THE summer of ‘69 isn’t only particularly memorable to Bryan Adams.

For, as any self-respecting Geordie will be able to tell you, this month marks the 50th anniversary of Newcastle United’s last major trophy.

The Magpies lifted the Inter City Fairs Cup on June 11 1969, despite only sneaking into the competition thanks to a bizarre rule that only permitted one team from each city to enter.

The victorious campaign saw the Toon Army, led by legendary manager Joe Harvey, travel all over Europe to face the likes of Feyenoord, Sporting Lisbon, and Rangers, before defeating Hungarian side Újpest FC.

They may not be well-known today, but at the time Ujpest were considered one of the best teams in Europe – but they were taken apart by United, who won 6-2 over a two-legged final.

Captain and centre-half Bobby Moncur grabbed a famous hat-trick over the two legs to achieve Newcastle’s only European title in their 127-year history, bar the rather-less prestigious Intertoto Cup in 2006.

Despite the eventual comfortable margin, the trophy looked in doubt at one stage – Ujpest went 2-0 up in the second leg and looked set to rip the trophy from the Geordie’s grasp.

But Harvey’s words: “Score one goal, and they’ll crumble,” proved true, and Newcastle went on to win both the game and the tie.

The continental defenders were unused to dealing with the physical, direct style of play, allowing forwards Wyn ‘The Leap’ Davies and Prudhoe-born Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson to run riot.

5 ft 8’ Robson was a brilliant player in the penalty box, and Newcastle’s ‘route one’ approach allowed him to feed off 6ft 2’ Davies to great effect.

However, for current Newcastle fans, the memory of silverware is now all too distant – and many more besides are too young to have ever tasted success.

The victory is more often than not only mentioned when discussing Newcastle’s 50-year trophy-free barren spell.

Fortunately for the younger generation, the exploits of the class of ‘69 have now been recorded in a new book, written by Matt Watson-Broughton.

The Amazing Journey: How Newcastle United Conquered Europe tells the story of Newcastle’s triumph through a myriad of characters that saw Matt travel all over Europe, from Rotterdam, Zaragoza, and Lisbon to Setubal. and Copenhagen.

Matt interviewed dozens of ex-players from both Newcastle and their opponents, and collated stacks of information on the cup run.

A proud Newcastle fan, Matt was brought up in Ponteland and has lived in Hexham in the past, but is now predominantly based in Hungary, working for, among others, the country’s FA.

The book has been something of a labour of love for Matt, and his job put him in the perfect position to chronicle the story of United’s triumphant run to the trophy.

Matt explained: “I’ve been in Hungary for 15 years now, my wife is Hungarian and I work for the Hungarian FA.

“That gave me a good basis for the book – I could tell the story of both finalists.

“I managed to speak to at least three players from each team Newcastle played, which meant a lot of travelling around.

“This has taken over my life for the last year,but I’m so passionate about it so I just thought ‘I’m going to put a lot at stake on this being a success’.”

Naturally, whilst conducting the interviews, Matt came across some remarkable stories.

They include the tale from full-back Frans van der Heide, who was given a torrid time by Newcastle’s winger Geoff Allen at St James’ Park.

The illuminating interview told how Newcastle’s 4-0 drubbing of Feyenoord led to the Dutch side introducing a sweeper in the back-line that saw success with national side at the 1974 World Cup, where the Dutch reached the final.

But one of the stops on Matt’s tour of Europe as he worked to bring the story to life was far closer to home.

Matt visited Hexham, now the home of winning centre-forward Pop Robson.

Matt continued: “It’s so bizarre that no-one has done this. Some of the stories are incredible, I’m so glad it’s being told now.

“It’s really interesting, there’s everything from off the field stories to scraps on the pitch.

“I also found out how opponents felt during their time in Newcastle.

“You read it and it’s another world.

“I met Pop Robson in the Beaumont Hotel in Hexham. He had really interesting stories that we wouldn’t know, no-one has come up with this for 50 years and it’s just been forgotten.

“Pop told me that his wife was a table-tennis player, which is based on balance.

“He took some of her exercises and went from scoring one every three games to one every two, which is what wins you trophies.”

The Amazing Journey has already been receiving the plaudits from various corners, and had a successful launch at Newcastle’s Waterstones book store last month.

Matt says that the unusual style of his book is what makes it stand out from the crowd in terms of sports literature.

He explained: “The best thing about the book I feel is the style.

“It’s a new way of writing sports literature.

“I don’t want to say it’s amazing – that’s for the readers to decide – but what I do know is it’s unique.

“I’ve compiled all of my interview quotes, match reports and fans stories and mashed it all into a series of conversations.

“It’s primarily set at the celebration banquet, which took place on July 15, 1969.

“The reader is a fly on the wall in these conversations, and the scene will switch to the supporters club and other scenarios to keep it from getting tedious.

“It’s all dialogue, it’s written in the style of a play. There’s a couple of things that are invented, I used my artistic license.

“The feedback has been awesome. I’ve had people from within the club tell me they can’t out it down – I’ve actually had that from a lot of people, from fans to journalists.”

Members of the squad marked the anniversary by returning back to Hungary to celebrate with Ujpest who, strangely, as just as keen to mark the special day.

Matt’s book is available on eBay, Amazon, publisher Techto sports, and at Newcastle’s Waterstones.