King Kev reigns supreme
Newcastle 1992-93 promotion campaign
After returning to Tyneside in February 1992 to replace Ossie Ardiles as manager, Keegan had prevented First Division strugglers Newcastle from slipping into the third tier of English football. Now ahead of his first full season in charge, Keegan vowed to rejuvenate the club and had Magpies fans dreaming of a return to the top flight.
Newcastle started the season in blistering fashion, registering 11 consecutive victories. The mid-season signings of Robert Lee and Andy Cole further strengthened Keegan's already impressive side and the Magpies would go on to be promoted to the Premier League as First Division champions.
Sunderland 1-2 Newcastle (First Division, October 18, 1992)
Newcastle opened up a ten point gap at the top of the First Division table with an eleventh successive victory, moving them closer to Reading's 1985 record of 13 successive wins at the start of a season. A Gary Owers own goal and a superb free kick from Liam O'Brien put Kevin Keegan's Magpies in pole position for a return to the top flight.
Newcastle 1-0 Sunderland (First Division, April 24, 1993)
On a rain soaked St James' Park pitch, Scott Sellars' strike completed the League double over their neighbours and put Newcastle within touching distance of a return to the Premier League. The Magpies now needed just a point from their last three games to secure promotion. The victory was all the sweeter as it plunged their fierce rivals Sunderland further into relegation trouble.
Grimsby 0-2 Newcastle United (First Division, May 4, 1993)
Newcastle sealed the First Division title and promotion to the Premier League with victory at Blundell Park. Andy Cole scored the opening goal and David Kelly added a late second, sparking scenes of wild jubilation amongst the 7,000 travelling Geordie fans.
Key Off-field Moments
Premier League is born
The Football Association launched its new Premier League of 22 elite clubs in 1992, following the decision of clubs in the Football League First Division to break away from The Football League and take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal with BSkyB. Newcastle missed out on the inaugural Premier League season, which was won by Manchester United.
Lee Rob-bed from Charlton
Newcastle boosted their promotion bid by splashing out £700,000 to take Robert Lee from Charlton in September 1992. At the time Keegan was reported to have persuaded Essex boy Lee to sign by assuring him that Newcastle was closer to London than Middlesbrough, who were also desperate to sign him.
Grounds for improvement
St James' Park underwent extensive renovation work in 1993. The Leazes End was rebuilt, and opened as the Sir John Hall stand in the summer, ahead of Newcastle's debut season in the Premier League.
King Kev was a revelation on his return to Newcastle. In his first full season as a manager he fashioned an exciting attacking team that blew away its First Division rivals. The mid-season signings of Andy Cole, Rob Lee and Scott Sellars also proved wise moves as all three would play key roles in Newcastle's charge to the title.
After joining Newcastle midway through the 1991-92 season, Kelly struck ten league goals to help keep the club in the Second Division. He carried his prolific form into the 1992-93 campaign, firing 25 league goals to finish as the club's top scorer.
After selling striker Micky Quinn to Coventry, Keegan brought in Andy Cole from Bristol City for a club record £1.75 million in February 1993. The young striker quickly repaid the fee by hitting 12 goals in as many games to fire Newcastle to the First Division championship.
What Happened Next
In the summer of 1993 Peter Beardsley was brought back to Tyneside for £1.5million from Everton. He formed a prolific strike partnership with Andy Cole, which produced 59 goals in the Premier League alone. The deadly duo helped the club to a third place finish and UEFA Cup qualification - Newcastle's first foray into Europe since the 1970s. Cole's fine individual form saw him collect the PFA Young Player of the Year award, having scored a club record 41 goals in all competitions.
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