It was my birthday on Tuesday and a pleasure to spend it with a big Newcastle United friend of mine, as I caught up with my mate Mick ‘the Mauler’ Dalglish, who had got back from Wembley on Monday.

There are lots of lads that live in Shields and on the coast with handles like Mauler, Basher, Bazooka and Dad etc.

These nicknames generally hark back to the 1970s and 80s, when supporting Newcastle United was a different ball game, both on and off the pitch.

Mick said the whole weekend was a wonderful experience, even after he was singled out on the bus on the way down as being a ‘copper’.

Mick is a very upright, slim and clean-cut bloke and had been singled out by a few high spirited new lads from Blyth.

One service station later and the newcomers had been firmly put in their places…the journey proceeded without anymore nonsense.

On hitting the Smoke, the boys all dispersed into their own groups, to follow their pre-planned bar crawls to Trafalgar Square.

Mick said that Trafalgar Square was electric on Saturday night and that the behaviour of our supporters was exemplary. There were also ‘marshals’ as such, to ensure no one did anything stupid, like fouling in the fountain, or diving head first into a few inches of water…(*Newcastle fans were later praised by Westminster Council for the mass NUFC tidy up afterwards)

Newcastle Fans Trafalgar SquareMick went on to enjoy the pubs and London nightlife but then got estranged from his mates. He eventually found his way back to his hotel after 2am.

He reckons the Sunday went so quickly that it was almost a blur.

The only bit of bother he saw was in a pub called The Bull, when a half a dozen Chelsea fans infiltrated a Spurs contingent. There were hardly any Man U supporters about and when on Wembley Way they were also extremely quiet compared to their Geordie counterparts.

Mick said that the atmosphere created inside the stadium by Wor Flags and Toon fans was amazing from start to finish, he had never felt prouder to be a Geordie.

Howay The Lads We Are United Banners WembleyIt was the Geordies in defeat that sang long into the night and on Monday morning he woke up starfished on the floor of a mate’s room in a different hotel.

With the bus soon to arrive there was no time to go back to his own hotel to pick up his belongings. They are being sent up to the North East this week to the tune of £60.

The bus journey hyem was a good-un with plenty of beer, wine and song, and cuddles for the Mauler off his new mates from Blyth.

I love to hear the tales from my mates when following this new rejuvenated Newcastle United on the road.

The last Newcastle United Premier League away game I attended was way back in 2008 against West Ham, only a few months before King Kev was shafted by the FCB and his mafia.

To catch up with Mick on my birthday yesterday was a pleasure to behold, later on we indulged in a little shadow boxing and friendly sparring along with Auld Ellas and Pedro in Tynemouth Club.

Just for old times sake of course.


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