From the disappointment of hearing of our notorious owner’s decision to remove the famous Newcastle United sign from over the East Stand, to my determination to obtain one of the symbolic letters, has been a most satisfying and enjoyable quest to this Toon fan of pretty much 50 years.

I have suffered all the heartbreaks but I am lucky enough to remember that last trophy win back in 1969, albeit listening to the 2nd leg on the radio in my parents’ back garden and wondering if I had lost the signal when my small transistor fell silent ……. and then the commentator broke the silence with the news that Bobby Moncur had scored and the rest as they say is history.

The auction on e-bay was in my estimation a rare opportunity to acquire a piece of Toon History and knowing I did not have a chance or the money to bid on the ‘N’, I decided not to go for the ‘E’ as there would be two more chances and frankly the likely size of the ‘W’ freaked me out.

As the frustration began to build with the loss of the ‘C’, the ‘A’ and the ‘S’, I changed my strategy and landed the ‘T’ with £20 to spare and thus erupted into a state of excitement that frankly a fifty something Grandad should be ashamed of.

We trundled up first thing Monday morning with the ol’ man waffling on about a certain Bobby Moncur’s exploits and his three goals in the Fairs Cup Final.

How we missed the slip road I don’t know but the slight delay in arriving at St. James’ was to prove fortuitous.

Having loaded up the ‘T’, our guide Sam from the Newcastle Foundation offered a ‘not to be missed’ tour of the ground and arriving high in the stands and viewing Sir Bobby’s seat, the doors opened and there appeared Bobby Moncur on Corporate Duty.

Thanks to the terrific Sam we were able to spend an unforgettable ten minutes listening to the great man reminiscing about his career and describing his goal scoring exploits in that Final with such enthusiasm and detail that it left this lifelong Toon fan and his son with a warm glow and a grin as wide as the Tyne Bridge on the long journey home.

Thank you Bobby and thank you Sam for your time and kindness.