A further selection of your tales, these ones with photos:
August 31st 1974 Newcastle 2 West Ham 0
From one of our long-standing/suffering Swedish correspondents:
April 9th 1977 Newcastle 0 Leicester City 0
I was born in Toon in 1964 but moved to Ireland in 1966. My father gave
me football guidance when I showed signs of following Tottenham Hotspur because
of the funny name.
I starting following Newcastle in January 1974 and my first match was against
Hendon in FA Cup (at Vicarage Road).
The first visit to St James' Park was three
years later. Me and my Dad sat in the West Stand and there was a huge buzz as
Toon had come back from 0-2 down to draw with unwashed a day or two earlier.
It was a drab game, but long-remembered by one boy. The closest to a goal was
when Aidan McCaffrey smacked a header off the crossbar from a Leazes End corner.
January 19th 2019 Newcastle 3 Cardiff City 0
November 23rd 1996 Newcastle 1 Chelsea 1
I was 11 years old and a member of what used to be called the “Junior Magpies
Club”. One of the perks of that £12 per year club was the chance of being
randomly selected to be a mascot at an away game. Listening in on Mum’s phone
call I was excited to hear that I was chosen to be mascot at Spurs. She said no,
saying it was too far away, despite living in Kent at the time. She thought it
was going to be a home game. After much pleading, she phoned back and I was
allowed to be a mascot at the Chelsea game instead.
At that time, Alan Shearer was the most
expensive footballer in the world, Kevin Keegan was manager and Newcastle United
were the best they have ever been in my lifetime.
And here I was, knocking the ball about in the warm-up with Steve Watson (who
complimented me on my “dummy” pass), Tino, Terry McDermott and David Ginola,
among others. Pavel Srnicek very kindly allowed me to score past him.
The match itself wasn’t very notable in the
grand scheme of things, but it was Gianfranco Zola’s home debut and he scored
(dubiously claimed by and awarded to Vialli, I thought), whose stature was —
shall we say — remarked upon in song form by the away crowd.
My heroes walked away with a point, Alan Shearer equalising to complete all the
scoring in the first half. Mark Hughes contrived to get David Batty sent off and
was roundly booed thereafter.
Although we didn’t win, leading the team out
with Peter Beardsley was an enduring highlight of my childhood, though shaking
hands with the opposing team’s captain transpired to be a regrettable part of
September 16th 1999 CSKA Sofia 0 Newcastle 2
Living in Sofia, I couldn’t believe it when I heard on the radio that
Newcastle were paired with CSKA in the UEFA Cup draw.
I was hoping all day for this (both Levski Sofia and CSKA Sofia were in the
draw), but never believed it will happen.
I was in the “B” stand, behind the goal, where Solano and Ketsbaia scored, next
to the Newcastle fans. The day before I waited 3 hours in front of the team
hotel for a photo with a certain Bobby Robson.
February 24th 2001 Newcastle 0 Manchester City 1
I attended my first NUFC match aged 10. To my disappointment, we lost
courtesy of Shaun Goater's strike on the 61st minute (the timing is crucial as I
My uncle was doing business in Newcastle and
got me, my Dad, and my Grandad seats. We sat one row above the journalists and
were treated to hospitality before and after the game. (given what we now know
about the legitimacy of my uncle’s business dealings, the less we know about how
he acquired those tickets the better…)
Prior to kick off we sat in one of the
hospitality rooms and enjoyed a three course meal. If I’d known the word
‘bourgeois’ back then that is certainly how I would have described the
One of two highlights of that day, however, came just after we’d finished
eating. Some bloke grabbed a microphone and announced to the room that we would
be greeted by a couple of special guests.
Sir Bobby Robson and Gary Speed entered the room to rapturous applause. I was
just about old enough to appreciate who they were — though too young to be
paying enough attention to what they said! I was able, however, to meet them and
get their signatures — and given the tragic circumstances of Gary’s passing to
have met them both now means that much more.
The second highlight came after the match
when we were back in the hospitality suite. Feeling pretty glum having driven 6
hours up from Coventry to witness a drab affair, I was reminded that I had
entered a sweepstake along with the other patrons to guess the time of the first
goal. Sure enough, out of the 100 or so in that room, I was the only one in the
room to have chosen the 61st minute!
Imagine the surprise/awkwardness of the MC, when after calling ‘Luke Sandle’ he
was forced to award a glass wine decanter to a 10 year old. It’s fair to say I
was also rather disappointed with the prize…. But between winning that award and
meeting some Toon legends earlier, it had been a memorable day.