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Bill McCracken.jpg

Bill McCracken

Years at United: 1904-1923

Newcastle United have had some colourful full-backs over the years but without question, one of the most influential was Belfast-born Bill McCracken.

Such was his grasp of the offside trap, in tandem with club colleagues Billy Hampson and Frank Hudspeth, the often controversial defender forced football’s authorities into a tactical rethink and a change of the rules in 1925.

Having arrived as a second-choice right-back from Belfast side Distillery, the Irish international went on to make the position his own, spending an amazing 19 years as a Newcastle player.

A formidable competitor, McCracken was much-loved on Tyneside, but not so popular at away grounds.

His style of play was described as alert with the ability to run, leap, tackle and head the ball well.

In a 19-year association with the club, he helped United to three League Championships and three FA Cup Finals.

McCracken is one of only nine United players to pass the 400 appearances mark for the club. Had it not been for the war years, he would have approached the 600 mark.

Captain of United and his country, he played for both when over 40-years of age before turning to scouting where he recommended countless young talented players to the club.

A controversial character at times, often in dispute with the authorities on and off the field, he possessed a bubbling, mischievous sense of humour. United's original loveable rogue.

Other Hall of Fame inductees:

Peter Beardsley

Frank Brennan

Hughie Gallacher

Steve Harper

Joe Harvey

Kevin Keegan

Jimmy Lawrence

Malcolm Macdonald

Bobby Mitchell

Jackie Milburn

Bob Moncur

Sir Bobby Robson

Jock Rutherford

Alan Shearer

Pavel Srníček

Colin Veitch

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