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Opinion

I suppose I was a natural, easy and willing recruit into the Newcastle United mad North Shields Crew

5 months ago
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They have been showing the ‘Confessions’ films from the mid 1970s recently on Talking Pictures.

Robin Askwith actually looks like my auld mate Mossy, which adds a bit extra spice to the nostalgia (very enjoyable and saucy fun with gorgeous and ‘natural’ ladies).

This got me thinking of my own 1970s experiences and in a light-hearted manner I reminisced about my ‘Confessions of being a football hooligan’.

I suppose I was a natural, easy and willing recruit into the Newcastle United mad North Shields Crew.

If you showed any promise in the boxing ring or the street, you were usually head-hunted by older lads to become part of the fray.

Denna, Headsy and Basher were local legends, and when you saw the pretty lasses that followed them around, it didn’t take much persuading to join up.

It was the era of punk rock, some ska and general social unrest.

With Newcastle United being absolutely dismal, it also wasn’t hard for adolescent teenagers to get angry back in the day.

The North Shields lads were a little bit different to most of the other local gangs.

We were of mixed race and truly black and white (remember also, that this was the days when the National Front were literally camping out in Gallowgate).

There wasn’t a chance of any racial discrimination, everybody had each other’s back, and the likes of Denna and Headsy wouldn’t have it any other way.

When I watch the cult 1979 film ‘The Warriors’ and take in the afros on the Tube, it always reminds me of the Crew.

We were all extremely fit lads too and the nearest thing I ever had to being a Newcastle United foot soldier was when I had a short spell in the TA.

As we all got older the inevitable happened, lads got married and settled down with their families.

We all still keep in touch with one another.

Denna is still the leader with the most charisma, as he always was.

Headsy is moving back up here after a 40 year hiatus in Hertfordshire and Basher turns 60 in a month’s time.

We are all still Newcastle United crazy though, and still talk excitedly about when we are going to lift that first elusive trophy.

I could actually feel the joy in the club the other night when the Toon ran out to the Champions League theme tune.

I still think that this could be the season.

The Toon are just warming up, so keep on supporting Eddie and the Hotrods lads and lasses.

And long live Robin Askwith and his y-fronts.

What’s not to like about the 70s, apart from Paul Cannell’s moustache, eh?

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