I’m sorry to pass on the very sad news – Newcastle United fan Ron from Hull has passed away
Back on Tuesday 21 February, a Newcastle United fan sent in his first ever contribution to The Mag.
He became known as ‘Ron from Hull’ to Mag readers but of course he was actually very much ‘Ron from Newcastle Upon Tyne’ who in later life had settled in Hull.
In the 35 years of publishing The Mag, few articles have touched me quite like this one did.
If you haven’t read it before, or can’t quite recall what it was about, it was entitled ‘I am in the last year of my life and this is the final chance for me to see us win something domestic’ (I have reproduced that article below).
The article was written days before the League Cup final at Wembley and Ron expressed his hopes and dreams that Newcastle United could do it this time. The very sad punchline to his article being, that due to very serious health issues, he (Ron) knew that he was very very unlikely to be still around in a year’s time.
That pre-cup final article got an incredible reaction from those reading it. I was not surprised by that reaction but Ron very much was.
Some people just have a knack for expressing themselves and I think what really made the article special, was the fact that Ron was writing something that was clearly so important to him and included something so personal and serious, yet absolutely not looking for pity / sympathy in any way.
I started emailing back and forwards with Ron and we shared a lot of stories and personal stuff, Ron suggested that in other circumstances we could have become firm friends. I would like to think that we still did, even if the circumstances meant the time was brief and we never actually got the chance to meet in person.
Ron was quite overwhelmed by the reaction to that first article on The Mag but when I suggested other Newcastle fans would love him to write more, he did a post-League Cup final piece and then a further seven articles, as he related stories / anecdotes from a very interesting life fully lived, sharing details of NUFC and non-Newcastle United related tales.
When I checked, the last of those nine articles went up on The Mag on 20 March 2023.
Ron explained to me that he was set to undergo a course of very full-on treatment, that would hopefully improve his situation in terms of quality of life and less pain / discomfort. However, it would mean for the time being he would have to put a temporary stop to writing the articles, until he recovered enough to be in a position where he could pick up the baton again. He talked about all the many stories he still had to share, the plans he had for future contributions.
I asked Ron for his postal address and on behalf of everybody connected to The Mag – writers, readers etc – I sent him various Newcastle United related gifts.
I followed that up by inviting some of the regular contributors to The Mag to send on any personal correspondence they might like to share, NUFC memories and suchlike. Ron having mentioned how much he liked the old fashioned route of getting stuff through the letterbox.
He absolutely loved all this and was so uplifted by what he was receiving from these once strangers, now friends.
Ron and myself continued to swap emails for a while after the most recent article on 20 March, until his treatment meant that became impossible for the time being.
In recent weeks I had checked in every so often via email but getting no reply, it became a situation of fear the worst but very much hope for the best.
Back in March, Ron and myself had come to an agreement, whereby a close friend of his had agreed to get in touch, if circumstances changed.
Sadly, that day came today, Ron’s friend kindly getting in touch with me, to pass on the sad news that Saturday (3 June) had seen cancer finally get the better of this very special Newcastle United fan.
Ron didn’t live to see next season but he did see out this 2022/23 campaign and his friend says that Ron was very happy and proud, that Eddie Howe and his players had taken Newcastle United back into the Champions League.
In the very brief time that I got to know him, I am sure that Ron would have wanted us to now be thinking of all those positive messages and amusing, often poignant, tales that he shared with us all.
Like Ron and everybody else, I have loved what Eddie Howe and the playing squad have done for us all, along with everybody else working at the football club.
When those Champions League matches come round later in the year, I will be thinking of Ron.
Newcastle United fan Ron wrote this article ahead of the Carabao Cup Final: ‘I am in the last year of my life and this is the final chance for me to see us win something domestic’ on The Mag – Tuesday 21 February 2023:
In 1955, Newcastle United won our last major domestic trophy, the FA Cup.
I was three years old and knew nothing about it until a few years later.
I was 10 years old when I went to my first match with my uncle and experienced the crazy noise and passion in the Leazes end and from that day onwards, Newcastle United has been part of my very being.
From that moment throughout all the ups and downs – relegation, Fairs Cup glory.
Great managers such as Joe Harvey, Wor Bobby and latterly Rafa Benitez, to the one who could possibly become the best of all of them, Eddie Howe.
Not forgetting the dross epitomised by Souness, Gullit and JFK (J F…… Kinnear for f sake!), I have been staunch in my support for the team and ever hopeful that one day we might again have a side to be proud of.
I think we are almost there with massive thanks to a certain woman called Amanda who has shown such resolve and commitment to our city and club.
A bit of a downer here though.
I am in the last year of my life and this is the final chance for me to see us win something domestic.
The Fairs Cup was wonderful and I was there. To win this final though would be so huge for us all and for the future of our wonderful city and dearly loved club. I am so lucky to still be here to see this.
I won’t be here next year or any time after though, so I hope and pray to be able to see us stick one up those self-entitled Red clad Mancunian numpties.
If we don’t succeed this time though, I will be mightily disappointed BUT still be so proud of what Eddie Howe and all those committed players have already done for us. I know it is the first step towards a glorious future ahead.
I won’t see it but the pleasure of being on the brink of such times ahead already makes my own passing so much easier to bear.
So to the Club, the Football Team and the Managerial Team – Thank You with all my heart.
Whatever happens on Sunday I am proud to support you.
Ron – A proud Geordie in Hull
Go HERE to read Ron’s League Cup final follow up article and at the end of that click ‘ View Author Profile’ where you can read all nine of his articles.
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