As you walk round St James’ on a match day, you will see throngs of people milling about, many having a pint in Shearer’s (it will always be called that to me), the noise coming from the balcony at The Strawberry, away fans looking lost, and then the look of dejection when they realise they need to be the other end of the ground, I daren’t tell them there isn’t a lift! But you will also see people having pictures taken with the three Statues of NUFC legends that are placed about the Gallowgate end.
There is normally a small crowd around the statue of ‘Wor’ Jackie Milburn, those not old enough to remember looking at the stats of the man Alan Shearer beat to become Newcastle’s all time top scorer. You normally see a decent crowd of people around Shearer’s statue also, even though it is technically not on the land owned by the club, but still is a part of St James’, but by far the most popular is the statue of a legend in the game, and one of Newcastle’s greatest managers….Sir Bobby Robson. But there is one memorial to past greats that often gets overlooked, that of the small plaque by the entrance of the club shop in honour of Joe Harvey.
The history of the club is something we are all told about from a young age. Thanks to my Granda and my Dad, I knew about Super Mac, Bobby Moncur, Jackie Milburn and Joe Harvey long before I knew the Second World War was a thing. This club is ingrained into us, so surely one of the most decorated men associated with the club in terms of honours, in my eyes is owed more!
For those that don’t know, and lets be fair I don’t think there will be many, Harvey won TWO FA Cups in 1951 and 1952, but was also the last manager to lift a major trophy, that of the Fairs Cup in 1969.
There has been talk over the years of putting a statue of Keegan somewhere on the St James land, and no doubt what he did for the club was amazing. After signing as a player, he saved the club from relegation to the Third division, and essentially saved the club from ruin, and as a manager…..well the entertainers was a special group of players, and we pushed Man United all the way, but still came short. No doubt Keegan deserves some sort of recognition at the club, but that won’t happen while the Fat man still owns it (hopefully not for long!), but can we not recognise Joe Harvey first?
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a statue, but something bigger than what he already has! When we start a cup run, the media is always ‘will this be Newcastle’s year, having not won anything since 69’, but why not remember the man who achieved it more prominently!