Well, again we are meant to have the richest league in the world, yet in my opinion not enough money is passed down to grassroots to develop coaches as we have a very disappointing numbers of qualified coaches compared to many other countries.
Getting off the train at Seaburn station I specifically remember seeing quite a few lads dressed in dungarees & woolly hats & whistling to ‘Geno’ by Dexys. The walk to the ground, as I came to experience on many occasions later, was poorly escorted by the police, meaning it was always eventful.
I feel it’s very important that a vibrant successful Newcastle united is known throughout Europe and the World for great support, excellent stadium, passionate and welcoming people and a fabulous area to visit.
I started asking myself what kind of message does it send out? Why hasn’t anyone else had an issue with it? Is it because fans/people are not really bothered? Am I too old and not up to date with what goes on in this world these days?
Brighton last season I have to say was a great trip over 2 days, I am still amazed how friendly I found everyone, even great banter with female cops on the Friday night & the local women even chatted to us! My mate nearly bought a dog at 2am in the morning on his way back to the hotel and we even got to the south coast without one ticket check, remarkable.
On my last footy visit, amongst our group of Swedes we had longstanding Spurs, Villa, Newcastle, Forest, Man Utd & Liverpool, this is mostly down to approx 30-40 years ago when Swedish TV had a live game on national TV (no first row sports in those days) at 3pm every Saturday & most choose their teams from watching this English TV football programme on a weekly basis (of course I can confirm they get some bad winters with constant ice & very cold conditions so I guess this may be the highlight of the day if you are stuck in the house).
Often I think it’s a shame I couldn’t explain more to my lad about what it was like being part of a massive supporting army that we were in the 80s with huge followings, for example 15,000 at Liverpool (Cup), 10,000 at Leeds, 12,000 at Sheffield Wednesday.
Lastly my wife is quite pleased with my decision and means we can get away for a few more weekends and it means popping away for a few days for an international match (which I really enjoy) will be more acceptable and no more battling for time off work for home games. Not the end of the road but a massive reality check for me and countless others.