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I will not allow Mike Ashley to define my support of Newcastle United, I will continue…

3 weeks ago
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I will be 71 in late September and have been a Newcastle United fan since moving up north as a “nomad” army child in 1960.

The thrill of that first match still remains – sitting on a concrete barrier; being knocked off when the ball came towards the Gallowgate end and  then being picked up by a pair of burly hands with an “are ya al reet son.”

Then graduating to the Leazes end as I got older – happy days.

I obviously missed the glory cup games of the 50s but was somewhat compensated by the victorious 1969 Fairs Cup run. I was working in Cowgate at the time and I was all alone in the car park wearing my black and white gear going manic, as the bus went by with the trophy; the players pointed and gave vigorous waves. Happy days.

Seen all manner of managers come and go which have been mentioned greatly in other articles; experienced the highs and lows; relegations and promotions. Always hope though – happy days.

Then along came Mike Ashley in May 2007.

It appeared that 2020 would be the year when we would finally get rid of the albatross around the necks of NUFC but other people’s agendas have apparently kicked the PIF consortium’s bid dead in the water.

Season 20/21 has all the appearance of being the most embarrassing ever and I guess I have gone through the whole gambit of emotions just like other supporters. Anger and being galvanised to take up the cudgel against Masters and the national press. Once the impasse was reached, that anger for me was temporarily replaced by total apathy and in my mind it was “that’s me done”.

Then I looked again at 2020 from purely a covid-19 aspect.

All clubs up and down the country will have lost lifelong supporters amongst the tens of thousands of people in the UK who have lost their lives to this horrid virus. Supporters who will never ever again witness the simple joy of your team winning. I know Bill Shankley once famously said: “Some people think football is a matter of life and death, I can assure them it is much more serious than that,” but in today’s climate that throwaway line no longer rings true.

So yes, I am lucky to have the ability to keep up my allegiance to NUFC (currently known as SDFC).

However, I will not allow Mike Ashley to define my support of Newcastle United and will continue to care what happens, without putting any of my hard earned money into his grubby hand.

The time will come when the true NUFC will be reborn – happy days.

Finally, I had a dream years ago that one day Newcastle United would play my birth town PAOK Salonika (play in black and white) in a European competition and I still live in hope.

Born a black and white and will happily die a black and white.

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