Andy Cole was inducted into the Newcastle United Foundation’s Hall of Fame this week, a tribute to his time at the club.
He accepted the award on Tuesday at a ceremony celebrating the foundation’s 10th anniversary.
Fans are often split on their opinion of Cole, such was the drama behind his controversial exit to Manchester United in January 1995.
But those who remember his goal scoring exploits on Tyneside would find it hard to disagree with his inclusion in the Hall of Fame.
Cole scored 68 goals in just 84 appearances for The Magpies in a short but prolific spell.
It’s a phenomenal record, and his 43 Premier League goals for the Toon see him still place as the joint-third highest goal scorer for Newcastle in the Premier League era.
Incredibly, the England striker managed these stats despite only actually playing one full season for the club.
But what a season it was.
A record breaking campaign that has never been bettered by any other striker in 25 years.
Andy Cole’s 1993/1994 season
1993 was Newcastle United’s maiden season in the Premier League.
The Toon had spent four years in the second-flight of English football. But the appointment of Kevin Keegan as manager in 1992 had seen their fortunes change.
The team cruised to the Division One title in the 1992/1993 season, and a young Andy Cole gave a small preview of what he was capable of.
Keegan had bought Cole in March 1993 from Bristol City to help see Newcastle over the line, and Cole had done so in style.
The striker scored 12 goals in just 11 games for the Toon, form that would continue in his debut season of top-flight football.
He became the club’s first Premier League goal scorer in August 1993 when he scored against Manchester United in a 1-1 draw.
And then the goals continued to flow, thanks in part to his almost telepathic connection with Peter Beardsley.
In the summer of 1993, Keegan had purchased Beardsley in preparation for their first season in the Premier League, and the veteran forward would soon form a lethal partnership with Cole.
Cole scored 34 goals in 40 games for the Magpies, including memorable hat-tricks against Liverpool and Coventry.
And Beardsley was just as prolific with 21 goals. With their fire power, Newcastle managed a third place finish in their debut season and qualified for the UEFA Cup.
Awards and Records for Cole
Cole scored 41 goals in all competitions that season.
It’s still a club record for the most goals in a season at Newcastle United. A remarkable feat given some of the strikers who have played for the club since.
His 34 goals in a Premier League season is also still a league record. Only Alan Shearer ever managed the same amount while playing for Blackburn Rovers in 1994/1995.
The feat saw him voted PFA Young Player of the Year by his peers at the end of the season.
His partnership with Peter Beardsley also amassed a total of 55 goals. This makes them the most prolific striking duo in Premier League history.
Plenty of Newcastle United strikers have had success since Cole, but none ever had an individual season quite as brilliant as his in 1993/1994.
His induction into the Hall of Fame has been a long time coming and is richly deserved.