We're Football Crazy! We're Football Mad!

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Can you remember the last time Newcastle United won a trophy? It’s been some time. In fact it’s been 51 years since they won the Inter Cities Fairs Cup, 6 goals to 2, against Újpest FC of Hungary

What’s that got to do with Freemasonry you may ask? Well allow us to let you into a little known secret.

After some in depth research a large number of the Team, including the Manager, were identified as belonging to the Craft.  

At the time, the team was managed by a former player by the name of Joe Harvey. Joe played for Newcastle United from October 1945 to May 1953 and, at the age of 31, he was balloted for initiation at the September meeting of Progress Lodge No.5783, which met at the Brighton Assembly Rooms on Westgate Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He was Initiated on 21st November 1951, Passed on 19th March 1952 and Raised on 19th November 1953. He didn’t go through the Chair but remained a member for almost 22 years before resigning in September 1973.It appears that he was a member of the lodge for almost the entire duration that he was Manager of Newcastle United and included when Newcastle won their last trophy, the Inter Cities Fairs Cup in 1969.

Willie Iam McFaul was initiated into Palatine Lodge No.97 in the Province of Durham on 12th May 1977. He was born in Coleraine in 1943, and joined Newcastle United from Linfield in 1966. It took two years for him to establish himself as Newcastle’s goalkeeper, a position he held until after the 1974–75 season. His career highlight was probably when he helped Newcastle to the 1974 FA Cup Final at Wembley, but were beaten 3-0 by Liverpool, whose first two goals were from shots by Kevin Keegan and Steve Heighway. He played six times for Northern Ireland and 290 times for Newcastle United, going on to serve Newcastle as Coach, Assistant Manager and then Manager in 1985. He departed in October 1988 after a poor start saw early season optimism turn into an ultimately futile struggle against relegation.

Bryan Stanley Robson was initiated into George Stephenson Lodge No 3390 in the Province of Northumberland, on 11th November 1970. He was born in Sunderland in 1945 and played for Clara Vale in his youth prior to joining Newcastle United in 1962. Whilst there he won the Second Division title in the 1964–65 season, as well as the 1969 Fairs Cup, forming a productive partnership with Welshman Wyn Davies as a centre forward. He stayed with Newcastle United until 1971 and made 206 appearances, scoring 86 goals.

Alwyn Derek ‘Ollie’ Burton was initiated into Montgomerie Lodge No 1741 in the Province of Norfolk on 10th February 1975. He was born in Chepstow in 1941 and was a versatile player as either a defender or a centre forward. He began his playing career as a wing half at Newport County and later spent 10 years playing for Newcastle United after transferring from Norwich City for a fee of about £35000. His move followed an FA Cup tie between the two clubs that Norwich won 5-0. He gained nine caps for Wales and regards being part of the Norwich City side that won the second ever Football League Cup in 1962 as one of his greatest achievements.

Willie Ian McFaul was initiated into Palatine Lodge No.97 in the Province of Durham, on 12th May 1977. He was born in Coleraine in 1943 and joined Newcastle United from Linfield in 1966. It took two years for him to establish himself as Newcastle’s goalkeeper, a position he held until after the 1974–75 season. His career highlight was probably when he helped Newcastle to the 1974 FA Cup Final at Wembley, but were beaten 3-0 by Liverpool, whose first two goals were from shots by Kevin Keegan and Steve Heighway. He played six times for Northern Ireland and 290 times for Newcastle United, going on to serve Newcastle as coach, assistant manager and then finally, in 1985, manager. He departed in October 1988 after a poor start saw early season optimism turn into an ultimately futile struggle against relegation.

Jim Scott was initiated into Lodge St John, Slammanan, No.484 in the Province of Stirlingshire, on 20th January 1962, and was born in Falkirk in 1940. There is no record of him having received his Mark Degree, however, he went through his three degrees with two other candidates, one called Robert McFarlane Scott and the other Robert Munro Scott, aged 24 and 29 respectively. It was first thought that they might have been his brothers, but only one could have been as they were both named Robert, so maybe his brother and cousin. Jim did have another brother who played for Rangers and then Everton, Alex Scott, a Scottish internationalist. Jim won one cap for Scotland in a 3-0 friendly defeat against the Netherlands in May 1966. He played for Hibernian, Crystal Palace, Falkirk, Hamilton Academicals and made 74 appearances for Newcastle United, scoring 6 goals, playing outside right.

Tommy Gibb was initiated into Lodge Torphicen Kilwinning, No 13 in the Province of Linlithgowshire, on the 6th April 1965, aged 18 and therefore a ‘Lewis’, and was born in 1944 in Bathgate, Lothian. He received his Mark Degree on 18th May 1965 and started his football playing career with Armadale Thistle before joining Partick Thistle where he graduated to the Scotland Under-23 squad. He joined Newcastle United, playing his first game on 14th August 1968, as a midfielder, against Sheffield Wednesday. He went on to create a club record, appearing in 171 consecutive games, playing his final game against Arsenal on 23/04/1975. In his first season with Newcastle he was a Fairs Cup winner, and in his final season a FA Cup runner-up. He also had spells with Sunderland and Hartlepool.

Graham Tot Winstanley was initiated into Luell Lodge No.6482, in the Province of Cumberland and Westmorland, on 7th October 1974 and exalted into Border City Royal Arch Chapter on 11th January 1989. He was born in Croxdale, County Durham in 1948 and started his career with Newcastle United, making 270 appearances, as a central defender, for Newcastle, United, Carlisle United and Brighton and Hove Albion before finishing his career with Penrith, firstly as a player and then as Manager.

Bob Moncur himself was not a member of the Craft, however, his father was.

A number of the Rangers team, beaten by Newcastle United in the 1969 Fairs Cup semi-final, including their captain, John Greig, were also Freemasons. It was very much a tradition that Rangers players joined a Masonic Lodge after signing for the club, if not already a member before signing. It is only in recent years that this has not been the case. In fact, it wasn’t until very recently that Rangers, for the first time, played a game without there being a freemason in the team. It is still quite common for people to shout ‘What Lodge is the referee in?’ if Rangers are awarded a penalty during a game.

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