Newcastle United Stole My Heart

Sixty Years in Black and White

August 2021 9781787385573 352pp
Available as an eBook


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

‘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, television and non-fiction writer, as well as 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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