The Newcastle United 'tag' club legend is desperate to lose
Moncur had just led Newcastle United to the Fairs Cup trophy in 1969 on a hot night in Budapest.
The success had followed the three FA Cup wins in the 1950s, and the club was seemingly set for more trophies over the following decades.
Yet today, almost 54 years later, Moncur – who scored three goals in the club’s 6-2 aggregate win over Ujpesti Dozsa in the final – is still the last United captain to have lifted a major trophy.
"It's only now I know how significant that night was,” said Moncur, who will be at Wembley on Sunday to see Kieran Trippier lead Eddie Howe’s side out for the Carabao Cup final against Manchester United.
“We were very fortunate to get in in the first place, finishing ninth, because of the two-city rule that got us in. I think from then on it was just a bonus for us. Eventually we won it.
“Obviously, there was big crowds, but even then I didn't realise, because I was 24, how significant it was to the fans.
“I wasn't a fan, I was a young footballer just doing my job. It's only now, or all these years later, being a fan, I know how significant it was.
“I didn't know, I was immature at the time. Now I do know, and I realise how important it was. At a young age, you don't realise, even though we were getting 50-odd thousand people to home.
“I've given a lot of stuff away. Fortunately, I kept the cup final shirt from over there, and I've got one of the programmes.”
All these decades later, the roles are reversed.
"Emotionally, because I'm a fan now, I can understand the passion and the will to win something,” said Moncur. “When you win something like that, it's a great feeling.
“With Alan Shearer was skipper, I thought if anyone was going to take my title, I would like it to be Alan. I respected him, and he was a great goalscorer and pro. Now I say 'by the way, you won nowt! All the goals you scored, and you still won nowt!'. It's a standing joke now. If I'm at a dinner, and he's speaking, he says 'yes, I know – I didn't win anything!'.
“If anyone's going to take it away, the title of the last man (to lift a trophy), I'd like it to be Kieran Trippier. I think he's a very, very good pro, a very good player first and foremost.
“Having watched him, he's a good professional as well. He's an organiser, a good skipper. He runs the show on the pitch. I've never met him, but as a player on the pitch, I like him because of his attitude, knowledge and ability. Hopefully, he can hold the cup up."
This time last year, the focus was on Premier League survival, and Moncur has been “staggered” by the transformation under Howe.
"I've been absolutely staggered,” said Moncur, who spent 12 years at the club as a player. “January last year, we were in trouble, there's no doubt about that. Then we did quite well until the summer. I'm thinking 'we've done well, we've not got relegated'.
“This season, we're on a great run. In fairness, we're entitled to be where we are. We've been consistent.”
Moncur also pointed to the club’s recruitment since the takeover in late 2021.
"They've brought great players in,” said Moncur. “Kieran Trippier's a great skipper, and knows the game. He's experienced. Then they've brought Bruno (Guimaraes) in, and the big boys at the back.
“They've built a good, solid team. The buying of players has been first class. Dan Burn's came on a ton. He's in a good team with good players."
The improvement in the likes of Sean Longstaff and Miguel Almiron is also striking.
“Sean Longstaff, at one stage, I thought was struggling a little bit, but he's come on a ton, as has Almiron,” said Moncur. “He's playing with better players.”
The unity on the pitch reminds Moncur of the team he skippered to the Fairs Cup.
Asked about captaining that side, the 78-year-old said: "That was easy. You were just lucky and delighted to be in the team, and we had a good team spirit.
“There were no prima donnas. We had two groups. Some like going to the races. There was also golf. On the pitch, it was all one (group) once you stepped over the line.
“It was almost an accident that we won it. We didn't put any pressure on ourselves. It was a bonus for us. It all happened so quickly, I don't think we ever had time to think about it.
“I remember over in Budapest for the final, it was red hot. We were 2-0 down, and we got it back to 3-2. I remember running back to Clarkie (Frank Clark) saying 'how many goals do they need to beat us?'. He said 'never mind, just keep playing!'.
“That was with 10 minutes to go. You haven't really got time to start thinking 'if they score...'.` I used to always consult with Frank. He helped me be a decent skipper. That's the way we won the Fairs Cup.
“Even then, I didn't ever imagine the reception we'd get back at Newcastle. That was unbelievable.”
Lose the tag
The reception for a 2023 would be equally unbelievable, and Moncur, for his part, is keen to finally lose his “tag”.
"It's a tag that somebody gave me, because I was the captain, and very proud of it – and have been all over these years,” said Moncur. Just proud and very, very happy to have all been the last man to lift the trophy.
"Hopefully, Kieran Trippier will take that title away from me."