Down the years the number 9 has always held a revered place in the hearts and minds of Newcastle United’s many supporters. Come good times, come bad times, great centre forwards have continued to move the St James Park masses in a way no stout defender or flying winger ever could. In bygone days, men like Hughie Gallacher and Jackie Milburn drew the adulation, then in May 1971 a new heir apparent moved to the North-East. His name? Malcolm Macdonald.
A prolific scorer for Second Division Luton Town, Macdonald joined the Magpies for a fee of £180,000 as manager Joe Harvey sought to revamp a Newcastle outfit, one that had failed to build on the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup triumph. With “Supermac” set to lead the line, Geordie fans eagerly awaited the start of the 1971-72 season. However, no goals from the opening 2 games, it wasn’t until August 21st when Newcastle United’s season ignited before a large St James Park crowd. 39,720 gathered to see Malcolm Macdonald make his home debut against unbeaten Liverpool, with a newcomer by the name of Kevin Keegan drawing rave reviews… Yet the day belonged to “Supermac”, a magnificient hat-trick securing a rousing 3-2 win for the home side.
Inevitably, Malcolm Macdonald continued to score goals in international football. During the space of 5 special weeks in the Spring of 1975, the fast and powerful striker had his finest moments in anEngland shirt. Firstly, he scored one of the goals that helped his country to an excellent 2-0 Wembley win over reigning World Cup holders,West Germany. Then, in a home European Championship qualifier againstCyprus, Macdonald wrote his name into footballing history, equalling theEngland individual scoring record by notching all 5 goals in a 5-0 triumph.