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Regional daily helps football club celebrate 125th anniversary

A regional daily teamed up with the biggest football club on its patch to mark the team’s 125th anniversary.

Newcastle daily The Chronicle partnered with Newcastle United to celebrate the milestone, publishing a commemorative wrap and turning the masthead of its Chronicle Live online arm black and white for the day in honour of the club’s colours.

Chronicle Live and the club’s website also simultaneously revealed the final line-up of Newcastle United’s Greatest Ever Team, which was worked out via a public vote after a shortlist was devised by Chronicle staff.

The live blog revealing the fantasy team was one of Chronicle Live’s most-read stories on Saturday, when supporters also held a display featuring classic Chronicle and Daily Mirror front and back pages relating to the club prior to their 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Leicester City.

Newcastle wrap

Mark Douglas, the Chronicle’s Newcastle United editor, led the anniversary content plan and partnership with the club.

He said: “It felt fitting that Newcastle’s long-serving newspaper was right at the heart of the 125th anniversary celebrations. We offered readers the chance to pick their greatest ever Newcastle team online and offer their own birthday message, and we also printed a ballot paper in the Chronicle which was filled in by hundreds, many of whom shared their special memories of the club with us.

“There were Chronicle flags waved in the pre-match display which was in association with [fan group] Wor Flags. We were happy to provide them with classic Chronicle and Mirror front pages and it looked fantastic.

“It all contributed to a special pre-match atmosphere. Unfortunately we couldn’t do anything about the result.”

Fans held a display featuring classic Chronicle front and back pages before Newcastle's 3-2 defeat to Leicester

Fans held a display featuring classic Chronicle and Daily Mirror front and back pages before Newcastle’s 3-2 defeat to Leicester

A print supplement published on Monday brought together the best of the online content into a commemorative special to complete the Chronicle’s recognition of the anniversary.

Helen Dalby, Chronicle Live editor and regional head of digital for Trinity Mirror North East, said: “Working with Newcastle United on this special package of content has been tremendously rewarding.

“We had our biggest ever response to a reader survey with the 8,000 votes cast in the search for the greatest XI – and the final line-up would be a match for most teams in England.”

Nicole Atkin, head of business development at Newcastle United, added: “We’ve worked closely with the Chronicle team on much of our 125th anniversary activity so far, from the launch of our anniversary season kit, to the programme of inspiring video content for our Foundation Dinner and then culminating in this fantastic collaboration on our supporters’ Greatest XI.

“The Chronicle is a huge part of the club’s history – a fact that was celebrated in our fan’s stunning anniversary flag display at the weekend – and so we were delighted to be able to work with them on this iconic piece of content in our anniversary year.”