Newcastle home matches – yet another sold out St James Park this lunchtime.

Newcastle United can finish top today if they get a better result than Brighton but what should be guaranteed is a great atmosphere for this final game of the season.

Last month I put together my best ever Top 10 atmospheres at away matches, here below I have done the Top 10 St James Park ones.

Of course it is very subjective and relies on my very unreliable memory, so I may well have missed an obvious one out.

Your own personal Top 10 will of course always depend massively on your age and the eras when you have supported Newcastle United.

I started going regularly in the seventies, my first regular season being the relegation one (typical!!) of 1977/78.

Here are my Top 10 atmospheres at St James Park, feel free to comment on my choices down below and give your own.

From number 10 to Number 1 – here we go:

Newcastle 3 Brighton 1 – 12 May 1984

A great day of celebration. Newcastle promoted and we saw goals from the big three – Keegan, Waddle and Beardsley (that chip over Joe Corrigan!).

Newcastle 5 Sunderland 1 – 1 October 2010

A hat-trick for Kevin Nolan and two from Shola, as United absolutely smashed Sunderland.

Newcastle 5 Aston Villa 1 – 27 April 1994

The noise when Andy Cole scored the third and broke the goalscoring record was just immense!

Newcastle 3 Sunderland – 1 January 1985

What a classic, a hat-trick from Peter Beardsley and the Mackems had two players sent off.

Newcastle United 5 Manchester United 0 – 20 October 1996

What a day and what an atmosphere! A bit of a shame that this result came one season too late…

Newcastle 3 Middlesbrough 1 – 11 May 2009

This was a must win game to try and avoid relegation and with Alan Shearer brought in late on, the fans were massively behind their trusted former number nine. Even though conceding a third minute Beye own goal, it simply made the noise even louder and goals from Taylor, Martins and Lovenkrands turned it around.

Newcastle 3 Barcelona 2 – 17 September 1997

Having Barcelona visit St James Park was always going to be a massive occasion. However, to go three goals up and see such a stunning hat-trick from Tino Asprilla was beyond our wildest dreams. The fact that their star studded team came back and scored twice to leave us hanging on, actually makes it even more memorable as the supporters willed the team to hold on.

Newcastle 1 Portsmouth 0 – 25 April 1992

There may have been only twenty six thousand inside St James Park but they were the real hardcore, the intensity of the game was immense and the crowd did everything to help the team get the vita goal. This was a must win game if Kevin Keegan was to mastermind our survival and when David Kelly scored that late winner, there was no sweeter moment.

Newcastle 1 QPR 0 – 28 August 1982

This was of course Kevin Keegan’s home debut and it was just unbelievable. The excitement when he signed, after wilderness years with no hope in the second tier, was just incredible. God knows how many fans were really inside St James Park in those days of standing and paying on the gate – but anybody who was there will never forget that day.

Any Match Standing In The Old Leazes End – Up to May 1978

I feel really sorry for anybody who never had the chance to experience life in the old Leazes End. Until that covered end was knocked down after the 1977/78 season, it was the only place to go. Nobody went in the Gallowgate End ahead of the Leazes, that is if they wanted to be where all the action/excitement was. As a kid, the Leazes End was both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Great memories of the atmosphere in there but I was too young to remember specific matches I went to. Great times!

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • Porciestreet

    Never ever forget the day we sang;-” Howay the lads” for nearly 40 minutes non-stop. The atmosphere was electric and I couldn’t speak for days afterwards.
    Happy days eh…! Howaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay the Lads.

  • Leicester Mag

    Wow what a subjective topic😃! Others that stand out for me:

    Derby vs Mackems New Years Day 1985 3-1 2 Mackems sent off. Mackem I knew arrested for swearing after police horse stood on his foot! (Not quite punching one but hey).

    Rotherham? Can’t remember the exact opposition but came back from 1-0 to win 2-1,it was hacking down so when second went in there was steam coming off the Gallowate end!

    3-0 vs Liverpool Cole first half hat-trick.

    • FairsCup69

      I think it was Charlton where we came back from 0-1 in the rain. What about Manchester Utd 2-1 on Easter Saturday, 1987?

  • Leicester Mag

    Another one.. as a seven year old quarter final vs Forest. All a bit hazy but took a while to realise it wasn’t normal to have a pitch invasion! Worked with a Forest fan still complained about this 30yrs after!

    • Davey drape

      they shud thank us as if they had gone to semi final the would have kept their manager. as it happens clough followed 6 months later

  • Simon Ritter

    Have to concur with your 10th choice. The old Leazes under that corrrugated iron roof trapping the noise, thousands surging forward when we scored, injured/fainting fans laid out on the cinder track behind the net. First distinct match was beating top Ipswich team in the early 70s in a midweek floodlit match. Still hooked 45 years later. As Perry Como nearly sang: “Memories are made of that.”

  • Geordiegiants

    In my time alive I have to say, Portsmouth. As you said, it was only the hard core fans back then. They were real fans not customers out to have a social day with there pals and kids. We were there for the football and the atmosphere, some had their kids and pals with them, but the real reason was, the football, NEWCASLTE UNITED and nothing else.
    Real atmosphere real fans.

    Grimsby away is the only other atmosphere that ever topped that day.

  • Tynewalker

    Supermac’s home debut against Liverpool. He hit a hatrick and carried off. Won 3 2. Dreams made of this.
    Agree about the old Leazes end.

    • George Tweddle

      Was there, you could hear a pin drop when Supermac was having treatment. What about the Notts Forest cup tie ( invasion ) coming back to win with 10 men?

  • Whickhamrobbie

    Keegans debut for me by a mile never forget that day and i was right behind the goal when he scored .
    I was at all the games you mentioned but was too young for the old leazes .

  • Jezza

    I missed some of those matches but the ones I was at will live long in my memory. None more so than Keegan’s debut in 82. The funny thing is I can remember very little about the actual match apart from Keegan’s goal and a streaker wearing nothing but fluorescent green ankle socks. The thing I’ll never forget though is the build up. Queuing up in Strawberry Place from 10 in the morning, listening to the older lads telling glorious tales of Supermac and The Mighty Wyn, the growing sense of anticipation and buzz of excitement, getting into the ground just after 1 o’clock and again the building anticipation as it steadily filled up and kick off gradually approached.

    The aftermath was pretty good too. There was a sense of victory as if we’d already won something. We’d signed the erstwhile England captain and he’d scored the winning goal on his debut, suddenly anything seemed possible at that moment in time. We even made the national television news that night. I still remember them showing a Newcastle fan downing a pint in one go in celebration. Great memories.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Same here, huge great queues to get in, whatever the official attendance was, I’m sure there was a hell of a lot more in. I went with my Dad, the queue we ended up in took us to the ‘corner’ (I was just young and my father was more West stand paddock / scoreboard at a push, we weren’t really typical ‘corner’ attendees) but it was a hell of an atmosphere. When KK scored, the crowd went flying forward

  • GeordieZebra

    That Pompey game brings back the memories. I was having a p1ss and just got back on to the gallowgate to see it hit the net.

    Great atmosphere v Leicester when Shearer scored a trick and we won 4-3 after being 1-3 down too.

  • Blackburn1066

    Hi I was in the old leazes end when super mac got three against Liverpool, I started going when the Fairs Cup was on with wyn davies and bob of my favourite players was tony green he was just class but sad he only played a shot time for us then got crocked by a bad,bad foul, Then Kev came along and NUFC took off.

  • Jezza

    One best atmospheres at St James’s Park that I’ll never forget was the FA Cup fourth round tie with Swindon in 88. A full house with the gates closed an hour before kick off and 6,000 fans locked out. Back in the good old days when the FA Cup still meant something.

  • Rich Lawson

    Nufc 2 – 0 Rangers,Fairs Cup semi,we had got a 0-0 draw at their place thanks to a McFaul penalty save.As I qued to get in remember watching in disbelief as ticketless Rangers fans climbed hand over hand across barbed wire to get into the Gallowgate. A fiercely competitive game ( Grieg and McKinnon trying to kick Davies off the park) saw us eventually winning 2-0,then it just seemed to rain glass from the away end and a pitch invasion to try and stop the game.Hand to hand fighting, with the cops laying out Rangers fans.Police that lived next door to me mam and dad said they arrested so many of away support that all the cells were full and they had to start releasing them depending on the severity of the offence to make way for more.But we reached the final and on to glory !

  • HappyToons

    Surely Spurs at home ’76 League Cup Semi Final ranks with the best.

    Some of the early 70’s games with Man U (with Best and Charlton) and Leeds one Good Friday stand out. The biggest home attendance I have been in was one of those Man U games, think it was 58,000, ground 3/4 full at 1.30pm and too many thousands locked out to count.

    Forest ’74 was also top notch.

    There was some good atmospheres in the old second, even with low attendances, like the famous must win Portsmouth match.

    One game when the whole stadium was bouncing up and down to keep warm, the days when there was singing in the Gallowgate corner, the Gallowgate scoreboard, Old Stand Paddock, New stand paddock, and half the Leazes end. I wish I could remember the actual match!!

    Many of the Keegan promotion year games were good-Man City and Carlisle come to mind.

    • Davey drape

      yep spurs semi always in my top 3. it was very cold that night also but the leazes was as i had never seen it before

  • HappyToons

    Also a strange one for you. Cass Pennant the ICF hooligan who has probably seen it all (Millwall, Chelsea and Man U etc.) and visited most grounds with WHU says the loudest he has ever heard was at Newcastle the petrol bomb day. I was in the new stand paddock next to the away fans in the Leazes corner and it was rammed full as was the Leazes end next to the corner. It was deafening.

  • HappyToons

    Having been to most grounds I think Millwall late 70’s was the most intimidating even with probably 12,000. But thinking what it must have been like to come to Newcastle, it must have been equally terrifying in the 70’s and 80’s. Imagine walking past the mental lads in black and white kilts with a bottle of broon in hand, then down the side street to see the graffiti hang men and ‘Cockneys Die’, ‘Geordie aggro’, then arrive at the Leazes to see the slogan about Petrol is cheap. The funeral march and the ambulance chant. I am 6ft 2 and everyone seemed to be bigger than me. The Peter Cartwright equaliser at Sunderland in the League Cup (2-2) we had gone to the top and back of the away section as he scored. I have never seen so many giant blokes in Donkey Jackets in one place. The early 70’s and the big docs and a mid week game at Newcastle. No thanks!!