Newcastle United Stole My Heart

Sixty Years in Black and White

August 2021 9781787385573 384pp, 19 colour illus
August 2023 9781805260394 384pp, 19 colour illus
Available as an eBook  Available as an Audiobook
EU Customers


When 5-year-old Michael Chaplin landed in a strange city of ships  in the late 1950s, he looked in vain for something that would anchor him to it, make him feel at home. Then, one Saturday afternoon, it came: the roar of a crowd, and a football team to support. Young Michael became an avid Newcastle United fan, and has remained one—if sometimes disenchanted—for over sixty years.

In this football memoir with a difference, the celebrated playwright and screenwriter tells the story of his six-decade love affair with the club, each chapter recreating an iconic Newcastle match: the players who graced the game, the managers in the dug-out, and the backdrop outside the stadium—both the changing face of Newcastle, and the ups and downs of Michael’s own life and career.

This vivid, thoughtful and entertaining book is an absolute must-read for all Newcastle United supporters, and indeed—given that the club is often described as everyone’s second favourite—for football fans everywhere…


‘A writer whose work always glows’ — The Sunday Times

‘[A] marvellous book.’ — The Guardian

Newcastle United Stole My Heart is a testimony to the power of modern sport and how it reaches way beyond the playing fields. … Beautifully written.’ — The Irish Times

‘Enjoyable and sympathetic.’ — David Kynaston, New Statesman

‘A remarkable evocation of place, of time and obsession with a football club – as well as a lovely read.’ — Sting

‘A thoroughly enjoyable book: its recall of the pains and pleasures of emotional investment in a football club is credible, funny and life affirming.’ — Morning Star

‘Each story is cleverly interwoven with flashbacks to what was happening in [Michael Chaplin’s] own fascinating life and career at the time which produces a delicious window on the world.’ — The Chronicle

‘One stand-out feature of this very enjoyable book is its sixty-year time span, which means that fans of every generation can relate to it and have their memories stirred.’ — John Anderson, Newcastle United (1982- 1992) and Ireland

‘If you are a football fan this riveting and exquisitely-written walk through time is for you. If you support Newcastle Utd it is an absolute must. The words jump off the page with dashing verve and colour. This is the book of our hearts and I recommend it without hesitation.’ — John Gibson, covering NUFC for the Evening Chronicle for the last 55 years

‘Not just evocative and informative, this book is essential. Life, the universe and everything – through black and white eyes. Triumph, tragedy, misfortune, ineptitude. Newcastle United. This is our life.’ —


Michael Chaplin is a playwright, a television and non-fiction writer, and a former producer and executive at ITV and the BBC. His writing credits include the highly successful television series Grafters and Monarch of the Glen, as well as nearly 100 plays for the theatre and BBC Radio 4.  

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