by • December 1, 2017 • Free stuffComments (6)685

We recently recorded a Podcast with the highly respected Newcastle-based, football journalist, Michael Walker to coincide with his latest book – GREEN SHOOTS  – IRISH FOOTBALL HISTORIES.

We’ve had great feedback about the Podcast – which we really enjoyed recording – and we can say Michael’s new book is a great read – really well-written and full of fascinating stories I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

Michael has very kindly offered up a copy of his book as a prize to a true faith reader and all you need to do win the prize is to give us a fact about the most significant Irish player we’ve ever had on Newcastle United’s books – the great Bill McCracken, in the comments box below and the one we think is the most interesting will win the prize.

We’ll also be offering variations to compete for the book via our social media – twitter and facebook, so get onto them for more details as well.

Of course if you just want to buy the book, you can get a copy by buying one – its available via Amazon – just click here for a hard copy of kindle version of the book. You might also want to support your local bookshop and have a wander into where-ever it you are .

Our comrades at the peerless have some signed copies of Michael’s book and you can get at them by just dropping Mr Biffa a line on 


You really don’t have to have any Irish heritage or be Irish to enjoy the book – its just a good old historical version of football which has huge relevance to the football we’ve gone along to support and participate over many years.

Good luck.

You can get at the Podcast we recorded with Michael by just clicking here


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  1. Tony Higgins says:

    Bill McCracken was a proper character for lots of reasons and some are in this article. I already have the book 🙂 havent read it yet but will be reading it soon. Would be nice if Bill could be represented in a flag or something at SJP.

  2. Joe Devine says:

    The obvious answer here is stating that he was the only ever NUFC player that was so good at his job that he forced a change in the laws of the game but I’ll go with something different. McCracken was banned from playing for Ireland for 10 full years over a pay dispute. Keep in mind he played from 1904 – 1924, see, it’s not just those modern footballers who started making the headlines over money 🙂 🙂

  3. Sean Whelan says:

    He had a spotty back. My great grandma told me.

  4. Mark Oselton says:

    He was a scout for Newcastle in later years, signing off his reports with “Your old cigar”. He recommended Charlie Hurley to Newcastle but he was of course was signed by sunderland.

  5. Michael Potter says:

    Although a Toon player he had family connections in Middlesbrough who worked in the (at that time) steel industry on Teesside so attended Ayresome Park to watch the Smogs on several occasions.
    Not able to confirm if he took his own gas mask or borrowed one from friends or family.

  6. John Rush says:

    As has been said he was responsible for chsnging the offside law. On the day the law came into being players struggled to adapt leading to an avalanche of goals scored (over the season almost 2000 more goals were scored on the football lragur than the previous season). One team who did not have any problems with the new law and kept a clean sheet were Hull City. Hulls manager was one Bill McCracken

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