Newcastle United – The Polish Connection
There is a well-known saying in Poland, “Among other nations let it always be known. That the Poles are not geese, have a tongue of their own”. The poet was urging with these words to use Polish in literature centuries ago. Nowadays it is used to underline individuality of our country. Paraphrasing these words, let it be known to nations that Poland have NUFC fans of their own!
Let’s get back to origins first. In 2003, NUFC.PL website was created by fans for fans. It was not only a website though – it was the place which allowed integration of Polish Newcastle United fans from the whole world to begin. Today NUFC.PL is the ‘St James’ Park of Polish fans’. It gathers them, provide news and place to socialise, as they are not as lucky as Geordies and can’t go to the match every week.
But as we all know the appetite grows with what it feeds on. The site and its board established community called Toon Army Poland. It is proud to have 5x2m flag and to organise many events which involves real life contact like regular Poland-wide fans meetings (in August 2012 we are hosting tenth), trips to see Magpies live and competition with fans of other football teams in charity tournaments. This year we again took Toon Army Poland international and met our neighbours – CS Toon Army (Czech and Slovakia).
Toon Army Polandhave also active local groups: Division Warsaw, South Boys from Upper Silesia, East Lads from Lublin and group members regularly meet to watch games together and more. We expect establishment of more groups in other locations in the future.
The origins of fans meeting dates from 2006 and the legendary first nationwide meeting of Newcastle United fans in Nieborów. This is where we met other fans from all over Poland and therefore also from Warsaw. Rapid integration and the desire for further meetings resulted in the near future cyclical outings of the city. Since then it is a kind of ritual to meet fans in the capital on the occasion of Newcastle matches and on other occasions. Every game broadcasted on TV does not escape our attention.
We use the term ‘East Lads’ because we are from the east of Poland where we were founded two years ago with two members. Now our group has expanded to seven (Tauron, Mawet,Serrano, Przemek,Luka, Mamut, Hagi) and we are currently planning a trip to St James’ Park sometime in the coming season. We also have medium size flag which you can see on the photo.
One day on NUFC.PL message board, there was an idea to establish Newcastle United fan club in the Upper Silesia. As there was already a few people from this region we decided to make it happen. A few days later, on 26th September 2009, the Magpies were taking on Ipswich Town. We took advantage of this and for the first time came together and supported Newcastle United. There was a group of 5 people watching NUFC crush Ipswich 4-0, so the meeting can be regarded as successful!
Toon Army Poland in Newcastle
Toon Army Poland have already been to a couple of games at St James’ Park, including the last match against which Tottenham ended with a 2-2 draw. Of course, such meetings could not miss visiting the stadium, shop, and the whole city. The stadium is impressive and it is a truly amazing experience to watch our favourites players. In the upcoming season Toon Army Poland will fly to Newcastle for the match once again and this time probably with a larger group.
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