Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Early-80s Favourite Turns 57

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Early-80s Favourite Turns 57

Article excerpt

CAST your mind back to Newcastle United in the 1980s, and four names bestride the decade: Keegan, Waddle, Beardsley and Gascoigne.

But one player who impressed, other than that famed quartet, was Imre - or Ray - Varardi, who turns 57 today.

When manager Arthur Cox prised Varadi away from Everton for PS125,000 in the summer of 1981, United were marooned in the second division and arguably at their lowest ebb since the dark days before World War II.

The pacy, London-born striker took a few games to settle, but soon found himself making a big impact in the Magpies' strikeforce.

In early October 1981, Varadi smashed in three in a 4-0 win at Cardiff - and never looked back.

The son of a Hungarian father and Italian mother, the 22-year-old striker's goals, pace and appetite for the game quickly made him a crowd favourite.

Apart from Alan Shoulder's 21 goals two years earlier, Varadi's seasonal tally of 20 made him United's most productive striker since the mid-70s. …

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