The six stages of your life supporting Newcastle United.

Sometimes it is best to ignore the current mess and forget about the here and now at Newcastle United, a bit like when your house is a tip it can do you good to get out and have a few drinks and a curry then face reality the next day when you are in a better mood.

newcastle unitedNow I know what I am going to relate below won’t resonate with everybody else’s personal connection with our football club.

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However, I think plenty of other Newcastle fans will buy into what I’m about to relate.

My name is Dale and I am 50 years old, I support Newcastle United and these are the six levels of my support for our great club.

Stage 1 – Going to my first matches. These were with adults – my dad, uncles and their friends in the early to mid-seventies, coincidentally the Supermac era. It was very exciting and a bit scary at the same time being crushed amongst loads of adults on the terraces, couldn’t really see that much unless sat at the front of the terracing with other kids.

Stage 2 – Going with my mates. In my early teens I was then allowed to go with friends instead of being overseen by adults. This was great. Probably my favourite time watching Newcastle even though the first season I went with the lads was the relegation season of 1977/78. The football was crap but what a laugh being with your mates at the match.

Stage 3 – Away matches. Moving through my teens I then reached the stage where I started going to away games when I had the money. My memory gets a bit hazy now as to how often my parents actually knew I was away somewhere exotic such as Rotherham and Barnsley. Magic times though in transit vans and on football special trains from the Victorian era, this particular stage in my supporting life coming to its peak when promotion with Keegan, Beardsley and Waddle came along. Nearly ever y away match seemed to be in Yorkshire or Lancashire and places likes Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday were invaded with seemingly half of Tyneside there.

Stage 4 – Balancing work, women, alcohol and football. This was probably the biggest challenge in terms of the demands on your body and shouldn’t be attempted by those of older years. Holding down a job whilst at the same time trying to get to every match, drink as much as possible and find time to see my girlfriend(s) saw me often in a sorry state on a Monday morning going back to work.

Stage 5 – Marriage made in heaven. Next up was sealing the knot with somebody other than Newcastle United. I got married to a woman, it was dead good. However, there were consequences. I still went to every home match and aways when I could, but I now had to accept that I had other responsibilities and would have to tow the line at times. No problem pet, I don’t mind missing that weekend stay in London when we play Arsenal, I’m really looking forward to that engagement do at the local social club instead.

Stage 6 – A star/son is born. My first child comes along, it’s a boy (no offence), yes!!! Will he automatically like football or will I have to brainwash him? ‘When can I start going to the match with you dad?’ Are there any sweeter words a man can hear?

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  • SimonM68

    Good stuff and resonates totally.  There’s more to it though …
    Stage 7 – you go with your lad, you know the atmosphere is cr*p compared to stages 1-3, but it’s still better than slouching round the shops of a Saturday and he loves it anyway. All good.
    Stage 8 – your lad gets into women and ale and you have nobody to go with anymore. You have to ‘help’ him through college and you are skint.  Not a good stage this one … You watch the match on the telly alone.
    Stage 9 – Nirvana!  Your mental capacity degenerates to such a degree that for the first time you actually beleive you are watching something other than the sh*te you’ve suffered for the previous seventy years.  Even if you think Supermac is still playing.  You can say what you like and nobody takes a blind bit of notice of you – a bit like this bulletin board!!

  • Brownale69

    Stage5 very tricky i recall getting a string bag of onions hoyed at me for going to the match on me anniversary instead of a shopping jaunt, went to the game with a black eye and had to lie to mates about how i got it!!
    Howay Keegan or wor lass errrr um…Happy days!

  • SusanCommon

    Well done DT, enjoyed reading that and very true for me but i wold need to add stage 7} staying away from SJP  and doing aways only and stage 8} returning when ashley leaves, however those really were truly memorable days from childhood excitement of the early 70s in the leazes up until Ashley took over and killed our club…..maybe stage 9) a rich arab comes in and we have or turn of winning or in with a chance of winning leagues, domestic cups and european trophies. dave

  • vbhgft

    SimonM68 Enjoyed reading those memories Dale/Simon. Makes a nice change from the usual stuff…..

  • GR1125

    Stage 7; you’re lad is now in his 30’s, you look at him sometimes & wish you’d never got him into it.
    Stage 8; you’re now 60, still going to the match with the same lads from stage 2, (& sons now), you look at each othet & wish you’d never got into it.
    Stage 9; you talk about the times Ashley will no longer be there because you all know you will be there long after he had gone. It is a fact.
    Stage 10; so you all carry on going, the pub before & after now being the highlight of the day.

  • GToon

    step 7 – you take your lad to a game with your dad and when we score you look at your dad on one side of you, arms aloft and your son on the other doing the same and you feel like there is nothing better in the world. (one of my happiest memories for me – nufc 6 everton 2). 
    step 8 – your sons go to away games with you, drink the froth of your mates beer (i dont drink – sporting commitments – sorry!!) even though they are only 7 and you see them mouthing the words to some of our more colourful songs. you catch their eye and share a laugh – priceless.
    step 9 – your son ends up at a premier league academy and refuses to ware the shirt of the club on the coach instead putting on no 10, ben arfa. he proceeds to tell the other kids on the bus that the actual first team of the club are c**p and he doesnt want to play for them – hilarious!! i can still remember the look on the coaches face when my youngest told him if they offered him a contract he would turn it down for no apparent reason other than he didnt like their team. 
    step 10 – you realise that sharing the football with your bairns, your family, your dad or whoever or even the people on here is what matters and our current plight is merely a tiny blemish in the pride and pleasure of supporting nufc.

  • GToon

    SimonM68 no 9 happened to my dad and in one of our games on tv he shouted with delight when the other team scored. i couldnt believe it!!

  • SimonM68

    GToon good stuff – I had step 7 last season for Cabaye’s goal against Liverpool. The lad was out of his seat before me. A moment I’ll never forget and a tremendous post-goal cuddle…  As you say – memories that can’t be taken away