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Dear Santa, as a Newcastle United fan I’m not asking for much, but…

11 months ago

Dear Santa,

I hope you and the reindeer are well.

I was worried you might not be able to come into Tier 4 with my presents but I have written to the Prime Minister and he has promised me you can travel as long as you all wear masks and disinfect in Norway so that’s OK. And a Prime Minister always honours their promises…

I suppose I don’t really want many presents this year. I’m happy I can be with my nana, mum and dad and we got some chicken dippers, twelve bottles of Plaza Prosecco, four chocolate oranges and a case of Heinekens before they put a roadblock up outside Tesco. But there is one thing that I would like to ask, and my family has some special requests too.

Dear Santa, can you please sort out my football team? They play in black and white most weeks. Well, ‘play’… not really the right word just now.

The problem is my team are not doing that bad. About the same as usual. Rubbish most weeks, and my dad throws his socks at the screen, then they do something odd, like pass the ball and score. That can be quite a shock. My nana’s teeth fell out when we got that flukey penalty against the Fulhams.

So here is my family’s wish list for our football team:

From my nana: Can the team please hang on to the ball a bit more, like they did when she was young, when that nice Mr. Keegan with the perm was there?

From my dad: Can they ——- press harder, get some ———- tackles in, create ——— space and stop ——- making ——- mistakes?

(My dad did swear a lot when he wrote this down but I have cut out the rude bits.)

From my mum: Try and instil some confidence, motivation and tactics in the side.

(She knows some of them have been very poorly with the Miley Cyrus but, even so, she thinks they play like a bunch of strangers with masks over their eyes instead of their noses.)

And from me: All I want is to watch a game and not feel sad for most of the time. We can score some goals, we can pass the ball and we can be good. But why don’t we do it as much as we could?

I hope that’s not too much to ask, Santa. If it is, forget all the above and get me a bike. And another bottle of whisky for Mr. Bruce, the manager of our team with the red nose like Rudolph.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Robson (Newcastle United fan), age 11


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