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Opinion

Newcastle United Lockdown Diaries – Jinky Jim

2 weeks ago
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Welcome to our brand new feature, the latest NUFC fan / writer with their Newcastle United Lockdown Diaries.

Here at The Mag we thought it would be good to have an in depth look at these strange times, as we hopefully start coming out of the worst of it now etc.

We are asking regular / irregular contributors to give readers an insight into their own personal experience and thoughts, both about Newcastle United and how the pandemic has affected them personally.

Asking fans to share whatever and how much they would like to, in terms of how the virus impact has made them see NUFC now and so on.

Next up for the Newcastle United Lockdown Diaries, we have NUFC fan Bazoox.

Just to give readers a loose idea of who each fan is and the perspective they are coming from, we asked some basic personal info:

Age (exact age or loosely(30s, 40s etc)): Old enough to have seen Georgie Best on the St James pitch.

Where you currently live: In the disputed lands of North Durham.

The year when you would say you first thought of yourself as a Newcastle fan, or realised it etc: 

The Supermac hat- trick against Liverpool. What an amazing atmosphere for an 11 year old to experience.

Line of work you are in: I’m a DGSA. I know. I had never heard of it either until I started doing it.

Now for the questions (you don’t have to answer them all and say as much or as little as you like, just use them as basic guide to get over whatever you would like to say):

How has the virus impacted on how you see Newcastle United now?

I think the last 18 months have made a lot of us realise that NUFC is not the centre of our universe and the club has become less and less important. To the stage, where all the games on the telly didn’t matter.

Is Newcastle United now all about whether or not a takeover happens?

Bridges are burnt with a sizeable amount of the support, so without a takeover, I can only see stagnation or worse.

If the Saudi takeover doesn’t happen, do you think Mike Ashley will then sell to another buyer?

Ashley would sell if the money was right.

Trouble is, what he thinks is right and potential buyers think is right may be totally different amounts.

Is the takeover for you all about having potentially massive Saudi funds financing NUFC, or would you be just as enthusiastic about a takeover if it was somebody with the typical wealth of a PL club owner

Personally, I’d not be that keen on becoming the richest club in the planet…but I’m 61 not 21.

Seeing my club become a brand for the world doesn’t do it for me. I would simply like to go back to the times when the club could challenge for Europe, not dominate it.

Do you think there has been a Premier League conspiracy to prevent an NUFC takeover happening?

It’s a cartel and we are not wanted in the gang.

If Mike Ashley doesn’t sell NUFC, what do you see ahead of us?

A lost generation of fans, which does matter.

Look at what Keegan’s time did to many of Sunderland’s next generation. They became Geordies in the pit villages of Durham.

kevin keegan

Assuming full capacity is allowed at Premier League matches next season, what kind of crowds do you think Newcastle will get if Ashley still owns the club?

The crowds will be around 37,000, after a near full house for West Ham. But another year like last year and it could be down to around 30,000.

Will you be one of those inside St James Park?

No. I will probably go to a League cup game or a midweek match, because you never know when it’s your last season (morbid but true), but sadly, the fortnightly pilgrimage up the hill is over.

How do you feel about Steve Bruce and heading into a third season with him as head coach?

You know what you get with the vastly experienced Steve Bruce. I just don’t want it.

What did you think of having every Premier League match on live TV during the virus period, did it help a little, a lot, not at all etc?

I love seafood but not seven days a week. Saturation football became boring and I watched very few games.

If you have kids, grandkids, how much interest do you see from them in Newcastle United these days?

This is the sad reality of corporate football. The young kids are supporters of that big six bunch. Just didn’t happen in my day.

What three words would you to describe Newcastle United these days?

Bloody hard work (But to be honest, apart from a few years they have always been bloody hard work).

During the pandemic, we have seen the ‘big six’ try to take control of the Premier League in October 2020 with their ‘big picture’ plan, which would have meant with changed rules, the six could outvote the other 14 on any major decision. Then 6 months later in April 2021, we had the six of them again playing a key role in trying another power and money grab with the attempted Super League. What do you have to say about those attempts and do you think it is inevitable that they will be back to try again?

It really boils my water. Sadly they will break away in one way or another. And good riddance.

In your lifetime, is there a golden period you look back on when you think football was much better?

There were three for me.

Early seventies, Macdonald, Hibbitt and Jinky Jim. What a time to be a teenager on the terraces.

Early eighties, travelling the country, watching Keegan, Waddle, Beardsley and Gascoigne. We were nowhere near the best but the football experience was what really mattered.

However, the Keegan years were simply joyous, that first season back with Cole and Beardsley scoring 1,000 goals between them was fantasy football

Has this virus period diluted your interest in and support of Newcastle United?

Not just the virus. There is a bit more to the apathy than just covid!

Do you think matchdays will ever be the same as pre-pandemic, the whole relaxed routine of fans eating and drinking wherever without restrictions and the same inside St James Park?

I think so much has changed and won’t go back to “normal”. Football is one of them. The tribal devotion of my generation will die out with us for the “big” clubs. However at grass roots football, Hartlepool style, the pride in your local team will survive.

newcastle united

What things, if any, still make you feel good about Newcastle United?

The unique position of the ground, the black and white shirts and…no, that’s it I’m afraid!

Do you believe you will ever see Newcastle win a trophy in your lifetime?

They will win something, probably the season after I disappear!

In the words of that 90s singer, wouldn’t that be ironic?

A fourth season in a row for Sunderland in the third tier, do you think they will get back to the Premier League and do you want them to?

Who knows? You can’t see it but Leicester fans couldn’t have seen their future turning out as it has when they were in the third tier.

When you look back to your early days of supporting NUFC, what would you say has changed now, if anything?

it’s as much to do with age as anything else. I’m sure 19 year old fans are just as daft as we were and probably have as much fun in their own way.

But the truth is that sitting in your seat, texting your mates, will never come close to the crazy, scary, violent times my generation experienced, crammed in like battery chickens on the terraces of Elland road and Roker park.

Utter madness, but I wouldn’t have missed them for the world.

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