Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Mr Newcastle (NZ342363)

Like the rest of the North-East’s football teams, Newcastle United’s glory days have long since disappeared over the horizon. But a constant in their much more successful decades during 1920-1960 was one George Stanley “Stan” Seymour, who was born in the County Durham village of Kelloe on 16th May 1895*. The great black and white mainstay represented the club at every level: as a player, manager, chairman and director prior to his death in 1978.

Ironically, though, Seymour was rejected by the club as a teenager, but returned to grace the team’s left wing in a spectacular playing spell during 1920-29 – which included an F.A.Cup victory in 1924 and a League Championship success (the club’s last) in 1927. He famously supplied the ammunition for legendary centre-forward Hughie Gallacher during 1925-29, as well as bagging 70+ goals himself during his nine-year stay. He appeared twice (unofficially) for England, too.

He retired from playing in 1929 and set up a sports shop in the city centre (which survived for many decades), before being recalled as a director of the club in 1938 – and effectively managed the team for the next 16 years (with a break during 1947-50). He steered Newcastle United to back-to-back F.A.Cup Final wins in 1951 & 1952, before stepping down and moving upstairs to become chairman (1954-56). His presence continued to overshadow the club and city in the ensuing years, before he returned briefly as the club’s president during 1976-78 – dying in office in December 1978.

There is a great debt owed by Newcastle United to Stan Seymour for all of his services to the club.
[‘Wor Jackie’ Milburn]

* Some sources give his birth year as 1893.

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