It was May 1972 and 22-year-old Malcolm Macdonald had just completed a remarkable first season at Newcastle United.
The buccaneering centre-forward, signed a year earlier for a club record £180,000, had achieved instant hero status at St James’ Park, scoring 30 goals and earning a call-up to Sir Alf Ramsey’s England team. Never far from the headlines of the Evening Chronicle, the flamboyant Londoner was back in the papers 50 years ago this week with the news that he would be opening his own quality menswear shop in Newcastle city centre.
The Newgate Shopping Center store, named Malcolm Macdonald: For The Exclusive Man, opened on May 16, 1972 – right in the middle of a fashion era defined by flared trousers, wide lapels, tipper ties and double denim.
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We reported: “Three piece suits start at £28 and two piece denim suits in blue or peach with 26” knickers are £21. Mac and his business partner Alan Owen have also dabbled in a bit of fashion design work.
“They have designed their own square button spaniel collar shirts and stock a very large range of bold printed shirts in a choice of colours. The boutique is open plan and will also sell knitwear, higher quality t-shirts, underwear, ties, silk handkerchiefs and a small selection of shoes, some of which have been designed by Mac and Alan themselves.”
A Chronicle advertisement for an in-store sale in early 1974 shows some of the products and prices on offer. How about a tweed jacket for £18 or a pair of shoes for £8.75? The shop proved to be a great success. Some readers might remember buying our 1970s clothes there, while those of us who were kids back then might remember loitering outside the store hoping to catch a glimpse of our soccer idol.
Years later, Malcolm told us, “It was officially opened by then-rising Tyneside athlete Brendan Foster.
“It was bell-bottoms, wide lapels, and tipper ties. It was high quality material sold at reasonable prices. I wore the kit, of course, and most Newcastle United players shopped there too. People still ask me about the store to this day.”
In the summer of 1976 and at the height of his career, Macdonald was controversially sold to Arsenal for £333,333, heartbreaking for legions of Newcastle United fans. In this case, Supermac’s business partner carried on the business after the striker moved south, and it traded into the 1980s.
The Newgate Shopping Center was demolished in 2016 and the site is now home to a hotel – the Maldron.