearer.

Which beautifully opens up discussion as to the merits of those in and the claims of those ignored.

Well, there are candidates who could never be shunned - the four all-time greats, were Hughie, Wor Jackie, SuperMac and Big Al.

As I said in the Shirt of Legends introduction: They are what we all hold dear - dashing heroes scoring splendid goals to slay the greatest of opposition.

Men we can see vividly just by closing our eyes.

Those of surprise, though again benefiting from being loved, are Quinnie of Who Ate All The Pies fame and Andy Cole.

Wraith said: "Yeah, they are the ones to cause debate, but I think Mick was voted in because the club was at a low ebb when he came along and he got the place buzzing through his partnership with Mark McGhee.

"Quinnie scored a pile of goals, he was a typical Scouser, and he did not take himself too seriously, which the fans loved. …

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