Forget George Washington or Abraham Lincoln: here's Newcastle United’s very own Mount Rushmore

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Several legendary figures have represented Newcastle United - are these four the greatest in the club's history?

It's election year both in the UK and across the pond. Expect political talk to ramp up in the coming months as Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer are set to go head-to-head, with Donald Trump also planning a sensational return to the White House.

Approximately 4,100 miles from Newcastle upon Tyne, in Keystone, South Dakota, one monument has stood the test of time: Mt Rushmore. Built by American sculptor Gutzon Borglum, the landmark is a tribute to what he and many US citizens believe to be the greatest presidents of all time.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt represent the founding, expansion, preservation and unification of the nation. With that in mind, how would a similar sculpture translate to Newcastle United?

If the Public Investment Fund were to erect a similar tribute, perhaps in Tynemouth, looking out upon the North Sea, whose faces would be on it? This is our verdict, after considering the thousands of people who have represented the club since its formation 132 years ago. And no, despite what may or may not have been a campaign of increasingly frenzied emails from Michael Owen, he didn't make the cut.

Frank Watt

The most important person in Newcastle’s history who you likely have never heard about. In the late 19th century, the “football manager” role as we know it today had yet to take off.

The Magpies’ first official “manager” was Andy Cunningham - a decision that did not come until 1930. Almost four decades earlier, Watt was appointed club secretary, a position that involved overseeing the committee who, in turn, were responsible for team selection.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A shareholder in the club, Watt donned a handlebar moustache that would make a modern-day man look rather odd if sported today. He signed club legends like Hughie Gallacher, Colin Veitch and, ironically, someone else who appears on this list. Newcastle won four league titles and two FA Cups. Somebody should make a position to make this man a statue.

Stan Seymour

Not to be confused with his son and namesake, who proved a disaster for the Magpies in the 70s and 80s. Hailed as “Mr Newcastle United”, Seymour is the only person in history to play for, manage and serve as chairman of the club. He also remains the only man to win the FA Cup as both a player and manager on Tyneside. Do not let his final spell, which ended in the Magpies surviving relegation on goal difference, fool you.

Seymour spent nine years at St James’ Park as a player, known for his marauding ability on the left flank. An impressive 73 goals in 242 games contributed towards the FA Cup in 1924 and Newcastle’s most recent league triumph three years later.

Three managerial spells included the wartime period, where Seymour gave a trial to a 19-year-old Ashington native called Jackie Milburn. Two FA Cup triumphs followed in the 50s, with Seymour also picking the team - controversially - for the successful 1955 final. He remained a director - and later life president - until his death in 1978. Milburn eulogised his former manager: “There is a great debt owed by Newcastle United to Stan Seymour for all of his services to the club.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Joe Harvey

Another man deeply embedded into the club’s history. Harvey has a plaque commemorating his services to Newcastle - but he deserves more.

Also a trophy winner as a player and manager, Harvey was part of a youthful post-war revival at St James’ Park, starring alongside Milburn, George Robledo and Bobby Cowell. He was part of the 1951 and 1952 FA Cup wins before retiring in 1953, featuring on the coaching staff when they triumphed again two years later.

When he was given the first-team reins in 1962, Newcastle were languishing in the second tier. He may not have been afforded the time to get things right in the present as the Magpies took four years to secure promotion. Winning the Fairs Cup in 1969 was the zenith of his managerial career - an honour which sadly remains Newcastle’s last.

Kevin Keegan

A name every Toon supporter reading this article will be accustomed to. Keegan’s father, Joe, had been a lifelong Newcastle fan, with Kevin having family links to the North East. The two-time Ballon d’Or winner arrived on Tyneside in the swansong of his career but brought joy to Geordies as he fulfilled a career-long ambition. However, it was Keegan’s time in the dugout that made him revered beyond belief.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In February 1992, local businessman Sir John Hall had recently acquired the club in dire straits - hurtling towards the third division. Steering clear of relegation at Filbert Street on the final kick-started the “Entertainers Era” on Tyneside.

Over the following years, Newcastle stormed to the Premier League before taking on the big boys. Playing an ultra-attacking brand of football, the Magpies came agonisingly close to clinching the title - blowing a 12-point lead in the second half of the campaign.

Without Keegan’s belief, passion and love for Newcastle, the club may not exist as we know it. He is the only figure on this hypothetical Mr Rushmore not to win a major honour with the Magpies but the now 73-year-old represented more than silverware itself.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.