By Brian Hall
Tuesday 04 Jun 2013 14:03:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles


Aye. That time of the year, when we all end up without any game on the horizon, or behind us, when  we can all argue with each other about what might happen, or did happen.


Dont get me wrong. I love proper summers, and worship the Sun – the yellow one, that is, not the shite one produced by Murdochs. Any sign of that shining thing in the Sky – again the proper one, not the over-hyped media one – lures me out. Something to do with some remote Italian blood, no doubt, when the Romans used an ancestor to help build Hadrian’s Wall.


But deep down,  a lot of us miss something. Well, not something actually.  NUFC football.


To fill the void, we indulge into the daft transfer speculation about whether Frank Bloggs, or Francisco Bloggiani, is coming to the Toon,  or if that lad of which we have never heard, is thinking about joining us. Alongside, the taxi driver rumour mill spreads like wildfire,  claiming that Cisse was spotted on a southern Russian beach, before he signs for some rich club down there, and Cabaye was seen in a part of Paris near the ground of Paris St Germain.

That kind of stuff reminds me of many such summers over the years. Perhaps the best one occurred on that front, and lasted for at 48 hours, a long time ago, when  Socrates – the Brazilian football genius, not the philosopher – was said to be interested in developing his medical career further, at Newcastle University School of Medicine.  Thus, he wanted to play for us, whilst doing his research. Sadly, loads of us went berserk. For 48 hours, that is, until that rumour bit the dust.


In this empty zone of the early summer close season,  very few footy highlights occur, unless somebody is really interested in buying Craig Bellamy’s autobiography – I would not even take payment to have it – or wants to listen to Mourhino’s grand return to Chelski after his failure in Madrid.


One does pop up, though, on a cheery note. The fixtures for next season. Mid-June. This sparks off intense crack and interest in the NUFC nation. After checking the SMB dates, no doubt to be moved by SKY and Northumbria Police, we analyse our potential start to the season. In theory, if we are at home to, say, Crystal Palace, away to Hull, and then at home again to Norwich, we will be top of the table by the end of August. On the other hand, if we are away to Billionaire Man City Arabia United, home to Chelski, and then away to the Arse, we could be bottom as we pile into September.


Despite the empty void though, fixture list aside, Mags always find something to talk about during the summer. Who were our ten best ever players, who were our worst ever  ten players, and so on. As ever, some great debates and arguments follow.


All this reminds me of one very important fact. Despite the invasion of our game by multinational, cash-obsessed, companies, accompanied by sanitisation of grounds, absurd money paid to players and managers, etc, footy still just belongs to us. The fans. Not least, the supporters of Newcastle United FC.  It would take a huge shift to take them away from allegiance to, after all, more than just a club. Part of a culture, a big part really, up here in remote Northumbria.


So. In the meantime, enjoy that warm thing in the Sky. And no doubt, keep talking about NUFC life in all its forms, despite the fact we are not playing!  Take NUFC, and all it stands for, away from us, and it would make the Arab Spring look like a Vicar’s Tea Party!


Tarah. Brian


Ps                          can we get a testimonial arranged for Steve Harper next June? Given his character, he would no doubt give most of the massive attendance money to North East charities.  And that would give us something to focus upon, especially with that Yellow Thing in the Sky.

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