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Opinion

Early memories of a Newcastle United fan

5 months ago
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As a young Newcastle United fan, the first inkling – ‘Get your coat on wor Ian, we’re ganning to the match.’

The excitement starts… bus to the Haymarket from North Kenton, first port of call is to Milburn’s on Percy Street for a plate of mussels in vinegar.

Later, in other matches it was sometimes the Dickman’s pie factory, oh that hot aspic jelly.

Then on up to the popular end along with 50.000 plus fans in the ground (standing), I was elevated and swam down the crowd to the front of the halfway line.

This was the match that saw Ron (Cassius) McGarry sent off, 1964 I think against Coventry City.

Managed to get one of his famous Have Goals Will Travel cards at a later stage.

Some other memories…

Finding out where Dave Hilley lived and knocking on his door, to be answered by his wife and asking for a few autographs. He said yes and me and me mate were invited in. The mishap was while he was signing my book of pictures I stood backwards onto his plate of biscuits, talk about having a red face, but he was OK about it. Great midfield schemer.

The next milestone was the Inter Cities Fairs Cup.

Second leg of the Rangers semi-final, pure bedlam as the Bravehearts invaded the pitch and the teams went off.

I thought well that’s it and left for home, when I got there my dad asked how was the game? I told him about the pitch invasion so I thought it would be a replay… Oh no he said, they came back out and won 2-0, bloody hell I missed out.

Next stand out memory was signing Supermac and his hat-trick home debut against Liverpool in 1971, used to say he burned the grass with his pace.

Jump to 1974 and the FA Cup run, Jinky Jim destroyed West Brom in the 5th round. Often used to see him when on a Friday pub crawl in the Chancellors Head.

Biggest highlight was Supermac carrying Colin Waldron on his back to score in the 2-0 win against Burnley in the semi, However, the final was a complete schlep.

Also, sadly seen a lot of great players’ careers come to an end through bad injuries, such as Geoff Allen and Tony Green, what a gem of a player he was.

(Cheers Ian Graham AKA Scoop South Africa)

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