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Best Newcastle article you will read today – ‘Like a Shark always need to be moving forwards’

5 months ago
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When I was 14, all I wanted to be was 16.

This is because I thought I might have stood a chance of being allowed into Low Fell cinema to see the latest Emmanuelle film.

As I was a dwarf with 3 hairs on my upper lip at the time , Confessions of a Window Cleaner was the best I could normally manage.

When I was 16 all I wanted to be was 18, which would then allow me to have a pint in the Bridge without having to hide in the snug, next to the fire escape. This was just in case a pointy heed came in and I would have to do a swift exit.

When I was 18 all I wanted to be was 21, which would mean that my three year self imposed sentence in the Army would have come to an end. The fact that I would go on to do nearly 20 years is another story.

I always wanted to be older. Until I hit my 60th year.

I know you need to be a shark and always be moving forward but it’s very easy to find yourself looking back at a time when you had your life ahead of you…and when I do that , inevitably it involves Newcastle United.

The grainy pictures of Newcastle fans to go with this piece feel like they were in a different world.

I moved away from my home town over 30 years ago and these days I probably wouldn’t know these lads if they mugged me. Which is quite possible with one or two of them.

Where are they now ?

What became of their lives?

Did they go on to have little baby “gilders” and become upstanding middle class members of the community ?

Who knows, but what I do know is that in 1983, mortgages, careers and kids were not something that was on the agenda for any of us.

I think the pictures are from the Leeds trip on the first day of the 83-84 season. The first thing that hits me is to look out the back of the bus. That’s the A1. Seriously it’s the A1 on a Saturday morning around Wetherby. Where the hell are all the cars?

Secondly, if you look very closely , you will notice two lads are hanging out the car window, with their trousers around their ankles, baring their backsides to the world. Just a normal thing to see during an away day Saturday.

newcastle fans

Looking back with a health and safety head on, the locks on those cars could be opened with a coat hanger so these two daft lads were seconds away from bouncing their backsides down the motorway.

Then there is the bus stopping at the side of the road and everyone getting out to inspect the flowers on the curbside. We were obviously a very environmentally friendly bunch back then,

newcastle fans

As someone who doesn’t do away day buses anymore, I take it they always stop in the services stations these days ?

How civilised.

As for the match itself. This was a brilliant day out. Nearly 40 years on, I still remember the bus pulling in at the ground with Led Zeppelin’s “immigrant song” blasting out from the radio, and dozens of pumped up lads piling out into the blazing hot August sun..

There were so many who made this trip, Leeds gave us a side of the ground, rather than an end. There must have been 10 thousand there, to witness Newcastle win 1-0.

How we managed that I am not quite sure because our Keeper (Kevin Carr ?) got injured and without a sub goaly on the bench in those days, someone had to go in.

And just like what would have happened at school, the team looked around, and picked the young, skinny kid to go between the sticks. The fact he was Chris Waddle, didn’t matter.

Get in goal skinny kid and shut up.

newcastle fans

Then at the other end, John Anderson got the winner. That was the John Anderson who managed about one goal a season. This was a great time to get his season’s quota.

I have so few pictures of the away trips we did back then, which I regret massively. What would I give for a memento from Huddersfield in 84, Spurs in 87 or Derby in 92.

But this was before the days when people spent their lives taking pictures of their dinner and sending them to the world.

We didn’t have mobile phones to capture what we got up to………which on reflection is probably a good thing !

Football is all about the memories it produces.

Whereas fans may have already forgotten about those home games earlier this season against Leicester and Brighton, for the 50 000 last weekend, they will remember the Everton game for decades.

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