Fairs Club By Jim Vaughn & Bill Gibbs
By Jim Vaughn and Bill Gibbs
Wednesday 02 Nov 2011 08:47:00
Browse all The Fairs Club articles

Born on 8th June, 1944 in Belfast, the soft spoken Irishman joined Newcastle United in 1960, going on to complete 412 appearances which puts him 7th in the all time list of Newcastle players’ appearances. Had David not lost a further 100 games to injury, he would no doubt have been top of the list for appearances! When he came to Newcastle he was immediately taken under another Northern Ireland full backs wing, Dick Keith who partnered another Northern Ireland full back in Alf McMichael.

His first honour was winning the FA Youth Cup against Wolverhampton Wanderers, alongside such players as Alan Suddick and future United captain Bob Moncur, who incidentally scored the winner.

His senior debut was in November 1963 against Cardiff City alongside two players who along with David would eventually help Newcastle United to win the Second Division Championship, Trevor Hockey and Stan Anderson. It was an awful day for David with Cardiff running out 0-4 winners and culminated in him being dropped from the side, his place being taken by Wallsend man Bill McKinney.

In the 1965 season he formed a partnership with Frank Clark who was at left back, (missing only two games in the 42 game season), which was to stay constant for the next ten years! The Second Division Championship was won, the half back line of Stan Anderson, John McGrath and Jim Iley being without question the best in the whole country. That same year he was selected for the Northern Ireland Under 23 side against Wales and then two years later he was in the Northern Ireland senior team ironically against Wales again. David went on to gain 25 caps, which would no doubt have been considerably more but for the constant injuries he sustained.

His big moment came in the 1969 season when he was in the team that won the Inter Cities Fairs Cup, Newcastle’s last major honour. The injury jinx nearly put him out the side when he had knee ligament trouble just before the semi final against Glasgow Rangers but he recovered just in time.

In the 1974  season United got to Wembley but tragically for him he dislocated his elbow in the semi final against Burnley at Hillsborough. The FA struck a special medal for him, which was a small consolation. Unbelievably he also missed the League Cup Final against Manchester City at Wembley in 1976 when in  a league game against Liverpool, playing in an unaccustomed role of centre half, he damaged his medial ligaments.

After football David played part time for a while with Blyth Spartan sand then he went in to the milk delivering busines. Running a Newsagents came next. At this present time David is a Care Manager working for Newcastle City Council. I tracked David down for the Fairs Club thanks to help from ex Newcastle United player Ron McGarry. We invited David over to Alan Foggon’s pub along with John Craggs and Keith Dyson, to present them with their shirts. At that meeting John Craggs who was the deputy for David in the first leg against Rangers, agreed he would have had a load of games for Newcastle United had it not been for the fact David Craig made the position his! David has been invited to a Fairs Club  Legends evening in November but only if his work, which the man is certainly dedicated to helping those more unfortunate, allows!

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