The first record of football being played on Tyneside (at least the game as we know it) dates from 3 March 1877 at Elswick Rugby Club. Later that year, Newcastle's first football club, Tyne Association, was formed. The origins of Newcastle United Football Club itself can be traced back to the formation of a football club by the Stanley Cricket Club of Byker in November 1881. This team was renamed Newcastle East End F.C. in October 1882, to avoid confusion with the cricket club in Stanley, County Durham. Rosewood F.C. of Byker merged with Newcastle East End a short time later. In 1886, Newcastle East End moved from Byker to Heaton. In August 1882, Newcastle West End F.C. formed from West End Cricket Club, and in May 1886, the club moved into St James' Park. The two clubs became rivals in the Northern League. In 1889, Newcastle East End became a professional team, before becoming a limited company the following March. However, on the other hand, Newcastle West End were in serious financial trouble and approached East End with a view to a take over. Newcastle West End were eventually dissolved, and a number of their players and backroom staff joined Newcastle East End, effectively merging the two clubs, with Newcastle East End taking over the lease on St James' Park in May 1892.
With only one senior club in the city for fans to support, development of the club was much more rapid. Despite being refused entry to the Football League's First Division at the start of the 1892–93 season, they were invited to play in their new Second Division. However, with no big names playing in the Second Division, they turned down the offer and remained in the Northern League, stating "gates would not meet the heavy expenses incurred for travelling". In a bid to start drawing larger crowds, Newcastle East End decided to adopt a new name in recognition of the merger. Suggested names included Newcastle F.C., Newcastle Rangers, Newcastle City and City of Newcastle, but Newcastle United was decided upon on 9 December 1892, to signify the unification of the two teams. The name change was accepted by the Football Association on 22 December, but the club was not legally constituted as Newcastle United Football Club Co. Ltd. until 6 September 1895. At the start of the 1893–94 season, Newcastle United were once again refused entry to the First Division and so joined the Second Division, along with Liverpool and Woolwich Arsenal. They played their first competitive match in the division that September against Woolwich Arsenal, with a score of 2–2. Turnstile numbers were still low, and the incensed club published a statement stating, "The Newcastle public do not deserve to be catered for as far as professional football is concerned". However, eventually figures picked up by 1895–96, when 14,000 fans watched the team play Bury. That season Frank Watt became secretary of the club, and he was instrumental in promotion to the First Division for the 1898–99 season. However, they lost their first game 4–2 at home to Wolves and finished their first season in thirteenth place.
The club's home colours are a black and white striped shirt. Shorts and socks are usually black with white trim, though white socks are sometimes worn under some managers who consider them "lucky". Newcastle's colours at the outset was generally the home kit of Newcastle East End F.C., comprising plain red shirts with white shorts and red socks. In 1894, the club adopted the black and white striped shirts, which had been used as the reserve team's colours. These colours were chosen for the senior team because they were not associated with either of the two teams United were merged from. They played in grey shorts until 1897, and between 1897 and 1921, they played in blue shorts before adopting the black shorts they play in now. The current club crest was first used in the 1988–89 season. The crest includes elements from the coat of arms of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne—the two sea horses representing Tyneside's strong connections with the sea, the castle representing the city's Norman keep. The city's coat of arms were first embroidered on the team's shirts in 1969 and worn as standard until 1976. A scroll at the bottom featured the city's motto in Latin; fortiter defendit triumphans which translates into English as "triumphing by brave defence."
Throughout Newcastle United's history, their home venue has been St James' Park, the oldest and largest football stadium in North East England, as well as the sixth-largest football stadium in the United Kingdom. Football had been played at St James' Park as early as 1880, the ground being occupied by Newcastle Rangers, before becoming the home of Newcastle West End F.C. in 1886. Its lease was then bought by Newcastle East End F.C. in 1892, before they changed their name to Newcastle United. At the turn of the 19th century, the ground's capacity was given as 30,000 before being redeveloped between 1900 and 1905, increasing the capacity to 60,000 and making it the biggest stadium in England for a time. For most of the 20th century, the stadium changed very little, despite various plans for development of the ground. The old West Stand was replaced with the Milburn Stand in 1987, the Sir John Hall Stand replacing the Leazes End in 1993, and the rest of the ground renovated making the ground a 37,000 capacity all-seater stadium. Between 1998 and 2000, double tiers were added to the Milburn and John Hall stands to bring the venue up to its current capacity of 52,420.
The Club offers a total of 170 wheelchair spaces around the ground, including some in the section set aside for visiting supporters. Each wheelchair space includes room for a personal assistant or carer, and has easy access from ground level outside of St. James' Park, then up into the relevant stand. Personal assistants and/or carers, if required, are admitted to St. James' Park at no charge. There are also 24 places for visually impaired fans, with each seat rigged up to an infra-red commentary system which allows fans to tune into local radio commentary of the game. There is no limit to the number of places in the stadium for ambulant disabled persons. The Club operates a ticket concession for disabled supporters which equates to a discount of at least 50% on the equivalent match ticket price. For example, a standard adult ticket priced at £20 would be discounted to £10 for a disabled adult supporter. Disabled ticket concessions are available to all qualifying disabled supporters. In some situations evidence may be required that the person presenting as a disabled person is actually a disabled person.
>For the tours supporters will be taken to the highest point of the stadium where they will have a Magpie's view of St James' Park. The tour also includes a visit to the Home Dressing Room, Media Suite and the Dugouts, in addition to many other areas. They are also the first UK football club to introduce a virtual assistant - cutting edge technology to enhance the tour experience, many audio and visual effects are utilised throughout the tour. No tickets are issued for stadium tours, please check your tour time when booking. Visitors must report to the Stadium Tours reception desk 15 minutes before their tour, which is located on Level 2 of the Milburn Stand, accessed via the Glass Reception.
Location : St. James' Park, Barrack Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4ST
Transport: Newcastle Central (National) 15 minute walk. Metro : St James or Haymarket. Bus Routes: 12, 36, 39, 40, 62, 63, 71, 72, 84, 87 and stop at the stadium on Barrack Road.
Capacity : 52,405.
Stadium Tours: 11.30 (subject to change), 12.30 and 14.30. Matchdays 10:30
Tickets Stadium Tour: £15 adult, £12 concession and £8 junior
Tel: 0844 372 1892