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Opinion

I suffered a very similar experience during the Mike Ashley years

8 months ago
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Back when I was at secondary school, I remember covering the book ‘Spring and Port Wine’ as part of my English Literature studies.

It was a part of a collection of stories under a ‘Conflicting Generations’ theme and had previously been made into a British ‘kitchen sink’ classic starring James Mason (whilst ‘Likely Lad’ Rodney Bewes also starred as his rebellious eldest son).

At the time I was a dissident teen and a fan of the likes of the Undertones, the Stranglers and of course, the notorious Sex Pistols.

Social unrest was at a premium and we were leading up to the ‘Winter of Discontent’ and the disastrous General Election of 1979, that saw Margaret Thatcher propelled into Downing Street.

I never had any cause to ever argue with my Father about politics because I admired him for being a hard working-class socialist.

Our family were supporters of Michael Foot and Tony Benn and I actually went to see ‘Wedgie’ when he visited North Shields in the late 1970s.

When it came to football though, me and me Da would often be at loggerheads.

Newcastle United were well and truly in the doldrums and this was compounded by a pathetic relegation from the First Division in 1978.

My Father pined for his own teenage Newcastle United days and the FA Cup victories of the 1950s. I was constantly reminded that this current ‘shower of sh…’ wouldn’t have been able to lace the boots of the likes of Milburn, Mitchell and White.

He always insisted that I washed and polished his car on a Saturday morning. I then headed off to Leazes Arcade and Gallowgate with my mates, honking of Turtle Wax.

The team were stinking too but we had a new hero in Peter Withe and the smell of the hops drifting over from the brewery, intermingled with the smell of the p… on the terraces.

Our only concern in those days was that it wouldn’t rain, because the Gallowgate, along with the Leazes, had no roof.

When I eventually got hyem, I got used to the “Well I see they were sh… again” formalities.

I honestly thought that he enjoyed p…… on my chips at the time.

I was so wrong because he truly always loved Newcastle United as much as me.

I realised this when we began attending matches together again in my twenties.

What had happened was that he had been hurting for the best part of thirty years, after growing disillusioned with the constant turmoil within the St James’ Park corridors of power.

I suffered a very similar experience during the abysmal Mike Ashley years.

Now as I get older I also regularly give short shrift to cheeky and younger dissenters on The Mag and in the pub.

It’s a generational thing and it is pattern of life that has always existed.

We all think that we were around in, and have seen better times, in years gone, by if you like.

No matter what era anyone was brought up in, if they genuinely love and support Newcastle United then they will always have a certain amount of my respect.

The club is moving along nicely again and as I have said before, we all need to be in this together.

If you are not in then you are most definitely out, because we don’t warrant, or require, any half-hearted slackers.

I do wish though that me Da was still here to see what is happening once again at our great football club.

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