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Newcastle United – Don’t look back in anger

8 months ago

I am becoming of the belief that a hat-trick of relegations for SDFC (Newcastle United) is actually well warranted and weirdly amusing.

Lets make no bones about it, no other company deserves demotion and it’s stock falling more than this miserable one.

This company was formerly a football club that represented the heartbeat of an entire community, one that gave hard working people something to dream about and look forward to supporting when Saturday came.

My own enthusiasm and appetite with Newcastle United was whetted as a young lad in the early 70s when Supermac bagged his own hat-trick on his home debut… it happens on the same day 21 August 1971 that my younger brother was born.

When Ma was back on her feet, the first thing I had her do was iron a red No.9 onto the back of my strip.

With my love affair in full swing, I was often left enchanted thanks to tales told by my father and uncles of Milburn, Robledo, Len White and even Hughie Gallacher.

At school in the 70s there was always a good helping of Leeds and Liverpool fans about, as they were the ‘teams of the day’, and schoolyard banter was always at a premium. Although Newcastle never won anything then, I remembered our past glories and this gave me enormous hope for the future.

As soon as my Ma thought l was “sensible” enough, I was off following the Toon home and away with my North Shields buddies. Every tenuous hour and lesson at school during the week was fortunately also filled with thoughts of the weekend adventure to come. This was if I wasn’t falling asleep…because I had at this time acquired a milk round to help pay for my weekly jaunt.

Now over 40 years on, I look back fondly on the 70s. It was a time of innocence for me but hope for the future of my beloved Newcastle United was eternal.

I have since enjoyed Keegan, Quinn, Cole, Ferdinand and Shearer, although the ultimate prizes have always seemed to elude us. Some time ago I realised that we might never win anything again in my lifetime, and after the recent passing of my Toon supporting Dad, I can easily live with that. I was going to say what was good enough for him is good enough for me but then I remembered Da was a teenager in the 50s.

We all have had our own personal journeys following this once very special football club, which ultimately brings me around to these questions…

What is this soulless shell now masquerading in our city’s colours and does it have any resemblance or anything in common with its much missed and lamented predecessor?

In reference to my opening sentence in this article, the only conclusion I can come up with is…That if you didn’t laugh, you would certainly cry!


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