In a previous article I read on The Mag featuring the best atmospheres at away games, I noticed that barely any were in recent memory, or the at least in the Premier League era.
What was also evident in the previous article was that quite a lot of the games included, actually resulted in Newcastle getting beat. This goes to show that in a lot of cases, it’s not the result that makes a good away atmosphere.
Atmosphere-wise it would be easy to rattle off a number of Sunderland games for obvious reasons, or away games against clubs with a poor home support. I have lost count of the amount of games in my lifetime in which Newcastle have sold out a whole stand or away end and its felt pretty much like a home game…the likes of Blackburn, Wigan, West Brom. Similarly, the likes of Feyenoord, Barcelona and Inter Milan are almost too obvious for me.
However, here are my personal choice of the 10 greatest away game atmospheres for Newcastle fans in the last 15 years:
Man Utd 5-3 Newcastle – 23 November 2002
One of my earliest memories of following Newcastle United away from home. This was a time when we were both challenging for the title, and it was a special atmosphere at Old Trafford. Olivier Bernard put us 1-0 up and our fans didn’t stop singing for the whole 90 minutes.
I will always remember this as the game in which the Toon Army chanted “60,000 muppets” at Old Trafford.
Marseille 2-0 Newcastle – 6 May 2004
The nights that we all live for as football fans. I could have also mentioned Feyenoord and Inter Milan but this was the UEFA Cup semi-final against one of the biggest clubs in Europe, something was truly on the line.
Marseille is a special place on a big European night and the atmosphere was electric from start to finish… but even more so after each Drogba goal. It wasn’t so much the atmosphere in the away end but the whole stadium, what a roar!
Marseille would go on to lose to Valencia in the final… managed by a certain Rafa Benitez.
Tottenham 1-4 Newcastle – 30 March 2008
Kevin Keegan’s second reign as manager obviously came nowhere near to the first, but for one game on a Sunday at the Lane, we were treated to the hope of a return of the entertainers. Although we went 1-0 down, Newcastle were brilliant.
It is a hard one to describe if you weren’t there, but battering one of the best teams in the league, with Keegan in charge, playing attacking football, in the sun.
It is what you wish every game was like.
Man United 1-1 Newcastle – 17 August 2008
What we thought would be the start of something special!
First game of the season, against the European Champions, we played them off the park. Coloccini and Gutierrez were sensational on their debuts. Under King Kev, we were all so excited about what lay ahead that coming season.
Little did we know what was to come.
Aston Villa 1-0 Newcastle – 24 May 2009
In hindsight, this will always go down as one of my favourite Newcastle games. Never have I came away from a football ground being so proud to be a Newcastle fan (see image above). It was a great atmosphere that day, in part thanks to the Villa fans (see image below) who were determined to rub our noses in our demise.
Once it started to hit home with 20 minutes to go that we were never going to score and relegation would happen… it only made the noise in the away end even louder.
An emotional spine-tingling day…
Barnsley 2-2 Newcastle – 12 December 2009
If you could describe the benefits of the Championship in one game, it would be this one. A brilliant away day – four big stands, a good home following, a whole away stand to yourself, under the lights.
An eventful game with two late goals contributed to the atmosphere which was immense. We may have conceded a late equalizer but the scenes when Harewood put us 2-1 up with little time remaining is one of the best in recent memory.
Stoke City 1-3 Newcastle – 31 October 2011
I remember thinking that this was the night our incredible start to the season would come to an end. Before the game there was almost an expectancy in the away end that we would lose. However, a Demba Ba hat-rick sent Newcastle to the top of the league. Pandemonium in the away end.
This was the night “Demba scored … since Ramadan song” came alive.
Manchester United 4-3 Newcastle – 26 December 2012
Another one at Old Trafford. In my opinion it is the only ground out of the big clubs (Chelsea, Arsenal, City, Liverpool) that creates a good atmosphere. When the fixture list came out last week, it was the first away game I looked for. A boxing day fixture meant that we had all made a special effort to get there and the atmosphere was lifted when James Perch scored after a few minutes.
A crazy game which went one way, and then the other, and then back again, made way for a brilliant atmosphere.
It was also helped by Fergie’s antics on the touchline.
Benfica 3-1 Newcastle – 4 April 2013
That one night that reminded us all that despite the money in the PL, despite Mike Ashley, despite the fact that we are generally rubbish, there is still hope that we can always get back to those magical European nights against the big teams.
Having been to most European games, especially that season, the crowds at Atromitos, Maritimo, Kharkiv, Bordeaux and Anzhi were small for obvious reasons. This was the first time that the Toon Army really had the chance to take a large following away that season.
Although the stadium was 1/4 empty, the home fans still made a great noise and the Toon Army did too.
We all knew it was a night that we may never see again, and so we made the most of it.
Norwich 3-2 Newcastle – 2 April 2016
One of those truly crazy games of football that you feel never would have happened if it wasn’t for the atmosphere around it. A massive game at the bottom of the league, that went from one side to the other.
The atmosphere was helped by the fact that it was a beautiful sunny day in Norwich, with so much on the line, I don’t think I will ever forget that roar and sickening feeling when Norwich won it with the last kick of the game.
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