'We could see him hammering the dugout – he was wrecking anything he could get hold of': Chris Waddle reveals Jack Charlton’s rage at Newcastle United's second-half collapse against QPR

Jack Charlton unveiled as Newcastle United manager at St James' Park
Jack Charlton unveiled as Newcastle United manager at St James' Park (Image credit: Getty Images)

Jack Charlton only spent a year in charge of Newcastle United but he still left a serious impression on the players he worked with, not least a young Chris Waddle.

Alongside Peter Beardsley, Waddle was the club's star player as Charlton took over as manager in June 1984. The Magpies had just returned to the First Division and they survived comfortably, finishing the season in 14th place. There were some eventful matches along the way, including a frantic 5-5 draw with Queens Park Rangers.

In an interview for the December issue of FourFourTwo, Waddle recalled Charlton's furious reaction as Newcastle surrendered a four-goal lead at Loftus Road.

Chris Waddle takes a shot against Aston Villa in the 1984-85 season

Chris Waddle takes a shot against Aston Villa in the 1984-85 season (Image credit: Getty Images)

“We were 4-0 up at half-time,” remembers the former England international. “We went into the dressing room on a high, only for Jack to mutter, ‘I don’t like it’. We were all looking at each other.

“He said, ‘There’s one word that comes to mind, which can happen – complacency’. He told us to go out and pretend it was really 2-1, so there was an advantage to hang on to. He said that 4-0 was dangerous.

“In no time, it went to 4-2 and then 4-3. We could see Jack hammering the dugout – he was wrecking anything he could get hold of. We made it 5-3, but QPR came back for 5-5 – the dugout had now been smashed to pieces and Jack had gone down the tunnel.

“We went over to our supporters at the end, then the kit man was standing in the tunnel, advising us to steer well clear of Jack for a bit longer in the hope he’d calm down.

"We went and clapped the fans again but eventually we had to face him. The rest of the lads told me to lead the way because I’d scored a hat-trick and surely he wouldn’t have a go at me.

Newcastle United's 1984-85 team

Newcastle United's 1984-85 team (Image credit: Getty Images)

“I opened the door and suddenly this hand came out. Jack had been waiting, hidden just behind the door. He went, ‘Not you, sit down’. He was obviously looking for someone, ready to throttle him. This carried on.

"He told every player to sit down, and goalkeeper Kevin Carr was the last to trudge in – Jack’s hand came out and within seconds it was around Kevin’s throat. He pushed him up against a wall and it was clear that he was going to strike him with his other hand, so we all quickly pounced on Jack to stop him.

“He was desperate to hit Kevin, yelling that he’d let five goals in, although none had been his fault. Finally it settled down. Then he went through the whole team, telling them what they should have done.

"He’s coming round to me but I’m thinking, ‘He can’t have a go, I’ve scored a hat-trick’. I was wrong. He glared at me and said, ‘And you, how many did you score today?’ ‘Three,’ I replied. ‘Well it should have been four!’”

Read more

Paul Gascoigne could have signed for Manchester United, but Chris Waddle convinced him not to for one BIG reason

Chris Waddle also tells FFT why England are such a frustrating team to play for

Read more from Chris Waddle's interview in December's FourFourTwo magazine

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1