The Tyne-Wear Derby Chronicles: Part Four


Having bore witness to the first ever league affairs between the two clubs during that of the 1898-99 season, which saw Newcastle would win 3-2 at Roker Park on Christmas Eve, and then Sunderland returning the favour by winning 1-0 at St. James’ Park in the last match of the season. This was also Newcastle United’s first season in the Football League First Division.

Including those two matches, Newcastle United and Sunderland would be seen to play each other on no fewer than 27 occasions between the Magpies arrival in the First Division in 1898, and the end of the Edwardian era in 1910. It would be during this earlier footballing era that Sunderland would be seen to inflict upon Newcastle their heaviest ever defeat when winning 9-1 at St. James’ on 5th December 1908.

Also during this period there would be abandonments, an FA Cup match, and the relative fact that Sunderland would ‘do the double’ over Newcastle twice, in 1905 and 1909. The significance of this is that Newcastle would win the League Championship on both occasions as well.

The solitary FA Cup fixture over this period came at home on 22nd February 1902 and would see United defeat their rivals in a Second Round clash courtesy of a lone Ronald Orr strike, before losing away to Sheffield United in the next round.

Sunderland would be seen to have the better of a dominant Newcastle United during this Edwardian age with a dozen victories including when, midway through the 1904-05 season, United were on a seven match winning streak between 5th November and 17th December, a then club record. However, a visit to Roker Park would put paid to that on Christmas Eve that year. Both clubs were going well at the time as Newcastle were then league leaders and Sunderland were in fourth place, but with derbies, the form book goes out the window. Sunderland would take the lead after just thirty seconds when Dicky Jackson headed the home side into the lead. Peter McWilliam would level things after half an hour, but goals from Harry Buckle just before the break, and a second from Jackson just past the hour meant Sunderland would win 3-1. The year of 1904 would be that of when defender Andy McCombie, a Roker Park legend of some five seasons, would be one of those players to make an early crossing of the Tyne-Wear divide and then going on to spend a further six seasons in the black & white of Newcastle, winning the League Championship with both north-eastern rivals.


(Andy McCombie, an early legend in both red, and black n white stripes)

Between the 1900-01 and 1903-04 seasons the Tyne-Wear derbies would be the recipients of United’s highest attendances (and six times throughout the period as a whole). In fact the high during this period would be the 56, 375 spectators that packed St. James’ for the home derby on 1st September 1906, the first match of the season. This would be United’s first victory over their rivals in some seven matches, stretching back to the 25th April 1903.

However, this run would be arrested when this victory would set United on their way to another League Championship. An early goal from Bill Appleyard would see United lose at the interval, but two goals not long into the second half from that of Arthur Bridgett would put Sunderland ahead. It was near twenty minutes later when United drew level; a quick-fire brace from Jock Rutherford not only levelled but would put them ahead. Then, not long before full-time, Jim Howie would score the fourth and seal an impressive 4-2 victory.

Come the close of the 1908 season Newcastle would finish with consecutive derby defeats when at home to Sunderland (1-3) and away to Middlesbrough (1-2). The following 1908-09 season would see Newcastle and Sunderland play each other on four occasions with two games being played in the March, the FA Cup quarter-finals. In the first game at home, goals from George Wilson and Jock Rutherford would earn a 2-2 draw, and in the replay four days later, Wilson would again score, alongside an Albert Shepherd brace in a 3-0 victory. United though would lose in the semi-final when away to Manchester United.

Newcastle would proceed to win the last matches of this Edwardian era when winning 2-0 at Roker Park in the September, and then 1-0 back at home in mid-April, both of which were witnessed by some 40,000 spectators apiece.


About petermannwriter

Freelance (Sports/Music) Journalist

Posted on 24/10/2015, in Football, Newcastle United and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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