I have followed Newcastle United for over 50 years, so I feel that I have a RIGHT to question some (a lot?) of Newcastle fans that go to home games nowadays.
I used to live for Saturdays when the team I adored were due to play, whether it be home or away.
Home games were a usual pub crawl starting at the Bulls or Farmers and going onto the Newcastle Arms, Rosie’s and usually ending upstairs at the Trent House.
Sometimes this routine would be broken if it was s..derland or maybe Leeds or Chelsea and it was down to the station to see the hordes of scallies and scoundrels herded up to the ground with heavy police escorts, with continual and lively banter between the two sets of fans! :)
I remember the excitement building up more and more after every pint with the odd song breaking out here and there.
Inside the ground we would stand in the same position every week to the left of the scoreboard at the Gallowgate end. The noise inside the stadium would just grow and grow as kick-off neared, with the expectation levels making hairs stand up on the back of your neck.
And this of course was without a roof over most of our heads and a capacity at one point of just 36,000 which was hardly ever full!
I live in the West Midlands now and can only make a few home games a season but where is the noise and “feeling” for the team nowadays?? It’s like being in a library or a morgue, honestly!
I do also make quite a few away games and I know it’s not just us, as generally home support (with a few exceptions) around the country is equally as pathetic as ours! But WHY is this, that’s what I want to know.
It can’t just be down to all seater stadiums can it? It must be down to a different breed or kind of person that goes and watches football now?
I know that when I’m singing my heart out at home games now and looking around for people to follow, I’m looked upon as a madman or something with some of the looks I get from people.
Why are you people actually here??
In fact, after the Sheff Wed game I said to my Mrs (who’s a Wednesday fan!) that that was the last home game I would ever go to, as our support (except the Strawberry end of the Gallowgate as usual) was absolutely shi*e and this seriously saddens me.
It doesn’t matter how crap the team is or was, and we’ve had a lot of crap teams over the years haven’t we, but it was US, the Geordie Nation, getting together on a Saturday afternoon and singing OUR HEARTS OUT FOR THE LADS because it MATTERED and we are Newcastle and damned proud of it!
I just don’t get this feeling anymore at home games and haven’t for a long time now. I honestly don’t know if we ever can again?
I would love to hear from other people on this subject.