How do you make sense of an enigma like Newcastle United?

This week on Team 33, we got a historical insight from Ged Clarke, author of 'Newcastle United: 50 Years of Hurt'

Newcastle United, Kevin Keegan, resigns

Newcastle United fans at St James Park read news of the shock resignation by manager Kevin Keegan. 17/2/99. John Giles/PA Archive/PA Images

As many of our regular Team 33 listeners know, avid Mayo support is well represented on the show. 

On Sunday, they'll be looking to bridge a 65 year wait to bring Sam Maguire back to the county.

As ever the talk of curses has been raised in All Ireland final week as all manner of explanations are sought to make sense of Mayo's record in finals since 1951.

So this week on Team 33, we decided to examine the case of the Premier League club with the closest narrative to Mayo: Newcastle United.

You can listen to the interviews with Ged Clarke and Paul Brown on the podcast player below or stream/download on the iTunes Podcast App

Their sixth and last FA Cup trophy came back in 1955 during the Jackie Milburn era, and but for an Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (replaced by the UEFA Cup and then Europa League) in 1971, the trophy cabinet has been bare.

That's odd given the size of the club and the largesse of the fanbase. But like Mayo, there is talk of curses with some saying that St James Park was built over the site of an old gallows where hangings took place.

For more plausible explanations for Newcastle's inability to bring a domestic trophy back to the North-East of England in over 50 years amid rollercoaster eras, we were joined by Ged Clarke, author of Newcastle United: 50 Years of Hurt.  

Ged gave us an insight into the boardroom battles that have held the club back since the 1950s, looking at the Seymour vs McKeague era, the much more positive Sir John Hall period and the subsequent ups and downs under Freddy Shepherd and current owner Mike Ashley.

We also chatted to Paul Brown, author of Savage Enthusiasm this week. Coincidentally, he is also a Newcastle fan like Ged but he joined us to talk about the history of football fan culture and how the game managed to attract a fanbase in the first place.

Both interviews are available on the podcast player above as well as the iTunes Podcast App for download, subscription and streaming, whatever takes your fancy.