Relive title glory in new book

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez celebrates winning the Sky Bet Championship, but which players will he keep on Tyneside?
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez celebrates winning the Sky Bet Championship, but which players will he keep on Tyneside?

A new book, to be published next month and available for pre-order now, tells the story of Newcastle United’s 2016/17 season which ended with the title and promotion.

Toon Up!, by Cecil Grundy, and with a foreword by Stan Anderson, captain of the club’s 1964/5 promotion winners, tells the story of the recent campaign which saw the Magpies bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

United’s title chase with Brighton went right down to the wire before the Championship trophy headed to Tyneside on Sunday.

Newcastle were a full nine points ahead of third-placed Reading in the final analysis, as under Rafa Benitez, the Magpies were never destined to settle anywhere but on the highest perch.

The Toon’s promotion campaign started before the season did; unbeaten in the last six games of the previous year, a final-day 5-1 annihilation of Spurs showed that while the black and whites were down, they certainly weren’t out.

The Rafa-lution saw 11 players leave and another 17 depart on loan, while in total a dozen came in.

A Champions League winner, Benitez loaded up with players equipped to get Newcastle straight out of the Championship and despite initial back-to-back shock defeats, United were soon in full stride.

Through the 6-0 away win at QPR, the sensational seven-goal thriller with Norwich, the nine-man pantomime at Nottingham Forest and a record 14 away wins every step of the Rafa-lution is captured in Toon Up!

Toon Up!, priced at £9.99, is published on Thursday, June 1, and can be pre-ordered now from the website – www.northernheritage.co.uk