They might have been heroes!
Whilst working in Barrow in Furness at BAE Systems in pre-season 2005 and surrounded by Liverpool and Man Utd supporting locals, I was getting agitated by the Newcastle United and Graeme Souness’ inability it seemed, in getting new players through the door.
Any chance we got, my mate and I would get onto one of the company computers to try to get any snippet of information regarding the Toon.
We had been linked with Nicholas Anelka, also shown interest in a Spanish forward Albert Luque, but nowt had happened by the time I was ready to go on holiday to Cornwall with my family.
A few days into vacation and Luque duly arrived but even that felt as if we were settling for second best, as transfer deadline day was drawing near.
Roll on a few days and my pal at work phoned me and said there was a rumour circulating that Newcastle United and Liverpool were trying to sign Michael Owen from Real Madrid. I took this with a pinch of salt, then later watched Luque receive a serious injury against Man Utd during his debut.
On the evening of the 31st of August and nearing the end of our stay in Cornwall, I settled down to watch Sky with Jim White. Around about 10 o clock an excited White declared that sources were telling him that Michael Owen was set to sign for Newcastle, as well as Nobby Solano (an all-time favourite of mine) was about to return from Aston Villa.
In the morning I happily learned that both deals had been completed on time.
I remember on that day, some adolescent kid walked past us and sneered at my now former son in law who was wearing a Toon top…”Why would Michael Owen have signed for that lot?”
When I got back to work the few Geordie lads on the job were buzzing.
It was then that I took out my marker and emblazoned….NEWCASTLE UNITED ” Put a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul” THE MAGS on the back of my Hi-Viz jacket.
It was’nt long before someone asked me what the middle bit meant and I basically put it like this…..”It’s the 1990 hit song by ‘They Might Be Giants’ – and with the recent good news here’s hoping!”
Well we all now know how things played out regarding Souness, Owen and even old Freddie Shepherd. Yes, it was just another false dawn but there still was a hell of a lot of hope about at that time.
Sixteen years down the line and there is no hope on the horizon, with a despondent fanbase, a club without a Soul.
Is the Geordie Giant that was Newcastle United and born in 1892 now finally going to go to sleep forever?
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