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Opinion

Best Newcastle United article you will read today – Jinky Jim delivers reality check…

4 months ago
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Note…this Newcastle United article is not about transfers!

I support a club that’s owned by a country.

A club who pay footballers millions of pounds for their services and it seems I am now some sort of devil’s spawn for supporting them.

I believe that there are some exciting times ahead for us all…but I sometimes think life was much easier when it was a lot simpler.

As a kid, my days consisted of looking forward to Geography lessons, which would allow me 30 minutes in the company of Elizabeth Wilson, or alternatively, History with Mandy Calendar.

I reckon there is something to be said for same sex schools. If I had gone to one of them I might actually have listened to a teacher, instead of acting like a very excitable puppy for four years, drooling over the lass in front .

There were our Monday nights, spent at the high street Disco, where no matter what groovy clobber had been bought from the market on the Friday before, the lass of my dreams would always head off round the back of Woolworths with some cool dude in sta prest trousers and doc martens.

But of course, the highlight of life was on every alternate Saturday.

Your mind plays tricks all these years later but my memories of St James Park in the 70s are of a ground that was choc a bloc with young teenagers. This is backed up by the footage of the Forest FA Cup pitch invasion, where the crowd looks like a bunch of extras from South Park.

Those of us around at the time, will always remember the whole match day experience as a wonderful adventure.

We would set off from the market square by 11:30, for a bus journey that took over an hour to do the few miles to the Worswick street bus station.

We then would wander the streets of the town, trying and nearly always failing to find a pub who would serve you a pint of Export, before heading up to the ground to be in position on the Leazes terrace by 2pm.

Then the fun would start.

As the time got closer to 3pm, you would notice that the people piling in to join you were becoming increasingly louder, harder and drunker.

It would be inevitable that the prime position you had got yourself and had been guarding for the past hour, would disappear at 14:55 , as some hard case in a donkey jacket would shove you out of the way and take his rightful place in front of the crash barrier.

The game itself would tend to be a pretty enjoyable experience, because Newcastle were a pretty good side between 73 and 76, Macdonald, Smith, Green etc were special players and by getting to the odd cup final , it would keep seasons alive.

Getting off the old Leazes terrace at the end, wasn’t any easy thing to do. You lads of a mature age please correct me if I’m wrong, but did the 15,000 of us have precisely two exits to use, one at each corner? It always seemed to take forever before you were out.

Then it was a mad charge to try and get to the bus station, before thousands of others did.

If you were lucky, you could be on your way south before the Birtley lads turned up.

If not, then the next hour would be spent being threatened with disembowelment or the removal of my testicles, by some pug eared halfwit who obviously enjoyed terrorising a kid three years younger and six inches shorter than he was.

Then you were back in the Market square, where you would buy the Pink, get fish and chips and find a bench to sit on for the next three hours, watching the town come to life with everyone heading to the clubs.

It’s because of this upbringing that I fell head over heels in love with Newcastle United. It got into my DNA.

I still love this club, even though we have come pretty close to divorce on a few occasions.

I may no longer recognise who I am actually in a relationship with these days but I can live with that.

If you had tried to tell that 14 year old lad on the Leazes terraces that his club would become one, who just might be about to become one of the biggest in Europe, it would have made as much sense to me as Physics did.

So keep the faith lads. We have waited 50 years, a couple more is nothing.

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