Hi, I’m Raja, a Newcastle fan based in Singapore. I would like to dedicate an article about Rafa Benitez with it being his birthday.

It was the 2015/16 Premier League season, we just had been beaten 1-3 by Bournemouth at home. Relegation was now almost confirmed. The future looked bleak; the dark clouds only emphasised the mood of the Toon Army faithful.

What we witnessed next was beyond our wildest dreams, a certain Mr Rafael Benitez was appointed as our new manager.

Unbelievable, this was a man who just months earlier was the boss of Real Madrid. Newcastle fans immediately took to him.

Sure, we couldn’t prevent relegation, but we ended the season on a six-game unbeaten run which included creditable draws against Liverpool and Manchester City, as well as a 5-1 demolition of Tottenham. It was on that day Rafa Benitez succumbed to the love of the Toon Army and decided to lead the promotion charge.

Usually, for other clubs, relegation would have been a disaster, selling of top players, slashing of wage bills. But ironically for Newcastle, it was the start of something special. The RAFALUTION HAD BEGAN!

Off went the overpaid and gutless mercenaries. In came players who no longer saw Newcastle as a stepping stone – but players who were prepared to give everything for the shirt.

As the season went on, the bond between manager, players and fans grew stronger. Some even said it was just like the Sir Bobby days.

Promotion was clinched. The future looked bright.

Just as things were all looking good, Mike Ashley seemed hell-bent on screwing things up again. Rafa wasn’t backed. Instead, he was given a “Championship” team to combat the Premier League.

Against all the odds, Rafa took it upon himself to prevent another relegation. We might have a team lacking in quality – but not heart. The fans saw this. We believed in this group of players because what we were witnessing is a team which is trying. The love for Rafa and our appreciation for the players just got stronger.

Right now we’re in a shout of the top eight!

It shows the stellar job Rafa Benitez and players have done.

It is fitting that hours before his 58th birthday, we were able to give him a 2-1 win over Arsenal as an early birthday present.

Thank you for rescuing my football club.

Thanks for uniting the city.

Thanks for making us Newcastle UNITED again!

Happy birthday Rafa and cheers to many many years as Toon boss!

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  • Peaky

    Happy Birthday Senor Benitez…..get owt nice from Colback….
    😂😂

    • Steviemagpie

      Wonder if Ivan Toney sent a card 😁

      • Peaky

        😂😂😂

  • Leazes.

    I’d like to congratulate you on your mastery of the English language Raja, there’s not a hint of an accent or scent of distance….almost as if it had been written by Mark Jensen in fact!

    Farbeit from me to cast aspersions but the name ‘Pandian’ whilst being an authentic South Indian name is also in the Urban dictionary….. meaning ‘Slave to the Machine’

    PS. Mark its 11.30 in Singapore at the moment.

    • TheNutJob

      you happy leazes, the Rafalutions started
      😂😂😂

      • Leazes.

        I don’t think it has nutty! We’re not quite as rubbish as we were!

        • TheNutJob

          neither do i

        • Mayor Vaughn

          Things on the up then?!

    • Jezza

      It could be genuine. English is one of the official languages of Singapore and there are a few minor syntax errors in the article such as “creditable” instead of “credible”.

      • Danimal

        ‘Creditable’ works better in that sentence, for me.

        • Jezza

          Fair enough.

      • Leazes.

        No its not genuine, I’ve travelled far and wide, and this is a sham, it stands out as a fake, its a common theme in the Mag…remember Charlie Fried Bananas from Indonesia….. Oh what happend to you?

        • Zaqy

          Wow.. so just by reading this you can be sure that it’s not genuine?? You must be one hell of a guy. Unfortunately, you are WRONG! You may have travelled abit but well, maybe not far nor wide enough. This is not a sham but as genuine as it can be. Ohh and he have surely mastered the English Language.. it is our main language here in Singapore. He is from Singapore and a friend of mine. Mind you, his english is as good, if not better, as yours.

          • Irwan Irn

            I can confirm the writer, Raja is a crazy and genuine fans of Newcastle United from Singapore. Owh btw, i’m from Malaysia, Raja’s neighbour.

            PS. its 9.59PM in Malaysia at the moment.

          • Leazes.

            Yes right.

          • Leazes.

            He ‘has’ surely mastered the English language Zaqy!

            The language is spoken in many different ways including whatever it is you are deliberately mangling, but always colloquially with a flavour of its origin.

            This article doesn’t have anything but an exuberant local British dialect which is overcome with feminine emotion, sort of like a few of the writers on this site making me think that it is one of those writers, I’m certain it is. I try to check out individuals but I can’t find anything of you either, maybe the pair of you should write more?

            Do you Know Charlie Fried Bananas from Indonesia by any chance, he’s just next door …. send my regards!

    • Dillon Tovak

      I’m struggling to see who benefits and to what gain for this to be fake.

  • Brian Standen

    Some very strange comments on the article, has Rafe not re-united Newcastle United? I know one thing I enjoyed yesterday immensely

    • Leazes.

      Who’s Rafe?

      • Brian Standen

        Check again mastermind

        • Leazes.

          You need some ointment for your knuckles, I told you about dragging them on the pavement.

          • TheNutJob

            😂😂

          • Brian Standen

            Anytime you want to sensibly debate face to face I’m happy to oblige you !

    • molend

      Absolutely. I thought it was a good article.

      • Brian Standen

        It was. Maybe some infiltration from down the road

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Mot quite the true story as Ashley backed Rafa with nearly fifty million pounds in the Summer so not his fault that Murphy cannot get games and Merino and Atsu all three which cost a lot of money watch from the stands. Without Ashley making that money available would have been a different story.

    • Stephen Paylor

      What was the net transfer spend, factoring Sissoko installments, Thauvin etc?

      • Clarko

        How many first team players did Newcastle sell in the summer?

        • TheNutJob

          nee body wanted them Clarko, that`s why they didn`t sell.
          you really must up your game kidda.
          👽👽👽

          • Clarko

            Meaning Benitez had ~£50m to improve on the team.

          • TheNutJob

            50 mills nowt, it`ll buy you a fullback

          • Clarko

            It’s more than what the other bottom half teams had.

          • TheNutJob

            😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

          • Clarko

            Yeah pretend to laugh it off because you have nothing to say.

            👍🏿

          • Danimal

            That’s what your man Ashley did, isn’t it?

          • Clarko

            No he didn’t, Ashley was telling morons like yourself and @disqus_H6J8pO8th3:disqus, people who like to compare Newcastle with Manchester City, like what @TheNutJob did in this very “discussion” that we can’t compete with Manchester City.

            Mike Ashley:
            “I must make it crystal clear that I am not wealthy enough in football now to compete with the likes of Man City etcetera”

          • Peter Graham

            Name calling. Your default setting. You Knacker Brain. Irony huh?😜

          • Clarko

            “There there, of course you are. Now go ask Mammy and Daddy where the abacus is.”

            “Brian, let it go. We’ve established in the past the troll can’t count.”

            “I remember a sad Mackem a couple of years back on Talksport recalling the 2 seventh place finishes under ‘Reidy’ as ‘The Glory Years’ and we’re deluded?? Hope they rot in hell for eternity.”

            “Yeah we all know he’s not up to it but to blame him when he’s not even there? Some of our supposed fans are beyond pathetic. Wonder if it will post an apology?”

            “Nice to see a one on a subject other than SAFC Mitro Ashley etc.”

            “These marks just shows the negativity of our support.”

            “Idiot”

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Probably twenty million but the players we sold were never going to play again. Having said that the players we bought do not play either by and large two not even on the bench.

    • Brian Standen

      Me and you are similar ilk but I can’t see the justification in your point above. Please explain your opinion of the net spend – ongoing / outgoing etc. I just don’t see it

      • Peter Graham

        Brian, let it go. We’ve established in the past the troll can’t count.

        • Monkseaton Magpies

          I can count and to call me a troll is pathetic one of the best supporters this club has or will ever have.

          • Peter Graham

            There there, of course you are. Now go ask Mammy and Daddy where the abacus is.

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            Well tell the truth and say how many away loyalty points you have probably none that’s points for away games you got any at all.

          • Brian Standen

            Listen my friend I can’t and won’t doubt your supporting background, I can’t get my head round your faith to Ashley! Some of your comments make great sense but in my humble opinion some don’t! I disagree with many posts from so many people but I respect them and never throw insults! Some do! I just don’t see the maths behind what you say !
            Itemise it and show the figures and maybe it may make sense,but as i see it your simply setting yourself up for the keyboard warriors

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            Was not having a go at you at all unlike Leazes and them down the page. What I said was when the accounts come out see what was left in the bank account and that will tell you if Ashley was telling the truth that he spent nearly every penny. Be surprised if we had twenty million left in the bank to run a football club. Can not wait for the accounts to prove I am right that there was no money left to spend.

          • Brian Standen

            I honestly hope your right in some respects, but I’m also honest enough to say I just don’t see it!
            The accounts in June will go a long way to showing things in one way or another!
            I 100% accept that MA prevented NUFC becoming another Portsmouth, but we are 20 x the size of Portsmouth so in my eyes it was never gonna happen!
            Interesting times ahead but an opportunity is there?
            What next?

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            The last accounts published for June 2016 showed a turnover of £125.8m with cash at bank only £1.7m so yes nearly every penny was spent. The next accounts are due out this month or rather last month and will show a similar picture. On a brighter note turnover for the current season should increase to up to £180m which should give more scope for transfers as long as they play.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        When the accounts are published probably in June we will find out how much cash was left in the bank that is the only way to tell if he spent every penny. However I will say lot of money spent on Murphy , Atsu and Merino and the full back and they never play.
        Ashley must be saying to himself what a waste of money should have bought a centre forward. Going to Everton and Spurs against my better judgement as Sky done us in again Watford will be the better trip.

    • Dillon Tovak

      Atsu and Merino combined didn’t cost a lot in today’s market, but you probably don’t follow football so I’ll forgive you for not knowing.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Only sixteen million through in Murphy and the full back and it’s thirty three million wasted when we could have had a good cebntr forward. However keep on following the bands at Glastonbury with the other hippies that is your scene not football that is for sure,

        • Dillon Tovak

          What are you talking about? 😂😂😂
          That was truly embarrassing 🤣

  • TheNutJob

    i hear Chancel gave Rafa a Barcelona shirt for his birthday.

    • Leazes.

      Yes maybe he’s one of Franco’s but hopefully now a nuevo castillian!

  • Fisherking

    I you have to be raj to support the toon

  • Cockneytrev

    “Happy Birthday Rafa”

  • Mike

    transformed players like Dummett Diame and Shelvey