News broke this morning from the corridors of the BBC, that the Toon Army’s chief commentator, Mick Lowes, is to stand down after 25 years of reporting on Newcastle United.
If you aren’t privileged to afford a season ticket, live in exile, miss certain matches, or can’t attend games for whatever reason, I have no doubt you will have heard many of Mick’s commentaries over the years.
Whether he was supported by Mick Martin or currently John Anderson, he has always sent a delightful shiver down my spine when bellowing out the name of a Newcastle goal scorer, or had me up off my chair ready to run around the room in celebration, only for him to announce that a chance had been missed.
He had moved from BBC Newcastle in the 1990s to rival station Metro Radio, but returned at the start of the century to continue bringing the match alive in homes and cars for fans who couldn’t attend. Whenever I’ve been watching the match on television or listening to another broadcaster, my immediate thought turns to what Mick’s reaction would be and I’d always tune into Total Sport the day after a match to hear the highlights reel and the reactions from Mick and John Anderson.
Despite being from Nottingham (I don’t know who he supported growing up), he always seemed to ‘get’ what our fans wanted and knew which questions to ask, with an enthusiasm that mirrored that of the supporters.
I’ve enjoyed his interviews with managers & players and a few of his reactions to goals from Alan Shearer have had me replacing a few items around the house down the years.
However, one epic rant will always stay with me and it was as recent as last season, after Newcastle tumbled out of the league cup to Sheffield Wednesday. Mick jumped straight in the next morning on air, to slam the state of the club, that NUFC was ‘in crisis’ and it wasn’t good enough for the supporters that travel to ‘the cathedral on the hill’.
Sadly, his prediction of the club being ‘in meltdown’ proved to be correct and we tumbled out of the Premier League (again), his subsequent talk-in with Rafa Benitez last summer was equally memorable.
It has been announced that his last commentary will be the fixture against Blackburn Rovers on the 29th November at St James Park and if I can attend, I’ll certainly be looking to thank him and wish him a happy retirement away from the mic.