Newcastle United have finally won something.
No, not a cup. A match.
It felt like we’d won something much, much bigger though.
Since August, we’ve watched some of the worst football we’ve ever seen played in a black and white shirt. Then, over the past month and a half, we’ve seen improvements, but we still ultimately fell short.
Ciaran Clark getting sent off after nine minutes against Norwich was possibly the most Newcastle United thing I’ve ever witnessed. So many matches have felt like a kick in the gut, but that felt like a rigger boot to the face.
We really could have done with killing off Saturday’s match with a second goal, because it was so nervy at the end. But that feeling of elation at the final whistle was unrivalled.
I’m not ashamed to say I burst into tears when it went off.
For a fanbase that supposedly expects nothing less than the Champions League every season, we celebrated one paltry win quite spectacularly.
That photo in the dressing room after the match was the second most Newcastle United thing I’ve ever seen. The lap of honour is up there too. And suddenly the people who were telling us our expectations are too high were calling us tinpot.
Funny, that. But I couldn’t care less.
This club feels special right now. It took almost four months to get our first win, and yet every week we’re singing our hearts out louder than ever. I’m excited to go to the match again. I can’t get enough of listening to our manager’s interviews and press conferences. It’s a stark difference to just two months ago.
The crowds at St James are finally back to their best. We’re loud and unashamed. We’re singing songs I’ve only ever heard at away games. We’re buzzing all the time, and yet we didn’t get a win until yesterday.
There’s still a decent chance we’ll go down. We’re technically three points from safety, but we’ve got an awful run-in. That said, I think we can get something at Leicester.
I don’t want us to go down. Getting relegated now is a less horrifying prospect than it was two months ago, when we all knew we wouldn’t bounce straight back up at the third attempt. Now, I think we will, and we’ll all be there cheering them on.
It’ll be but a blip in what’s sure to be an exciting journey if the worst does happen.
This feels like a city that’s united. A club that’s united. Graeme Jones got it right when he said it’s where we’d end up under a new manager.
Here’s to scrappy Newcastle United on our uphill battle. I’ll never forget Saturday’s celebrations for as long as I live.