With the summer transfer window approaching some Newcastle fans took a glance back into the past at an era gone by when the club smashed the world record transfer fee to bring Alan Shearer back to Tyneside. Tuesday the 30th of July 1996 is a day that has gone down in history for the Magpies as they issued a statement of their ambition to attempt to win the Premier League, even though it ultimately proved to be unsuccessful.
Shearer himself though could hardly have been more effective, scoring an incredible haul of 206 goals during his ten year’s back home at St James’ Park. He won the hearts and minds of fans and justified every penny of his £15m fee.
Kevin Keegan was highly emotive and emotional during the striker’s unveiling to the media, and it has been suggested that his words are the antithesis of anything that would come out of the club under Mike Ashley.
Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United is the antithesis of Mike Ashley’s. Talk you wouldn’t hear in today’s game. This if ever there was any doubt is why Keegan is regarded so highly. #NUFC pic.twitter.com/K0M63CWWt1
— NUFCThreatLevel (@NUFCThreatLevel) July 16, 2020
For many supporters it was the intent which Kevin Keegan spoke, highlighting Newcastle’s ambitions to improve upon their second-place finish in the Premier League the previous season, which won them over. Both Shearer and Keegan have taken the managerial role under Ashley’s ownership, but neither lasted long nor got the propper chance they deserved, in the St James’ Park hot-seat.
Has anybody, including the great Sir Bobby, ever spoken with the knowledge, integrity and respect that Keegan held for the fans?
If so, show me, I’d love to see it.
— Andrew Burns (@awburns68) July 16, 2020
— Stephen Smith (@stephen382) July 16, 2020
One hung on Keegan’s promise that the Magpies would not sell their best players, an image the club no longer has with the five most expensive departures coming during the ‘Ashley era’.
One thing sticks out when talking about selling our best players ” those days are gone now ” Oh how I wish that was true. I had a season ticket all the way through that period, if nothing else im thankful for that. King Kevin lets get him stand or a statue for what he did here.
— Bryan Crute (@busterforever) July 16, 2020
In the late 1990s, St James’ Park enjoyed some of the finest football to grace its turf as the Toon finished second in the Premier League in consecutive seasons, along with reaching back to back FA Cup finals. Aside from the fifth-place finish and subsequent Europa League campaign, younger Magpies fans have not seen the team finish higher than tenth in the top-flight. Those who were old enough to witness Keegan at the helm lauded the side he created and the ethos of the club at that time.
So pleased I was alive during this period of the club. Always buzzing looking forward to a match day, exilirating football that was a joy to watch. Light years away from it now, let hope the new owners bring this back #nufc
— Jamie Coxon (@coxon_jamie) July 16, 2020
Amazing times, when Keegan arrived it was probably the best time in NUFC history, the football played, the philosophy, the uplift in the city, the kit designs, the goals scored, the players signed – unbelievable times – something we may never see again anywhere in the world ⚽️
— Steven McDonnell PGA (@stevenmcPGA) July 16, 2020
Meanwhile, others questioned what the point was in supporting Newcastle under their present guise and questioned the owners’ commitment to acting in the clubs’ interest rather than his own.
I honestly feel sorry for kids now. What are they even supporting? Some strange vehicle to further Ashley’s interests and nothing more. No wonder I see so many up here in Barca & man city tops
— JamboMalumbo (@JamboMalumbo) July 16, 2020