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Opinion

I have known this Newcastle fan for 20 years and only now he lets this slip – How cool is that?

4 months ago
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So my friends, I have not been on here a while as 2018 has probably been the worst year personally for me, compounded by the continuing efforts of Mike Ashley to drain the last breaths out of Newcastle United.

So, now I am back to write, what do I write about?

Like coming out of St James Park at about 4.55 on Saturday, despite the obvious celebrations and relief I sensed confusion, confusion because we’d forgotten what we do when we win, now I am unsure what to write about. So why bother you will ask?

Well, first of all the confusion on Saturday night did not last long, soon the drinks were flowing and the town was generally bouncing. Excited voices extolled the virtues of several players (Fabian Schar caught my eye) , drank heartily to toast the win and everything seemed right.

So back to where I started, what do I write about?

I could write about Monkseaton Mag, a regular commenter who I now see regularly, however after the first high point of the season I don’t want to risk the wrath of fellow fans so soon after, so will leave this for another day

I could laudably offer praise for Jinky Jim, not the 70s midfield maestro who played when he fancied it, but the regular contributor on here who is by the country mile the best article writer The Mag has to offer, but again not today, today I am going to start by delving into history

Next year is the 50th anniversary of NUFC winning anything of consequence, yes we knocked at the door a few times and got a few tin pot cups along the way, but the Fairs Cup was the last major trophy we got our hands on, this is unfortunate for me as I didn’t start going until a year later, so I like so many others seem destined to not see us win anything.

The Fairs Cup club chaired by my mate Bill Gibbs does a great job of both remembering and honouring the players, but in all honesty it rubs our noses in it a bit as well, so after the match on Saturday we were talking about this and one of our lot pipes up…….”I was there”, well at 62 he is certainly old enough as he would have been 13 at the time, so after ridiculing him for his age he said it again ….”No, I really was there”, and it transpires he was!

In 1969 at 13 years of age, he got on a plane that was powered by a lone elastic band with his dad and went to the second leg of the Fairs Cup Final against Upjest Dozsa, now how cool is that?

I have known him for best part of 20 years and only now he lets it slip. Sure there were 60,000 at the home leg but how many travelled to the away leg? The team and cup were long since back in Newcastle before he got home but he was there! Lucky Bast…!

I wonder how many fans actually went to that game, maybe we should have some sort of commemorative ceremony for those that went, because I bet there were not many, sure 12,000 went to Ibrox for the semi-final but how many went actually went to Hungary? It’s hard to ask Linton these days because he keeps forgetting to go to the bar……enough said!

Today, that particular Newcastle fan sits in the East Stand, somewhere near the halfway line having had this same seat for as long as he can remember and he is fairly dismissive of all talks about Boycotts etc., simply because in his words, he has seen it all before. Why should he boycott, he can go to his grave knowing he saw Newcastle United win something!

Anyway, moving on from the depressive side of not having won anything for coming up to 50 years, what else is happening?

Well we are as expected in a serious relegation battle and there have even been a few murmurings against Rafa, which in my eyes are totally misguided. No, the blame has to lay at the door of a certain Mike Ashley and his curious lack of investment. Why it is curious, is that he seems to want to invest in just about every major retail outlet in the UK, but simply will not invest in NUFC, we have all had enough of him and while there are arguments between fans about what action to take or in some cases not to take, I think we can all agree we have had enough!

Anyway, I have wasted enough time talking and writing about him previously so not going to dwell today, so away from NUFC what is going on?

Well I think we were all shocked and dismayed with the tragic events at Leicester, clearly there was a lot of love for the owner and it is easy to see why. I think everyone has the families and friends of those involved  in their thoughts, there was actually a little bit of criticism aimed at our fans for breaking out into applause while paying our respects with the minute’s silence, but why be critical? It was spontaneous and well meant and there was no lack of respect intended, quite the opposite in fact.

Down the road SAFC delighted their fans with another 6 in a row, this has bought their fans out of the woodwork on most of the comments boards and they seem convinced that Real Madrid will soon be strutting their stuff at the Stadium of Light in a couple of years, such is the confidence a few wins brings.

Staying down the road it would seem they are going to have to re-open their top deck as ticket demand is expected to soar through the roof shortly, not for the football but it would seem a group of old ladies have been booked to perform there next summer, it may even be their first full house since Billy Graham (ask your dad)!

On other football news, the money machine that is Man City relentlessly rolls on, with the only hope of a challenge coming from Liverpool and maybe Chelsea,  we showed a few weeks ago that Man Utd are not in the same race at the moment and the comments of the now very eccentric Jose are the only thing of interests emanating from Old Trafford.

Our interest is simply at the other end of the table. Watching Huddersfield v Fulham on Monday night, it is clear they are both pretty poor – how much exactly did Fulham spend in the summer? Mitrovic looked exactly like what he was up here, ordinary at best! Cardiff it would seem will also not win many games and there are others hovering just above us, so another win this weekend would be great. However, make no mistake, Bournemouth are very good and we will need to be better than last weekend.

I have deliberately kept off the subject of Boycotts and protests, quite simply because there is so much written and talked about it, I think at the end of the day everyone wants him gone and simply a competitive NUFC.

Going back to 4.55pm last Saturday and it was good to see happy smiling faces milling about the town. Perpetually successful clubs have a miserable and expectant fan base, Man City being a prime example, always had a great if slightly excitable fan base over the years, but winning attracts a different breed of people, the same can be said about Chelsea.

We get criticised for struggling to sell out St James Park but the same criticism is not levelled at fans of  those clubs. The coup de grace is however fans of Arsenal, hounding out the greatest manager they ever had and sitting with sullen faces, what we would give to be as ‘unsuccessful’ as Arsenal?!!

Have a great week everyone.
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