Today’s Burton v Newcastle game versus the team on the Trent, who are remarkably in the county of Staffordshire (this may surprise a few people given that Derby and Nottingham are close by).

I have seen a lot written in the build-up to today’s game but only one has touched on the things we have the town of Burton to thank.

The obvious one is the well mentioned record defeat at the hands of a Burton (Wanderers) team,. A whopping 9-0 (HT 4-0)  and as we know, regardless of the pros and cons of any particular game (i.e West Ham 8-1 in 1986 with 3 keepers etc), it is  always the result that ends up in the record books and the circumstances are often lost or forgotten about.

It is also good to know that if anyone is down that way today, they will only be a 5-10 minute walk away from that  exact location on the Derby road – and some may unknowingly even walk past the derelict piece of land where that (9-0)game took place. Called the Derby Turn way back on the 15th of April  1895 in the old 2nd division.

The thing to consider is, if Burton had not beaten us by that margin, then it is likely that our biggest loss would have been our 9-1 hammering  to the mackems with a (weakened team) in December 1908. Of course, we went  on to become Champions that season by what was then a record margin.

I always have a lot of respect for clubs like Burton who serve their football community. Like most not in the big league, they rely on many volunteers to do many jobs within the football club.

The City of Newcastle has a Burton man, Colonel Jim Porter, to thank for moving to Newcastle to work in one of its five breweries at the time and accidentally make Newcastle Brown Ale which celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2017.

I look forward in 2017 to welcoming Burton and its supporters to St James Park on the year of our 90th anniversary of Newcastle Brown Ale and our last top flight championship win in 1927.

Thank you Wanderers and Colonel, we have a lot to be grateful for.