I was reflecting on the season we’ve had, and how great it was, earlier. In fact I was reflecting in general on what have been a really enjoyable past couple of seasons in fairness.
Then I started looking back a bit further at what my life has been like supporting Newcastle United – all 29 (well, nearly 30!) years of it.
I can probably discount the first five years of my life as I was more interested in soiling nappies, dribbling, toddling, trains, cars and so on. All the stuff little boys generally do until they are of an age where they know what is going on.
So what have I witnessed in my life? Two promotions (I’ll discount a third one on the grounds that I was still in nappies at the time!) following two relegations, two 2nd placed Premier League finishes, two losing FA Cup final appearances, a victory in some pre-season Spanish tournament that meant we won a huge trophy, plus an Intertoto “cup” if you can call it that.
For that vast majority of my life we have been a mid-table team which is perhaps why little surprises me and I take the highs and lows as they come rather than expecting them. In fact if anything I expect slightly more lows than highs. Security mechanism? Pessimism? Maybe, but going by history (as people like to point out) I’ve not been far wrong.
It’s not all about results though as our club has made the headlines for all the wrong reasons in my lifetime. Only now are we starting to get some positive spin put on us, which is nice, but to me it’s only filling the gaps until the next scandal comes along.
How about owners and custodians? We’ve never had a great one looking back on things. Stan Seymour was alright I guess, Gordon McKeag wasn’t and is the worst, in my opinion, by a country mile. Sir John Hall gave us relative success but essentially was all about lining his own pockets, as was Freddy Shepherd, and I’m still yet to be convinced about Mike Ashley and wonder about him. Yes, we’ve not been blessed with great owners but then I guess a lot of other fans would say the same thing about their clubs. We can all do it better can’t we?
However despite all that, when those lads in black and white are playing a game of football I become mesmerised. I see people saying this players is rubbish and that player is awful, but if they give 100% that is all I can ever ask. Nothing else matters and all the rest of it, the fact that historically we are a middle of the road the team, the fact we’ve won nothing of note in my lifetime, the boardroom shenanigans, the headlines, positive and negative, don’t matter on a matchday.
There have been very few highs with regard to my life of supporting NUFC, which will probably continue and is probably why finishing 5th is viewed by me as success.
Would I change it for the world though? Never!!!