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‘My loyalty as a Newcastle United fan came via a slightly different route’

2 weeks ago

What is it about football that creates such loyalty to one club?

I have been a Newcastle United fan since 1959, when my family moved from the South East to Newcastle due to my Dad’s work promotion bringing us north.

My Dad took my brother and I to St James Park and my loyalty to NUFC was born.

It’s strange…because the loyalty was not created via my Dad. He was unusual because his club loyalty was simply based on which club was nearest to wherever we lived and he could go to the matches. As a very good amateur player, he won an amateur cup in 1945 playing for Hastings Rangers, whilst over the years he supported clubs at the top level, through to Sunday league amateurs.

The family moved back down south in 1966 and I now live in Scotland but despite the years of following NUFC, many very frustrating, especially during the Ashley years, the thought of giving my loyalty to another club never even occurred to me.

I am so glad I never gave up because the future suddenly looks so different and bright following the takeover.

Having watched Eddie Howe’s first press conference I was very impressed.

I also like the fact that whilst he has been out of football management, he has been “doing his research” and looking at the techniques other clubs use.

However, perhaps the thing which most impressed me, was his turning up at the training ground on day one before 7am in the morning.

How many people starting a new job arrive before anyone else?

I am sure that with proper fitness training and coaching he can get more out of our current players. How depressing as a player to be told to defend and just try not to lose…which seemed to be the Steve Bruce approach.

Surely as a player you want to win and it seems Eddie’s approach will be the opposite….attack and try to win.

With luck we might just have found a manager who turns out to be something special.

I do not believe the so called experts who say attracting quality players will be an issue, even with the possible threat of relegation.

Everyone knows what passionate fans we are. If I was a top quality player, I would love the opportunity to play in front of 50,000 fans and become a Geordie hero.

Wages won’t be a problem and you would be joining a club, knowing that there will be significant investment right across the board.

Starved of hope and belief for so many years, I hope my club loyalty as a Newcastle United fan is now going to be repaid in full. It will take time but at the very least we now have the most important element in following a football club…HOPE.


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