I remember sunny (rose-tinted glasses maybe) days, stood in ‘The Corner’ fenced in, or maybe a better description would be caged in.

Having a singing competition with the scoreboard and generally having a laugh, mostly at the expense of ourselves, or whistling Laurel and Hardy at the patrolling police.

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Just to elaborate, they would walk round the outside of the pitch in pairs, and they hated it.

I remember once being at the front and the Laurel and Hardy started up, the two surly police officers saying ‘stop that or you’ll be arrested’. A voice from the back shouts ‘howay in and get us then!’ which then started a wave of raucous laughter from all around, plus it made the whistling ten times worse!

I remember what seemed like a million steps just to get up from the turnstiles, the view from the top of those steps, over the Strawberry and far away.

It was a magical place to experience a game of football and we had crap football then too! We cared more about the experience and less about the result.

So I guess the whole point of my trip down memory lane is twofold.

Firstly, standing, are you for or against it?

I think the official term is now ‘Safe Standing’, and as used widely in Germany, the ‘Railed Seating’ being the most popular system used. With seats that can be easily converted from seating to standing and vice-versa, with a bolt used to secure the seat in either an upright or sitting position.

The SE Corner (Strawberry corner) would be a good place to try this, or the bottom half of the whole Gallowgate (up to the first walkway), what are your thoughts?

Obviously provision would need to be made for those who could not stand to have an unobscured view (infirm, disabled etc.) but how would you feel about it?

Secondly, in this time of ineptitude and despair, where NUFC and laughter seem to have parted ways, and the only thing lately to laugh at is our predicament (if it wasn’t so precarious!) – what memories do you have of match day?

When you genuinely enjoyed yourself and looked forward to being at SJP on match day?

Finally the title (of the article), Madonna had a song out, in 1992, about the time they started to renovate the ground, there is a verse which goes:

This used to be our playground

This used to be our great escape

This used to be the place we ran to

This used to be our hiding place!

I am always reminded of the OLD Gallowgate by this song, what song reminds you of HAPPY Toon memories and why?

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  • A lex

    Two things:

    1) Taking the pi$$ out of you lot in the Corner, because the Scoreboard was the best!! Hahaha.
    2) The songs, songs and more songs. We had a song for everyone and everything. That was called “support”. Hardly any imagination and creativity in songs nowadays, let alone singing the basics.

    But, I’m sure we can recover our passion. Keep up the pressure to get rid of Ashley, and once we start to enjoy ourselves again, the old tradition will come through again.

  • Demented_Man

    When I first started supporting Newcastle in the late 60s I used to love being at SJP regardless of the result.  When you were walking up to the ground, it was as if a magnet was pulling you up.  You couldn’t wait to get there.  Now it seems there’s a feeling of dread as you approach the ground.
    It is impossible to hear ‘The Mighty Quinn’ by Manfred Mann (written by Bob Dylan) without thinking of my first few games at Newcastle.  The fans adapted the words to the ‘Mighty Wyn’ (after Wyn Davies).
    Nice article, by the way.

  • Brian Standen

    Yeah great article, the place used to be a magnet, I grew up in awe of the Leazes End, starry jumpers, doc martins, white butchers coats, weekly fights, bobbies helmets bouncing around…..all with unwavering support for those on the pitch!

  • Porciestreet

    The scoreboard used to be a series of A,B,C, cards along the front of the then Popular side (east stand) and the kids like me that didn’t get passed over the top of the crowd, down to the front, would try to secure a place in one of the trees at the back on the half way line, A cracking view. Even if a copper told you to get down, no-one bothered cos they wouldn’t come up after you,.
    The ground had it’s own little “Police Station” inside the Gallowgate , dead opposite the Strawberry, and it only ever had one copper in it due to the torrent of p!55 that would overflow from the gents beside it. It used to stink cos everyone was full of beer. Happy days eh…! 
    Just before the game finished, I would meet my mates under the 10 minute flag which was high in the Strawberry corner before making our way back through Leazes park and the Exhibition Park, back to jesmond where I lived down by the “Collingwood”.

  • Morpeth mag

    Getting passéd down the men’s head to the front of the leazers end, when City won the title in 68, beating us 4-3, as fights where breaking out, there was supposed to be city fans in the leazes end, I didn’t see any but at school on Monday talking about it.
    Me and my cousin Knocking in at the old turn styles in the corner of the leazes and the popular at about 10 in the morning as we didn’t have any money, we hid on the roof of the turnsole under a piece of corrugated iron, eating jam sarnies,,
    I just loved everything about the place and years later my son ran out there and played a match, tears running down my face I was so proud,,,
    F*** Ashley and all his cronies,,,,,

  • A lex

    Following my first comment, have loved the nostalgia of the 60’s and 70’s from the rest of you.
    The original article did drive us all down the path of discussing our feelings during the time of The Corner.
    However, I want to add that the feelings and passion and level of “support” were here in the 90’s and early 00’s, too – it wasn’t a phenomenon just from 40 years ago.
    Let’s ensure we get this lot out so we have a chance of bringing all this back in the next few seasons.

  • Brownale69

    Peanut seller? Fantastic…….crushed against the barriers. VERY non PC chants can anyone recall singing to the coppers Harry Roberts is our friend is our friend he shoots coppers etc……….terrible!!! Ha Ha Ha!!

  • Mark Brooker

    Great nostalgia ooh what great days THE SCOREBOARD THE SCOREBOARD!!! lot of us Berwick Mags used go to the Newcastle Arms before the match it was a terrific atmosphere on match days anyone remember Pavarotti singing on the tables before matches. Also lived down south for some years back then used to meet up with some great guys from Wokingham and go to all the away games in and around London nearly always beat but didn’t matter a few beers and sing your hearts for the lads. Remember catching the overnight national express coaches from Victoria in London arriving in the toon early hours for the match used to go to my uncles in killingworth for breakfast then back home on Sunday. I remember not being a great team by Amy stretch of the imagination but at least the players always seemed to give it a go even though they weren’t quite good enough. All you can ask unlike the mercenaries we have playing today who don’t give a toss. Bring on a time machine I’d happily go back to them days..

  • Chemical Dave

    I took my son to his first game about five years ago, a 1-1 draw against Bolton. We sat in the east stand and as we scaled the dtairs inside the ground i walked slightly ahead of him as I wanted to see his reaction to seeing the stadium for the first time. It was about ten to three, the ground was almost full and the players were about to come on the pitch. I watched his eyes widen as he took in the view before a smile spread across his face…”dad, its mint” ! He’s loved it ever since. I feel very bitter that this generation of fans are effectively being” groomed” into believing this product is the best they can hope for, its not ! Ashley out!!

  • toon tony

    Ahh the smell of Bovril and urine coming up over the “scoreboard “. Got arrested for throwing a snowball at Leicester goalkeeper before the game in APRIL. 83.!!!

  • LeazesEnder

    The picture is the Leazes from 1974l

  • toon tony

    An N and an E and a wubbleyou C…..brill. !!!!

  • toon tony

    * April 85..

  • toon tony

    My first game. lost 2-1.

  • LeazesEnder

    toon tony Can you not re,ember the rest of the words……

  • LeazesEnder

    Porciestreet The flag….I forgot about that the flag…. I got kicked out of the ground once for attacking a Manchester City fan’s fist with the back of my head…. gave a false name and address went through the Police station and back into the ground….

    ….the turnstiles were still open,  luckily I still had my shilling as I hadn’t paid to get in the first time …. the turnstiles were operated with a foot pedal by old gadgees…. the crush just pushed me through….

    Man City won the Championship that day.

  • Tony_Slater

    Alex, you’re stone raving mad, everyone knew the corner was where it was at!
    aye the chants!
    terry hibbert lol
    and LOTS of non PC ones, mostly to get a reaction from someone!
    aye, funny happier times…