Charlie Crowe

Charlie Crowe

Charles (Charlie) Crowe was born in Newcastle upon Tyne on 30th October, 1924. He played local football for Wallsend St Lukes and Heaton & Baker Youth Club before signing for Newcastle United in October 1944. During the Second World War he played 24 games for the club.

Crowe made his Football League debut against Barnsley on 5th January 1946. The team that year included Tommy Walker, Bobby Corbett, Len Shackleton, Bobby Cowell, Jackie Milburn, Ernie Taylor, Joe Harvey and Charlie Wayman. Crowe only made four appearances that season.

In the 1947-48 season Newcastle United won promotion to the First Division. Crowe, a left-half, only played in two games that season. Over the next few years he only made an handful of appearances in the first-team.

Crowe became a regular in the 1950-51 season and helped the club to finish 4th in the First Division. The team that year included Bobby Cowell, Joe Harvey, Frank Brennan, Jack Fairbrother, Bobby Corbett, Tommy Walker, Ernie Taylor, Jackie Milburn, George Robledo and Bobby Mitchell. Newcastle also enjoyed a good FA Cup run beating Bolton Wanderers (3-2), Stoke City (4-2), Bristol Rovers (3-1) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (2-1) to reach the final against Blackpool. Crowe was selected to play in the final.

The defences were in control in the first-half. The deadlock was broken in the 50th minute when Jackie Milburn collected a pass from George Robledo to fire home. Five minutes later, Ernie Taylor cleverly back-heeled the ball and Milburn scored with a powerful shot from 25 yards. Crowe had won his first and only FA Cup winners' medal.

Paul Joannou points out in The Black 'n' White Alphabet: "A player who rarely took the headlines, Crowe got on with the rough and tumble in the middle of the field as a spoiler of the opposition's tactics and winner of the ball, while he was also used to good effect as a marker."

Crowe only played in 10 games in the 1951-52 season and was not selected for the team that won the 1952 FA Cup Final against Arsenal. For the next couple of seasons Crowe was mainly in the reserves. However, he was the first choice at left-half in the 1954-55 season replacing Joe Harvey as captain. He was therefore unlucky to miss out on the 1955 FA Cup final victory against Manchester City due to an ankle injury.

In 1956 Crowe was transferred to Mansfield Town. He had scored 5 goals in 178 league games for Newcastle United. Crowe was player-trainer for Mansfield in the 1956-57 season. He also coached in Egypt before taking up employment with the Civil Service in Newcastle upon Tyne.