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One For The Road

10 years ago

A part of The Mag end of season poll I always like to read is the bit that features a ranking of favourite pre-match watering holes.

Over the years the usual suspects were always mentioned – The Adelphi, Rosies, Newcastle Arms, The Three Bulls, The Bodega etc. When I look at these now, the prevalent factor is that they are what I call ‘proper’ match bars.

These bars consisted entirely of lads drinking and having a bit of crack with their mates. The advent of satellite TV (feels like we’ve always had it!) then meant you could indulge in a bit of live pre-match football if required. Over the years, the changing face of the city and the demands of the consumer have meant that the ‘fun’ pubs offering cheap (really?) drink and topless tottie feature heavily on the pre-match agenda for some.

DJs with good crack, great tunes and the ability to generate a good atmosphere have become an essential part of the preamble for a lot of lads. Football folklore is often built around pubs as well.

Were you at The Farmers when Chelsea attacked? Were you drinking in The Portland or The Eldon when – well anyone actually –got escorted from Manors and along Blackett Street? Were you in The Companions Club when Birmingham got told to leave? (Bloody hell that’s true!) and lastly – Why was a huge Greenalls banner stored in the cellar of Rosies for years? Now that’s a story in itself,

Some of the above names will be lost on a lot of you reading this. It’s an age thing of course and some lad born today might say to his dad or even his granddad in twenty years time – ‘Tell me where The Adelphi was and what was it like’.

This city of ours has been given a party city image. Portrayed as that in recent years, to attract the stag and hen brigade. Rubbish, it’s always been like that in my opinion.

Guide a tourist through the streets to the station and you’ll surely use pubs to act as markers and not shops, or whatever else. Our city is unique. City centre, pubs and the football ground all nicely bundled together. Remember that when you go to any purpose built modern ground – a Brewers Fayre plastic pub that you can’t get into and nowt for miles!

Sadly a lot of our match heritage has been swallowed up by developers and changing consumer demands, the pub culture has been hit hard in these times of economic gloom. Pubs have been demolished, changed names, been moved even, but those left are doing a fine job for most of us.

Give me a match day in town when Newcastle are doing well, a pub full of match lads all having a good crack with their mates and I‘ll show you an atmosphere that you couldn’t buy anywhere in the world. I’ll raise a glass (or two) to that bonny lad!

Which Newcastle pub do you drink to and what are your memories?


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