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Proud to be a Season Ticket Holder?
Being a 40 something dad, I have put up with a lot with NUFC over the years but it feels like this summer is the time to rethink everything.
Time to give it all up….again?
I started going to games in the mid-80s, the highlights were few in that decade, standing in the scoreboard and trading insults with the corner was about as good as it got.
Even the best players took our dreams with them to a new club.
As the 90s kicked off, nothing appeared to change. Even the mighty Quinn couldn’t get us back in the big time.
I hit a new low travelling to Oxford for what turned out to be Ossie’s last game in charge. Miraculously it all turned around very quickly and you now had to be a season ticket holder to make sure you got into St James Park. I jumped at the chance and used my Newcastle University student loan to buy one in 1993.
What followed was memorable – mixing it with Barcelona, Juve, AC Milan and the league position rollercoaster.
Life then got in the way, married and children on the way…..I gave up my ticket in 2003 and money was swallowed up on a family car, bigger mortgage.
Sacrificing the season ticket was heartbreaking but the right thing to do. Don’t get me wrong, I still made the odd game, but I felt like I wasn’t there cheering the famous black and whites. Giving my all to help us through the bad times and celebrating the good.
Not to worry I thought, now blessed with two sons, they would soon be old enough to enjoy the passion as I had. They’ll start school, wife can work, all will pan out well. Still too young at the minute, any games that came on the TV were turned over to see what the Tombliboos were up to.
Then came Mike Ashley, the shambles with Keegan and seeing other lifelong season ticket holders giving up their tickets. The pride of being a season ticket holder was gone. I was falling out of love with the idea of going back.
Years ticked by and the club was still a mess, dodgy sponsors/selling the rights to the stadium. Hatred to the owner increasing, useless yes men managers.
But then I did something impulsive, Christmas 2015, struggling for ideas for the lads’ Xmas box. Wife points out that half season tickets for £25 for kids were available.
Devil on my shoulder was saying don’t do it, feeding the man who is using the club as a free advert.
But, I wanted my kids to feel the way I felt, the moment when we score….to follow new heroes, to be part of the emotional connection to our city, our club…it’s not his club I weakly argued with myself. We ended up relegated but we were all hooked, we had to help the team and get back to the top. Rafa was staying and we owed him our loyalty for that.
So, we have stayed on since then, arguing we are doing it for Rafa Benitez and not the leech at the top.
Memories made watching the 4-3 v Norwich, beating Man Utd, Man City and even taking the kids away to games like this year at Leicester. This was what I wanted for them, in reality though they were not old enough to see what I see, a club stagnating and balanced on a precipice.
We sat back this week and reflected on everything, was our selfish treasured moments of victory worth keeping Ashley in the black?
Is it a case of if Rafa goes we go, or is it a case of if Ashley doesn’t go we go?
Well, we have decided, we are leaving.
We can’t justify going anymore.
As for you, can you look yourself in the eye and say you still have the pride in your season ticket?
Do you even care where your money is going to?
Good luck with your soul searching…
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