I remember, back in the late 90s, being a called a ‘glory hunter’ by fellow football fans.

It was no reflection on me personally as I have been here since Ardiles, it was actually more of a compliment that finally our club was considered amongst those with a chance of glory, of challenging, of winning.

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Of course we all know that the trophies never came; we challenged, got to finals, led the league but never got that elusive trophy ‘over the line’, but did we not still enjoy some glory?

I have read the odd fan on The Mag refer to the Keegan era as a failure, I have read fans say that we should stop deluding ourselves about being a big club because we haven’t won anything.

Well I believe that it is these exact fans who are deluding themselves, with a misguided idea of what glory is exactly.

To put it as plain and simple as a I can, if you think that the measure of a big club, and the glory it has, are solely found in trophies then you could not be more wrong.

Glory is found in the moments when your club gets its day in the sun, moments like beating Barcelona or Juventus, moments like sitting at the top of the league or breaking a world transfer record, cup finals, Champions League campaigns, having players and a manager who are the envy of others, here is real glory.

Sitting in a packed St James Park awaiting the visit of a top European side, feeling that anticipation, knowing it is going to be televised all over the world and actually believing that you have a good chance of victory, is a feeling that I will never forget. True glory.

Not being able to get a Cup Final ticket, but getting up at the crack of dawn to get ready for a full day of television coverage about your team in the most watched domestic cup final in the world, seeing the players leave the hotel and taking the coach to Wembley, seeing your club’s history replayed all day. True glory.

That feeling of pride seeing Keegan unveil Shearer, knowing that Fergie and Man United wanted him but couldn’t have him because he was ours, he had come home to live the dream of wearing the number 9 shirt and lead us into battle. True glory.

gloryWatching Sir Bobby take a poorly managed and ill equipped team from the verge of relegation back into the Champions League, playing the kind of football that excites football fans, young players mixed with experience in an irresistible combination. True glory.

Are moments like these not glorious for a football fan?

Did your chest not swell with pride in your club, your city, your region?

When was the last time you felt like that?

Sure those moments were fleeting, and usually followed by the reality bump of blowing the league or losing the cup final, but they existed and we all felt it.

It is small wonder that so many of us choose to revel in these all too brief memories, as they are all that we have left now. To speak of Newcastle United winning something these days is ridiculous indeed, but that has not really been any different for the majority of the club’s history and surprisingly few teams do actually manage to claim trophies on even a semi-consistent basis.

The real sadness stems from a realisation that the moments of glory, like those which I described above, are beyond the reach of Newcastle United now. Ask fans for their high point of last season and you’ll probably be told about the victory over Chelsea or Spurs, good victories indeed but how can winning a single league match compare with what we had, especially when ultimately it was a meaningless victory in terms of the pursuit of honours.

Big clubs provide moments of glory for their fans, the biggest do it consistently, these moments are shared with the world and thus the status of the club is raised. How long has it been since Newcastle United had a day in the sun? How long will it be before we have another?

Make no mistake that we have enjoyed glory, for many of us it is still all too fresh in the memory, which makes it all the harder to accept our current predicament. When you have seen heaven it is all the harder to accept the hell we currently find ourselves in.



  • Andgeo

    Glory is getting rid of the fat man.

  • LeazesEnder

    Keegan didn’t unveil Shearer….  Keegan didn’t want Shearer….. Keegan was given Shearer…..

    The day I knew we hadn’t crossed the rubicon was the day the club brought out a Video Cassette in time for Christmas… it was the Newcastle 5- 0 victory over the Mancs…

    …. a memento they knew it wasn’t going to happen again for a long time…//., and I thought  to myself… would they have made a video of them beating us…. no!

    Small time

  • Chemical Dave

    Spurs away in the fa cup circa 1988 ? One of the proudest I’ve ever felt as a Newcastle fan…we took more to whl than arsenal.

  • ArtyH

    Well put together, good article. But oh how the mighty have fallen. As I have said before big club is relative, in terms of fan base and wealth yes we are, in terms of investment and intent, no we are not. We could be so easily with the backing of the owner as he has money to burn. He has the chance to make over 50k fans happy and a city too for that matter, but chooses to fatten his bank balance and cause misery. So imho at this time and because of the way we are run NUFC is probably a small club getting smaller each year.

  • Porciestreet

    Yeh, righ,  As much as I know exactly what you’re saying, I would gladly give it all away to be known as a winner instead of an also-ran which my friend, is exactly what we are.  Glory is for winners  and sadly, Ive missed it all.

  • Squintytoonarmy

    Ditto this. 1987 wasn’t all ticket and fighting up the seven sisters road til 7pm. Awesome support especially as the team was very average but at least they had a go.

  • DownUnderMag

    In terms of measured success it was indeed a failure.  But given that or what we have now, I know which I would prefer to watch, what the TV companies would prefer to be showing and what would net us a lot more interest from ethical companies for association with advertising etc. Keegan’s side was actually a big factor in what brought the big money in and I firmly believe that the season we just missed out on the title was what sparked a lot of interest in the English game and I also think it is still very much living on that past glory.  English football these days is actually rather boring, it’s the same teams winning everything, and yet still claimed to be the most entertaining league in the world…when in actual fact far too many teams play defensively because they fear losing the TV money.

    Kenny Dalglish has an awful lot to answer for!  Even when Keegan left, if he had just put his ego to one side and built upon what Keegan had then we could have built up a huge base to grow the club and been one of the biggest clubs in the world.  Instead, he dismantled it and brought in a lot of rubbish and struggled, all because he refused to win something with anyone elses team.  It’s something the club never recovered from until Sir Bobby and then it didn’t take long for Souness to ruin all THAT good work.

  • 1957

    As much as I can see your point and could agree with its logic, It is the logic of the loser, the nearly men, a defence mechanism against supporters of those teams viewed as inferior but who have won something in recent years. I am of the generation who have experienced the ultimate glory of winning something and that feeling surpasses the Juventus, Barcalona games or cup semi final moments, big signings, Shearer doesn’t even register.
    I feel for those who may not experience what I have and may not again in my lifetime.

  • wor monga

    Totally agree with 1957 here…it’s very naive to use words
    like glory, in football, especially when talking about the team you support. Great
    results aren’t glorious, unless you have beaten the best in the competition,
    and the end result will be of significance to the rest of the football world.

    It was a memorable result against Barca back in ’97, but
    back then they were poor by their own standards, and ended up bottom of the
    group, below us…Juventus was another great night for us, but when the group is
    played for both at home and away they knew exactly that they had done enough
    away from home, on that night.

    What Kevin, and Sir Bob achieved was great, but they’d be
    the first to admit that with the Toon they came very close, but missed out on
    achieving any true glory for the club.

  • NottsToon

    I cannot understand the mindset of a person who did not find glory in these moments. Outside of a handful of clubs in the world all others would have taken our adventure and it was responsible for the tiny bit of standing we still have in the world game.
    Frankly, if you’re in it only for trophies then you’re with the wrong club, why not find glory in glorious moments?

  • wor monga

    NottsToon       You can count anything you want to as being ‘glorious’, and
    it looks like you might be doing that…but what really counts is what the football
    community in general sees as glorious achievement…

    …something that (unbiased) generations can refer
    back to in the history of the game.

    …Supporters of any club remember their trophy winning sides
    as the glorious ones…unfortunately the runners up just mostly go down as being losers!!

  • fireflyuk

    LeazesEnder If we had won the league the 5-0 would have been the icing on the cake and the video would have probably sold more. 

    I would also suggest that manure have sold individual match videos of them beating Liverpool, City etc not NUFC.

  • ncncnc

    NottsToon im surprised your old enough to remember ardiles

  • Duke Fame

    I was at the 1988 game, no trouble at all and Spurs fans still remember it as the one time away fans were on the Shelf.
    I don’t think memories of fighting is anything to be proud about. Thankfully, those days of pent up sexual frustration and aggression have gone.

  • Squintytoonarmy

    It was 1987 u must have been walking around with your eyes closed kicked off everywhere. Not saying it’s right but that’s how it was in the 80s