FORMER Newcastle manager Steve Black has died aged 64.
Fitness trainer known for his great motor skills and intellect.
Blackie played a big role in the psychology of Kevin Keegan’s Entertainers era and coached the players on Tynemouth beach methodically.
He was also part of the club’s defender staff during the 2015/16 season.
Geordie also had a spell in Premiership rugby with the Newcastle Falcons, where he helped mentor England’s World Cup winner Jonny Wilkinson.
During his time at the Falcons, he played a key role in guiding Newcastle to the 1996 Premier League title and the 1998 title win.
Black’s all-round skill also earned him a job offer from Graham Henry, New Zealand’s World Cup-winning coach who was in charge of the Wales team at the time.
England rugby league player Danny Cipriani paid tribute to Black in his 2019 Telegraph column.
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“When you have someone you can rely on and trust, the way you feel – and therefore how you can play – is second to none. That person, to me, is Steve Black,” he wrote.
“I met Steve in 2013 while working with Sales Sharks. I’m in my twenties and I would be suspicious, even though I know he’s worked with Jonny Wilkinson. I would have thought. , ‘Do I really have to be open with others?’
“We had a conversation that lasted three or four hours. It was interesting and I learned a lot about myself.
“From there, over a period of about two years, he helped clear the fog in my brain. He helped me understand things, why I felt certain ways.
“Sometimes you can’t deal with a feeling until you’ve gone through a process.
“Blackie was amazing at that, and my four seasons in Sales were a pivotal time in my life both on and off the pitch.”
Praises are pouring out for Black, who should have celebrated his 65th birthday on Tuesday.
Newcastle legend Alan Shearer tweeted: “Incredible news. RIP Blackie.”
Former club Huddersfield Town also paid tribute to Black, whose ‘contagious positivity.’
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/4729986/steve-black-dead-jonny-wilkinson-newcastle/ Jonny Wilkinson’s mentor and former Newcastle manager dies as Alan Shearer leads tributes