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9 things you’ve forgotten about Newcastle’s 2002/03 Champions League campaign

Newcastle might well be utter rubbish these days, but it hasn’t always been that way.

In fact, the early 2000s brought with it two decent title challenges and a Champions League campaign that ebbed and flowed.

With the late, great Sir Bobby Robson in charge the Magpies looked capable of anything – and their 2002/03 European adventure proved that.

Here’s nine things you might have forgotten about that rollercoaster season:

1 They only went and beat eventual runners up Juventus

griffin

10

Andy Griffin > Pavel Nedved and Alessandro Del Piero.

2 They signed Titus Bramble in the summer to guide them to European dominance

bramble

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It didn’t happen.

3 Sir Bobby Robson’s right-hand men at the time were Nigel Pearson and John Carver

pearson carver

10

The ultimate crime-fighting duo.

4 The adventure was only possible because they beat Bosnian side Zeljeznicar Sarajevo in the qualifying rounds

shearer

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Potential banana skin.

5 It was one of those weird seasons when the Champions League was split into a first and second group stage

group e

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group a

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Whose daft idea was that?

6 Their entire season was a cult hero frenzy

robert

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Laurent Robert and Nobby Solano on either wing? Not to mention Andy Griffin, Lomana LuaLua, Nikos Dabizas and Shola Ameobi. Run me a cold bath. Quickly.

7 Craig Bellamy scored a 90th minute winner against Feyenoord to keep the dream alive

bells

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You little ripper.

8 Bellamy soon turned villain, clashing with wind-up merchant Marco Materazzi against Inter Milan

bellamy

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At the time it was the fastest red card in Champions League history

9 But they still managed to draw the return game in the San Siro

inter

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Alan Shearer was at the peak of his powers