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Auf Wiedersehen Pet – Jinky Jim wonders when Newcastle United evolved from Oz to Neville

4 years ago

Auf Wiedersehen Pet. Series 2. Two Met Coppers are heading up to the Town, in order to investigate the dodgy dealings  of Ali Fraser.

“Whats Noo Casel like, Sarge?” asks the rookie.

“Think you’re working class lad?”

“Brought up in a council flat, Dad’s a school caretaker, Think you will find that I’m solid working class “

“Wait till we get to Noo Casel. You will realise that you’re middle class.”

When that was written 30 years ago, it epitomised perfectly what our region was all about and in particular what the clubs fan base was about.  It’s safe to say that there were not too many skinny latte drinking “customers”  standing on the terraces of St James park in those days.

Newcastle has changed beyond all recognition in the past 30 years and so has its people. I think the best way to explain to the new generation, what the town was like in 1987, is to simply point at Sunderland.

While the city that our cousins inhabit, has remained entrenched in the past, ours has managed to re-invent itself.  This is a very good thing but there are always some downsides to progress.

Back in 1987 It seemed that one in ten of us standing on the terraces had an uncanny resemblance to Oz. Complete with the missing teeth.

In 2017, one in ten of us have evolved into Neville, leaving ten minutes before the end of the match in order to get home to Brenda’s  spaghetti Bolognese.

Obviously it’s good  that many of our fan base are no longer prepared to chin anyone who so much as looks at them in a funny way, but what those Oz like characters brought to our support, was a devotion that came before anything else, including family.

I wonder how many relationships came to an end following yet another weekend trip to Oxford or Wrexham, instead of going to the family christening.

It’s simply just a fact of life that passionate spine tingling atmospheres at home are few and far between these days. That’s at every club, not just ours.  Having said that, there were times last season where the whole ground seemed to be up for it.

Funny how actually winning a few games makes you want to sing, or maybe it was a result of many fans rediscovering the joy of  being part of a massive away following and a cracking atmosphere at  the likes of Fulham, Preston, Barnsley, Cardiff etc etc.

The million dollar question has always been how to get that atmosphere replicated at home all the time. The club’s statement that a singing section is to be introduced is encouraging and when we eventually stick the away fans down near the pitch that will also help. Personally, I feel the introduction of  safe standing areas is also needed to get all grounds jumping again

Our first home game against Spurs will be a good litmus test for the atmospheres we can expect in the coming season.  If it’s anything like the one we had when Spurs came to town for our first game in the Premiership in 1993 that will do for me.

That glorious sunny day, with the opening of the new Leazes stand and Keegan’s team of Kevin Scott, Malcolm Allen and Nicos Papavasiliou playing in the top flight, is still strong  in the memory

The hopes for the 93-94 season were not great but as it turned out it defied all expectations . If this season could be half as good as 93-94 we would be in for a treat

We live in hope!

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