Where were you when…?

You know that sometimes you hear a song and it transports your memory to a specific time in your life associated with it? Or when a chance remark from someone can do just the same kind of thing?

I find memories of events at Newcastle United seem to hang a timeline on periods in my life.


Well winning the World Cup wasn’t so much a Newcastle United event but the memory of being a crowd entertainer as we queued at the Leazes turnstiles, actually stays larger in my memory than Geoff Hurst ever did.

The thrill of being about to enter St James’ Park again for another home game and running up and down the lines of Geordies catching peanuts in my gob, which were thrown up into the air for me, was my pre-match ritual. Some of you with a few miles on the clock may remember seeing me.

It got so that folks would buy the paper packets of peanuts and wait for me, and the show, to start each week. It was my regular thing.

Truth to tell I couldn’t afford anything to eat.

I was 14 and had done odd jobs and saved all week for entry to the match.

I couldn’t afford the bus fare to Newcastle either and being a fit lad, I raced the No 1 bus from Tynemouth to the Haymarket each Saturday. I remember the long stretch of the Coast Road past the Wills factory where the bus would overtake me often but I always came good and managed to get there first almost every time, as the bus slowed as it got nearer the depot.

Happy days. Truly happy days in simpler times.


Newcastle United lost at home to Carlisle United in the FA Cup.

Biggest shock of the round. Wyn “The Leap” Davies, Bobby Moncur, Ollie Burton et al just couldn’t find a way through after falling behind to an early goal.

That’s not the reason I remember it though.

I was 16 and during the course of the match I fell in love with a beautiful girl from Carlisle, who had somehow found herself with her friend in the Leazes.

My friends and I looked after her in the 56,000 crowd during the game and what started with a sheepish smile from me to her, blossomed into hand holding and one long meaningful kiss.

I was frantic as we got separated at the final whistle. I raced to where the Carlisle supporters coaches were waiting but I never again saw her. I never even knew her name.

Now 54 years on it remains as the most memorable match I have ever attended. Hope and heartbreak.

The true meaning of Newcastle United despite the Fairs Cup still to come in the near future.

More to come…if anyone wants it that is!

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