Well, with consecutive games against clubs from Manchester (Red/ blue), how about a trip down memory lane.

During the 1987/88 campaign, Newcastle United played an in-season friendly away to Queen of the South (on 18 January 1988), so a trip up in me mam’s mini metro ensured.

Getting up into Dumfries we found a boozer and in it (as well as the two drunk jock women fighting), was a tall slim lad with the biggest diver’s watch I’ve ever seen.

So got cracking on to him and turns out he was from Whitley Bay, massive toon fan and in the Navy, hence the watch. By the name of Johnny.

Fast forward to 2000 and we’re on our way to Manchester United for the first game of the season.

Normally we go to Middleton in Manchester for pre match light sherries.

Our last couple of times had been interesting/

In 1998 we walked into the big Wetherspoons down there and I spot a kid at the end of the bar taking his jacket off, only to reveal a mackem top. So being first in, I approach him, “look mate, there’s 50 Newcastle supporters coming in, so probably best if you cover up.” F… you he replied, just as one of wor lot jumps owa me shoulder to crack him one.

Anyway, next year we’re back in the same boozer (FA Cup semi-final). Walks in the same bar and guess who’s standing at the bar with a mackem top on?!!! Well as soon as he spots us coming in, he vaults the bar and is out the fire exit.

So now it’s 2000 and me and Johnny the diver are in the same bar.

His marriage had broken up and he was on a bit of a destructive part of his life, which resulted in a ferry landing incident which ended up with him getting a two year stretch in the big house (before anyone asks, no I wasn’t there at the ferry landing carry on).

So we’re in the bar and in no time it’s off to the match.

Approaching Old Trafford it’s just a sea of red and with the coach park being right next to the ground, its getting quite heated with Manchester United fans goading us and banging on the side of the bus.

Our bus then comes to a stop with two particular fans giving it the big un, beckoning us out, Johnny then pulls open the door and says “we’re Newcastle who the f… are youse?”

To which Mr Gobby replies with this absolute classic “wheez the sunlun reds leek.”

Johnny jumps out and sparkos him, while I give the due proper care and attention his mate deserved.

Into the match and it’s a 2-0 defeat, with Carl Cort making his debut (wonder what happened to him?).

Manchester United v Newcastle United 2000Back then, coming out of the theatre of screams was a lot more segregated, but I managed to sneak out the escort, as I was tins of salmon (clamming).

So, got a cheeseburger and was eating outside the coach compound, when this tiny Man Utd fan walks past mouthing Geordie this and Geordie that abuse, gobbing off that if it wasn’t for the closed gates he would be chinning any Geordie softsh..es who fancied it.

So I finish my cheeseburger and tap him on the shoulder, to helpfully inform him I am indeed that Geordie. He then steps back, falls onto his backside, then he’s offski.

Happy days…forward four years.

Johnny’s out the big house, at my second wedding, we’re to make up for lost time banged up, he ends up shagging the chief bridesmaid.

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