JUST A FOOTBALL CLUB FAR MORE THAN THAT
By Brian Hall
Wednesday 08 Jan 2014 14:28:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles
 

I have long held the view that Newcastle United are not exactly your average football club. And I am not talking about events both on and off the pitch, because I don’t really feel like going down that path!

No. I am expressing a view that this institution represents far more in terms of simply footy. 

This is a little, canny proud region, somewhere between England and Scotland, only recently described as having many parts which are uninhabitable,  remote, and, well, desolate. That came from some buffoon in the House of Lords. So what.

The key point though, as John Hall once put it, is that Geordies – loosely defined, that is – are the Basques of England.  Fierce, proud, passionate identity, never to be surrendered. And therein comes the place of Newcastle United in people’s lives here.

 

Whether  NUFC fans have a season ticket, travel to every away match, live in Australia, never get to a match, or a just a Granny in a cafe,  so many people in this region see this club as quite an important part of their lives. Their culture.  And that is felt with intense passion and pride. Not just because it involves football.

No.  It involves far, far more than that.  It does not represent just a city. It represents a region with a wee bit history.

Am I biased on this view? Probably. So I will name, in passing, some, only a few of people who have recognised that. Obvious suspects came from within this odd part of the UK. Bobby Robson, Kevin Keegan via his Grandad, and others of course, from the world of pop to politics.

But then, just branch out slightly into players, managers, and so on, who have been associated with this club. Robert Lee springs to mind, Micky Quinn, Les Ferdinand, Ginola, to name just four off the top of my head.

I can personally vouch that this recognition goes even wider ,  that this football club is far, far more just, well, a footy club!  Due to previous jobs, I have foreign friends who have visited our place, and obviously been taken to a match, as well as soaking up the culture of the region. Some stayed far longer than they should have done.

And of their common themes?  Often expressed with surprise, incredulity, shock.   They recognised that this was NUFC thing was no ordinary institution. They thought it seemed to be a massive part of the region’s entire culture, and therefore, they understood that it was no ordinary club.

So. What I am rambling on about?  I suppose that I am trying to say that it is a honour, a privilege, to represent this NUFC institution. And if you cannot feel that, or understand that factor, then do not bother to put that shirt on, manage it, or own it.

 

Brian Hall. Author of Life of Brian in Black and White.



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