Farewell Sir John Hall

By Lee Ryder on May 25, 07 03:06 PM

Sir John HallHe took the club from the gutter and left them in one of the best Leagues in the world.

Now that the dust has settled, finishing 13th is still nothing to get excited about.

But from Hall's point of view, he leaves the club in a much better state than it was when he first arrived on the scene at a crumbling St James' Park back in the early 1990s.

And before this season we've had a host of really GOOD memories to with the Hall era as well, despite the fact we still haven't got a trophy!

But where do you start?

Kevin Keegan's first game against Bristol City, 3-0 in front of packed house after Hall sacked Ossie Ardiles and appointed special K?

Or what about David Kelly's late screamer that kept the club alive at Gallowgate a few months later with the strike against Portsmouth!

Moving on through the years who can ever forget winning 11 out of 11 of the first games in the old First Division? Bracewell's screamer? Lee Clark in red hot form? Liam O'Brien's winner at Roker Park?

And then after winning the First Division trophy, the Premiership years and Andy Cole netting 41 times in his first season at top level.

Peter Beardsley coming home and the redevelopment of St James'.

If that wasn't enough a third place finish and European football.

Quickly afterwards we witnessed the 5-0 hammering of Royal Antwerp and Rob Lee's hat-trick of headers, it was dream time all right but there was more to come.

However, we did fail to live up to our own high expectations the following season by finishing a lowly SIXTH!!! How times have changed.

But Hall wasn't content with that and the summer of 1995 resulted in Les Ferdinand, Warren Barton, Shaka Hislop and David Ginola coming to Tyneside.

Keegan was loving the Premiership life and we were living the dream, 12 points clear after Christmas - the title surely coming to Toon.

But no, oh no.

Despite playing the best football witnessed in my living memory, we capitulated.

However, I'm going to continue looking through my rose tinted spectacles and I refuse to remove the blinker, just for a bit longer.

Next to come on board was a certain A Shearer, for a drop in the ocean at £15million.

Goals and quality performances continued to follow, many of them scored by Shearer and Big Les.

Again United romped to the top of the table, beating Man United 5-0, yes 5-0 no less, to get there.

The European nights continued but after Newcastle started moving into a new business era with stocks and shares dominating the headlines rather than goals, Keegan had had enough, he was off.

Hall, who watched Kenny Dalglish then take United to the Champions League the next May, soon followed the next season and you could say with their departure, apart from the brief success enjoyed by Sir Bobby Robson years later, conincided with the end of really good times on Tyneside.

So raise a glass, for the new life president and a man who helped us have so many great memories.

Cheers Sir John.


oxboy said:

Yes Lee, many will remain eternally grateful to the man who rescued us from the Westwood / McKeag era and brought life back into a dying club.

SJH was a man of vision, enthusiasm, personality, a moral man who sadly was replaced by a man who had none of those qualities.

As life president I'm sure he will support the new owners and pass on the dream which is geordie football. So far an unobtainable and elusive dream, but who knows where we may be led by our new saviour.

Tom Andrews said:

And good riddance to Dougie.

Supamac said:

Raise a Glass to the £93 millon, The Halls have taken over the last 17 years..

Gone but never Forgotten...

Brian Harrison said:

Sir John may have dragged United from the gutter. But he made millions from selling his shares. The shares were issued to "democratise" the club and give the fans a chance to "belong" to the club. I'm an ordinary fan who bought shares. If I sell at the prent share value, I will lose cash. And my shares, if I don't sell, will become worthless. Loads of lolly for Sir John. An expensive experience for this mug.

Tony Cascarino said:

What a load of forelock tugging cobbler's, did'nt the old boy say nobody got into football to make money, over a decade ago ?. If He really never intended to make tens of Millions out of NUFC maybe He could consider giving some of it to charity, or maybe knock some off the price of our season tickets ?, nee chance !. Raise a glass ?, You have got to be joking, The Hall clan can get the beers in, They can afford it.

Ryder's reply: Perhaps you enjoyed the years before that when Bristol Rovers, Hull City and of course the mighty Notts County often used to come up here and take all three points!
Fair play, Sir John didn't leave the board a skint man but when he was chairman, he caught the imagination of the Tyneside public by bringing the likes of Keegan in and helped sign Andy Cole, Peter Beardsley, David Ginola, Les Ferdinand....need I go on?
Like another Tony Cascarino in football, you are off target with some of these remarks!

Terry Charlton said:

Alright Hall brought Keegan to the club, but thereafter it has been downhill. Douglas was supposed to be bringing young players from Spain, but I don't recall any arriving. At the same time huge salaries and dividends have been paid out whilst Freddy (who is no angel) has taken the flack. It is my belief that the Halls got rid of Sir Bobby in a most shoddy way and the club has never been the same since. I believe the Halls were jealous of the admiration of the football world towards Sir Bobby and couldn't stand the publicity that he attracted and so richly deserved. I just wish the Halls had made a clean break, but as an example of their greed they take their money,without consulting the Chairman, and then hang onto a fancy title of Club President. If the new man is as good as he appears, he will use John Hall for 12 months and then ditch him. Now that would be justice.

Tony Cascarino said:

Yes Lee, and that never happens now ?, even at the nadir We never got hit for five at home to a team from the old Second Division. Thatcherite millionaire's never do anything out of the goodness of Their hearts, open Your eyes, The Hall Clan were always in it to make money. As for Tony Cascarino's finishing, well that hat trick in 87 was o.k., was it not ?

Ryder's reply: Well I am sure we all feel better for those memories you have mentioned!
5-1 against Birmingham and Tony C at his best. I'll stick to remembering the good times thanks!

weebowie said:

raise a glass.... behave yourself, the halls might have been the catalyst of the rebirth of SJP and i thank them for that, but get real the money they have soaked out of the club is beyond belief, and FS is made the scapecoat (yes he's had his share as well), i said at the time the halls were just in it for the money dispite all their hurrahs and time has proven that is the case, and sir john claiming he was waiting for the right offer to come along because he wanted NUFC in safe hands,he must have the same mentality as his son if he expects us to believe i'll not raise my glass to the halls, they have had enough of my hard earned cash for me to do that,but in fairness, through greed or otherwise, they did help put the club where it is today.but i for one are glad to see the back of them

Andrew Donohue said:

Long live Sir John Hall! I think the fact that he sold his shares tells us that Newcastle United is the sleeping giant that has now awoken. Bring on the silverware!


I have nothing but thanks and admiration for Sir John Hall. During his time as chairman he was instrumental in bringing the most exciting football playing side in the country. Not only that but he brought an air of excitement and intrigue to every true toon fans life. The toon were on everybody's lips, on Sky every week, and everyone outside of Newcastle's favourite 2nd team ( apart from Sunderland and Boro ). As a paper boy in the 90's I read every newspaper with excitement wandering who we were going to sign next. Ginola, Asprilla, Ferdinand, Shearer you name them they all came we all seen and they all excited. Sir John has got Newcastle United best interests at heart and that why he has correctly sold out to Mike Ashley. He tried his best to bring success to the club, but unfortunately he never brought any real silverware. Neither has Freddie, so Freddie please follow suit, sell Mr Ashley your shares and hopefully we can finally see a team that not only excites, but also brings the one thing we all dream about, silverware.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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