I have been trying very hard to put into perspective my relationship with Newcastle United.
Ever since I saw my first game at Ewood Park back in 1982 (which was Keegan’s 2nd game as a player – he scored and we won 2-1) I was hooked.
The return fixture at St James will also live long in my memory, a 3-2 victory, I even managed an appearance on Match of the Day.
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It was a love affair I didn’t ever think would end, girlfriends came and went but Newcastle was always there. It was that woman your mother warned you about, the one who would constantly break your heart but you’d keep going back for more because you had that hope something would change.
There was always the hope that next year was going to be the year, maybe we might win a cup, get promotion, win the league…or get into Europe.
Hope. That was the key word, we always had it, that created the magic, the wonder, the conversations in the pub or the workplace.
Most of the time it was just that, hope, with the exception of a few glorious years under Keegan and then Robson, where we came so close to achieving our dreams.
People often accuse Newcastle fans of expecting to something every year but we don’t, we HOPE we will win something every year. We do however expect that everyone who pulls on a black and white shirt gives everything every game.
Recently however, that hope has been taken from us. Ashley has made clear he doesn’t want to win trophies or get into Europe and only wants to finish in the top 10.
This reminded me of Christmas 1984.
Prior to 1984 Christmas had been full of wonder, this magical man would fly to my house on his sleigh pulled by reindeer, land on my roof and bring me wondrous gifts.
The magic and excitement of coming down the stairs on Christmas morning was a feeling you can’t put into words.
1984 though was the year that I found out the truth. It wasn’t a magic man in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, it was my ‘magic’ dad (and mam) and that ruined the excitement ,the wonder, the magic and the hope.
Christmas after that just wasn’t the same, yes I’d still celebrate it and get presents but that magic just wasn’t there anymore, this is how I feel about Newcastle right now.
The magic, the wonder and the hope is gone. Now I only have the reality of the situation and that isn’t good.
Newcastle United is still there, but like Christmas, the magic has gone.