Darren Jackson overcame a brain condition in the midst of a journey that took him to the World Cup
They may no longer be in the Premier League but Newcastle can be sure that they will remain in the full glare of the spotlight, as proven by the fact they will open the EFL season the day before everyone else on Friday August 5.
In the fourth tier, relegated Blackpool start with a home match against Exeter City, five years after they were relegated from the Premier League.
Relegated Charlton and MK Dons are away at Bury and Shrewsbury respectively, while in a quirk of fate Rochdale host Peterborough United on the opening day for the third season in a row.
The 2016-17 season will also be the first time AFC Wimbledon and MK Dons will face each other in the league, with the first game set to be on 10 December at Stadium MK.
MOTD2 pundit Mark Lawrenson explains why scoring six should not hide the fact Newcastle would have been torn apart by a better team.
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Who could your club have signed on a freebie this summer? BBC Sport brings you an EFL free transfers XI to be reckoned with.
Newcastle lack know-how but there are still ways for them to beat Liverpool's pressing game, explains MOTD pundit Danny Murphy.
Immediately to the northwest of the city centre is Leazes Park, established in 1873 after a petition by 3,000 working men of the city for "ready access to some open ground for the purpose of health and recreation". Just outside one corner of this is St James' Park, the stadium home of Newcastle United F.C. which dominates the view of the city from all directions.
The following players have made a league or cup appearance for Newcastle United or were assigned squad numbers for the current season, but are not listed on the First Team squad page:
Barnsley have been in the Premier League before, but that was nearly 20 years ago, and Newcastle's trip to Oakwell on October 18 will be eagerly anticipated. How Benitez's men deal with a Tuesday night in Barnsley will determine how well they handle life in the Championship.
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The club once again finished thirteenth in the league and lost the 1999 FA Cup Final. Gullit fell into disagreements with the squad and chairman Freddy Shepherd, and quit the club four games into the 1999–2000 season with the team bottom of the table to be replaced by Bobby Robson. The club managed to reach an FA Cup Semi-final and to stay in the Premier League.
1920 sunderland (h) 6-1 (2-0) Division One Seymour(53), Smailes(33,57), Harris(43pen,48), Ward(88) Buchan(50) 58,016 With the ground packed before kickoff, the decision was made to get proceedings underway 20 minutes early. Presumably the mackems failed to receive that message...
Yeovil are at home to Notts County, Plymouth face Luton and Hartlepool welcome Colchester while Carlisle take on the 350-mile trip to Portsmouth. The opening day is completed by Newport against Mansfield, Crawley against Wycombe and Cambridge against Barnet.
United's last game of the season is at home to Barnsley on May 7 but they will hope to be home and hosed long before then. They have seven games in a packed April, starting with Wigan at home and then taking in Burton (h), Sheffield Wednesday (a), Leeds (h), Ipswich (a), Preston (h) and Cardiff (a).
The Newcastle Falcons are the only rugby union team in north-east England to have played in the Aviva Premiership. They play at Kingston Park Stadium in the northern suburb of Kingston Park. 1996 Pilkington Shield winners Medicals RFC are also based in Newcastle.
After years of poor decisions finally catch up with Newcastle, Phil McNulty asks what lies in store for their players, manager and owner.
Another highly-anticipated rivalry every season is when Derby meet Forest in the East Midlands derby, the first of which is scheduled to take place on 10 December at the iPro Stadium.
1909 Bradford City (h) 1-0 (1-0) Division One Wilson 25,000 Scottish international George Wilson's first half effort was enough to beat the Bantams and give United a first win in three games.
There is a women's football team, Newcastle United Women's Football Club, founded in 1989. Newcastle United W.F.C. currently has 40 ladies aged between 16–29 years signed or associated with the club, and plays in the FA Women's Premier League (North).
Blackpool will hope this is the season where their descent through the leagues stops and they start against Exeter with Doncaster heading to Accrington and Stevenage hosting Crewe.
But he returned to the near-7,000-capacity Pirelli Stadium in December 2015 after Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink left for QPR and led the Brewers to a second-placed finish in League One.
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1926 Liverpool (h) 1-0 (1-0) Division One Gallacher 21,575
Two new managers will meet at the Macron Stadium as Phil Parkinson's Bolton host Chris Wilder's Sheffield United and Stuart McCall begins life back at Bradford against Port Vale, who also have a new boss in the shape of Bruno Ribeiro.
In December 2012, the club announced that it had become the world’s first carbon positive football club.
Clough had two spells at Forest, playing under his legendary father Brian, who won the European Cup twice with the club before his son's playing career had started.
1907 sunderland (n) 2-0 (1-0) Friendly Soye, Hedley 10,000 This fundraiser for Northumberland and Durham Aged Miners homes was staged in the town of Stanley.
Allardyce departed the club on in January 2008 by mutual consent after a bad start to the 2007–08 season, and Kevin Keegan was reappointed as Newcastle manager. Mort stepped down as chairman in June and was replaced by Derek Llambias, a long-term associate of Ashley. Newcastle finished the 2007–08 season in twelfth place, but as the season drew to a close, Keegan publicly criticised the board, claiming they were not providing the team enough financial support.
The League One season will conclude on 30 April and the play-off final held on 20 May - one week earlier than the rest of the English Football League, because of the FA Cup final being played at Wembley on Saturday, 27 May.
Burton Albion begin their first season in the second tier away at neighbours Nottingham Forest.
Match of the Day pundit and former Newcastle midfielder Jermaine Jenas says his old club are lacking experience.
Despite finishing the 2005–06 season in seventh, Roeder's fortunes changed in the 2006–07 season, with a terrible injury run to the senior squad, and he left the club by mutual consent on 6 May 2007.
The city has been the setting for films based around football; films such as Purely Belter (2000), The One and Only (2002) and Goal! have all been focused around Tyneside. The comedy School for Seduction (2004), starring Kelly Brook was also filmed in Newcastle.
Sam Allardyce was appointed Roeder's replacement as manager on 15 May 2007. On 7 June, Freddy Shepherd's final shares in the club were sold to Mike Ashley and Shepherd was replaced as chairman by Chris Mort on 25 July.
The bookmakers have Newcastle as the 2/1 clear favourites to win the title so fans could well be hoping for an early coronation.
To finish things off in the Championship, Bristol City host Wigan, Huddersfield are at home to Brentford and Barnsley go to Ipswich.
1905 Dundee (a) 1-1 (0-0) Friendly Gosnell Scorer tbc 6,000