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Opinion

My son has rekindled my interest in Newcastle United

12 months ago
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“My son rekindled my interest in Newcastle United”…What a statement.

I read that line in a recent article on the Mag and thought wow! That could have been written by me.

As we grow, we move from child to adolescent and so on. As a football fan this same development appears to coincide.

When I was a teenager, I was obnoxious like most teenagers are (I know, trust me on this one, my job is to work with them), all my mates back at the time were equally obnoxious.

I then moved into my twenties following Newcastle home and away and getting into scrapes shall we say, and then so on watching Newcastle throughout my thirties and forties.

Over the years I would go to London games and other away games and when in Newcastle to the home games. My mates would come to visit in London using my flat as a base for away games and two cup finals (which they couldn’t manage to get me a ticket for). They did get me a ticket for the Charity Shield humiliation – cheers lads!

Almost twelve years ago my son was born and our family had expanded with my daughter three years previously. I took my wife to Newcastle games before the kids were born but being born and bred Peckham, her allegiance is not to the North East.

Over the years prior to my kids being born, my love for Newcastle had never diminished, until the realisation that under Mike Ashley the club had been taken from us. A zombie club as some writers referred to us, and there was a feeling of despair, and despondency.

So, some six plus years ago I took my son to his first game at St James’ Park, this in the Ashley years.

My kids are both South London but both are now fully fledged Mags and love Newcastle, they are now part of the club, the city and their extended family of my mates and their kids. Can’t remember the game now but it was the season we (last) got relegated.

My son fell in love with Newcastle. There was no way back for him now, his Arsenal supporting uncles had no chance convincing him into following their London club.

When Rafa agreed to stay on in the Championship there was renewed optimism and my son would badger me with the line “when is our next game.” My son had the football bug now and as the author of the excellent piece that I had read, had re-energised and rekindled that Newcastle United flame for me. Re-born, it was also the perfect excuse for me to make the pilgrimage to St James’ Park as often as possible and subsequently start the quest through my mates in Newcastle for away tickets for the both of us (thank you fellas you know who you are).

So, this weekend in London, I tried to contact mates who I know managed to acquire final tickets but they are staying out of town. I also tried to contact the young lads I know, who have helped me get away tickets, but to no avail.

So, on Sunday me and my son go to watch the game with a Geordie friend and colleague, at a boozer near Kings Cross, but it is too full. We decide to jump on the tube to Oxford Circus and walk down through Soho seeing black and white shirts scarves on passers by and end up at De Hems Dutch pub to watch the game. Great atmosphere and good beer.

Before the game I was 75% certain we would win. My son the realist saying we had a 40% chance, 50% at best. We didn’t meet our friends from Newcastle which was a real shame.

After the game we were not despondent. In fact, as we walked home in defeat and discussed our future with Newcastle United, we had nothing but positive thoughts. There was so much positive about Newcastle United and our great support at the weekend, considering where we were just over twelve months ago.

I thought to myself as we walked down Whitehall, we are at the start of the Early Renaissance of our club with just a few great Masters, the football equivalent of Donatello, Masaccio and Brunelleschi on the pitch. What will we witness when we reach the High Renaissance and can enjoy the football equivalent of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael the greatest artists on the planet in their time.

It is coming.

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