All With Smiling Faces

New book explores how
Newcastle became United

All With Smiling Faces takes a wander through the early history of Newcastle United to discover how the club came to mean so much to so many. The book is out now, and fans can get it in paperback or eBook formats.

All With Smiling Faces book cover


club formed


move to st james'


first league title


fa cup winners

Step back into NUFC history, 1881-1910

  • Forgotten years: Discover how the club was formed as Stanley in 1881 and played as East End until 1892.

  • First grounds: Visit the four home grounds Newcastle played at before moving to St James' Park.

  • Unsung heroes: Meet the influential players and staff who built the club and brought it success.

  • Early fans: Experience what it was like to support Newcastle during its formative years.

  • Unmatched success: Relive the club's early triumphs, including three League titles and the FA Cup.

  • Wor club: Trace the bond between the club and its supporters that still exists today.

Get your copy of All With Smiling Faces now

Available in paperback and as an eBook.

East End origins

Play Up Newcastle East End football card

1881 and all that
Newcastle United began life back in 1881 as Stanley FC, on a pitch near the River Tyne in South Byker. All With Smiling Faces takes readers back to the bustling Victorian industrial city to meet the young lads who formed the club, and visits the location of the pitch where thousands of black and white dreams began.
Play up East End!
As the club grew, it changed its name to East End and moved to a new home in Heaton. Here the club signed its first great players, won its first trophies, and battled cross-town rivals West End. It also built up a fanbase, and the book looks at what it must have been like to have supported the club in these earliest of years.

Howay the Lads

Newcastle United’s early history is filled with interesting and influential characters. All With Smiling Faces explains how some of these famous and not-so-famous names helped build a great football club.

Andy Aitken

Andy Aitken
The first Newcastle captain to lift a major trophy, 'The Daddler' led his team to the League Championship. A goalscoring Scottish half-back, Aitken was influential in developing his team’s tactics. He owned a popular pub on Newcastle's Grainger Street called the Douglas Hotel.

Alec White
Newcastle United’s first great player, White starred for the club during its East End days. An influential captain and goalscorer, he helped his team win its first trophies. Born in Scotland but raised in Newcastle, White once scored nine goals in a single game for East End.

Alec White

William Coulson
An 18-year-old assistant teacher from Raby Street in Byker, Coulson was co-founder and captain of Stanley FC, the club that became Newcastle United. As the man who started it all, it seems fair to think that his name should be better known among football fans of a black and white persuasion today.

Bob McColl
Known as 'the prince of centre-forwards', McColl joined Newcastle from Queen’s Park in 1901. He brought not only goals but also the highly-effective Scottish passing game, which he taught to his new teammates. He also founded the RS McColl chain of newsagents.

Bob McColl
Frank Watt

Frank Watt
Watt joined Newcastle United in 1895 as club secretary (and effectively manager). Working from a house in St James' Street, he quickly transformed the club from a struggling Second Division side into the best team in Edwardian England. He remained secretary until his death in 1932.

Colin Veitch
Arguably the greatest-ever Newcastle player, Heaton-born Veitch was hugely influential on and off the pitch. He won the League three times and was the first Newcastle captain to lift the FA Cup. Born in 1881, the same year as his football club, he also had keen interests in theatre, music and politics.

Colin Veitch

Victorian Magpies

Colin Veitch and Magpie Mascot cigarette cards

Newcastle becomes United
In 1892, East End’s rivals West End folded and gave up the lease to their ground – a ‘greasy, muddy slope’ called St James’ Park. East End moved to St James’ and, in an effort to appease fans from across the city, changed its name to Newcastle United. The book also explains why the club changed from red shirts to black and white, and how they became ‘the Magpies’.
Building a great club
After joining the Football League in 1893, the newly-named Newcastle United gradually became bigger and stronger, driven by clever management and brilliant players, and soon had a famously loyal band of supporters. All With Smiling Faces discovers how Newcastle built its huge following and became the most successful and best-supported team in the country.

Get your copy of All With Smiling Faces now

Available in paperback and as an eBook.

Edwardian champions

1910 Cup Winners and Old FA Cup cigarette cards

The Old Cup
NEWCASTLE WIN AT LAST. So said newspaper headlines after United finally lifted the FA Cup in 1910. This was the glorious peak for a brilliant team, at a time when the cup was much more important than the league. The book culminates with a famous victory, a triumphant homecoming, and a search for that famous old cup.
All With Smiling Faces
The book’s title is of course taken from Blaydon Races, written by music hall singer Geordie Ridley in 1862. The original lyrics were: O lads, ye should only seen us gannin’, We pass’d the foaks upon the road, just as they wor stannin’, Thor wes lots o’ lads an’ lasses there, all wi’ smiling faces, Gawn alang the Scotswood Road, to see the Blaydon Races.

Black and White brought to life

The book aims to place fans into the shoes of their Victorian and Edwardian predecessors, offering an immersive look at an important and exciting time for Newcastle United, of which very little moving footage exists.

About the book

All With Smiling Faces book cover

All With Smiling Faces
How Newcastle Became United, 1881-1910
by Paul Brown
Goal-Post books, ISBN 9780956227089
Paperback, 240 pages, 50+ illustrations, RRP £10
Also available as an eBook
All With Smiling Faces takes a wander through the early history of Newcastle United to discover how the club came to mean so much to so many. The book covers the club’s first 30 years, from foundation in 1881 to FA Cup triumph in 1910, and explores how Newcastle became successful and built up its loyal support. The title is taken from the lyrics of Blaydon Races, the Tyneside music hall song that shares its Victorian heritage with Newcastle United and is still sung at St James’ Park today.

From the cover:How did Newcastle become United? When was the club formed, and where did it play before moving to St James’ Park? Who were the men who built the club, and how did they turn it into the most successful club in the country? What was it like to support Newcastle in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and why has the bond between the club and its fans remained so strong?All With Smiling Faces takes a wander through Newcastle’s early history to discover how the club came to mean so much to so many. Covering the first 30 years, from its foundation as Stanley FC in 1881 to the triumphant FA Cup win in 1910, the book visits the grounds, meets the players, mingles with the fans, and relives the matches that made Newcastle United.The cover features an exclusive painting by football artist Paine Proffitt.

Get the book

All With Smiling Faces is available in paperback, limited edition hardback, and eBook, online from Amazon, or in person from the Back Page in Newcastle and the Metrocentre.



Larger format hardback
Limited edition of 500
Contains 50+ photos



240-page paperback
Soft-touch matt cover
Contains 50+ photos
Buy now via Amazon:



Kindle edition from Amazon
Buy now via Amazon:

Also available from:

The Back Page

The Back Page, 56 St Andrew's Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5SF (near the Chinatown gates)
The Back Page, Upper Blue Mall, intu Metrocentre, Gateshead NE11 9YG (near the bus station)

Media coverage

All With Smiling Faces book cover

The Forgotten Grounds of Newcastle United – The Chronicle
How the fledgling Magpies played at four long-forgotten grounds in the East End of Newcastle
New book by Paul Brown looks at Newcastle United’s golden past – The Journal
Newcastle fan was looking for something to smile about – and ended up writing a book
Why Newcastle United fans are among the most passionate in football – The Chronicle
New book explores the Victorian and Edwardian roots of Newcastle’s huge and fervent fan base
All With Smiling Faces book review – When Saturday Comes
How Newcastle United started out under the names Stanley FC and Newcastle East End

About the author

Paul Brown is a freelance writer and Newcastle United supporter. He has written about Newcastle and football history for publications including The Guardian, FourFourTwo, When Saturday Comes and The Blizzard. His books include The Tyne Bridge: Icon of North-East England, The Ruhleben Football Association, Savage Enthusiasm: A History of Football Fans, The Victorian Football Miscellany, and Black and White Army: A Season Supporting Newcastle United.

By the same author

Get your copy of All With Smiling Faces now

Available in paperback and as an eBook.

Copyright © 2014 Paul Brown
Published by Goal-Post, an imprint of Superelastic. Cover painting by Paine Proffitt.
For book order enquiries and for any other queries please contact us.