NONE who follows Newcastle United could ever forget February 5 1972, the day that Hereford United, of the Southern League, beat the first division Magpies in an FA Cup third round replay. The March issue of The Oldie magazine updates the story.

Newcastle led through Malcolm Macdonald after 82 minutes, Ronnie Radford’s indelibly incendiary equaliser taking the tie to extra-time and John Motson to raptures. Ricky George, who’d come off the bench, hit the 103rd minute winner.

Hereford manager John Charles had signed George for £300 from Barnet, where he knocked around with Motson, a local journalist.

At 10.30 the evening before the match, Motson and George were having a drink when approached by Magpies legend Jackie Milburn, down there for the News of the World. “You should be in bed,” Jack told the player.

George replied that he was only the sub. “No one will be saying anything if I come on and score the winning goal,” he added.

In 1998 he had a share in Earth Summit, the Grand National winner. In 2003 he published his autobiography, appropriately called One Goal, One Horse.

It’s in unlikely surroundings that Oldie sports columnist Jim White – just visiting – bumps into the great Hereford hero, however.

Ricky George now 72, is in Spring Hill prison in Buckinghamshire, doing two years for money laundering.

A COUPLE of weeks back we recorded a “blind” charity auction organised by Consett Rugby Club at which Jon Gordon had successfully bid for what proved to be marshmallow boobs (and, for good measure, a marshmallow bum, an’ all.) The Oldie’s “Not many dead” column – prosaic headlines from provincial papers – offers a take on that one, too. From the Derby Telegraph: “Poundland asks for proof of age to buy marshmallow bum.”

FORMER Premier League assistant referee Barry Sygmuta, known hereabouts as the Ballerina in the Black after some terpsichorean tumbling at the Bolton v Wigan match in 2006, is now what the FA calls a match observer.

In that capacity he turned up at a Bishop Auckland match earlier this season and was confronted by the car park steward, who insisted that Syggy wasn’t on his list.

The Northallerton-based official tells the FA Hive website, for the refereeing fraternity, what happened next.

“I got out of the car, raised myself to my full height and asked in my best Football Association accent if he knew who I was.

“He told me that he did – the clown who gave a ridiculous penalty to Shildon in 1996 that had cost the Bishops the game.”

The steward then directed him to the public car park – “and,” adds Syggy, “quite right, too.”

NO parking problems on the X1 from Darlington, last week’s column had also been at the Bishops’ Heritage Park ground for the launch of a permanent photographic exhibition. It includes a picture of Edwardian goalkeeper Ernest Proud leaning against a goal post.

Proud, the Northern League’s first amateur international and capped by Durham at football, cricket and hockey, lived in a large house behind the bottom goal. So, subsequently, did his son, Bill.

It’s 30 years since the column first reported the claim, notably by the late K R Hopper, that the familiar meteorological observation that it’s looking black over Bill’s mother’s was coined at Kingsway.

Some suppose it to refer to William Shakespeare, others – yet more fancifully to Kaiser Wilhelm II. Just a few days ago, a letter in the Times claimed it for Old Trafford. In Bishop, Bill’s mother remains Mrs Proud.

BACKTRACK Irregular Michael Rudd reports that the 10th annual pool tournament in memory of his friend Alan Musgrave took place at the Kings Head in Bishop Auckland last Saturday. Matthew Ellison beat defending champion Geoff Ewbanks in the final. The day’s proceeds go to Ward 16 at Bishop General Hospital.

TWO quick memories of the great Gordon Banks. Martin Birtle in Billingham recalls Sunderland’s visit to Stoke, first game of 1968-69, in which Jimmy Montgomery made a brilliant save – “from George Eastham, I think.”

“After a moment of complete silence there was huge applause – led from five yards outside his penalty area by Gordon Banks. He knew a great save when he saw one.”

David Armstrong in Barnard Castle met Banks several times – “Usually in the corner shop, a great privilege” – because his son lived three doors away from Gordon in Madeley, Staffordshire.

“When I was there at New Year I was able to wish him a happy birthday. Great bloke, happy memories.”

CROOK Golf Club, said on its website to have had “humble beginnings”, marks its centenary with a dinner on March 30. That the celebration is the day after Brexit isn’t lost on club president and celebrated Euro-sceptic John Elliott. “People say there’ll be no electricity and all that nonsense,” says John and at Crook, in any case, they’re prepared. They’ve long had a wind turbine out the back.

….and finally, the feat claimed in 2018-19 by Arsenal strike Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Backtrack, February 9) is that he’s the first Gunner to score on all seven days of the week in the same season.

Today a nicely hypothetical question from Michael Rudd – see above: if every batsman in a cricket match is out first ball, what number’s left at the end?

Still standing, the column returns next week.