It was 14 November 1988 that it all began for me, 3pm on a Saturday of course, as there was no other way at the time, with three quarters of the 22,000 at St James’ Park (for ‘twas still known as such) standing.
A relatively eventless 0-0 draw with Derby County will not live long in the memory of many present that day but it is indelibly burned in my memory as my first ever football match.
I distinctly remember Peter Shilton had a blinder in goal for the visitors, Gazza got booked for chucking the ball in the net and I was transfixed by it all, despite not being privy to the experience of a goal celebration just yet.
To try and count how many times I’ve been since then, would be akin to Russell Brand totting up the notches on his bedpost.
However, there is such a thing as the theory of the multiverse, which suggests that, for every decision or action you take, there is a parallel universe out there where you did the opposite. I often wonder what happened in that universe where I came home from thatDerbymatch and said ‘sod it – I’m not going back’.
I realise a lot of people use the internet to be nasty (honest, they do, I read it er, on the internet) and that type may be looking at this now and thinking I must long for my alter-existence in that alternative plane.
Twenty three years without a trophy; relegations, disappointment and comical, hysterical in-fighting and embarrassment at the club has led to Newcastle being firmly entrenched as the soap opera of English football.
Silly little folk with delusions as to their own importance wave banners and write blogs glorying in our perceived lack of fan satisfaction (fanisfaction) down these continuing barren years.
I feel sorry for them, these people that assume so sweepingly. Since that fateful day in 88 I have forged friendships, enjoyed adventures and shared moments with people close to me through NUFC.
Great games have delighted us, unforgivable crap has crushed us, but life has been lived more fully and successfully than some lonely statistician sitting at home in the shirt of another town’s team, watching in splendid isolation as they win yet another trophy.
I’m glad I kept coming back.