Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Thirty Quid a Week for Leading the United Line; in the Fifth Instalment of His Look Back at a Long and Remarkable Chronicle Career, JOHN GIBSON Recalls His Shock at Discovering Just How Much United Were Paying Their Geordie Centre-Forward

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Thirty Quid a Week for Leading the United Line; in the Fifth Instalment of His Look Back at a Long and Remarkable Chronicle Career, JOHN GIBSON Recalls His Shock at Discovering Just How Much United Were Paying Their Geordie Centre-Forward

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHN GIBSON

IT BECAME a routine - after a match on a Saturday we would find our way down to Roys Two Rooms for a snifter and to right the wrongs of that afternoon's work.

It was a restaurant no more than a goalkeeper's punt from the Gallowgate end of St James' Park where Roy Santos and singer Johnny Heenan would look after us with relish.

We had our own Rat Pack and the night would stretch into the early hours.

This particular evening Paul Cannell was one of the clan.

Handsome, with black flowing hair and a moustache, Paul looked as though he had just stepped off one of those cigarette cards of old Hollywood film stars.

Cannell didn't take a walk on the wild side. He lived there permanently.

Anyway, I congratulated him on a good goalscoring performance.

"Aye, Gibbo," he replied, "but I'm still only paid thirty quid a week!" How much? Paul had only just broken into the side but he was notching, this was the seventies not Wor Jackie's fifties, and the money was paltry.

Flabbergasted, I eventually asked if I could print the fact and Cannell cheerily said I could. He felt it might emphasise that not every footballer was getting fortunes.

A few of the players used to go down to the Eldon Grill for a pint after training on Mondays, and of course Paul was front of the queue.

A mate joined them and said: "Hey, have you seen that? A Newcastle player is only on thirty quid." Suddenly Cannell felt somewhat uneasy.

He told me afterwards: "I naively thought the story would only get a bit on the back page but it was splashed on page one and every placard in town blazed the words: 'United star on PS30 a week.'" What was the outcome? Well, Cannell didn't get the rollicking some thought he might. Instead United got in touch directly with me for a follow-up!

"For the first time ever Newcastle revealed a player's wage slip in detail," recalled Paul smiling. "They listed by appearance money and win bonus which made the overall figure look much better of course, but my basic WAS PS30 a week."

All's well that ends well of course, and shortly afterwards Cannell got a significant rise on his basic. Job done.

Cannell, a local lad from Heaton, was a decent centreforward who scored 19 goals in 69 matches for United before going off to play in America which was ideally suited to his rock 'n roll lifestyle.

His main club was Washington Diplomats, although he enjoyed a few jaunts round the major cities. Naturally, Paul quickly discovered the best watering holes, in this case Winston's in the Georgetown party area of Washington.

As usual he pulled a pretty young lady, danced, and made arrangements to see her again.

The following morning, slightly hung over, Cannell got a call from the Diplomats' PR department.

"What the hell were you up to in Winston's last night? …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.