By The Fairs Club
Friday 19 Nov 2010 11:05:00
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Each issue the lads from the Fairs Club will pay tribute to our living legends, the 1969 Fairs Cup Winning Team.

Jackie was born in 1943, John Evans Wright Sinclair and played 52 games for the Magpies, scoring eight goals between 1967 and 1969.

The Fairs Club was formed by those privileged enough to follow United's debut tour of Europe through 1968 and 69 culminating in the Mags lifting the Fairs Cup on a warm night in June 1969 in Budapest.

Bill Gibbs organises the reunions and is in regular contact with Jackie and in March this year Jackie told Bill that he was battling stomach cancer and is receiving treatment in a Falkirk hospital. Jim Scott who played alongside Jackie attends the Falkirk Hospital with Jackie and is providing him with support and encouragement to battle against this illness.

To make matters worse, Jackie's wife Lynne was diagnosed with the same dreadful disease, for the third time in six years.

Fairs Club members tour north and south of the border visiting old heroes and have been up to Scotland more than once to see Jackie, Jim Scott and Tommy Gibb.

Jackie Sinclair was known to most of the Geordie supporters back in the late 60’s as Little Jackie, a young guy who spent his Newcastle playing career as the little fellow who ran up and down the right wing. Jackie might be someone who is short in size, but certainly showed no shortage of character, skill and effort playing the game he loved. This diminutive wide man started his playing career in the black and white of Dunfermline Athletic before moving on to Leicester City in 1965.

Jackie pictured right flanked by David Nicholson and Jim Vaughan from the Fairs Club holding the only Scotland cap he won whilst playing for Leicester City.

 Jackie was transferred to Newcastle United and on his debut played out a 0-0 draw with Nottingham Forest in January 1968. By today’s standards the transfer fee of £67,500 might seem small but was certainly worth every penny for what we were about to experience from the wee man from bonnie Scotland.

His first goal for United came in a 4-1 victory at Coventry the following week, but the one he'll be remembered for came at home against Rangers in the Fairs Cup Semi-Final.

Newcastle were leading 1-0 through Jim Scott and Jackie Sinclair's goal was about to settle the tie with a 2-0 aggregate when mayhem broke out all over St James Park and their supporters decided to invade the pitch in an attempt to have the tie abandoned. We marched on to the final against a little known Hungarian team, Ujpest Dozsa. Jackie retained his place in the side for both legs of the final victory over Ujpest Dozsa.

With the rise of Alan Foggon as  the preferred outside right Jackie struggled to keep his place in the first team, Jackie Sinclair moved on to Sheffield Wednesday in December 1969, with David Ford coming in the opposite direction, in exchange. In all, Jackie played 52 games for the Magpies, scoring eight goals.

Jackie had a loan spell at Chesterfield in the 1972/73 season and that was followed by a brief spell South Africa with Durban.

Before finally calling it a day Jackie rejoined Dunfermline and saw out his playing career with Stenhousemuir.

When Jackie wrapped up his football career at Stenhousemuir in 1976, unlike modern day footballers, he did not have the luxury of a massive bank account, so it was down the mine at Solsgirth Colliery in Clackmannanshire for the next 17 years!

His next job was as a Steward at Dunfermline Golf Club and when Bill Gibbs tried to trace him on behalf of The Fairs Club, formed to honour the heroes of 1969, he was told Jack had a new job as a Security Officer at Stirling University, so after a trek up to Stirling a letter was left with the Head of security for Jackie who later called Bill.

The Fairs Club went up to Scotland and gave Jackie, Jim Scott, Tommy Gibb and John McNamee replica Fairs Cup Final shirts and modern Newcastle shirts with their name and 1969 on the back. The Fairs Cup shirt was welcomed by Jackie as he was the only one to swap his original shirt in the Fairs Cup Final.

Jackie came to Newcastle with the rest of the Fairs Cup lads to celebrate the 40th Anniversary but after returning to Scotland, he was diagnosed with cancer and is putting up a positive challenge to the illness. With his lovely wife Lynn, Jackie lives in the beautiful village of Dollar and at the end of his street is the huge sweeping mountain range of the Ochilview hills that tower to a great height.

All Newcastle United fans are behind him and he is happy in the knowledge of having that love with him!

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