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You always remember the first time

6 years ago

As I wrote earlier, me and my brother made a long overdue trip from Finland to watch our first ever game at St James Park when we flew to Newcastle in order to see the final match of the season (brother’s a Spurs fan, I am Newcastle).

We arrived early Saturday morning and had time to have a look around the city and of course, visit as many pubs as we could. Already at the airport I could sense the disappointment of going down. The guy at the money exchange asked me why we were here and as I told him we would attend the match on Sunday, he told me it would be a sad day.

On Saturday we just walked around and stopped at many pubs and restaurants. What really surprised us was the price of food and drink, we would pay double the price over where I live. We then went to have a look at the stadium, which is located perfectly in the centre of the city, and checked out the club shop.

Also checked out the Strawberry pub located just outside the stadium, got a few beers there, listened to some drunk guys sing songs about a certain Sunderland player, and decided that we would go back there and prepare for the match on Sunday.

On Sunday the weather was just perfect. In Finland we don’t have the best of climates either and somehow I’ve got the feeling that it’s always cold and rainy in these parts of the world.

When getting ready Sunday morning, my brother was wondering if he would be safe walking around town and the stadium in his old Tottenham shirt. It quickly turned out, as we suspected, that people were really nice and friendly, no matter what you wear or who you are.

We had some beers and snacks at the pub outside the stadium where the feeling wasn’t too high, which could be expected. Certainly the last match of a dreadful season would be just something similar to the whole season.

We had seats in the east stand, E section. Great seats with the sun shining straight at us from the start. We were absolutely amazed by the support and the overall atmosphere in the stadium, and I believe many of the regulars were as well.

The atmosphere most certainly affected the players too and I have to say that I felt just slightly bad for my brother, as we were doing high fives with a lady sitting next to us at 5-1.

After spending a few days in Newcastle I make the promise to be back, sooner rather than later, and support the team no matter what the league is. Probably won’t get my brother to go after that trashing but after all, the beer is much cheaper over here…

So it didn’t turn out to be a sad day after all and on Wednesday evening when they announced Rafa’s contract, I felt the most excitement as a Newcastle fan…I think since Alan Shearer signed. Very interesting now to see who will stay, who will go and who he will sign.

The only problem I have now with being relegated to the Championship is that it makes it harder for me to see the games but I will find a way…



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