Former Toon Star Tips Magpies To Stay Up!

Last updated : 11 March 2009 By Footy Mad - Editor
John Anderson: "It was the lowest point of my ten years at Newcastle, without a shadow of a doubt. It was horrible.

"I remember when we were promoted in 1983-84. The season seemed to start and all of a sudden it was finished.

"The relegation season, though, seemed to go on for ever and ever. Every game seemed like it lasted 180 minutes.

"St James's was a difficult place to play your football at that time. It was around the time Sir John Hall came in, and there was a lot of stuff going on in the background.

"To be perfectly honest, it is possible the current team could go down, but I don't think it will happen.

"This is a far superior team to the one that went down. It is not the biggest squad in the world, but you look through the side and there is a lot of quality.

"Michael Owen would get into any Premier League side. Nicky Butt has been there, done that, and got the T-shirt, and Sebastien Bassong has been a revelation.

"We had finished seventh in 1988 and in the summer we signed Dave Beasant, John Hendrie, Andy Thorn and John Robertson.

"Robertson came from Hearts with a big reputation. He was a good player, but the fact we were not playing well did not help.

"John Hendrie had always done well against us, but sometimes it just does not happen for you.

"It started badly at Everton (Newcastle lost 4-0 on the opening day). The old cliche came out about us being too good to go down, but all of a sudden we were running out of games to keep ourselves up.

"Jim Smith came in as manager and tried to change things, but I think he tried to do it too quickly.

"I thought the turning point was going to be when we went to Liverpool and won (on October 1).

"The following week we were beaten at home by Coventry and Willie got sacked. From then on it was going to be a struggle.

"Some of us were realistic to know that in the first 20-odd games we had not won enough.

"So we knew it would be a difficult, difficult task just to suddenly go on a winning run in the last 10. Anybody who says you can just raise your game after a start like that is kidding themselves.

"It happened at West Brom two years ago, but it is very difficult to do.

"I don't think the current team will kid themselves that they are safe. They seem realistic enough."


7 July 1988 - Tottenham Hotspur complete a British transfer record £2million deal for Newcastle United midfielder Paul Gascoigne (21), who had been expected to sign for Manchester United. Gascoigne has signed a contract at White Hart Lane until the end of the 1992-93 season.

25 July 1988 - Less than three weeks after Tottenham broke the national transfer record by signing Paul Gascoigne, a new record is set when Everton complete the long-awaited signing of West Ham United's 23-year-old striker Tony Cottee for £2.2million.
10 August 1988 - Steve Hodge, whose place at Tottenham was put under threat by the arrival of Paul Gascoinge, returns to Nottingham Forest in a £550,000 deal.
27 August 1988 - Millwall F.C. begin their life as a First Division side by drawing 2-2 at Aston Villa. There is just one fixture programme in the First Division this month, and top place goes to Arsenal who thrash FA Cup holders Wimbledon 5-1.
5 September 1988 - Paul Gascoigne and Tony Cottee, the two most expensive signings by British clubs, receive their first full international call ups by England manager Bobby Robson for next week's fixture against Denmark.
30 September 1988 - September finishes with Norwich City as surprise leaders of the First Division, while FA Cup holders Wimbledon occupy bottom place and newly promoted Millwall are in third place with 11 points from their opening five games.
9 October 1988 - Former Newcastle United striker Jackie Milburn dies of cancer aged 64.
10 October 1988 - Howard Wilkinson ends six years as Sheffield Wednesday manager by agreeing to drop down a division to Leeds United, where he succeeds the sacked Billy Bremner, while Willie McFaul (formerly player and coach) ends his 22-year association with Newcastle United when he is sacked as manager.
17 October 1988 - Liverpool midfielder Jan Molby is found guilty of reckless driving and driving under the infleunce of alcohol, and is sentenced to three months in prison.
19 October 1988 - England begin their World Cup qualifying series with a goalless draw against Sweden at Wembley.
27 October 1988 - Manchester United pay Luton Town £650,000 for 31-year-old Northern Irish full-back Mal Donaghy.
29 October 1988 - Mark Lawrenson is sacked as Oxford United manager after a dispute with the club's board over the £1million sale of striker Dean Saunders to Derby County.
31 October 1988 - Norwich City are month-end leaders for the second month running, now with a six-point lead over nearest rivals Arsenal who have a game in hand, while Millwall are still third and the bottom three places are occupied by Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. Middlesbrough, who two seasons ago were in the Third Division and threatened with closure due to financial problems, finish the month in a creditable seventh place.
18 November 1988 - Oxford United captain Tommy Caton returns to the First Division in a £100,000 move to Charlton Athletic.
25 November 1988 - Wimbledon defender Terry Phelan is omitted from tomorrow's squad for the First Division fixture against Liverpool due to a court appearance he faces on a charge of cannabis possession.
30 November 1988 - November draws to a close with Norwich City still top of the First Division, with Arsenal, Millwall, Liverpool, Coventry City, Southampton and Derby all in close contention. Newcastle United, however, occupy bottom place in the league with the dismissal of manager Willie McFaul and the appointment of Jim Smith from Queens Park Rangers seen as the last resort to avoid relegation.
1 December 1988 - Jan Molby is released from prison after serving 45 days of his three-month prison sentence for motoring offences.
31 December 1988 - 1988 draws to a close with Arsenal now leaders of the First Division with a one-point gap over second-placed Norwich City. Millwall are still in surprise contention with a fourth place standing that puts them just seven points off top place. Newcastle United's form under new manager Jim Smith has improved as they have climbed two places off the bottom, but West Ham United are now bottom placed with a mere 13 points which put them six points adrift of safety.
7 January 1989 - Sutton United, of the GM Vauxhall Conference, knock Coventry City (the 1987 winners) out of the FA Cup with a shock 2-1 win.
12 January 1989 - After just seven months at Newcastle United, goalkeeper Dave Beasant signs for Second Division leaders Chelsea in a £725,000 deal which contracts him to the Stamford Bridge club until 1994.
23 January 1989 - New Portsmouth chairman Jim Gregory announces plans to build a new stadium on disused railway land adjacent to their current Fratton Park stadium.
28 January 1989 - Sutton United's FA Cup adventure ends in the Fourth Round when they are hammered 8-0 by Norwich City, who are also challenging for the First Division title in their first full season under manager Dave Stringer.
31 January 1989 - Arsenal remain top of the First Division, but now with a six-point margin. Manchester United have re-emerged as outsiders for the title as they now occupy fifth place, but Millwall are now seventh as their unexpected bid is slipping away. Newcastle United are back in bottom place after failing to gain a single league point this month, and are level on points with West Ham United.
9 February 1989 - Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough is fined £5,000 and banned from the touchline for the rest of the season for punching supporters who invaded the pitch in the recent Football League Cup quarter-final victory over Queen's Park Rangers.
14 February 1988 - Just three months after quitting West Bromwich Albion to take over at Spanish side Atletico Madrid, Ron Atkinson returns to England to succeed Peter Eustace as manager of First Division strugglers Sheffield Wednesday.
28 February 1989 - Arsenal remain top of the First Division as February ends, with Norwich City still second, but Millwall's bid for the title has re-emerged as they have climbed up from seventh to third place this month, while Coventry City and Manchester United have gained ground in the top five. West Ham United are now bottom of the division having gained only one league point all month.
8 March 1989 - England achieve their first win of the World Cup qualifying series with a 2-0 win over Albania in Tirana.
9 March 1989 - Trevor Francis, Queen's Park Rangers player-manager, breaks the club's transfer record by paying Southampton £800,000 for striker Colin Clarke.
18 March 1989 - Brentford's FA Cup dream ends in the quarter-finals when they lose 4-0 to Liverpool at Anfield. Nottingham Forest keep in line for a unique cup double as they defeat Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford. West Ham United and Norwich City draw 0-0 at Upton Park.
19 March 1989 - Wimbledon's defence of the FA Cup ends in a 1-0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park.
22 March 1989 - Norwich City move closer to their first-ever FA Cup final by defeating West Ham United 3-1 in the quarter-final replay at Carrow Road.
31 March 1989 - Arsenal remain top of the league for the fourth month-end in succession, while Liverpool are beginning to look like title contenders as they now occupy third place with two games in hand and an eight-point deficit behind the leaders. West Ham United are facing an uphill task to beat the drop as they occupy bottom place with 22 points from 27 games, but Newcastle United's relegation battle that not so long ago appeared dead and buried is still very much alive as they are now just one point adrift of safety.
15 April 1989 - English football endures its greatest ever tragedy with the death of 94 Liverpool supporters, and injury of an estimated 300 others, at the FA Cup semi-final clash with Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough. The match is postponed, while the other semi-final sees Everton beat Norwich City 1-0 at Villa Park to set the scene for a second all-Merseyside FA Cup final in four seasons, but there is already talk the FA Cup final might not take place.
17 April 1989 - Within 48 hours of the tragedy at Hillsborough, Home Secretary Douglas Hurd promises to pass new legislation which will force all Football League teams to remove standing accommodation from their stadiums.
18 April 1989 - The Hillsborough disaster death toll reaches 95 when 14-year-old Lee Nichol dies in hospital from his injuries. Many more of the injured are still in hospital, and there are fears that six spectators who had to be resuscitated have suffered brain damage.
26 April 1989 - England beat Albania 5-0 at Wembley in their third World Cup qualifying game.
30 April 1989 - Arsenal remain top of the league as April draws to a close, but are now just three points ahead of a Liverpool side who have superior goal difference and a game in hand. Norwich City, Nottingham Forest and Tottenham Hotspur still have a mathematical chance of winning the title, while at the other end of the table Newcastle United and West Ham United now need something little short of a miracle to avoid relegation.
6 May 1989 - Newcastle United are relegated from the First Division after a five-year tenure.
7 May 1989 - Three weeks after the Hillsborough disaster, Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final clash with Nottingham Forest is rescheduled at Old Trafford and they win 3-1 to keep their dream of a unique second double alive.
13 May 1989 - Middlesbrough join Newcastle United in being relegated from the First Division, though West Ham United could still stay up at the expense of Aston Villa.
20 May 1989 - Liverpool lift the FA Cup with a 3-2 win over Everton. Ian Rush scores twice for Liverpool while John Aldridge scores the other goal, and Stuart McCall scores both of Everton's goals. They only need a win, draw or a defeat by a single goal in their game against Arsenal next Friday to complete a unqiue second double.
21 May 1989 - West Ham United are relegated after eight successive seasons of First Division football.
26 May 1989 - Former Leeds United and England manager Don Revie dies of Motor Neurone Disease at the age of 62.
26 May 1989 - Arsenal win the league title with the last kick of the season thanks to a late goal from Michael Thomas against Liverpool which gave them a 2-0 away win. Their triumph gave them their first league championship trophy in 18 years - by a single goal.
28 May 1989 - Bolton Wanderers claim their first major trophy since the 1958 FA Cup by beating Torquay United 4-1 in the Sherpa Van Trophy final.
3 June 1989 - England make it three wins from their opening four World Cup qualifying games with a 3-0 win over Poland at Wembley.
5 June 1989 - John Lyall, the longest-serving manager currently employed in the Football League, is sacked after 15 years in charge of West Ham United, who were recently relegated from the First Division.
21 June 1989 - Gary Lineker ends three years in Spain with FC Barcelona and returns to England in a £1.1million move to Tottenham Hotspur, ending speculation that he was due to link up with former Barcelona strike-partner Mark Hughes at Manchester United.