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The history of Newcastle United actually begins with the history of two teams, Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End. These two teams were both formed as additions to cricket clubs in the 1880′s. These early days saw a great rivalry between the two sides. Eventually though Newcastle East End began to win out and West End was running into serious financial problems. In 1892 it was decided that the two teams would merge to form Newcastle United. They then joined the newly formed Football Association coming in as a Second Division team. The team became known as the Magpies because of their kit which closely resemble the bird’s colours.
Right before the turn of the century United managed to gain promotion into the First Division after winning out a series of test matches. They then went on a spending spree adding list of players that would put at the top of English football. The magpies were able to capture the League Championship three times before the First World War. Once play started back up again after the war the team started right from where they left off, winning two FA Cups. The names of players on these teams have become legends of British Football.
In 1932 United captured the FA Cup on the infamous “Over the Line” goal. Jimmy Richardson fired a cross which appeared to have been struck from out of play, hence the “Over the Line” title for the goal. This would prove to be the last successful moment for many years to come. By 1934 the team was a shell of what it had been around the turn of the century and they were relegated for the first time. The team would flounder until the outbreak of World War II.
Once the war was over the Magpies began to make a comeback that was in full swing by the fifties. They managed to lift the FA Cup three times within a five year period during the early fifties. 1951 they knocked off Blackpool 2-0, then Arsenal the following year 1-0. In 1955 United defeated Manchester City to capture the third cup. Again though it would prove to be tough to keep this level of success up and by 1961 the team had slipped back into the Second Division. The team was a complete enigma during this time period. On one hand they were capable of great success as evidence by their winning of the 1968 Inter Cities Fairs Cup, but on the other hand being unable to establish them as a force in the First Division.
The team also managed to get to two FA Cup finals in the seventies but was unable to bring the trophy home. This would prove a high point for years to come and by the mid eighties the team was firmly stuck in the Second Division. This would continue right up until the Premier League was formed. The team narrowly avoided slipping into the Second Division (now the third tier) for the first time in their history. This woke up management and the turn around was almost immediate. They won promotion into the new Premier League and would be a force. Their first season in they finished in third place and followed this up with a strong sixth place season. For the 1995-96 season the Magpies led the Premier League in points for much of the way but in the end failed to capture the title. The following year they finished in 2nd place again and looked poised for great things.
This was not to prove to be the case however as the team slowly slipped since then and is currently holding onto their spot in the Premier League by the hair’s breadth. Constant turmoil and change have been hallmarks of this club and in order to rise to the top again they will need to have stability and order in place.