Chris Waddle - Newcastle United - Biography of his football career at Newcastle.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 31 October 1981

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      Wednesday, 14 December 1960
      Hepworth, England.
  • England
  • Newcastle United
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Wednesday, 22nd October 1980 in a 1-0 win at home to Shrewsbury Town (Aged: 19)
    • Club Career
      169 League apps (+1 as sub), 46 goals
  • Sheffield Wednesday
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 15th August 1992 in a 1-1 draw at Everton (Aged: 31)
    • Club Career
      94 League apps (+15 as sub), 10 goals
  • Sunderland FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 22nd March 1997 in a 1-1 draw at home to Nottingham Forest (Aged: 36)
    • Club Career
      7 League apps, 1 goal
  • Tottenham Hotspur
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 17th August 1985 scoring twice in a 4-0 win over Watford (Aged: 24)
    • Club Career
      137 League apps (+1 as sub), 33 goals
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Chris WADDLE - Newcastle United - Biography of his football career at Newcastle.



 Like many aspiring footballers, Chris Waddle had drifted into non-league football after receiving rejections from league clubs. Relatively late in life, Newcastle picked up the 20 year-old for £1,000 from Tow Law Town in the summer of 1980, famously cutting short the promising career he had found labouring in a sausage factory. Initially a reserve, the early season sacking of manager Bill McGarry had little effect on Chris, but his replacement, Arthur Cox, would have a huge impact on his career. After a string of impressive reserve team performances playing centre forward Waddle forced himself into the first team picture, his debut coming at St. James Park on October 22nd against Shrewsbury Town. There was little in that game which suggested he would go on to play 62 times for his country and be the first Newcastle player to represent England since Malcolm MacDonald. Chris Waddle had a style which was unhurried and laid-back, but lent itself to easy criticism of laziness when things weren't going so well. Yet, despite only using his left foot, Waddle could leave defenders wondering what day it was. Early in his career Chris was in awe of his fellow professionals and this was displayed during his second game. Playing against Chelsea, he allowed his marker Gary Chivers to streak away from him to score the fourth in a 6-0 drubbing. Better was to follow in the new year and, after bagging a pair against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup, his first league goal came when he seized on a defensive error, by future Magpie Glenn Roeder, to convert a far post header against QPR.


Waddle was starting to be noticed and despite his season being finished in March due to a groin injury, he had done enough in his 13 league appearances to earn himself a new contract. The following season saw Chris an ever present in the United line-up, playing 47 league and cup games in all. Waddle, still playing mainly as a centre forward, managed 7 goals that season - including Newcastle's 5, 000th league goal against Norwich - as The Magpies finished 9th in Division 2. A call up to the England U-21 squad was just reward for some excellent performances and speculation over his future led to another new contract. Chris's news hardly registered outside St. James Park, however, as the club made the shock signing of England captain Kevin Keegan. Waddle's rise from non-league to playing alongside one of the world's great players had been meteoric. After the initial euphoria of Keegan's signing the hype and attention proved too much for some players and United were languishing in 12th place by the end of September. Waddle himself, was struggling with the disappointment of being used regularly as a left winger and found himself in for a spell in the reserves. When brought back into the first team at the end of October, he celebrated his recall with goals in successive league games against Crystal Palace and Burnley. Waddle remained in the side for the remainder of the season, finishing with 7 goals in 37 league games, but a late season eye injury sustained by Keegan saw The Magpies finish in 5th place and out of the promotion shake-up. (Gordon Tait)