Newcastle United and Me

The most commonly asked question I get is “Why do you support Newcastle, you’re not from there”


The easiest answer of course is I have family ties to the region, but that wouldn’t be the whole truth because growing up in south-east London I had my pick of teams and was never forced into the Newcastle life.


The first game I ever went to was my local team which was Millwall, they played Gillingham at home in one of the most boring 0-0 draws you will ever witness and at 7 years old that’s not what I wanted, in fact I would go as far to say that it almost put me off the game for life.

It was only by pure chance the next weekend I would go to my first ever Newcastle game, away at Selhurst park against Wimbledon. We ended up losing the game 2-0 and looking back now we were absolutely abysmal, but that day I fell in love. The noise, the passion and the pure love and desire that the Newcastle fans showed that day showed me all I needed to know about the club. I was welcomed with open arms by the Geordies that day and left the ground with scarves, hats and two shirts given to me by fans sitting around who had found out it was my first ever game and wanted to make it memorable.


I will never forget the welcome I received that day from the fans and how they encouraged me to sing along and get involved even if I didn’t have a clue what was being sung, I just made the noises to accompany the tune. It's that day that made me fall head over heels in love with Newcastle United and everything about it, and it’s a love affair that’s been going on for 27 years.


So that’s the reason I’m a fan and the reason this club, OUR club, means so much to me.

I was lucky enough to have supported the club through some of the best times and unfortunately through some of the worst also, Sir Bobby was the first manager I really fell for and was hooked onto that Newcastle team and everything it stood for. Bobby was a true gentleman and Icon of the game and we were blessed to have had him for as long as we did and to this day I still believe he should have never been sacked at such and early period in the season. We were so unfortunate to have never won the league under his stewardship.


Over the years I’ve fallen in love with player after player. Some popular and some not so popular, from idolising Alan Shearer to falling for Nobby Solano and his trumpet. I have been blessed to have seen them all play for the black and white and bring such joy to everyone.

Some of my best memories belong to this club and the amazing times I’ve had home and away. Whether that was beating Man United 3-0 at home or losing an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, the memories I have are treasured and can never be replaced.


I’ve been lucky to see players shine at this club like Shearer, Robert, Speed all the way through to the Ba’s and Cisse’s, even players today like Saint - Maximin and Hayden, all of whom have brought some really special times as a fan.


For most fans of other teams, they don’t seem to get the connection and admiration we have as fans of the biggest sleeping giant in world football. We have been trapped in a regime for the last 14 years of an owner who doesn’t want or seem to care for the club in any capacity, but as fans we have stuck true to the cause and followed united home and away with all the full bloodied passion we are renowned for! The fact we sell St James Park out regardless of league or position we are in shows what a fan base we are and how strongly we all love Newcastle United regardless of who owns them or how we are treated because we want to see this club succeed and grow into what we know it can be!


It's like the famous Bobby Robson quote. “What is a club in any case? Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it. It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes. It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city. It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.”


This is what all Newcastle fans feel about this sensational club, there is no other club like NUFC.


I have always said that this club saved my life as without having the weekends watching the match or the endless travelling to away games and into Europe I’m not sure if I would've survived through some really dark spells in my life. I used Newcastle as my escape from reality, my opportunity to forget about the stresses of everyday life and truly switch off, to indulge in everything black and white and let that be my life for those few hours.


Without the club and the fans, I wouldn’t be here today. It’s as simple as that. I moved up to Newcastle almost 5 years ago as I always felt it was where I belonged and was lucky enough to start supporting the Newcastle United Foundation and in particular their men’s mental health campaign ‘Be A Game Changer’ and it’s been my small way to give back to the club that saved me and helped shape me into a better person.


This club helped me through the darkest periods of my life and along with the fans I’ve met along the way helped relight the spark inside and stopped me from ending my life on more than one occasion.


So that’s the reason I support Newcastle United Football Club... They have my heart and always will...


Whoooo’s that team we call United…



@joshybanyard


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