Bob Newton (footballer)

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Bob Newton
Personal information
Full name Robert Newton[1]
Date of birth (1956-11-23) 23 November 1956 (age 60)
Place of birth Chesterfield, England
Playing position Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1973–1977 Huddersfield Town 42 (7)
1977–1982 Hartlepool United 150 (48)
1980 New England (loan) 21 (14)
1981 Jacksonville Tea Men (loan) 25 (3)
1982–1983 Port Vale 48 (22)
1983–1985 Chesterfield 78 (29)
1985–1986 Hartlepool United 11 (2)
1986 Stockport County (loan) 6 (1)
1987 Bristol Rovers 8 (0)
Total 389 (126)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Robert Newton (born 23 November 1956) is an English footballer. Newton played as a striker for several clubs in the lower divisions of the Football League during the 1970s and '80s. He is most notable for his first five-year spell at Hartlepool United between 1977 and 1982, where he wrote himself into club history with his 48 goals in 150 league games. Popular with Hartlepool supporters, he was later voted as the club's 'Player of the 1980s'.[2][3]

Career[edit]

Newton began his career at Huddersfield Town with the "Terriers" in 1973–74. Newton was named most valuable player in a world youth competition at 17, but suffered two severe injuries that took him off the field for more than two years.[4] He spent four years at Huddersfield and left to join Hartlepool United in mid-1977. He scored eight goals for Hartlepool in his debut season, including both goals in the club's shock 2–1 victory against Crystal Palace in the third round of the FA Cup.[5]

Off the field, Newton has had two car accidents, including one in 1978 in which his passenger, teammate Dave Wiggett, was fatally injured; he was sentenced to nine months in prison in 1979 after being found Guilty of causing death by reckless driving.[6][7] After the incident he moved to the United States, playing for the New England/Jacksonville Tea Men in the North American Soccer League in 1980 and 1981.[4][8]

Newton returned to English football and was well received by fans at the Victoria Ground, and for three years formed a strike partnership with teammate Keith Houchen. In 1981–82, Newton and Houchen each had 18 goals and were Hartlepool's top scorers with Newton scoring a total of sixty goals with Hartlepool.[9]

In September 1982, Newton was transferred to Port Vale, where he went on to become the team's top scorer with 22 goals, while the club achieved promotion to Division Three.[10][11] "Valiants" manager John McGrath nicknamed Newton and strike partner Ernie Moss as the "Kray twins" due to their dominance of opposition defenders.[12] The following season, he joined his hometown club Chesterfield. Newton spent two seasons at Saltergate and topped the Spireites' goalscoring chart in both seasons.[11] After leaving Chesterfield Newton returned to Hartlepool in the summer of 1985.[13]

"We were quite a big, physical team and, in Bob Newton, had this barrel-chested striker who just loved a battle with the opposition centre-halves. I hope he doesn't mind me saying that his game was less about finesse and more about blundering the ball into the net – taking the goalkeeper with it if necessary. Don't get me wrong, Bob was a good player, as his 24 goals in 51 appearances suggests. Besides, I had reason to be grateful for his fearsome reputation. When I broke into the team as a naive teenager, any defender who tried to kick lumps out of me would soon get a warning from Bob. He was a cult hero with supporters who loved to see him score goals, and bully defenders. He would sometimes take his false front tooth out to make him look more ferocious. There was nothing underhand or sneaky about his game. All the crowd could see when he was going to put a full-back into the Railway Stand."

— Former Port Vale teammate Robbie Earle in 2012.[14]

After his return to Hartlepool, Newton scored two goals in 11 matches before being loaned to Stockport County and subsequently released. He finished his Football League career with the Bristol Rovers in 1987, before joining Shepsed Charterhouse. He then played for the Cyprus based AEP Paphos and Hong Kong's Laisun team before returning to England and joining the Chesterfield based KSPO team.[10]

He later played for several non-league clubs, including Goole Town, Boston United and Alfreton Town.[citation needed]

Style of play[edit]

Newton was a strong and determined forward.[15]

Post-retirement[edit]

Since retiring, Newton has been involved in various charity causes.[16][17][18] He also worked as a lorry driver before he was caught drink driving and handed a 12-month driving ban in December 2007.[19]

Statistics[edit]

  • Sourced from Bob Newton profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
Club Season Division League FA Cup Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Huddersfield Town 1973–74 Third Division 4 0 1 2 0 0 5 2
1974–75 Third Division 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
1975–76 Fourth Division 18 5 0 0 0 0 18 5
1976–77 Fourth Division 17 2 2 0 4 3 23 5
Total 42 7 3 2 4 3 49 12
New England (loan) 1980 NASL 21 14 21 14
Jacksonville Tea Men (loan) 1981 NASL 25 3 25 3
Hartlepool United 1977–78 Fourth Division 30 3 5 5 2 0 37 8
1978–79 Fourth Division 23 8 2 2 2 1 27 11
1979–80 Fourth Division 33 12 1 1 0 0 34 13
1980–81 Fourth Division 27 10 1 0 0 0 28 10
1981–82 Fourth Division 34 15 2 2 1 1 37 18
1982–83 Fourth Division 3 0 0 0 4 0 7 0
Total 150 48 11 10 9 2 170 59
Port Vale 1982–83 Fourth Division 41 20 1 0 0 0 42 20
1983–84 Third Division 7 2 0 0 2 2 9 4
Total 48 22 1 0 2 2 51 24
Chesterfield 1983–84 Fourth Division 33 14 3 3 1 0 37 17
1984–85 Fourth Division 45 15 2 1 4 2 51 18
Total 78 29 5 4 5 2 88 35
Stockport County (loan) 1985–86 Fourth Division 6 1 0 0 0 0 6 1
Hartlepool United 1985–86 Fourth Division 11 2 0 0 3 0 14 2
Bristol Rovers 1986–87 Third Division 8 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
Career Total 389 126 20 16 23 9 432 151

Honours[edit]

with Port Vale
with Chesterfield

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bob Newton". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 9 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Centenary Supporter: Dave King". hartlepoolunited.co.uk. 8 July 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Ritchie Humphreys Crowned Pools' Finest". hartlepoolunited.co.uk. 7 May 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Randy Beard (24 May 1980). "Lofty Ambitions- Newton Maps A Double Flight Plan". The Evening Independent. 
  5. ^ "1977/78 Games Featuring Bob Newton". In The Mad Crowd. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  6. ^ "Newton of Tea Men Charged in Hit-Run". New York Times. 1 August 1981. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Drink shame for ex-Pools ace Newton". Hartlepool Mail. 20 December 2007. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Tea Men Topple Soccer Chiefs". The Press-Courier. 24 August 1981. 
  9. ^ "Bob Newton". In The Mad Crowd. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  10. ^ a b Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 214. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  11. ^ a b "Bob Newton". Chesterfield' official site. 7 January 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  12. ^ "Steven Jennings keen to make a name for himself at Port Vale". The Sentinel. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  13. ^ Gavin Ledwith (27 March 2009). "Shrimpers skinned by Honour and Walker". Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  14. ^ Earle, Robbie (26 October 2012). "Pope is having a great season, but these Port Vale strikers are top of my hit parade". The Sentinel. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  15. ^ Earle, Robbie (17 November 2016). "Robbie Earle: Alex Jones follows some great Port Vale finishers". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 17 November 2016. 
  16. ^ "Cancer dad spurs pal's charity aim". 3 August 2006. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "Sunderland's greatest day, bar one". The Northern Echo. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  18. ^ "A fan-tastic 10 years for HUDSA". Hartlepool Mail. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "Drink shame for ex-Pools ace Newton". Hartlepool Mail. 20 December 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2016. 
  20. ^ Kent, Jeff (1990). "From Rags to Riches (1979–1990)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 258–290. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7.