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Opinion

That Mick Quinn moment – Different times

3 months ago
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So, who remembers the summer of 1989?

We had just been relegated from the First Division, Jim Smith was in charge and trying to balance the books after the previous season’s pre-season splurge, whilst  ‘Sack the Board’ was the chant of choice.

A boycott had been planned for the opening day fixture, a feeling of helplessness forcing the fans into revolt.

As a seventeen year old lad who normally played football on a Saturday, which clashed ‘perfectly’ with Newcastle’s games, this was a
great opportunity to see my team play.

Boycotting the game didn’t even register. The inner workings of the club were totally irrelevant to me at the time.

This was the opening day fixture and clad no doubt in a gaudy yellow and green away shirt, I got the special into Gallowgate bus station with the lads and we made our way into our favoured Scoreboard section.

A first half of optimism in the sun turned sour, as a lead was squandered and the Toon went in 2-1 down against a big-hitting Leeds team.

The Leeds fans took the whole of the Leazes End and they were bouncing after the second. We were meant to lose this one anyway, so it was no surprise.

Then, in a glorious second half in beautiful sunshine, the Toon ran riot. Mick Quinn (he got four in total on his debut) scored soon after the restart in front of the Leazes to bring it level, then three more goals flew in to make it 5-2. St James Park was rocking and we’d started the season with a bang.

That was the catalyst for me following the team home and away through some bleak times over the next few seasons.

Fast forward thirty years and I no longer live in the country.

I follow from afar and watching games gets harder and harder each season as the 2am starts wreck havoc with the weekend schedule.

Whether or not that makes my opinion obsolete to the match-going masses, I don’t care. Supporting the Toon is a life sentence. I have joined the NUST and pledged my ten pound life membership and I have a vote just like anyone else.

This time round, I’m 100% behind a boycott of the Arsenal game.

Yes, my 40 odd year old self sees the world through different eyes. All that time, energy and money spent following the club gives me a sense of duty.

The current owner has shown time and time again that he is not a football man and not a Newcastle man, he does not understand his duty as owner of our football club.

Make a statement. Let’s see entire sections of the stadium empty.

If you do go to the game and you see empty seats all around you, go and sit in a different section. Make it obvious to the watching millions worldwide.

Good luck to everyone who wants to make a change because we bloody well need it.

Howay the Lads.

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