A couple of years ago, I wrote for the Mag about the topic of potentially leaving the match early.

My grandfather recounted a story numerous times over the years, of him leaving a home game against Charlton Athletic not long into the post-war years. With Newcastle United playing dreadfully and 2-0 down with less than 15 minutes to go, my Grandfather thought it best to try and beat the post-game rush and leave the match early, exiting the Gallowgate End to catch his bus home to Byker.

When he got back home later that evening his mother enquired about how the game had gone, “lost 2-0” was the blunt reply, according to him literally thirty seconds later the scores were being read out over the wireless….“Newcastle United 3 Charlton Athletic 2”. Vic Keeble(2)  and George Robledo had both scored to turn the game around for The Magpies. “eee John, don’t lie, you were never at that game”, was the immediate response from his disbelieving and disappointed mother.  My chastened Grandad then apparently had to spend the following hours, and maybe even days, convincing his mother that he had actually been at the football match in question.

It meant that in my first season as a season ticket holder (although I had been a regular match goer for a number of years previously) I never considered leaving early. Even when we were being pummelled 4-0 on a freezing cold wintry night against Tottenham did I ever even consider it, because I always remembered the above story.

I tell this story, although my grandad was actually a man who despite this (which we all heard a number of times), always tried to see things through to the end, including Newcastle United. He was ill for much of this year but I remain convinced he was desperate to see  the season through to its end.

He managed to attend two of the three cup final victories in the 1950s while working at Swan Hunter’s shipbuilders in Wallsend on the banks of the Tyne. It annoyed me that despite being on this earth for 93 years, he never  saw the Mags win the league title. I hope I am luckier but in some ways I already am.

We were generations apart, but the Toon provided the groundwork of our relationship, as I imagine it has for so many other families. Many of the memorable, important conversations I remember having with him revolved around Newcastle United, and the others were probably facilitated by the same subject. The goings on at SJP have never been far from the thoughts of either of us.

Over the last few months when his health deteriorated, and he was virtually tied to a hospital bed every time I went to see him, the first question was inevitably…. “well what’s going on with our team.” This is why family and football are so important, the shared experience. You don’t feel so alone in the rough times when you can talk it through with your family and this goes for Newcastle United as well. The link across generations is to me everything that’s brilliant about this club.

To me this is a fundamental piece in the fabric of all football clubs and particularly ours. The cross generational link. I went to school outside of the North-East, I was the only Newcastle fan in my year and pretty much the school. Thanks to my North-Eastern roots though, I never felt on my own during the worse times, and as we know there are plenty to go around when supporting Newcastle United. Plenty over the years. As the curtain called at his funeral, at which I spoke, ‘local hero’ was played. I hope that it will make it that little bit more special to me when I hear it for the first time next season.

When at his final live game at St James Park in 2011 against Wigan Athletic, my Grandad turned to my uncle at half time and apparently serious, did ask “shall we go?” I am genuinely very thankful he stayed till the last minute to see Fabricio Coloccini bundle in a late equaliser at the Gallowgate end. He was mobbed by surrounding fans who he had never met before in his life, almost being knocked down to the next row. Similar scenes probably would have occurred when Newcastle completed the astonishing turn around against Charlton some 60 odd years previously.

We as fans always learn the lesson in the end, sometimes it just takes a little longer.
You can follow the author on Twitter @JackLaceySport

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  • kingfisher

    Excellent and poignant article Jack.

    • Leazes.

      google facebook jack lacey hatton!….haha!

      • Jack Lacey-Hatton

        Why would I change the banner picture when it is not me in the Man utd shirt?
        The clue is in the different faces

    • Jack Lacey-Hatton

      Thanks kingfisher means a lot

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Great read

    • Leazes.

      google facebook jack lacey hatton!*

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        😂😂😂😂

        • Leazes.

          You googled then?

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Funny enough my neighbour lectures Journalism at Ncl Uni so next time i see him i`ll ask

  • Geordiegiants

    Great story. I only wish the fatcunt would understand.

    • Leazes.

      google facebook jack lacey hatton!……

      • Geordiegiants

        He’s a stinking Manc. The mag needs to own up.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          😂😂😂

        • Jack Lacey-Hatton

          Hi,
          Not sure what your assumptions are based on but just to clarify.

          In the photo I think you are bringing from my outdated facebook page, it is NOT ME wearing the Man United shirt (obviously) that happens to be my five a side teamate who is a Man United fan and had to wear any red shirt. I am on the left of him in a standard sports top?

          Not sure why you are also questioning my support of NUFC but will enlighten. I am indeed a lifelong fan as is everyone on my mums side of the family, including my grandad who I wrote the piece about.
          That side of my family were all born in the Newcastle/Gateshead area; hence I never had a choice in who supported from a young age!
          Don’t know what has lead you down this trail of thought, but happy to clear up any issues. It goes without saying that the above is 100% fact, and from my point I tried to make it as heartfelt as possible.

          Anyway have a nice day and keep enjoying the Mag.

          • Geordiegiants

            Your a stooge. It’s a obvious as Dennis Wise is a midget, why would you have a picture of a ManU fan on a facebook picture?

          • Jack Lacey-Hatton

            Lovely stuff.
            A photo of me and some mates in a five a side team seems a reasonable photo to have on FB.
            Obviously i didn’t realise this would lead to me accused of not being a newcastle supporter.
            Have you never stood near anyone not who isn’t a Newcastle fan? It can happen lol
            I am sorry you have taken it the wrong way GeordieGiant

      • Geordiegiants

        Leazes it’s all true you were right they are all Mancs in disguise. This mag is a folly and so are the writers.
        SACK THE BOARD! (Mag board) 🤮🤮🤮

        • Leazes.

          No they aren’t all Mancs in disguise…. I never said that!

          They are professional writers, playing on nostalgia and empathy, the MAG always did this!

  • Tweed Mag

    Thanks for sharing this story – I used to sit and listen to both my Father and Grandfather talk about their memories of SJP and all the great players they idolised. There have been many times when we all get sick of the goings on, but I will never stay away (mind you, I have left early a few times in a huff).

    • Leazes.

      google facebook jack lacey hatton!…

      • Tweed Mag

        Over to you Jack . . . .

        • Leazes.

          I cant wait…. I’ll stay up with a flask of coffee.

          • Jack Lacey-Hatton

            Hi Leazes,
            Not sure what your assumptions are based on but just to clarify.

            In the photo I think you are bringing from my outdated facebook page, it is NOT ME wearing the Man United shirt (obviously) that happens to be my five a side teamate who is a Man United fan and had to wear any red shirt. I am on the left of him in a standard sports top?
            Not sure why you are also questioning my support of NUFC, but I am indeed a lifelong fan as is everyone on my mums side of the family, including my grandad who I wrote the piece about. That side of my family were all born in the Newcastle/Gateshead area; hence I never had a choice in who supported from a young age!
            Don’t know what has lead you down this trail of thought, but happy to clear up any issues. It goes without saying that the above is 100% fact, and from my point I tried to make it as heartfelt as possible.

            Anyway have a nice day and keep enjoying the Mag.

            Hope your coffee hasn’t gone cold yet

  • gold coast mag

    well told Jack

    • Leazes.

      google facebook jack lacey hatton!.

    • Jack Lacey-Hatton

      thanks Gold Coast mag much appreciated

  • Ba ba.

    👍 👏

  • NUFCLX

    Good article, the only positive I have in 50+ years of going to games is the fans, they will always back the Toon no matter which parasite thinks he owns the club. Nobody owns the fans or the Toon.

    • Leazes.

      google facebook jack lacey hatton!

  • Brian Standen

    Wonderful read – thank you for sharing

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      Please read above hurts like hell that is why I hate the Mag.

  • Cc

    You see this is why we all enjoyed the printed mag. True stories from true fans that resonate with us all. My dad’s in his 70s now and there’s not a day goes by we don’t talk about the toon. Funnily we hardly ever mention cashley
    Great read thanks for sharing

    • Leazes.

      Is it a true story though?

      its possible that he has a relative here but I found Jack Lacey-Hattons Facebook page and he’s a journalist graduate of Scunthorpe, his home town is Burton on Stather and worst of all…..

      HIS MASTHEAD ON HIS FACEBOOK PAGE SHOWS A PICTURE OF HIM STANDING CENTER STAGE WEARING MAN UNITED SHIRT!

      ……go look for yourself google facebook jack lacey hatton!

      • Brian Standen

        I hate to say it but you are right!

        • Leazes.

          I know I am…. funny that isn’t it?
          My gripe is about professional journalists passing things like this off as fan articles….the mag always did it. especially with the fans around the world stuff.

          Have you ever met Graham Porter or Jackie Smithfield Brian?

          • Brian Standen

            No. This is where you have me wrong though – I do sometimes write for the mag but I don’t know anybody else who does personally
            My opinions are just my opinions!

          • Leazes.

            No I know you are genuine along with all of the writers with double barrelled names, they are the real writers. mostly it’s Simon van der Velde.

            Your name is from Kent but you are real, its an anomaly.

          • Brian Standen

            Incorrect my friend. Lived in forest hall since day one some 54 years ago!

          • Leazes.

            What is incorrect….. I said your name is from Kent not you?

        • Jack Lacey-Hatton

          I hate to say it but he is not.

      • cc

        so a nice story, but poss not by a fan ?? id like to think the man u shirt you mention was something else ? I like your replies leazes
        trying to think on the positive side though it seems to have rekindled a lot of genuine feelings so in that case- good journalism —-ryder take note.
        Jack Lacey– let us all know your background,
        im from Ashington and I know a lot of Newcastle fans in Scunthorpe from when our grandfathers and older uncles moved there and places like stoke and Nottingham, burton etc in the 60s for the pits,
        they were offered more money to move south, sound familiar, some came back an awful lot stayed, My uncle bill in Stoke defended us to his last breath with tales of john McNamee who because of my uncle bill ive always loved yet never seen play , so don’t let the Scunthorpe/burton link put you off leazes fans there are as much a part of our heritage as those us who go home and away(I do)
        jack though Man u shirt ……………..please explain

        • Jack Lacey-Hatton

          Hi CC,
          Very quick explanation. It is NOT ME in the Man Utd. The photo is from my six a side team and i am to the left of my mate who is in the shirt. I am wearing a plain red shirt in that photo.
          Hope this clears up any doubt.

          All of my family on my mums side are from the North-East which is why I am a lifelong Toon supporter as stated in the piece.
          I was raised in Lincolnshire but have lived in Newcastle for past five years while at uni and obviously been a season ticket holder during that time as well.

          Not sure where this has all come from but thought I would let you know anyway.
          Thanks
          Jack

    • Jack Lacey-Hatton

      Thanks for the kind words much appreciated

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    A very potent story which brought tears to my eyes. John Alder was my hero not Peter Beardsley or Alan Shearer for the fact that that the last league game he missed was Q.P.R. away in 1973 before he sadly died. The last time I got to speak to Liam Sweeney was on a Sunday under 18 cup tie at Derby County when Adam Armstrong got the winner. It hurts like hell every day that these two supporters can not follow our team any more. It hurts really bad believe me.

    • Andy Mac

      Yup we’re still here and they’re not. We should be fighting for them and for the sake of this club. God bless them both !

  • Leazes.

    Well Jack….why are you wearing a AON Man United shirt….was it a present from someone who got the wrong United?

    • Andy Mac

      You know Leazes sometimes you could really do with shutting the fk up or at least doing something positive in your miserable life ? Get out there and do something good in the name of this club instead of moaning and bltching !

      • Leazes.

        Go and google it then make a comment Andy

        • nevfur

          No idea of circumstances particularly re that photo but unless he’s gone to a lot of pointless trouble forging it the same Facebook profile has toon supporting posts going back to 2009.

          • Leazes.

            Maybe its the wrong Jack Lacey-Hatton? The Man United one…. he was a school until 2013 in Scunny

            If that is him …. then putting the article into a context should be a doddle for a novelist I mean journalist.

          • MinnesoToon

            Give it a rest Leazes.

            Honestly, i love you sometimes, but don’t try so hard to point at our own ranks for having feelings about $#!+

            So the lad is from scunny and went to school on tyneside. so what? its what, two plus hours by train? maybe his grandpa had better taste than cheering for leeds, or worse from down south of the humber?

          • Leazes.

            No he didn’t he’s brought up in Linconshire a MAN UNITED FAN

          • Brian Standen

            Indeed he has Nev. However Leazes is right they are one and the same
            Check pics out on his profiles!
            Hard one to call given the poignancy of the article so I would hope it is genuine , but I reiterate Leazes is right!

          • nevfur

            He’s right about the photo and that the lad is from Scunny which he said himself in the article but like I said you don’t know the circumstances of the photo. His toon posts go back to 2009. I would hope the story is genuine otherwise sites like this are pointless but I suppose a story even in print can be fabricated. Sad case if it is, nice story if not, be nice if he spoke up for himself.

          • Brian Standen

            Indeed

          • Leazes.

            The shirt goes back to 2011

          • Jack Lacey-Hatton

            Just so you know it is NOT ME wearing the Man Utd shirt, I am to the left of him in a plain red shirt.
            Just to clear up any confusion lol

          • Jack Lacey-Hatton

            Hi Brian,
            Leazes is not right at all actually as in the photo in question it is quite clearly not me in the Man United shirt but my mate (who is a Man Utd fan).
            I can confirm I am a lifelong NUFC fan and have a fast collection of football shirts, all of which are black and white!
            Don’t worry no Grimsby shirts either lol.
            Thanks for reading

          • Brian Standen

            In that case accept my apologies. Thank you for sharing

    • Jack Lacey-Hatton

      Hi Leazes,
      Not sure what your assumptions are based on but just to clarify.

      In the photo I think you are bringing from my outdated facebook page, it is NOT ME wearing the Man United shirt (obviously) that happens to be my five a side teamate who is a Man United fan and had to wear any red shirt. I am on the left of him in a standard sports top?
      Not sure why you are also questioning my support of NUFC, but I am indeed a lifelong fan as is everyone on my mums side of the family, including my grandad who I wrote the piece about. That side of my family were all born in the Newcastle/Gateshead area; hence I never had a choice in who supported from a young age!
      Don’t know what has lead you down this trail of thought, but happy to clear up any issues. It goes without saying that the above is 100% fact, and from my point I tried to make it as heartfelt as possible.

      Anyway have a nice day and keep enjoying the Mag.

  • Toonrobbybobson

    I cannot help but feel we are letting down future generations allowing the current regime to destroy any ounce of ambition and potential as the club is asset stripped and under invested in.

    Scadalous really.

    I really dont think as fans we have done enough. I always thought we’d be some of the best in these situations but Ashley continues to run amock.

    Our options are limited but apathy has truly set in that we celebrate loan signings now…

    Really what have we been reduced to?

    Weve always been a club which inspired great talents as we are football daft. But really what is inspiring to the young generations now from this football club. Weve never a hope in … of winning something. Best we can hope for is celebrating not getting relegated.

    So depressing what weve become.

    The damage to the region for future generations is hard to fix.

    #sigh

    • Leazes.

      We’ve become a shell of a club with an owner who supports Chelsea a chairman who supports Liverpool, reported on by journalists who pretend to be United fans (Ryder and Douglas) with fan sites that are fake written by sentimentalist charlatans playing off fans emotions to get hits for advertising!

      Who really cares about the club? WHO?

    • Andy Mac

      Apathy has always been here it’s up to us to wrest back control TRB. Watch this space #WeWantOurClubBack

  • Rich Lawson

    My Grandad and father as a boy used to go to the matches on a horse and cart with others from Capheaton.My dad was a season ticket holder with bond until his death in 2006.My dad always said Hughie was the best player he ever saw play.They will both be spinning with what Ashley has done.

    • Jack Lacey-Hatton

      Lovely Rich I imagine Wee Hughie would take some beating. My grandad was not around for him but always mentioned how he felt at his peak Len White was the best he saw in a toon shirt, which always suprised me.

  • Geordiegiants

    The mag is a scam, it should check and vet its writers

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Is it a requirement that all writers must have double barrelled names?

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        That Jonathan is genuine though and he posts replies lives somewhere in London.

        • SuperDesHamilton

          I never said he was? Although you’d know all about fake accounts

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            I only have one account on here as you know fine well.

          • Deport Nigel Farage

            Hey fleckman!

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Aye…and 9/11 was an inside job

      • Leazes.

        I’d ask Simon Van der Velde (I think that counts as triple barreled)

      • Jack Lacey-Hatton

        Harsh to go after the double barrelled name.
        Last time I checked You don’t pick and choose your surname?
        Thanks for reading

        • SuperDesHamilton

          You do if it’s totally made up & it’s all the same person

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Have no doubt that the article is true as he did say he lived away. Perhaps he forgot to say he went along with class mates and chose to support Man Utd as well it happens. I have converted Leeds, Blackpool, Man Utd and even Sunderland supporters into Newcastle fans.

    • Tweed Mag

      Lets’ hear from the author and the whole issue will be resolved.

      • Jack Lacey-Hatton

        Hi,
        Quite simply the photo from my outdated facebook is NOT ME in the Man Utd shirt and i’m confused as to why anyone would think it was.
        (the clue is in the different faces!)
        Without posting a life story,
        I was raised in Lincolnshire but all my mums side of the family are born and bread Geordies, so I have always been an NUFC supporter. When I started university I moved full-time to Newcastle and became a season ticket holder etc, but have been going to games throughout my life well before then.
        As I say don’t know where this came from but just wanted to clear up any doubts.
        Thanks,
        Jack

        • Tweed Mag

          Well done. All sorted.