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Newcastle Fans – Band of Brothers?

6 years ago

Over the past few years a lot has been made of the type of person who now sits in the seats, of not only St. James’ Park, but in football stadiums in general.

It would seem that in 2014 the average football fan seems to be totally incapable of coping with anyone else’s opinions.  That’s because ‘my opinion’ is obviously right  and you are a half-witted idiot for not agreeing with me. Never before has our support seemed so fragmented.

A few years ago,  I wrote a piece for the Magazine which looked at the type of Newcastle supporter sitting in the stands of St. James’ Park.  So on the eve of another season of hope, despair, disappointment or just possibly glory, I thought I would regurgitate the drivel I wrote back then.

Its meant to be lighthearted so please don’t take offence if you recognise yourself in here.

I will start by nailing my colours to the mast and describe myself and my ilk.

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I belong to the grumpy middle-aged men bracket. My lot started watching the team in the 70s or early 80s, they love Keegan for how he saved this club twice. They hate modern day footballers and their complete lack of feeling for the club that pays their wages. They have no hair left and wear a coat to the match.

They used to spend 90 minutes screaming themselves hoarse over a 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury but now can just about manage one chorus of Blaydon Races. They would love to walk away from it all because it makes no sense spending all this time and money on a club that holds them in contempt – but like it or not they can’t, because NUFC is tattooed on their  heart..

There are another group who are very close cousins of the grumpy middle aged men. They are of a similar age and have the same Newcastle supporting history but what separates them from the grumpies, is that they steadfastly refuse to accept  they are no longer 20 years old. They wear their colours to the match and certainly do not wear a coat, They can be seen jumping up and down in the aisles like an electrocuted orangutan screaming at the rest of us to “sing ya bastards”. To their eternal credit, they are prepared to take time off work to go to Burnley on a Tuesday and would rather sleep with Susan Boyle before they turned their back on Newcastle United.

Then there are the 90s generation. These guys & girls don’t know football without Sky. They have an uneasy relationship with the old guard which has become worse over the past few years as the mood on the terraces has darkened.   They are sick and tired of being asked by grumpies,  “where were you in the bad days of 1981?” It would seem that not having been born is an acceptable excuse. They are very keen to point out that the fact that they are still in the ground these days, shows that they are not bloody glory hunters.

Next are the young ones. The misunderstood generation. Come into the ground after the start, leave before the end, and spend the time in between on their phones watching clips of x factor and talking endlessly about anything but the match itself.  They take their shirts & shoes off at away matches. To the grumpies, these kids are as far removed from being a real fan as it is possible to be.

To the teenager, the baldy headed old farts should simply get a life before they die. Today’s young ones find it ironic to be told they are not real fans by a generation who spent their teenage years in half mast trousers & doc martin boots throwing darts and petrol bombs at each other.

The next group are the posh seats. These are not as evident as they have been in the past, but then again there is a limit to who will pay two grand for a comfy seat in order to watch this tripe. Many lads in these seats are normal hard working guys who just happen to have done pretty well for themselves. They resent being called fickle new money Johnny come latelys.  The trouble is that amongst them there are many who are exactly that.

Finally, there are the pensioners. They come to the match, sit in their seat, drink a coffee, clap at the end and go home. They are probably still only coming because the option is to take Barbara to B & Q for that shower cubicle he promised her. However, I firmly believe that this dwindling group should be protected and given honorary status, because they have actually seen Newcastle lift a trophy. Like world war one veterans, their stories should be captured on film for posterity in order that they can be shared with future generations.

So there you have it, the happy family that is Newcastle United. We might not understand the bloke next to us and more than likely we wouldn’t have him round the house for a drink, but like it or not, we share a common goal and we are all in this together. So before the mad bloke in the next seat gives you another one of his scary stares, “sing ya bastard.”

PS. Of course, since I penned the original of this piece, there would now seem to be a new breed amongst us.  The Cyber supporter!


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