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Opinion

Being a Newcastle United glory hunter

3 weeks ago
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I pour myself my usual morning coffee. It is the start of a new week and a thirteen year-old boy says to me “do you support them?” He’s referring to my Newcastle United mug which I have been using for the last five years at least (my previous ones being broken).

I say yes, at which point he aggressively shouts “you’re just a Newcastle United glory hunter”…I laugh to myself and can’t wait to tell someone I have been accused of being a glory hunter.

Give him a bit of credit, he obviously knows something about football, but not much.

I have worked with children / young people more than twenty five years, so I am quite used to youngsters taking the mick out my accent and the club I support (Where I work at the moment, children tend to be Millwall or Liverpool, Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea, though a few are starting to claim Man City as their club). I ask him if he knows the last time Newcastle United won a trophy. He doesn’t know but insists that NUFC are rubbish and I am a Newcastle United glory hunter, only supporting them because they are the richest club in the world.

I reflect on his comments and remember some years back, lots of kids in London were Arsenal, Man U or Spurs, but very few Chelsea. Wind the clock forward and after the Abramovich years, we now have Chelsea up there. And later all of a sudden, we have Man City.

I live in South London and know, one or two “old school” Chelsea lads. Though more than happy with their trophy haul over the years, they are not happy with the socio-economic changing of the supporters around them. Walk along Oxford Street and the street vendors have all the above clubs’ shirts for sale. There are no Newcastle shirts. This is the double-edged sword for me. I love Newcastle and Newcastle United and no one will ever be able to take that away from me. It is where I was born and grew up. However, with future success which we know will come, the flood of tourist supporters and fickle youngsters backing the winner, this will inevitably follow.

I wrote a piece about being at Millwall in ’88 and my mate Ritchie wearing his Harvey’s heroes silk scarf before and after the game in the Millwall boozers, but it has made me consider, where we have come from, where we are now and hopefully what is to come.

It has been a difficult ten plus years watching slightly jealously of Chelsea cleaning up. Those Chelsea lads I mention, love to reminisce about the old days of terracing and away games where you could just turn up. Ask them if they would give up the trophies for the “old days” of football, you know what the answer is.

Our club is on an upward trajectory for success, our city and club will be projected onto the world stage. Then with it our shirts being bought by tourists on Oxford Street. Being called a Newcastle United glory hunter by those who don’t know, is a small price to pay in my opinion, and I will take it from the ignorant youngsters. I am actually looking forward to it.

I was at Millwall back then, as well as many other Second Division games along with many others, and like many others, I’m sure, will take being called whatever, by those who do not know and will never know what it is like to be a Newcastle supporter.

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