Unlike many other Newcastle fans, I was given a choice. I don’t live in the UK let alone Newcastle.
I’m a Malaysian who lives in Auckland, New Zealand.
I’m not constrained by geographical boundaries when it came to choosing which English Premier League club I’d support.
Some time, fifteen years ago, I chose Newcastle United. I could have chosen Manchester United or Liverpool, or Arsenal, after all, these were the ‘big’ clubs that my friends supported – but I chose the magpies. I’m a Geordie not by birth but by choice.
I chose the magpies because I was inspired by Sir Bobby Robson, by Alan Shearer. I was moved by how they led a band of footballers against other far more well-funded clubs. We were the underdogs. We had heart. I was proud to be somehow connected to Newcastle United.
However, after watching how the lads played this season and the last, I became sad. The club made me realise how a great legacy can be snuffed out in just a few years. I had to wake up in the wee hours of the day to watch them play but they often ended with 90 minutes of disappointment.
I’m not quite sure what went wrong, but I know that something is really wrong somewhere! When Rafa was appointed I saw a glimmer of hope but yet it was too little too late. Now Newcastle United is off to the Championship.
It’s sad to think of the fact that we’re not going to watch them play in the top flight for one whole year. A number of my mates have asked me whether it’s still worth my while to support the club (after all it seems to lead down the path of nothing but heartbreak and disappointment).
In response, I pointed out that being a fan is kind of like a marriage, there are good times and bad (there are more bad times now though) and I’m sticking with my choice with the hope that things may change for the better; that maybe relegation is a good thing.
Maybe it’s a real wake-up call to whoever that is screwing with the club that I love.
Maybe we’ll finally get some silverware.
Maybe Rafa will stay (I sincerely hope he does).
Maybe the Premier League title in the season after next.
Maybe the Champions League in three seasons’ time.
Maybe we’ll come back stronger than before.
I may be delusional but what the heck! I’ve made my choice to be delusional for Newcastle United. Then maybe someday my delusions will turn into reality.
Howay the lads!