Life was pretty simple as a teenager. That’s because it basically revolved around four things.

Beer, Music, Girls and Newcastle United.

What else did a young lad from the North East need.

However, as the years have passed; these four ingredients of life began to disappear.

Beer

From that first half pint of McEwans during school lunch break and being shoved into the snug by the barmaid, to being able to handle five  good sessions over a weekend, Beer was central to everything.

How things change. I’ve gone from that, to not being able to drink five pints in one go without turning green and my head exploding.

Music

Music really mattered to my generation.

Being the first to buy ‘Born to Run’  or ‘In the City’ gave you a lot of kudos with the gang.

Those of you with a brain will have kept their vinyl in good condition.

Those of us without a brain were at the local tip chucking their albums into a skip at the very moment Mirandinha was scoring in front of the Kop in 1988, because I thought Vinyl was dead, CDs were the future.

I reckon £500 went to recycling that day. What a prize idiot!

Girls

As I trundle toward 60 years of age, one look in the mirror reminds me that those days are long long gone. I can accept that getting old is part of life, but it still hurts when the young lass in the office listens to your conversation, and then says: “my grandad told me about that.”

Some nice memories though of innocent times spent behind the youth club and down the park.

Newcastle United

To be honest, the devotion to the club has also diluted over the years.  As the last 10 years have passed, each year has seen it become a little bit harder to summon up the passion and devotion that was there in the past.

It would be very easy to blame the owner for that (so I will), but if I’m honest, I’m not sure that it’s entirely down to the club. I think a lot of my discontent is with the game itself.

Sanchez being paid up to half a million a week just to put on a pair of shorts and kick a bag of air around a field is beyond a joke .

You may argue that it doesn’t matter whether the top players are paid 100k a week, 250k, or 500k, because they are all obscene, and you would be right.

However, the disconnect that there is now between the ‘stars’ of the game and the fan, has killed the devotion in so many of us.

I’m not saying we should go back to the days when our centre half (Pat Howard) lived in a 3 bed semi  in Birtley, but it’s now at a stage even at Newcastle, where Jamaal Lascelles could probably buy the bloody town.

For 10 or 12 clubs in supposedly the best league in the world , the ambition to succeed has gone.  It’s simply about staying up. Finishing 15th is the Holy Grail for the majority of clubs in England.

But if you check the history books you will see that when I started supporting this club back in the 70s, we finished 15th in 1974, 15th in 1975 and 15th in 1976. Despite the club being also-rans back then, my passion for the club has never been greater than it was at that time.

I wonder if  the massive difference between then and now is …

WE GOT TO TWO CUP FINALS

Just like now, we had no chance of competing with the big boys back then (Liverpool, Derby and Leeds), but the cups (in the seventies)  gave us hope of some  glory and they so nearly delivered.

And that is the issue for me.  From a purely business sense, I can actually see why the likes of Ashley don’t even try to compete, because compared to the owners of some of the top clubs, the man is a (relative) pauper, but I’m not an owner worried about my balance sheet, I’m a fan of 50 years.

From a fan perspective I just want our team to have a go.

I’m afraid I don’t see much changing any time soon.  If we are lucky its more seasons of 15th for us and sadly without any cup glory along the way.

I really shouldn’t care anymore but I do. That’s because the club is in my DNA. The fact that you visit The Mag despite all the rubbish going on at St James Park, would suggest that you do to.

As a teenager, another album I bought was Hotel California by the Eagles.  The title track could have been written about our club because  “we are all just  prisoners here, of our own device.”

So with apologies to the great Glenn Frey and Don Henley.

“Relax said the fat man.

“I am programmed to deceive.

“ You can check out any time you like….

“…but you can never leave.”

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  • Rich Lawson

    Forget ”The Eagles” quote (sounds good tho’) ”In the city there’s a thousand things I want to say to you,but whenever I approach you, you make me look a fool” is just made for Ashley. As a bi-line to that,I was at The Mayfair when The Jam played their first gig in Newcastle, Some idiot had booked them in for the friday which was traditionally a metal band. Chairs and bottles rained on them but Paul Weller never flinched,just kicking them back.Brilliant night.

    • Wor Lass

      I went to see the Stranglers at the Poly but they didn`t play – can`t remember why!

      • Rich Lawson

        Saw them at City Hall,1st time they played here,bloke kept spitting at JJ Burnell and he jumped off stage and chased him up the side of the area and gave him a smack.Happy days.

        • Wor Lass

          Best ever at the City Hall, for me, was the Boss. In fact, best ever – never mind at the City Hall. Awesome doesn`t do him justice. RIP big Clarence.

          • Cockneytrev

            Went to see the damed supporting t-Rex ,,
            Also Bowie, Roxy music, Igi pop, (Bowie guested for him) Ian Dury,, so many great nights, the best venue for me,,
            But “The Clash” at the poly were fantastic

          • Wor Lass

            I definitely remember going to see them there and they didn`t come on for some reason – maybe they came back? I was gutted about that.

          • Rich Lawson

            Damned with T.Rex was a great double header,Scabies set his cymbals on fire with lighter fluid I seem to rmbr.Seen them nearly 100 times now,never a bad gig,went the other night and Paul Gray is back on bass

          • Cockneytrev

            Ive never been to a good gig for years,, I still love to go and see local bands,, but last big one was Oasis at Sunderland and I thought Kasabian were had and shoulders above on that night,,
            I remember the damned , t-Rex night, the punks were going to walk out after the damned has finished their set , but I stayed in and I was so happy I did, I thought t-Rex were brilliant,,

          • Rich Lawson

            Yes,I was into Bowie,Roxy and T.Rex from the glam’ period and had seen the height of Trextasy I seem to rmbr the hall was only ’bout half full but Bolan was great,less flash,just wearing yellow dungaree’s and t shirt I think,very humble twd the fans. I do actually know Rat as a friend for years now and he has always said Bolan was brilliant with them and let them ride to the gigs on his tour bus,proper sound check and very friendly. RIP.taken to early.

          • Rich Lawson

            Yeah,I was at that,was it ’76 ? He played for about 3hrs but I was slightly disconcerted by his dancing,reminded me of Norman Wisdom !

          • Wor Lass

            `81, I think, Rich. best live show I`ve ever seen. It was even livelier when a girl suddenly emrged from between my mate`s legs – got him very excited. She was an American groupie who was following the band round on their tour and had snuck in earlier in the day and hidden under our seats. Sadly for my mate, she was saving herself for Brucie!

          • Rich Lawson

            ’81,blimey,thought it was much earlier,good gig tho’

      • Cockneytrev

        Was on the stage with them when they played at the city hall, knocked in as well over the back of bathes roofs, got the bass players plectrum,,,

    • Cockneytrev

      Saw them at the city hall,,
      Met Bruce foxton in Ibiza 1978,,
      Didn’t get his round in,,

      • Rich Lawson

        What a t##t,bet Weller would have stood you a beer tho’.

        • Cockneytrev

          yeah, me and him were with two birds,, I bought a round of drinks, he didn’t return the drink, I said to my bird, he’s a tight bar steward , or words to that effect and she said he didn’t earn much,, he earned more than me,,,,😂😂

  • Hughie_Gallacher

    Nice article.
    I had a similar experience with my vinyl, except I gave mine away, about 300 albums! I thought I had no room for them when I moved house.
    You’re right about not being able to compete with the big boys in the 70s, but at least there was a definite hope at the beginning of the season that we could compete. Nowadays, we don’t even have that.

    • Jezza

      I always loved my records, still do to this day. When CD’;s came along I stubbornly refused to start listening to them and steadfastly stuck with my records. That was a great time because I was able to pick up all kinds of records on the cheap.

    • paul mclaughlan

      I went through a stage of pi55ing on my records when I was drunk back in the 80s.

      • Albert Stubbins

        Ha ha. Quote of the week winner that one.

  • Leazes.

    Where am I?…
    ….’in the Leazes village’

    Who are you?
    ….’I’m number 2′

    ‘Frank Clark?’
    ….*&$%$. You are supporter No. 124786

    I’m not a number I’m a free person…’
    …..Hahaha

    Bastards!

    • Wor Lass

      You need to be stuck in one of those giant opaque beach balls and trundled over the nearest cliff!

    • paul mclaughlan

      Bastards? How the hell?

    • paul mclaughlan

      Bastards, bastards, bastards. Look dad I’m swearing and it’s not getting approved.

      • Leazes.

        It’s an insult but also a noun.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Me Dad`s an old 60`s Mod, Lambretta`s, Parka`s, Levi`s, mini-skirts,
    the Boys of 66, the Fairs Cup Final, doing a Fat Mike down the Bigg Market on a weekend, in fact every weekend.
    his thoughts on the modern footballer, they`re as soft as shyte & the likes of Chopper Harris, Dave Mackay & Norman Hunter would have them bubbling like Bairns in 10 minutes.
    joined the Army at 20 to be taught how to kill people free of charge, i think he came out dafter than he went in.
    he`s 67 now & still a scary guy. addresses me and my bro as the
    W ankers.
    other than that he`s Ok

    • Leazes.

      Your dad shouldn’t ride a lambretta in a mini-skirt far too draughty.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        I`ll pass it on
        😂😂😂

    • Peaky Magpie

      Was your dad at The Who 50yr anniversary gig at The Arena about 4 yrs ago ?…..tremendous night….loads of original 60’s Mods…

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        he`s seen the lot, the Stones & the Beatles in the 60`s in Newcastle
        Quo, the Who, Rod the Mod, Steve Marriott, he went to the States to see Frampton.
        we grew up on that music, that`s why the Nut is Nuts, me i joined the Army to get away

        • GToon

          Have u been to that record shop that sells vinyl in Newcastle. I don’t know the name of it but it sells coasters made up of the tickets of bands who have played in Newcastle. It’s not far from the ground.

    • kingfisher

      Now there’s a blast from the past Moose.Those three would take anything above grass height with two feet, over the ball, under the ball or around the ball, it didn’t matter. The centre forwards in those days must have been terrified when Norman “bites yer legs” Hunter was bearing down on them.
      Your Old Man sounds like he’s a bit of a character. 😁 I’m nearly 65 now,and was brought up in that era, standing only, no roof,freezing cold, soaking wet, ankle deep in rivers of p**** in the Gallowgate end bogs, cup of Bovril at half time.Mr Magpie with his black and white suit walking around the cinder track.Terrible conditions,but you know what Moose ? they were great times and I would rather have those times back than continue to suffer the current, plastic, politically correct,sterile c*** that passes for football now !

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Dad was at the Fairs Cup Final, he hasn`t been to St James for years

        • kingfisher

          It’s a shame your Dad hasn’t been to S.J.P. for years Moose, mind having said that, he hasn’t missed much has he ! I went to every Fairs Cup home game, but missed the first twenty minutes of the final first leg as we used to jump the fence and get in for nowt, but as it was the final, there were more police and stewards around than usual, and it took a bit longer.Obviously the second leg was away, which meant that we didn’t see a Newcastle captain lift a Cup ( story of the last fifty years !!)

        • Wor Lass

          Was he at Ibrox? He might have bumped into MC!

          • grantham mag

            He might of got glassed more than not, the return leg was quite lively all those jocks in frocks running wild, great night great times and we as a football club have done nothing since.

      • Jezza

        I’m a bit younger than you but still remember the match day experience of the 70’s. Despite the awful conditions in football grounds at the time there was always something magical about going to a football match back in those days, something you just don’t get in this modern era of plush all seated, all covered stadiums. Football has long since lost its soul. It is a pale shadow of the beautiful game I grew up with. More and more when I talk about football these days I find myself talking about the old days.

        • Peaky Magpie

          Spot on in so many ways there Jezza,’74 was the first year I set foot in SJP and can still remember it like yesterday.Crammed onto the Gallowgate with my dad full of both over excitement and fear squashed against the concrete barrier,the smell of bovril,pies,beer and urine filling the air….and the surge when Supermac scored….unbelievable and indeed unforgettable…great times…

          • kingfisher

            Again,spot on Peaky.The anticipation when Terry Hibbit got the ball and Supermac was away.No faffing about, straight down the middle,as in the ’74 cup semi at Hillsbrough,one of the best away days of my 50 years supporting this lot !
            Great times indeed.

          • Peaky Magpie

            🎵🎵 “We’ve got Terry,Terry,Terry,Terry Hibbit on the wing…..🎵🎵

          • Jezza

            Mick Mahoney super goalie…

          • Wor Lass

            Might as well run out my all-time fave. To the tune of the Campdown Races, “We sold Macdonald for Cannell Doo Da, Doo Da ….”

          • Jezza

            Ha ha yes and “for Cannell” always sounded like something else when it rang out from the terraces.

          • Wor Lass

            Paul`s a nice guy. His dad used to come in the pub on a Sunday and say, loudly, “No, i`m not related to THAT Cannell”. Top people.

          • Cockneytrev

            He played football for the lochside in heaton

          • Leazes.

            Jasper Carrott did a sketch on it

          • Leazes.

            He wasn’t

          • paul mclaughlan

            He’s here he’s there he’s every flipping (thanks Mag) where Micky Burns, Micky Burns.

          • Albert Stubbins

            My older brother came back n one day singing. That’s neet thats neet that’s neet that’s neet I really love Alan gowlings feet! Even my old favva laughed at that one!!

          • Jezza

            Ha ha superb. I never heard that one at the time.

          • kingfisher

            We’ve travelled far and wide, we’ve even slept outside, But there is only one place I’d rather be!!

          • Peaky Magpie

            “He’s here,he’s there,he’s every fu**ing where Mickey Burns,Mickey Burns…..”

          • kingfisher

            Give me an N and an E, and a wobble u C, an A and an S and a TLE, a UNI and a TED.Newcastle United F.C.
            I’m getting all misty eyed Peaky 😭😭😭

          • Peaky Magpie

            Aye nostalgia,Fatso won’t EVER take that away from us !

          • kingfisher

            Aye, you’re not wrong there Peaky. 😁

          • Stephen

            Come on without come on within you’ll not see nothing like the mighty Wyn.

          • kingfisher

            I remember it well Stephen.👍👍👍

          • Ray Amour

            You’ll not see nothing like the mighty Wyn

          • GToon

            That’s my all time favourite! I sing that to my middle son when he plays. He’s very mobile. He loves it!

          • Peaky Magpie

            Yeah a memorable song for someone who wasn’t really a household name.

          • Rich Lawson

            1st heard that one for Jack Sinclair,sounded better with the ryhme.

          • Kev Newcastle England

            I used wash his car when he lived in Throckley

          • Wor Lad

            Snap!

          • kingfisher

            I was working for a local building company in my early twenties, and can remember working on the refurbishment of the Gallowgate end in the 70’s.One of my jobs was driving a dumper truck into the ground at the Leazes End,along the cinder track past the tunnel and dugouts to the Gallowgate End, then back again.

            Obviously this work was done in the close season, and one day the first team arrived to have the team photo taken, and I managed to get my photo taken with the great man himself, Supermac. Happy days Peaky, happy days

          • Jezza

            Even in the 80’s when crowds dropped to around the 22,000 mark it was still magical. As the song goes “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”.

          • Peaky Magpie

            Yes the ‘80’s was a different challenge,going as a group of teenage lads it was our mission to pay at the corner turnstiles and try and make it up to the players tunnel by climbing over the partitions or running onto the cinder and back around onto the paddocks while the coppers weren’t watching…..but to be honest I’m sure they just turned a blind eye most of the time…

        • kingfisher

          You are spot on there Jezza.An entertainment industry turned into a money making juggernaut,played by over paid mercenaries.Present day football has no heart or soul.(just like our beloved owner) !

          • Jezza

            Yes I agree. It was Sky Sports that destroyed our national game. When I think back to walking up to the ground, paying your money at the turnstiles, walking up the steps, standing getting soaked in the pouring rain, peering through a 12 foot high steel mesh fence to watch 11 honest triers on 150 quid a week, I just never realised at the time how lucky I was.

        • paul mclaughlan

          Remember coppas walking around the stands covered in hockle.

          • Kev Newcastle England

            Rival mobs from everywhere in the Leazes End

          • Cockneytrev

            Hockle,,,
            Christ I’d forgotten that ,,
            What a great word,,,😂😂

      • grantham mag

        Don’t forget the pea nuts, tanner a bag happy days.

        • Stephen

          And the guy who could hit anyone in the crowd.(with the nuts)
          And what about him in the man In the black and white three piece suit with the top hat.
          Who was he?

          • kingfisher

            Think he was called Mr Magpie, Stephen ! The peanuts were in little cornet shaped bags,and as you say he had a good aim! Those definitely were “the good old days”

          • Cockneytrev

            His suit was black with “painted lines” on it,, I think he just did it to get in for nowt,, I seem to remember he was at the cup final in 74

    • Tynewalker

      Don’t be to proud of that trio of hackers. One of them McKay finished the career of one of out best centre forwards Len White.
      I was at White Hart Lane I think March 1961 an evening ok.
      Spurs won the double ,we were relegated but beat them that night. I think Jimmy Harrower and Dave Hollins made their debut.
      Although we were relegated the result that night needs to be replicated this season by winning against top sides

      • Leazes.

        You tell him, they got away with murder.

    • Wor Lass

      He`s a good judge of character, your dad.

    • grantham mag

      Your old mans not daft. he is just bit older than me but we have the same DNA, bless him . [OLD SOLDIER SYNDROME].

  • Colin Brumwell

    60 years this year through thin and thin

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      well done

    • Leazes.

      Christ you’re ugly.

      • GToon

        What! Your heed is green!

        • Leazes.

          Already taken into consideration.

  • Stephen

    Good Article
    A question I ask myself!
    Would I be happier if we had oil rich Arab owners buying the league every season?
    Just don’t know!
    Our owner is a proven ‘tight wad’with everything cut to the bone, just enough investment( we hope) to avoid the drop.
    There might just be a feeling of ‘not belonging’ at the top clubs.
    Would I like Alexie Sanchez at Newcastle?Yes but a million pounds a month
    No I don’t think anyone is worth that.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Messi`s new deal at Barca a minimum of 100 million Euro`s a year.

      • Stephen

        Great Footballer
        How can one man earn that for playing football when people are starving to death and not only abroad.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          He had the neck to fiddle tax as well, you couldn`t make it up
          Greed rules the game !

          • Peaky Magpie

            Same as Sanchez….another tax evader….albeit in Spain….but a fraud all the same.

          • Leazes.

            Michael Tabor scumbag tax dodger.

          • Peaky Magpie

            🤣😂🤣

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Whilst you make a decent point, we also go to the cinema where the lead actor or actress is being paid far more money and the reality is they are simply good looking.

          At least footballers have a talent.

          • paul mclaughlan

            I’m pretty sure the leads in movies have a talent. In fact it’s called acting. And it’s not as easy as it looks. If it was we’d all be doing it.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Is called let’s pretend and reading out load, we all learnt to do it at pre-school.

          • paul mclaughlan

            Well go ahead and try and make a living. But one does suspect you’ll be a tad wooden.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            It’s far harder to make a living in football than it is in doing acting.

          • paul mclaughlan

            Is it really? How do you come to this conclusion? Are you an expert on the acting community? Do you have accurate figures that say it’s easier to make a living acting? I very much doubt you have. I’m gonna say it’s probably the same. Although unlike you I’m no expert.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Acting community? Pleeese. The stars become stars through being attractive when they are younger and sleeping with the right people.

            In football the premier league is the Hollywood elite. 222 players, most do not earn the levels of a Tom Cruise and Tom Cruise in on the screen for less than 90 mins and moreover, he only does 3-4 films a year.

            In football, it’s more competitive, I was 2nd best footballer in my school, at most I got expenses to play and post 30, I had to pay to play and even pay my fines. 3 girls in my school managed to get a living out of ‘let’s pretend’ 2 weren’t even in the top class in English.

          • paul mclaughlan

            Well done for generalising the acting community. You really are a complete gimp. Tom Cruise is a bad example to use. He’s made film studios hundreds of millions over the years. He also does all his own stunts too. Oh and most films these days last well over 90 mins. What film were these girls in? Well done to them for making a living in a very tough industry. The reason why you had to pay to play is obvious. You were cr4p.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            One was in some big films, the other was just stage and the 3rd was in video.

            I’ve been in three adverts so up yours.

            As for being cr4p, it depends, at professional level yes I was well down the pyramid but the point being, a decent player cannot make a living in the professional game whereas a half keen actor can get paid for doing very little. Thinking about it, I got paid more for the adverts per day than I did playing football and I could not care less about the adverts.

          • Kev Newcastle England

            I cant compete with you then Fleckman.The back of my neck was in the film Goal!

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I hope you are in equity!

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Jeez, Frank Spencer did his own stunts, it’s no big deal.

            Face it, the whole #metoo thing showed how you get on in film. Given people can turn RR not their hand to acting, it’s really a very easy profession if your face fits..

          • paul mclaughlan

            Michael Crawford you mean? Frank Spencer was a character he played. Pretty unfunny character in my book. I’m sure the tens of thousands of unemployed actors would disagree on your views about how easy it is to gain employment on a regular basis. You still can’t provide me of any evidence of how it’s easier to make a living from acting instead of football. Oh and you making light of #metoo shows why you can’t keep hold of a woman long. Bit of a misogynist.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            There are no unemployed actors, no more than unemployed footballers. I’ve always wanted to earn my money from football but I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t consider myself an unemployed footballer.

            As for misogyny, no, I love women, that’s just the way I’m wired.

            Do you have any evidence of how it’s easier to make a living from football instead of doing acting? In the UK it’s difficult to make money playing football. Look who plays for us, today we’ll Shelvey, Dummett, Lacelles and Darlow in terms of British players, it’s not easy to make it to the top.

          • paul mclaughlan

            I don’t have evidence. It was you who said it’s easier to make a living from acting.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            OK, This is my logic rather than evidence. There are hundreds of TV stations from Babestation to Channel 4, millions of you tube channels and the ability to set up as you like. Every day in every provincial town there are a few stage productions going on as well as films being cheaper & easier to produce than ever. In terms of simple opportunities, there is a chance to do acting no matter how pretty you are and you can do it from the age of zero to the day you die.

            Football, it appears to me is harder. To make it is notoriously hard, every other kid wants to be a footballer and the absolute best get the slimmest of chances to play and get paid. The Premier league is where the money but it’s a truly international market place where very few British players manage to make it even in the English Premier division. In the Championship the best get paid well but once you get past the star players, many are just earning the rate of a copper / lawyer / accountant. Get into league one & two and they are earning a teacher’s salary but the problem it they will, at most, only earn that for 10 – 12 years of their professional lives. Go down a division again and many of these guys need 2nd jobs, bare in mind, these are guys who would not just have been the best in their schools or town, they’d have been the best in their county but still can’t earn a living for 10 years of their lives.

          • paul mclaughlan

            You’re argument makes no sense. We’re talking making a living out of acting/playing football. Agreed the actors at the top of their games are handsomely rewarded as are footballers. But surely anyone making a living out of football and surviving on what they get is the point of this discussion. In that case I know a lad who plays for South Shields and that is his only income. How many tiers down are they? There are thousands who are getting paid right through the leagues and getting by. Plus I’m sure coppers would love to be paid the same as accountants and lawyers. So what if lower league players get what those professions earn. Still well paid for doing what is essentially a hobby. Even the lower league players getting paid the same as teachers is a nice living. Bearing in mind teachers have been training to do their jobs for four years. Lower league footballers are decently rewarded for their (again) hobby. I don’t know exactly what is easiest to make a living from. But I do know there are thousands of footballers making an ok living out of their chosen profession.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Footballers have trained to be footballers since, literally, when they could kick a ball. The difference between earning £30k as a teacher and a footballer I’d that a teacher will not stop at 33 yo more is likely to be injured.

            Aren’t actors bring paid for what is essentially a hobby?

            You mate who earns a living playing for south Shields will need another profession (unless he’s played at a higher level). I must say, I’m surprised he’s earning a living at that level but well done to him.

          • paul mclaughlan

            He’s not my mate. I just know him. Football and acting is a hobby. And the amount both earn at the highest level is obscene. I’ll always stick up for the acting profession as I love movies almost as much as I love NUFC. And probably more than I love football now as it’s become such a sterile boring sport. My point was that actors have to train and practice loads. And are easy as dedicated as footballers. In fact probably more than most of the young players passing through academies. Most think as soon as they sign their first professional contract that they’ve made it. Which is far from the truth. The lad I know playing for SS is a prime example. And to say there are more actors who earn a proper living than footballers is silly since you’re only guessing. If you can provide concrete proof then I’ll concede.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Were close to agreement, my argument is the money footballers earn is no more obscene that an actor, artist or any other person at the top of their profession. Imho footballers are picked out because it’s the working man’s game.

            Nobody (except for the TV licence payer) us taxed it forced to pay under duress to watch football, it’s a pure meritocracy and the labour market for the talent is sans frontiers so I defend the footballer more than the others.

          • paul mclaughlan

            I definitely reckon we’ve had less pointless arguments. 👍

          • paul mclaughlan

            I think you making light of the #metoo campaign reveals yourself to be a misogynist.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Can’t men be victims? The #metoo campaign was no t exclusive to women.

          • paul mclaughlan

            Didn’t say it was. But since the majority of complainants are woman. Then you’re making light of their sexual harassment. So I’m right in calling you a misogynist.

          • paul mclaughlan

            Plus the argument was never about earning money at the top. It was about making a living.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Well, it was, the op was talking about the amount footballers earn, I’m saying it’s relative in that few people moan about film stars earning far more than footballers. Personally, I think a football star deserves his money having wanted to ‘make it’s myself but not having the talent. My father did play professionally but he could earn more money as an engineer which was of course in another era.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Footballers do not get government grants to put football ‘workshops’ on. Legs Akimbo wasn’t a pee take of footballers ripping off schools to put on educational football events.

          • GToon

            The problem with footballers is that the high wages often go hand in hand with being a pretty vile human. Not always but quite often.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            That can be true of many people, of the professions that can create such wealth, footballers are amongst the nicer in mo experience

        • Coble’s Return

          Good article in The Guardian yesterday about the West End (NUFC) Food Bank and the fact that Isaac Hayden is a regular volunteer. I don’t blame players for what they earn – any one of us would jump at the chance of that kind of money – but it is a welcome relief to see a bit of humility and an acknowledgement from a player of the huge gulf between the privileged and those less fortunate in society.

          Apparently Penfold is a regular there too. NOTE THE FOOD BANK ORGANISERS – Please don’t put him on the roster for the whole of January next year – there is other stuff he needs to be focussing on!

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            to have food banks is a National disgrace

          • Coble’s Return

            Please don’t misunderstand me, I fully agree with you. It is a shameful symbol of the failure of the capitalist ideal and successive governments – along with the need for a minimum wage and in-work benefits. I don’t know how much expectation there is on players to involve themselves in local charity / community activities, but have some admiration for Hayden. The contrast between his own circumstances and those of the beneficiaries of the food bank could not be more stark and yet he does not shy away from that.

          • Jezza

            Absolutely right. This should not be happening in the fourth richest country on earth.

          • paul mclaughlan

            Per head of population we’re not even in the top 15.

          • Jezza

            Nothing to do with wealth per person. Purely in terms of gross wealth Britain is the fourth richest country on earth. It’s just that most of the wealth in this country is owned by a miniscule percentage of the population.

          • paul mclaughlan

            Apparently sixth biggest economy nowadays.

          • Albert Stubbins

            Who won’t spend nowt on players!!

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Of course it’s per head of the population. If a nation has 4 inhabitants and cc rested £10m it’s going well.

          • Wor Lass

            completely agree!

          • Leazes.

            as a customer.

          • Cockneytrev

            Hopefully the hotplate in Durham gaol,,

  • Tweed Mag

    Brilliant.

  • Wor Lass

    Great stuff, Jim. It`s good to have a bit of feel-good factor on here now and again.

  • kingfisher

    It’s your diamond anniversary this year then Colin,excellent!🎂🎂🎂
    I think we all must be masochists.

  • Peter Graham

    Thanks Jinky. A post that’s just like the good old days of the paper Mag (all of which I have stored away in the loft). The feeling of disconnect you describe is one I have total empathy with but still we follow and live in hope that one day we will care as much as we once did. Now I’m off to wallow in memories of articles written by yourself, Chris Tait, Tony Fiddes, Toon Bano etc and try to forget the nonsense of the rubbish of Porter, Smithfield and the anonymous keyboard warriors on this site.

  • Dave Pattinson

    Nice one Jinky..what memories! The Blue Star club, The Magpie or The Hodgson’s Arms for far too much pre-match Exhibition. How did we do it?

  • goggsy

    Nice one jinky,although I’m a little younger,i share your sentiments,nice article.

  • GToon

    A nice post. Thing that stood out for me was one word. “Hope”. It used to be I hope we can ….beat/sign/win. These days it’s I hope we don’t …. get relegated/sell our best players/ get hammered by. Shame isn’t it.
    I never combined the game with drinking really but I was well into my music but it didn’t really mix for me. I was into the goth scene of the 80s – The cure, the sisters, Jesus and Mary chain etc etc so I wore all black and leather and tried to look moody. Meanwhile my mates were splashing out on trainers, tracksuit tops and designer gear and those tiny little badges. No wonder I didn’t get invited along to their little skirmishes with the opposition fans.

    • Leazes.

      I never thought I’d go a lifetime with just nothing at this club…..nothing.

      Even our nostalgia is a bit pitiful really, and let’s face it thats all that the Chronicle fill their pages with….. poor quality nostalgia.

      I once bought a hotdog inside the ground but ….. the bread was stale and it was raw inside, luckily they had a huge bottle of dilute ketchup and I only had salmonella for a week.

      • GToon

        I think you mistakenly bought one of the hotdogs that are for throwing. You should have clearly specified that you intended to eat it and not hurl it goalwards during the match.

  • George Stainsby

    Lovely post. Even the disconnect a lot of us feel can bring back memories of times that remind us of why we have that hope.

  • paul mclaughlan

    Bastards.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Only ever bought one record in my life had the same lass since I was fifteen forty one years ago’ but my passion for Newcastle United will never fail. When I was a kid all I wanted for Christmas was a ticket for the match no presents they were left un opened they held no interest to me. What I will say having to been to every home game the last forty two years and nearly every away game is that nothing ever will beat the three years between nineteen seventy four and nineteen seventy six ever.

    • paul mclaughlan

      One record? What was it?

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Slade in Flame once went to see them at the Mayfair and was a mass brawl between Hippies and Skinheads just like the match in them days.

      • Cockneytrev

        “Daydream believer”

        • paul mclaughlan

          Definitely worse records you could’ve bought.

        • paul mclaughlan

          Hahaha.

    • Scott Robinson

      Sounds like a Tony Blair moment; if you’re 56 then as a kid you didn’t need a ticket as the ground was rarely full (except the big games) and the only all ticket home games were big cup games with the likes of Forest in the quarter final ’74. Unless you mean a season ticket for the old stand or paddocks? You needed though to be in the paddocks by 1.30pm if you wanted to see anything as a kid and in position beside the front wall! I recall the ground nearly 3/4 full by 1.45pm against Man U when Best was due to play, can’t recall if that was the death threat one, but it was the one with 58,000. They were great years 71-76 with super mac. Even the Gordon Lee season we finished 15th BUT only 4 points behind 8th and scored, yes scored at home 51 goals…THE MOST IN DIVISION ONE. People forget that was a great home season even though Gordon Lee was manager, with some high scoring entertaining games!

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Boxing Day 1973/74 ground locked two hours before kick off with twenty thousand outside who could not get in the crowd was 55,638. Was promised a seat for the stand for Christmas but I did not get one so it was a case of queuing for a couple of hours on the day. Lost one nil against what became known as the great Leeds team. It was that full hundreds were sat on the track. Apart from the Blyth Wrexham game there has never been so many people locked out. You could buy tickets for the newly opened East Stand in those days but not the West Stand where there was a long waiting list.

      • Jezza

        He’s making it all up, marra. He’s not a Newcastle supporter and he’s not from Monkseaton. He trolls this site under multiple ID’s and once again he has caught himself out.

        • Monkseaton Magpies

          Stick to facts see below I will never be caught out because I tell the truth unlike yourself.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Making stuff up again?

      • Wor Lass

        My girlfriend went to that Man U game on her own because I was working and she had her shoulder dislocated in the crush. I went down really well when I said, “I told you not to go on your own!”.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      You are very loyal Monseaton’. I have literally hundreds of records and been through a good hundred girlfriends but we never stray from NUFC.

      Got to say, I was thinking of bands that could reform (i.e. the main members are still alive) where I’d pay the extortionate prices that the stadium fillers currently charge, Slade would be one of them. People say Oasis copied the Beatles but they owe a lot more to Slade.

      Mind, I think Noddy is deaf and Dave Hill’s fringe may need some work.

      • paul mclaughlan

        One hundred girlfriends? I’m not surprised. They probably get sick of you very quickly. What with your right winged anti humanitary views.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Anti-humanitary? Since bleeding when.

          As for girlfriends, possibly over egging the word girlfriends, acquaintances? I’m in my forties mate, it works out at less than 3 a year.

          • paul mclaughlan

            Since you were born? Started early eh? Well done for getting three a year. Although not so well done for failing to hold on to one. Although I can understand why they bin you ASAP.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Ha, not that early but take the first 14 years out, the number a year is not that many. As for failing to hold on to one, there was only one I wanted to hold on to and we’re married now.

            The point being, women and music come and go but Nufc remain constant.

        • Cockneytrev

          There used to be a bloke in the local, exactly the same as fleckman,,, if you’d had a black cat he’d had a panther,, a proper know-all ( who knows nowt)..
          Bragged about all these women he’d supposedly bedded,
          played semi pro, until “the injury”
          was a child actor,
          did a bit of modelling (Balaclavas),
          special forces but didn’t speak about it,,,
          , total fantasist,,
          we called him the “The Stud” on behalf of the fact he always got “stood up”

          • paul mclaughlan

            Hahaha. We all know people like that mate.

  • Cockneytrev

    Very nice nostalgic article,,
    I honestly as a youngster thought we would have won a domestic trophy in my lifetime,, what brought it home to me was when we released a cd of us beating manure 5-0 they won the treble the next year,,

  • Grahame Johnson

    Keegan’s hot dogs and burgers in the 70s food of the brave or drunk, red broon or yellow sauce, all tasted the same and how the hell did they get the onions so thin

  • Brian Standen

    I love everything you write ! Prob the most entertaining contributor on here!

  • MagpieG

    I’m nearly 59 went to my first game Boxing Day 1967. Hardly missed a home game between 1971 and 2012, season ticket for 31 years of that, plenty of away games as well so I’ve been through it all. I have to say there’s some rose coloured glasses being used on this thread. The cup runs in the 70s were fantastic, WBA away 5th round 1974 was unbelievable but it wasn’t all great atmospheres and wonderful football, we were younger that’s all. Folk seem to forget the humiliations in the cups, Hereford, Chester etc, slow hand claps, sit down protests in the old covered Leazes End (during the game), Harvey out chants in 75. I hate Ashley and the last few years have been soul destroying but it’s not really much different to Westwood, Seymour and McKeag.

    • Jezza

      The one FA Cup defeat that sticks out more than any other for me was the 4-0 thrashing at Wrexham in 78. Not because of the scoreline as such but simply because the draw for the fifth round was Blyth Spartans v Newcastle United or Wrexham. Blyth v Newcastle would have been a cup tie they’d still be talking about to this day. We didn’t just let ourselves down that time, we let the whole North East down.

      • MagpieG

        Might have been for the best mate, Blyth would’ve won.

        • Jezza

          Very probably and we’d never have been allowed to forget that. Incidentally I reckon the 42,000 crowd at St James’s Park for the Blyth v Wrexham replay remained the biggest attendance at our ground for the next 20 odd years.

          • MagpieG

            It did for the simple reason they pulled the old Leazes End down shortly after so the capacity was below 40,000 till the 2000 redevelopment took it above 50,000. By the way, back to that Wrexham game, we were actually leading 1-0 at home and they scored with virtually the last kick to force a replay. Like I said maybe just as well.

          • Jezza

            Yes perfectly valid point about The Leazes of course but still an interesting statistic.

  • kingfisher

    I was working for a local building company in my early twenties, and can remember working on the refurbishment of the Gallowgate end in the 70’s.One of my jobs was driving a dumper truck into the ground at the Leazes End,along the cinder track past the tunnel and dugouts to the Gallowgate End, then back again.

    Obviously this work was done in the close season, and one day the first team arrived to have the team photo taken, and I managed to get my photo taken with the great man himself, Supermac. Happy days indeed !

  • Mark c

    I used to love going to SJP in the 70s didn’t take much notice of our position in the table of course there were more teams in the league at this time as well. 70-77 were my main years before I went off to College down South then moved to Surrey in 1980 and was playing sport on a Saturday afternoon. When I was about 14 I decided the leazes was the place for me to stand shout and sing before that as a younger kid I used to stand in the gallowgate with my mate,my older brother and his mates. As an impressionable adolescent I loved the buzz of match day from the journey on the train to the walk from Central station to the games themselves. Happy days indeed!