Reading the recent Mag article ‘it’s all your fault Dad’ got me thinking about who I can blame for my love of NUFC. I don’t know who it was, but it certainly wasn’t my Dad, who much preferred motor sports and didn’t show much interest in football.

My first memories of football are from primary school, where having found out Liam O’Brien lived 3 doors away from me I declared him as my favourite player in the whole world. Given his scoring against the mackems ability, not a bad call for someone who had no idea what he was talking about…..

I couldn’t play football to save my life. Still can’t. But watching people play it was brilliant. I can remember watching England play Germany in Italia 90, and being sent to bed at the end of 90 minutes. I’m still bitter about that…..

(To feature like Kevin, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])

Growing up in a non-football household was tough, as there was no chance of being taken to see my first match. I spent what felt like years harassing my Dad to take me to the match. By the time he accepted he was going to have to take me, we were in the Premier League, and tickets were like gold dust.

Christmas 1994, and I was promised that tickets would be found. Then we sold Andy Cole, and 12 year old me was devastated, but still desperately to go to a match.

Finally, one day in March, I came home from school to find three tickets for Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup! My Dad and Grandad had queued forever at St James’ Park to get them. How things have changed!

After what seemed like the longest few days ever, 19 March 1995 finally rolled around. The day itself is a blur of excitement. Excitement in which I forgot to take my glasses with me, meaning my view from the back of the Gallowgate was somewhat restricted.

It didn’t matter though, the day was all about the noise, the passion and the excitement. I can still remember how green the pitch looked against the greys of the stands. The raw passion shown by the crowd, and what seemed to me to be constant noise – even if I didn’t understand the chants. We won 3-1, John Beresford scored, and Keith Gillespie got 2. Who needs Andy Cole anyway?

It was 20 years ago this week. I’m getting old….. What a shame anyone whose first game has been recently won’t be able to describe noise, passion or excitement as their overwhelming memory of the day. Their highlight is probably a hot dog at half-time.

Those twenty years have been a mixture of excitement, disappointment and frustration. Everyone knows the recent history of our club, but a few personal highlights are;

Shearer coming home in 1996

Barcelona 3-2 in 1997

Beating Sheffield Utd and Tottenham in FA Cup semi finals

Falling over when Bellamy scored the winner in Rotterdam in 2002

Watching NUFC take on Inter Milan in the San Siro in 2003

The run to the UEFA Cup semi final in 2004 (especially the quarter final second leg against PSV)

The emergence of Shola as the mackem slayer

Shearer breaking Milburn’s goal scoring record against Portsmouth in 2006

Winning 4-1 at sunderland

The scarves being waved at Shearer’s testimonial

Steven Taylor’s ‘Forest Gump’ celebration when he scored his first goal

The day Keegan came back in 2008

Spanking Villa 6-0 on our return to the Premier League in 2010

Falling down the steps in the Leazes when beating the mackems 5-1

Tiote’s equaliser against Arsenal and finally…

Winning a game at Old Trafford.

Sadly, there aren’t any real trophies to remember. I’m not going to count our Intertoto certificate or the Championship…..

I cancelled my season ticket at the end of the first 3 year deal, at the end of the 2010/11 season.

I felt it was obvious then that Mike Ashley had no ambition for the club, he was content to sell our best players and appoint a yes man as manager/coach. The last 3 1/2 seasons have done nothing to convince me I was wrong, and apart from derby games, it’s easy to get a ticket for any game I want to go to.

NUFC have provided a huge number of positive experiences for me, and I desperately hope that one day soon we can see the return of an ambitious football club. That won’t happen while Ashley is here and with the recently announced TV deal I can’t see him leaving.

20 years ago this week I was excited to go to my first match against Man City. This weekend we play Man City again.

Are you excited about it? I’m not.

  • markbt08

    That arsenal game was my first . I remember someone fell on me celebrating the last goal

  • Greggy164

    A good read

  • Greggy164

    Some history. Great names. Traditions.

    Ashley cares not 1 bit about any of it

  • newcastle7

    Was at the reserves last night and will be at Man City Saturday. For some Newcastle is a passing phase in their lives and then like you throw in the towel and surrender.After fifty years going still as excited about Saturday and cannot wait just cannot understand you but I do come from a football family who are proud to be Newcastle fans.Once you have flown the nest who never come back.Simon a true fan.

  • Brian Standen

    A good article and some fair points, but I’m with newcastle7 below, its players and owners who come and go fans are for life, and while I recently did an article about how boring football can be, I’m still excited about Man City on Saturday, with this club you just never know. Over the years I have thought about giving up many times, but it is only a thought!

  • Greggy164

    Brian Standen   Its called love. Its tough but when you see it being abused. It started as a working mans thing but has now been destroyed by the amount of money now involved

  • Sickandtiredstill

    newcastle7 Can fool all of the people some of the time ……….

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Anyone else not curious why Llambias has on his Rangers bio(website) that he increased turnover here to 123 million – when the club accounts state for 12/13 it was 95.9 million?

  • Sickandtiredstill

    1957 It is on subject. If 27 million is unaccounted for.

  • Chemical Dave

    simon the liar, not a true fan.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    1957 Sure, but then you went on about ‘mugs’ etc. Such terminology is equal to being called not a ‘true’ supporter.
    Llambias is part of the eventual reason I stopped going after 42 years.
    I fully understand why people find it so hard to stop going. less so for people who have little history with the club and are recent additions.
    In that regard I agree with the writer.

  • Phildene

    What a good article by Kevin and one we whole heartedly agree with. We both used to really look forward to each match as it came, the banter before the match of what would the team be and the passion in the banter. The same passion inside the stadium which carried on throughout the match alongwith the banter and chanting. The indescribible feeling when a goal was scored, along with the scarf waving when it happened. We’ll never forget Alan Shearers testimonial! Extremely emotional to say the least.
    Unfortunately now all that’s gone. There’s nothig left at all to get excited about. The atmosphere in the stadium is plain awful along with the silence. No ambition at all so what’s the point of having a club that’s destined to stay mid table without any cups or silverware and a shambolic hierarchy and shambolic coaches.
    It’s so bad we both chucked our season tickets in a couple of years ago and, like Kevin, have never regretted it at all. What we DO regret is the way our once proud football club is no more having had its passion and soul ripped out and discarded like something nasty on the sole of your shoe.
    We won’t be going back until Ashley and his cohorts leave but we may not live long enough to see that’s happen as he’s here for the long haul. When he eventually does leave God knows what will be left of our club, if anything.

  • Greggy164

    Phildene  Its sad to hear people like yourself who have chucked it. Its not an easy thing to do. Women come and go but you will only ever have 1 team. At every club things are different. Boycott- Dont Boycott Who knows? Im ashamed at the treatment of some of our ex players by some of our fans. There are some who are quick to tuirn on 1 of our own.

    As for Ashley? I cant understand why he has been allowed to do it for so long. 7/8 years down the line. You know what he is all about. Time for him to go. Now could be a good time to let him know he is not welcome or wanted

  • newcastle7

    Why call someone a liar for supporting the team very sad.

  • Chemical Dave

    Look everyone, it’s Simon Carr, do you know him > Apparently if you don’t you’re not a ‘true fan’. Can I have your autograph, you must be even more famous than Jimmy Nail…or Ant & Dec even ? I’m going to stop ridiculing you now, you’re clearly retarded.

  • newcastle7

    Chemical Dave newcastle7 If you were in Moscow seventy two who went for our European game their two years most knew me the people you mentioned hardly ever go but all three were at Crystal Palace last season to see us last season 3-0 while Jimmy went to Sheff Wed once and got a six month sentence so put him off for a while.See you Saturday I think not but if you do ever go to a Newcastle game (my ribs hurting) will have pen and paper ready no charge.

  • Chemical Dave

    newcastle7 Chemical Dave

  • Chemical Dave

    I’m going to do my own article entitled “Noise, passion – excrement”….it’s a brief summary of my life as a supporter from 1972 until fat boy took over.

  • newcastle7

    Chemical Dave newcastle7 The people who are sad are the ones that do not go to games they have no lives.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    newcastle7 Chemical Dave there there, Simon. Fatty or Penfold will be along in a minute to tell you another bed time story.

  • Philippines

    I saw my first top level First Division game in 1957 – Man City v Fulham. Bert Trautman was in goal and Don Review was centre forward for Man City.

    I was at SJP when Malcolm McDonald scored a hat trick on his home debut against Liverpool. What a memory that was.

    For me, the worst thing now is the moaning minnies and negative nigels that populate the chat sites with endless negative comments.

    It’s never been great fun being a NUFC supporter in recent years, but please stop the crass comments and shout for the team.

    Howay the lads. (By the way, born in Derby, grew up in Manchester, only 7 years in Geordie land but I got infected).

    On thing I always loved about the supporters in Newcastle was (still is, I hope) the crack and the good humour of Magpie followers.

    Sorry I won’t’ see the match tonight as it will be 2 a.m. in the Philippines.