Joe Harvey

Joe Harvey

Joseph (Joe) Harvey was born in Edlington on 11th June 1918. He was signed by Wolverhampton Wanderers in November 1936 but failed to make the first-team and the following season he joined Bournemouth. He played 37 games for his new club but at the end of the 1937-38 season he was not offered a new contract.

Harvey was signed by Bradford City in July 1938 but once again he failed to make the first-team. On the outbreak of the Second World War Harvey joined the Royal Artillery and eventually became a sergeant-major in the Physical Training Corps. He showed improved form during his "guest" games for Aberdeen and Dundee United. In the 1943-44 season Harvey played 28 games for Bradford City. He played 25 games the following season and such was his improvement that Newcastle United signed him for £4,500, on 20th October 1945.

Harvey made his debut against Barnsley on 5th January 1946. He played in 34 games that season. The team that year included Tommy Walker, Len Shackleton, Bobby Cowell, Jackie Milburn, Ernie Taylor, Frank Brennan and Charlie Wayman.

In the 1947-48 season Newcastle United won promotion to the First Division. Harvey, who was now captain of the team, played in 37 games that year. The following season Walker played in 38 of the 42 league games.

Newcastle United finished 4th in the the 1950-51 season. Once again Jackie Milburn was top scorer with 17 goals in 31 league games. The club 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.

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. Harvey had won his first FA Cup winners' medal.

Paul Joannou points out in The Black 'n' White Alphabet: "As a player he was lean and strong, a tough, uncompromising wing-half who performed best when the contest was at its most fierce... Having been a sergeant-major in the Royal Artillery, Joe Harvey then became a driving force on the field for United bellowing instructions all over the pitch as only he could."

Newcastle United had another good FA Cup run in the 1951-52 season, beating Aston Villa (4-2), Tottenham Hotspur (3-0), Swansea City (1-0), Portsmouth (4-2), Blackburn Rovers (2-1) to reach the final against Arsenal. The London club had finished 3rd in the First Division championship whereas Newcastle managed only 8th place, their lowest position since promotion in 1948.

In the 19th minute Wally Barnes was injured in a tackle with Jackie Milburn. He tried to carry on but he was forced to leave the field in the 35 minute. Arsenal's ten men fought magnificently against the marauding Newcastle forwards. They held out until the 85th minute when George Robledo headed in a Milburn cross. Newcastle had become the first team to retain the FA Cup since Blackburn Rovers in 1891 and Harvey had won his second cup winners' medal.

Harvey lost his place in the first-team in the 1952-53 season and in June 1953 he was transferred to Crook Town. The following year he became chief coach at the club. He also managed Barrow (July 1955 - June 1957) and Workington (June 1957 - June 1962).

Joe Harvey was appointed manager of Newcastle United before the start of the 1962-63 season. At the time the club was in the Second Division and it was not until the 1964-65 season that promotion to the First Division was achieved. The team struggled in the top tier but they did win the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1970. Newcastle also reached the 1974 FA Cup Final against Liverpool but lost the game 3-0.

At the end of the 1974-75 season Harvey was forced to resign after mounting pressure from supporters. In 1977 he was given a well deserved testimonial at St James Park.

Joe Harvey died of a heart-attack in Newcastle upon Tyne on 24th February 1989.