Life as a Newcastle fan has many twists and turns.
I have supported the club since 2003.
I can even tell you the actual day/night, it was 21 October 2003.
Newcastle United won 3-2 at Craven Cottage, goals from Laurent Robert and Alan Shearer(2), I was hooked.
It was by pure chance as well, I was into football but didn’t have a team as yet.
Growing up in Kent, you have the choice of pretty much any London club, as with nobody on the doorstep you have to travel to whoever anyway.
My family weren’t into football and I was just lucky, well, kind of.
My best mate happened to have an exiled Geordie as a dad and so when he took him to that game at Craven Cottage, I was invited along.
It was the supporters that really grabbed my attention, the atmosphere was class and there were some right ‘characters’ sitting/standing around us.
I was only 12 and obviously very impressionable at that age, it was so exciting to be in this mass of black and white, once the first goal went in…that was it.
It is almost 15 years to the day and 11 and a bit years of that as been under Mike Ashley.
That 2003/04 season was Sir Bobby’s last and pretty much it has all been downhill since then.
However, it makes no difference to me, I’ve loved every minute of being a Newcastle fan. Right through secondary school, university, and then getting a job, never regretted it.
Obviously, it is a bit different being a Newcastle fan down here, especially one who hasn’t got any direct family link to Tyneside.
I go to all the games in the south and come up at least nine or ten times a season for the home matches.
I have been called a lot of things as a Newcastle fan in these 15 years…deluded, mental, and the rest.
However, this week I had a new one thrown at me.
I’ve just started a new job in London and as usual you get a right mix of people, including as to which football teams they support.
Out for a a few drinks with new workmates after my first day in the job, we got talking about football, as you do.
I told my story about how I ended up supporting Newcastle United and one of the lads called me a glory hunter!
His reasoning was that because Newcastle had finished third the season before (2002/03) I went to my first game, and played in the Champions League that year, I was a glory hunter. That season we ended up fifth under Sir Bobby but that was immaterial, nothing mattered to me apart from my new allegiance, we could have been relegated for all I cared because even that wouldn’t have changed my mind.
If you are a glory hunter, what a team to pick!
The punchline to the story was, this idiot that was accusing me is a Manchester United fan from Reading, he had some rubbish made up tale about why there was nothing wrong with him being a ‘United’ fan.
It got me thinking though, could anybody honestly accuse a Newcastle supporter of being a glory hunter?
Even if you had say got into Newcastle when Keegan was manager in the 90s, surely you would have deserted us by now if you honestly are…a glory hunter.
Most of these past 14 years or so, especially under Ashley, have been pure misery, both in terms of entertainment and/or success.
I think if you are still with NUFC after these past so many years then you are either loyal or totally mad, not a glory hunter.