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Should Newcastle & Sunderland Show Respect For Margaret Thatcher?

6 years ago
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In the week leading up to one of the most important Tyne-Wear derbies in recent memory an event occurred that united a lot of people in our region.

I of course, make reference to the demise of a former Prime Minister.

Margaret Thatcher kicking a football, Scunthorpe, September 1988.The people of the North East suffered more than most under the reign of this so called leader and the reaction to the news of Thatcher’s death was understandably not met with mass outpourings of grief and pity in our region, I know of many who openly celebrated the news of the demise of a regional hate figure in the pub with friends and colleagues alike.

If this reaction was right or wrong is not for me to judge, but as a Newcastle United fan raised in a former pit mining village in Sunderland I admit that sympathy was far from my mind as it was for many of my neighbours.

The death of Thatcher has however caused a problem, mainly due to the timing of it.

There are calls from certain figures in the footballing community, most notably Dave Whelan and John Madjeski to honour her with a minute’s silence before this weekend’s fixtures, I however presume the aforementioned gentlemen did not suffer the same hardships as our fathers and grandfathers did.

Newcastle and Sunderland now face a situation where there seems very little chance of a positive outcome for all parties.

It would seem that the executives of both clubs need to sit round the table and fathom out an answer to the dilemma of to hold a minute silence or not.

The decision to abstain from going ahead with one would surely be met with large criticisms of both clubs by certain corners of the media, whereas the option of staging this mark of respect (ha) will surely just be met with a cacophony of booing and an outpouring of anger from both sets of fans, and in my eyes rightly so.

278 mag coverI see no need for the people of the North East to show respect to a woman whose sheer contempt for our region, and indeed football spectators all over the country, knew no bounds.

A minute’s silence in memory of someone who tried her very best, and damn near succeeded, to bring our region to its knees is not something that I for one will participate in.

If I do have to stand for 60 seconds and shut my trap it will not be out of respect for Thatcher.

It will be in memory of the 96 fans who never came home from Hillsborough on that fateful day, the same fans whose names were dragged through the mud and their memories subjected to horrific lies to cover up the truth and the tragedy that came with it.

It will be to honour our ancestors, Geordie and Mackem alike, who were subjected to awful hardships at the hands of Thatcher and her cronies.

We didnt give up, we still haven’t.

We’ve not forgotten, we never will.

Howay the lads.

New ‘Derby Special’ issue of our magazine on sale in all Tyneside newsagents from Saturday including exclusive interview with Tim Krul, or order now online for only £3 (plus postage) for Worldwide delivery straight to your door, or why not start a subscription – prices from only £23.

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