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Enjoy Europe - after all, I did says Cassidy.


HIS own taste of Europe has been a mixed bag, but Tommy Cassidy has told Newcastle to relish next season's opportunity to hit the Continent.

The ex-Northern Ireland international played and managed in European competition during a career that took him from, among others, Glentoran to United, via Cypriot outfit APOEL back to Glentoran.

And though he experienced fluctuating fortunes along the way, Cassidy believes that such involvement is to be savoured.

"I enjoyed my European experiences, and United should do now, the fans especially," he said. "I remember playing for the club against Bastia, from Corsica, in about 1974.

"I took Glentoran into Europe, playing against the likes of Sparta Prague.

"But my main involvement was with APOEL. Getting to last season's (Champions League) quarter-finals was an amazing achievement for the club.

"But in the mid-1980s I took them into the second round of the European Cup for the first time which, then, was a big thing.

"We'd won the league the year before. Terry McDermott and Ian Moores, the former Tottenham striker, won it for me. "And Terry still says that it was the best two years of his life.

"It was the club's first title in 14 years, and in my first year there, so it made me.

"Then we got into the European Cup and drew Besiktas in the second round, when Cyprus and Turkey were still at war.

"It was the first time a Cypriot and Turkish team had met in European competition, but the Cypriot government stopped us from playing, and we got a twoyear ban from Uefa.

"How unlucky for me, and everyone at the club? "So I've had ups and downs in Europe, it's always been eventful!

"Newcastle just have to try and enjoy it."


ENJOY IT Tommy Cassidy
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 23, 2012
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