very almost Travelling over from Australia for our first ever recreation – We have been met with this Newcastle United expertise will cowl the newest and most present steering concerning the world. method slowly consequently you perceive capably and appropriately. will layer your information cleverly and reliably
I really feel compelled to put in writing this text, and I apologize for the lengthy story, after my household not too long ago visited St. James Park for the primary time.
We’re Toon followers based mostly on the opposite facet of the world in Melbourne, Australia.
Right here, after I was rising up within the late Nineteen Seventies and early Nineteen Eighties, protection of English soccer was restricted. We stayed as much as watch our solely televised recreation which was the FA Cup Remaining and we received the weekly MOTD present with Jimmy Hill (used to like that anthem).
Most supported Man United or Liverpool and Spurs turned fashionable because of Hoddle, Villa and Ossie profitable a few FA Cups.
To me Australian guidelines soccer is the faith in Melbourne, a recreation that may be a cross between Gaelic soccer and rugby and I used to be born right into a Collingwood household.
This membership will be summed up with the next phrases; working class, blue collar, 1892, black and white stripes, The Magpies, profitable till the late ’50s, a number of heartbreaking moments since, loyal vocal supporters, The Black and White Military.
Because the world shrank from the uncovered media and the introduction of the web, I made a decision to seek out an English membership to help within the early years of the Premier League.
The investigation discovered Newcastle United; working class, blue collar, 1892, black and white stripes, The Magpies, profitable till the late ’50s, a number of heartbreaking moments since, loyal vocal supporters, The Black and White Military.
Now we have adopted their fortunes very intently, particularly over the last 8-10 years when my son was in a position to perceive and be a part of.
The video games are often performed within the early hours of Sunday right here, so on the recommendation of his mom, we report the video games and watch them within the morning. Now there have been some horrible moments up till not too long ago, however we would watch each minute of each week regardless.
Earlier than Bruno arrived, one in all our favourite gamers was the Spanish Joselu. The ball fell to him within the space and once we received out of our seats early, we noticed his shot, as a rule, hit the nook flag as a substitute of the again of the online. However he at all times tried and the trouble was by no means an issue for him. He scored by mistake in a single match (ED: 1-1 in SJP v Liverpool), when he went over the goalkeeper, he took too lengthy to shoot, however the sweeping defender cleared the ball straight to Joselu’s shin and bounced off the ball. internet. .
We nonetheless love that aim.
Anyway, with household holidays booked for the UK and Paris, we have been eagerly awaiting the PL meet to drop. As I scrolled, like a beacon of sunshine, there it was: Saturday third September 2022, Newcastle v Palace at St. James’.
A fast verify of the itinerary discovered us flying from Dublin to Edinburgh the day earlier than and, with the woman’s permission, seeking to coach him out and in of Newcastle on the large day. With tickets secured for the household, it was a “Hallelujah” second, just like when the monks introduced out the holy hand grenade for Arthur and his companions to battle off the killer rabbit with the large enamel.
The day got here and we traveled to Newcastle, excited however with a contact of apprehension. I’ve been to a packed MCG to see Collingwood numerous occasions in grand finals and that venue seats 100,000. However this felt totally different, an unknown metropolis removed from dwelling and what reception would foreigners have among the many Geordie trustworthy?
We left the station and went up the hill in the direction of the bottom.
We wished to expertise every thing, so we made time to cease by the pub for just a few pints earlier than the sport. We walked into the Strawberry and have been instantly struck by the memorabilia on the partitions. Armed with a few pints for the woman and myself and a few gentle drinks for the children, we headed as much as “La Terraza”. The pub was getting busy however we discovered a desk exterior close to the best hand nook the place we may sit and have a drink.
There have been 4 guys subsequent to us within the nook who struck up a dialog. Subsequent to me was Tony, a respectful, bespectacled gentleman, grey via the beard, tattoos, and carrying a Newcastle jersey. He introduced himself as a powerful and dependable central midfielder. Subsequent to him was Paul, a much bigger man with a bald head, tattoos, and a Newcastle shirt beneath his black leather-based jacket. An uncompromising central half would have been his selection. I can not keep in mind the names of the opposite two boys, however one was a youthful boy carrying the brand new inexperienced and white away stripe. Calm and clever voice. He works for the British Military. He was going to get married in Cyprus within the subsequent couple of weeks. I did not have a enjoying place for him as he appeared extra like a supervisor or administrator, perhaps a CEO. Lastly, the gentleman on the finish of the desk. Corpulent, completely satisfied, at all times smiling and engaging. Goalkeeper I suppose, sure… Goalkeeper who would handle his teammates and provides limitless encouragement.
These guys have been partaking, inclusive, heat, and enjoyable. We talked concerning the lyrics to Blaydon Races and the way the city had modified. Tony pulled out an previous black-and-white picture of a row of row homes and pointed to the one on the finish. “That is the place I grew up,” he mentioned proudly, “now all these homes are gone.” We talked about St. James and one other previous black and white aerial shot of the bottom ensued. “Are you able to see these squares on the hill?” Paul talked about the center of the middle, “Proper there” he mentioned pointing to the picture. “It was the bathrooms and the urine would run down the steps to the footpath under.” With that, he set free an infectious chortle.
Tony got here again with two Strawberry pins to offer us. “I have been to each dwelling recreation with you for over forty years and also you by no means gave me one in all them,” Paul shot again at Tony, and his fast response was “I solely give them to individuals who deserve them, now have me a Guinness.” . The dependable midfielder who controls the sport and Paul tells everybody inside earshot on his solution to the bar to say whats up to his fellow Aussies who’ve come all the way in which right here to observe the Toon.
The “Porter” returned to the desk armed with 4 caps with the Strawberry brand and an enormous smile to take us dwelling as a memento of the day. Unbelievable… ..sure, he was taking good care of his new “companions”.
After a pair extra pints and plenty of banter we headed right down to the bottom and as we made our approach via the ocean of Newcastle shirts we have been all shaking fingers. Individuals wishing us the most effective and thanking us for making the lengthy journey to see their crew play. We left the pub in absolute excessive spirits, snapped a thumbs-up picture of the children in entrance of the pub, and headed to the bottom.
That is when it hit me…we have been full strangers and these folks have been welcoming, pleasant, heat, sturdy, proud, beneficiant and went out of their solution to make us really feel particular. Is that this the “Geordie Spirit” that we will see and listen to on tv once we watch the video games from dwelling?
We took our seats and the pre-game music began. I do not keep in mind the order of the songs, however Hey Jude by The Beatles was enjoying on the time. The ground was fairly packed on this stage, the gang muffled till this burst of noise got here from what appeared to be the Gallowgate part that made the hairs on the again of my neck get up. “Na Na Na Na………..Na Na Na Na.”
The Blaydon Races adopted with a sea of noise, colour and flags. Then got here the PL music because the gamers got here out of the tunnel with our guys lined up close to the place we have been sitting. The gamers have been bouncing, leaping and prepared for the battle to come back and as they shook fingers with the Palace gamers and scattered to their positions, Dire Straits’ “Going Dwelling” started to play over the general public deal with system.
The gang was prepared to take action and I turned and checked out my spouse, who was holding the cell phone and filming the sights and sounds in entrance of us. Surprisingly, she had tears rolling down her cheeks. She does not know why, however perhaps that “Geordie Spirit” had settled in her coronary heart that day and might be there to remain.
For a goalless draw it was an entertaining recreation and we could have scored three or 4 on a distinct day, though I inform folks we noticed a 1-0 win after the charade that’s VAR overriding the Joe incident. Willock.
We then had a few pints and ran right into a household with two boys not more than 5 – 6 years previous. They have been each carrying Newcastle shirts and we felt compelled to offer them our Black and White Collingwood scarves. The youngsters’s faces lit up and the dad and mom have been very grateful. Maybe this was what it was to be a Geordie, to care and provides to others just like the Strawberry boys. I am undecided, however we really feel blessed to have skilled a day like no different.
We’re again dwelling now and we see this weekend’s match that includes Brentford at St. James’. We’ll be up Sunday morning as ordinary to observe the fellows play, however it’s going to at all times be totally different for us going ahead. Certain, the pre-game could make everybody shed a tear or two and want we have been there. The great reminiscences will come again and as soon as the “Geordie Spirit” enters your coronary heart, I feel it may be there for all times.
So on behalf of my household, thanks to the folks of Newcastle, to Sue who did our tour of the stadium, to Tony, Paul and all of the Strawberry girls and boys and the bottom employees who taken care of us.
We’re very proud to have Newcastle United as our crew and hope to sooner or later return from Australia to expertise the magic of St. James’ Park.
A grateful OZ household…’
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Travelling over from Australia for our first ever game – We were met with this Newcastle United experience