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Don’t put the the shades away too soon because the future is as bright as it always was

3 weeks ago

I received a message from my pal Tony Mallabar on Sunday, he was on the train from Faro to Lisbon.

He had been reading some of the recent ‘glory hunting‘ articles in the Mag and probably like me, seemed a little perplexed at first.

Whoever would have thought that Newcastle United and glory hunting would have been mentioned together?

Tony, as regular visitors to The Mag will know, is a diehard Newcastle United fanatic, along with all his mates who have followed the Toon for many years.

I almost gave up the ghost after the ‘Night of the long knives’ involving Derek Llambias, the cockney mafia… and our very own Messiah, Kevin Keegan at St James’ Park. That was back in the late summer of 2008 and what followed was a thirteen and a half year nightmare at the hands of you all know who.

I haven’t been to a home game now for what seems like an eternity, but after my brother and his mate Rob started the Mike Ashley Out Campaign in 2011, I realised that I had to get back involved as much as I could.

If anything, my own love for what had formerly been Newcastle United in my eyes, was reawakened. Meetings, protests and the likes ensued but just like we had seen with the Magpie Group (Supporters for Change) in the late 1980s, getting Newcastle United fans to make the ultimate sacrifice and stay away in their droves, seemed impossible. Unfortunately, you just cannot ‘support the team and not the regime’ if you want rid of a totally rotten owner.

In 2020, I finally saw a realistic opportunity for change for the better with the re-emergence of Amanda Staveley, backed by the Reuben Brothers and the Saudi PIF.

Throughout the long drawn out takeover palava I continually gave my support to the consortium in some of my articles, often giving reasons why I thought the takeover would eventually go through. Other contributors disagreed, but this wasn’t just wishful thinking, I had done certain research and had grown in confidence with the looming high court presence of Nick De Marco and Shaheed Fatima.

Last October ‘most’ of us got we wanted, finally the worst owner in our history, bar none, was gone.

We looked certainties for another relegation under him, but the miraculous turnaround that has happened in the last 10 months, is testimony to a football club that has been totally reinvigorated from top to bottom.

This was also done sensibly, as was proven in the January transfer window.

Not all agreed on certain signings then and one lad in particular wasn’t given a chance by some from the off.

This summer the defence has been totally reinforced and we captured a young lad who had been courted by the great Maldini and Milan for the last 12 months.

After scouring through the comments on our articles yesterday I popped down to Tynemouth club for a couple of pints, bumping into an old mate and Newcastle United fanatic who did lose the faith and passion like me… but never stopped going.

Arthur Turner (the ‘Honourable Arthur’ to the lads) and his good wife ‘Lady’ Louise were out and the first words he said to me were….”Hello bonnie lad, good times eh….but I wish some of our fans would stop whinging.”

I jokingly asked him if he had been reading the Mag as he knows I also contribute.

I then told him that I would have liked to have brought another attacker in by now but that I was generally happy with the way things are going on and off the pitch.

We were both in agreement that the Toon will bring in two attacking players but that they might not be signed until after the start of the new season.

Now back to those lads who are young enough to have started supporting us in the 1990s under KK and the noughties under SBR. You were never glory hunters and as much appreciated by the likes of me and Tony Mallabar, as all of our crazy mates from the 1970s and 80s are.

I also love the Barrys of this forum, who so obviously love being a part of the extended Newcastle United family from a distance. All new fans are regularly welcome.

And to the other lads like Waggy and Foggy I actually don’t think you are proper whingers. Everybody is entitled to an unbalanced opinion and yours were just minor complaints.

This club is truly United again and definitely heading in the right direction fellas, so sit back, relax and enjoy your Long Hot Summer.

Which brings me around to the pics I’ve just received from Portugal off Tony. They are of our ‘Bender Squad’ (definitely not to be confused with Sunlun’s ‘Lads-fans’), primarily made up of mine and Tony’s pals. Great photos, some of them having memories of a 50+ years love affair with Newcastle United.

I wish I was there.



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