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Appeal To Find Descendants Of Magpie Legends

Newcastle United Foundation is looking for descendants or family members of two former players.

The Foundation is preparing to induct Magpie legends Bobby Mitchell and Bill McCracken into its Hall of Fame next month and is appealing for descendants or relatives to come forward. The Hall of Fame recognises the achievements of those people that have made an outstanding contribution to Newcastle United and football over the club’s long history.

Bobby Mitchell (1949-1961) was a darling of the St. James’ Park crowd. ‘Bobby Dazzler’, as he was affectionately known, was a wing wizard and instrumental in United’s immediate post war years, culminating the three Wembley FA Cup triumphs. Born in Glasgow in 1924, he joined the then notable Scottish side Third Lanark in 1942 before serving as a telegraphist in the Royal Navy during World War two in the Mediterranean and Pacific.

He moved to Newcastle United in 1949 for £17,000, a record fee for a winger. Famed for his immaculate ball control, he scored many important goals for United, especially in FA Cup ties during a magnificent 13-year career on Tyneside.  In his final year, 1961, he was awarded a hugely deserved testimonial where a terrific crowd of over 40,000 turned up, clear evidence of the affection in which Mitchell was held by United’s fans.

Bill McCracken (1904 to 1924) helped Newcastle United win three League titles and the FA Cup in 1910, playing 432 games and scoring eight goals. As a right back at Newcastle, he employed the technique of making opposition forwards ruled “offside” when the rules stated that three defenders must be between the attacking player and the goal line. So successful was McCracken’s defensive tactics that the Offside Rule was changed to “2 defenders” between the foremost attacker and the goal line. After leaving Newcastle he went on to become Hull City manager in 1923 and later had a short term in charge of Gateshead F.C.

Anyone who believes they may be related to either player is asked to contact Gavin Ferry on 0191 201 8451 or email

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