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Opinion

The enormous guy in the pink Pringle sweater would not be booing our team against Bournemouth

1 year ago
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So, some Newcastle United fans booed when we didn’t beat Bournemouth.

I wasn’t there but I am sure it was a small vocal minority.

I am totally behind Eddie Howe and see the massive improvement in such a small space of time.

Last season, my top mate managed to get me tickets for the Wolves game which had been switched to a Friday evening kick-off. Fortunately, I had booked early tickets on the train and was not undone by televised football playing / messing with the fans. They were great seats and I doff my cap to my mate for pulling out all the stops and getting me and my son tickets, when all channels were dead in the water.

I’ve probably sat in every part of St James’ Park and listened to some ignorant people around me.

A recent article on The Mag, saw the writer mention the ignorance of people around him and how he may not bother to make the effort to return. Well, that Wolves game was something else.

The two guys behind us talked work non-stop. They were architects and barely watched the game, instead discussing the ins and outs of contracts. Really, on a Friday evening, me half tanked with my son at my side waving flags and these guys are talking shop.

That’s the thing with football past and present, it’s the randomness of where you are at the time. Are you next to the most boring person on the planet, or the biggest clueless knacker?

I went to Leicester away in the late eighties with my mate Jon from Burnley. Went to the market where Gary Lineker’s dad worked and had several beers in some substandard pubs while making our way up to Filbert street. Rather than pay into the terracing in the double decker stand we decide to be flash and to go in the seats for away supporters at the side of the pitch.

In the seats just behind us, is an enormously large man in a pink Pringle jumper. Obviously a character. As the game starts he belts out his support for the team and then slumps into his seat. He then holds his shaking head in his hands, covering his eyes, at the first stray pass. This performance is repeated on a regular basis for the ninety minutes as he looks up from his cradled face every so often to watch the game, then shouts his dismay at proceedings and again covers his face shaking his head as if in disbelief at what he is watching.

This lasted the whole ninety minutes, honestly, I kid you not. A theatrical performance of the top order. The guy knows people are watching him and that’s the point. Being at the football is a communal activity and every part of society can be there. My mate Jon laughing as he knows that there is the equivalent at his club, though probably on crutches.

Football is theatre with crowd participation. It is a live performance, so you cannot control it as a viewer, but you can influence it as a vocal spectator.

I have no idea what the score was that day, all I remember is Paul Goddard playing I think, and the enormous man in the pink Pringle jumper. Me and my mate had a good day out in Leicester, a good few beers and laughs before heading back to Nottingham. Football in my opinion is theatre and is dependent on the theatre off the field as much as on it.

So some Newcastle United fans booed the performance against Bournemouth. Not a big deal in my book. The enormous guy in the pink Pringle sweater would not be booing our team against Bournemouth, his head would be in his hands at the fact we didn’t win.

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