It emerged this week that Newcastle United do not have plans for a lap of honour, or rather a lap of ‘appreciation’ as it is now being termed. Should they or shouldn’t they?

Habits have changed over time. The terminology has changed with it. The lap of honour was traditionally for those who were victorious.

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The roots are long held and are associated with victory, whether it was Romans showcasing the spoils of war, including slave prisoners from the reaches of the expanding empire, or the sporting field to celebrate success.

Winners stay behind to enjoy the adulation that goes with success. The crowds can recognise excellence. We can thank those who represent us competitively, bringing pride to a town, a region, a country.

The lap of appreciation, rather than honour, can be seen as different. We are reminded that Kevin Keegan as manager in 1993 sent his players out for one, the tradition having continued since. Then, of course, the players had promotion to celebrate but the motivation is perceived that the lap was to show appreciation of supporters by the players.

The ‘lap’ of course comes from motor racing. There are other symbols of gratitude that can be seen in that sport. In the last race of the season, it is a traditional ‘thank you’ for the World Champion to, if feasible, yield to the number 2 driver, affording them to take the opportunity for the glory in the race.

It is a noble gesture, to offer thanks for the support.

It will also be remembered that the Newcastle team that finished 5th under Sir Bobby also undertook the lap of appreciation.  John Carver worked under Sir Bobby, in case anybody missed the fact. The reception may not have been as warm as many supporters had left the stadium but it was done.

There have been other notable absences. Last season, Alan Pardew left it to the players, himself having been booed during the game after a dismal run of results.

Returning to Kevin Keegan, it is clear that he was a manager in touch with supporters. The crowd were prepared to give credit where it was due. There were also times when things may have not looked so good. After the sale of Andy Cole, Keegan was prepared to stand outside the club to talk to supporters who turned up to demonstrate unrest.

This brings us back to what can be expected on Sunday. We know that a proportion of supporters will stay behind. It is one of the protests planned for the day against the nature of Mike Ashley’s ownership of the club.

We do not know yet what the result will be; a win, loss or draw. A win may bring a surge of relief, a draw or defeat may not be good enough to survive. The performance may be good, it may be dire. Similarly, we do not know what the result will be down in Hull. There will be a range of emotions whatever the outcome.

It is right that the players should show appreciation for the support they have received, not just for the day but for the season. After all, the average wage is over £32,000 per week. They have their financial futures secured as a result of representing the third best supported club in the country.

In turn, supporters will want to show appreciation for some of the players, if not all. To select just one, Jonas may have fallen foul of club manipulations of selection policy and contract extension. However good a player he is perceived, his efforts over the years have been valued. His defeat of cancer is an inspiration to us all.

Certainly, some players may not be similarly received. It may be that they do not wish to do the opposite of a lap of honour – the walk of shame. Nevertheless, in the gladiatorial environment Premier league football, it is right that they share the emotions of the almost 1,000,000 attendees at St James’ Park over the year.

Players can move on. This summer, a number certainly will. Some will go to more successful clubs, picking up an even higher wage than the average £1.5m per year here. If relegated, supporters are not as fortunate to escape the consequences for our club.

A knowledge that they will have to face the crowd can be a powerful motivator for players, whether it is a desire to restore pride or a fear of failure.

Whether it is a lap of honour, lap of appreciation, a lap of apology, or a walk of shame, the millionaires on the pitch have a duty to show themselves after the game. We sincerely hope that we can applaud a defiant effort to avoid the drop. An effort to avoid supporters would be an act of extreme cowardice.

Mike Ashley, who has not been known to show his appreciation of the support that lines his wallet, should take his own lap too!

Rex also runs his own website ( which you can visit HERE and you can follow him on Twitter @ToonToonCoUk

  • Jim Bramwell

    Surely he poor little darlings will be too tired for a lap honour after running themselves into the ground and giving 100% for 90 minutes.

  • LeazesEnder

    Ashleys not coming, he’s a boycotter…. like moi…

  • grahame49

    Its like a surgeon accidentally cutting one of your nuts off during a vasectomy, do you thank him for leaving you one

  • Bobby Shinton 7

    You’ve got an awful lot to say about the club for someone who hasn’t darkened the doors for a long time mr avatar, just a thought , but why dont you keep it shtum.

  • toonterrier

    A lap of honour must be  a cert for Carver, Stone, Woodman, Beardsley, Moncur and not forgetting Charnley  who are paid to be lap dogs to the fat man. If they show as much passion and commitment as the players they will probably collapse half way round.

  • In Five seasons time after having finally got rid of Ashley and when we get promoted to League Two via the play off’s . Everyone will deserve the lap of honour .

  • Steve Mutz Nutz Wilkinson

    Get em down tunnel and show them championship replays. No, that’ll frighten them!

  • NottsToon

    Yeh because entering the ground and handing over your money to the bloke destroying the club clearly makes your opinion more valid. What are you smoking?

  • Michael Maximus Moose

    Bobby Shinton 7

    How do you know what he does its idiots like you who should stay STUM !

  • Andgeo


  • toonterrier

    If its another bloody awful performance and we are relegated I wouldn’t want to stay a minute longer than the final whistle. Lets give them hell for the ninety minutes and as the game is televised it will go out to millions of football supporters. Would maybe be tempted to go and sit on the pitch at full time and then let Ashley’s lot try and throw us out. Should be fun. Still rather we won the game and survived the drop as the beer would taste better afterwards.

  • Toon Magpie

    Good on Ashley boycotting the club, he is playing his part. Hope he stays away all next season.

  • Toon Magpie

    When was the last time you went to SJP handing money over to a bloke to get in?

  • Toon Magpie

    Can we get Carver out?

  • Toon Magpie

    Try it itineraries. Go sit in the middle of pitch, I am watching and when the police come(Ashley ‘s lot you say) I will be laughing at you not with you.