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My first match reader recollections III

Third time round and still they come:

Alex Dougall:

October 20th 1996 Newcastle 5 Manchester United 0

I remember kicking my little fly away ball around my Granny's flat on Station Road in Gosforth. I had the full home kit on. The family who ran the corner shop below used to joke about hearing me. It must have driven them wild. My Dad was taking my Granny for her first (and only ever!! - she passed away last year) match too.

Newcastle v Man United. Wow. What a game. We ran them ragged.

Being only 5 years old at the time, I can't remember much of it live, but seeing Shearer, Ferdinand, Ginola, Beardsley, Albert et al tear them apart on YouTube time and time again makes me think about what a day it must have been.

I have a vague recollection of my Dad going crazy in the stands but that's it. He picked some day to take two people unfamiliar with SJP to the match. I was at the Arsenal 4-4 match and I imagine the scenes at the end were something similar.

Times like those are why we keep going I suppose!

Tony Mann:

September 27th 1969 Newcastle 1 Wolves 1

My Dad took me in the Popular Side as it was the cheapest. Three younger siblings meant my treat, apart from going in the first place, was a Westlers Hamburger and a programme (no pocket money that weekend).

The bus back to Jarrow after the game was rammed with supporters using extremely industrial language that Dad had previously tried to protect me from.

My first time at SJP was also the first time I ever heard Dad swear when we scored. And I can still see the muck under the 'burger sellers fingernails. It's only 50 years ago.

Phil Marran:

October 16th 1982 Newcastle 1 Fulham 4

Aged nine, my dad took me and my older brother in the old mans paddocks for 50p. I remember Keegan scoring a penalty and the surge of the crowd it caused, but I managed to cling on to the barrier for dear life!

He also missed a penalty as well. Also remember the smell of Bovril at half time. Even with the result I was still hooked and couldn't wait to go to the next match.

George Hall:

September 16th 1995 Newcastle 3 Manchester City 1

My Dad is a Bolton Wanderers fan (has a full Geordie accent but his Dad supported them and got him) and as a 5 year-old took me to Sunderland v Bolton at Roker Park. Score was 1-1 and without knowing any better I celebrated both goals in the Fulwell end.

Thankfully the whole of the rest of my family rescued me and my first REAL match was NUFC v Manchester City. 1995. Won 3-1 in that famous season we were 12 points clear. Over 120 away loyalty points later I am truly hooked. Forever thankful I avoided following a much darker path in life a few miles down the road...

Gary McIver:

September 8th 1965 Newcastle 1 Manchester United 2

Trevor Hockey scored and there were 57,000 there. Being a kid, and not getting passed down to the front, I could only see half the pitch and the ball when it was in the air. Still, my love affair with NUFC was born and I think this explains why I still dislike Manchester United.


Mike Coleman:

August 19th 1967 Newcastle 3 Southampton 0

I was born in West Cumbria in 1958. We lived very near to Sellafield where my Dad worked. On our summer holidays staying with my Nana in Benwell in 1967, my Dad sprang a surprise and told me that we were going to see Newcastle at St James’s in the season opener.

Best seats in the stands in line with the penalty area at the Leazes End. I’ll never forget going up the steps and seeing the pitch and the ground for the first time: full of people and an incredible noise.

The various chants contained words that I wasn’t particularly familiar with and I recall hearing the term “Boot Boys” for the first time.

The match itself had everything. 3-0 to the lads, Albert Bennett, Tommy Robson and Jim Scott scored the goals. Gordon Marshall saved a penalty and Wyn Davies had a fight with Jimmy Gabriel.

I was completely hooked and I’ve followed them ever since.

Greg Loades:

August 1st 2001 Newcastle 3 1860 Munich 1

On a family summer holiday, the good fortune of an early fixture to coincide with the trip gave me the chance to finally see my childhood heroes. It was the stuff that dreams were made of.

It started by standing in a long queue behind the Leazes end with my father, praying that the ticket kiosks would still be open when we got to the front. My prayers were answered.

Little matter that Alan Shearer was injured, I was still able to watch in awe as Nobby Solano weaved his magic, crossing for Gary Speed to nod home, and sending the keeper the wrong way from the spot in the final minutes to wrap up the win.

It was a night of memorable moments, Lomana LuaLua doing some incredible acrobatics after scoring and new signing Laurent Robert introduced to the fans before kick off to a thunderous reception.

Little did I know that he would be responsible for years of me staring in disbelief at unbelievable goals and (more often) screaming in frustration after another ridiculous attempt to score from a corner…

Ken Scott:

October 26th 1963 Newcastle 2 Northampton 3

My main memory was of Colin 'Cannonball' Taylor bursting through the middle and producing a typical rocket to score. He became my hero for a few years.

Two weeks later I turned up against Cardiff City, a 4-0 defeat. The word Jinx sprang to mind. but was broken a fortnight later when we beat Man City 3-1, best remembered though because it was the day after JFK was assassinated. It was my first ever minutes' silence.

However, the joy was short-lived as at the beginning of January we were beaten 2-1 at home by Bedford Town in the FA Cup. I was learning quickly at an early age about coping with disappointment.

Geordie Cornish:

April 18th 1986 Newcastle 2 Manchester United 1

Glen Roeder and Paul "Sarge" Goddard scored, but my memory of the game was their goal - a screamer by Gordon Strachan which got stuck in the stanchion. Been going over since for my sins.


Lee Thompson:

October 27th 1976 Manchester United 7 Newcastle 2

I was 9 years old, born and living in Bournemouth, so was quite a long way from home for a Wednesday evening with school beckoning the next day.

I've got my now departed Dad to thank for actually getting me there, and for actually supporting the Toon. He was from Leeds and was a big fan of the 'dirty' Leeds brigade of Don Revie.

As you did back then, every Saturday we would watch Grandstand or World of Sport and eagerly await the football scores and five minutes later the league tables. So circa 1971 or 1972, even though I was only 4 or 5 at the time I was acutely aware that Leeds were the best team in England and equally aware of how dirty they were.

Now this is where things start getting a bit sketchy (or it may be a dream), but it must have been the beginning of the 1972/73 season when I first fell in love with the Mags. As older readers are aware, we had none of this nonsense whereby the table is published after 1 match, but generally had to wait until about 3 or 4 games were played until the first league table of the season were shown.

Now NUFC must have had a particularly good/lucky start to the season and so when the first table was published, NUFC were top and Leeds second. Now I suppose I could be accused of being a glory hunter, but even my infant mind suddenly thought, well, if Newcastle are above Leeds, it figures that NUFC are the better team.

And so that was colours were well and truly nailed to the mast and I've supported the Toon ever since.

Our next door neighbour but one was a chap called Mr Black, who is now sadly also no longer with us. Now, the good bit was, Mr Black was a Geordie, and every time he used to go and watch the Mags play, he would always bring me back a programme from the match.

This only fuelled the flames for my love of the team, which still only grew further with the modicum of success the cup final appearances of 1974 and 1976 bought.

So by the time I was 9, I was itching to actually see a match. My Dad drove a lorry for a living and so when he had to go to Manchester and it coincided with the match, he thought sod it, this is the nearest chance the lad is going to get for a holiday.

As so off we went. I remember Old Trafford being vast and noisy and standing with home fans in the stand opposite the tunnel. I also remember taking a shed load of abuse from them when it was obvious that I supported Newcastle....I was only 9 for f*cks sake! 

After the game we stayed in the worst flop house one could ever imagine (we were skint and we are talking mid 70s Manchester), but the whole experience has lived with me forever, not for one moment put me off, and I will never lose my love for Newcastle United.


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Page last updated 24 March, 2020