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Indonesian By Birth, Toon Army By The Grace Of God

8 years ago

Newcastle United have exiles in pretty much every part of the world, Geordies finding themselves living elsewhere due to love, work or whatever.

However, as well as the thousands of us born into the black & white way of life, there are countless people around the globe who have actually chosen to support our great club…who never win anything.

In the new issue of The Mag we feature a great article by one of the main men behind the Indonesian Toon Army, their passion and self-proclaimed crazy behaviour gives you a good feeling due to people falling in love with Newcastle United from the other side of the world.

Below we have reproduced a taster of the lengthy article by Indonesian Rangga Yudha Nagara, get hold of a copy of the New Mag for only £3 plus postage to read the full feature and subscriptions are also available from £23.

It may be a bit confusing for you all Geordies born and bred, why a bunch of people on the other side of the world as far as Indonesia choose to support NUFC, although the club almost never wins anything…

Here I want to share a bit of a story of Indonesian Toon Army (ITA) and some of the reasons why some Indonesians considered themselves bleeding black and white. Here it goes.

Surprisingly based on ITA’s data (as we asked wor members why do you support NUFC?), the black and white shirt of NUFC is the main reason of why ITA’s members support NUFC in the first place… you know, love can just happen and come just like that =). It is just a destiny that we chose to love NUFC, or maybe the grace of god?

It is such a blessed feeling when all NUFC supporters that we found in Indonesia were happily told that finally they found their community/family because they thought that all this time they were all alone in the sea of glory hunter fans that always changing their heart and shirt (which is disgusting) in supporting Liverpool, Man.U, Chelsea and the most recent, Man.City and even clubs from other leagues like Milan, Madrid and Barca.

From some of many fanaticisms, these are some love of my fellow Toon faithful that I noted most;

Firstly, one of our members is worshipping Shearer as his god and Shola is the apostle, this guy is super crazy;

Secondly, it’s been a norm to us that if we are married there must be some NUFC attributes in the holy ceremonies, be it the bride/groom wearing NUFC merchandise or even shirts, or the guest dress code should be black and white, moreover the pre-wedding photo wearing NUFC shirts is a must for many of us;

Thirdly, majority of us are collecting NUFC shirts and there is even a small lad that collecting the shirts with every NUFC players name on it …so he will have more than 11 new NUFC shirts in every season with Taylor, Collocini, Cisse, etc printed on it, the more hilarious way of collecting NUFC shirts is conducted by our member who prefers only to own the fake version of NUFC shirts for his collection, if there’s none in the market he will make it by himself.

The last and the thing that I consider that we Indonesian Toon Army can be proud of as NUFC true supporters,  is our effort to go to SJP. Many of us save substantial amounts of money to get there, as you may know normal Indonesian income is not as high as people in developed countries, so it is a huge sacrifice just to make our visit to SJP. Visiting Newcastle and SJP is like a dream, obsession, life achievement, and life purpose for ITA members, it has spiritual and sentimental values, the feel is like a devoted Muslim longing to visit Mecca. As Indonesia is more prosperous you’ll notice more Indonesian travel to Newcastle.

One cleverer way is by obtaining scholarship to study in the UK. Some fans like me were lucky enough to get that scholarship by arguing brightly to convince the scholarship board so I can study in Newcastle University which meant I –goes without saying—secured my place as a season ticket holder at SJP. Of course I concealed my true intention in studying at Newcastle University LOL.

Indonesian Toon Army now consists of 992 members with estimated 700 active members, I believe ITA is the biggest NUFC supporter club outside the UK or Ireland and we keep on growing.

Duo Dembas and Ben Arfa are very popular nowadays and so is NUFC as a non-mainstream football club that may attract interest of new young football fans;

Last thing I want to say is we may not be Geordie born and bred but we are not a single bit different in the level of love, loyalty, and passion for NUFC, for us it is like dying if there is a week without NUFC. Members of ITA are all young people in the age between as young as 14 to 42 years old with most of us already supporting NUFC for 14 to 18 years and definitely still on the go until the day we die.

If there are any Geordies in exile or Toon Army in Indonesia that might not want to miss NUFC matches during your stay in Indonesia why not contact us? We are live and loud in the big cities like Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Bogor, Medan, Semarang, and Makassar.

You can reach us through twitter: @IndoToonArmy or facebook:   don’t worry we do speak English =)

We also have website that you may want to check: but it’s in Indonesian Language =)

The latest issue of The Mag is available now. Only £3.

Available online here or in all good newsagents throughout the north east.

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