For the first time in seventeen years, no one in my family will have a full or half season ticket this time.

It’s not because I have grown out of love with Newcastle, far from it. It is because clearly I’ve been holding the lads back.

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I was born in 1993 and attended my first Newcastle match in 1998, that is seventeen years ago.

During that time Newcastle have reached one final, which I didn’t get to because I wasn’t the avid supporter that I am nowadays and I was only five…

These days dad even has the gall to complain about being at that 1999 final which we lost to Manchester United.

Whenever he says this, I look at him in the same way one looks at a spoilt child whose parents have bought them the wrong type of Range Rover for their first car.

You see, it’s ever since I came along and started watching Newcastle that things have started going downhill.

Of course there have been other more obvious causes – the departure of the lucky programme seller on the corner of Barrack Road and St James Boulevard after Bobby Robson was sacked was one…

However, it has only been in recent years that I have come to terms with my impact on the dressing room.

For the last two seasons I have had a half season ticket, only I have picked the wrong half.

Last season I was sat at home watching Newcastle beat Chelsea on BT Sport and wishing that I was there. Yet last season the first game I went to was the home Tyne and Wear Derby and I think the less said about the rest of that particular season the better. I even missed ‘that Jonas goal’ because I was trying to find out what was happening at Hull.

Alas, I am being a tad selfish in that I am allowing myself to try and go to 10 Newcastle games this season, the first and last home games of the season, the top four at home and the Tyne & Wear Derby amongst others.

If my superstitions are right, then finally Newcastle may have some success in my absence and I have some apologising to do to every toon fan for holding us back over the last 17 years.