Standing Room Only.

Posted on June 4th, 2009 | 12 Comments |

Can you remember when the Gallowgate end looked like this?
Can you remember when the Gallowgate end looked like this?
Forget, if you can but for a second, the trials and tribulations at our beloved club.

Ignore the mounting hysteria that we will once again be a rudderless and ungovernable club without direction.

Brush under the carpet, the likelihood that there will in all probability be a stuttering start to the 2009/2010 season.

Fingers in ears for the many, many, many opposition fans gloating at our demise and waiting, just waiting for our first stumble in the second flight.

Try to eschew the popular opinion that we are an undeserving, unpleasant and utterly delusional set of neanderthals with dreams in our heads and brown stuff where our brains should be.
Instead (for those not too young to appreciate the sentiment), remember what it was like to stand on the terraces.

Bovril in hand, steam reaching upward and joining seamlessly with the warm breath of a thousand supporters, clear to see against the backdrop of old-style floodlights on a cold midweek night in the Simod Cup.

Remember the small pockets of fans gathering and becoming a bigger and noisier mass as people begin to pour in. The smelliest ones always being last as a general rule, due to extra hops and ill-advised can burgers.

Recall the dingy and smelly urinals and sub-standard facilities relative to the bright lights and shiny newness of the modern stadia we were all too recently party to when we were allowed at the top table.

Think about standing tall (without guilt) and cheering on the lads. Think about the Blaydon Races ‘surge’.

Think about what supporting the club meant, allegiance wasn’t a fashion accessory. It was a love affair which was a little bit boisterous and most definitely a bit daft.

Try not to think about the barriers that can take the skin off your knuckles (assuming they are still around on terracing).

And pray you don’t stand in front of the bloke who just can’t make it back to to those dingy and smelly urinals.

Who knows how long we may be in The Championship?

But terracing is surely one of the things some of us can turn to as a bright spot in an otherwise dark and ugly situation. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, if you try it, you’ll love it. Standing watching the black and whites play some pretty ugly football back in the ’80s, I fell in love nonetheless. Therefore terracing is part of what I fell in love with and I’m sure others feel the same way. Perhaps our new path to glory will grow this season just as the roots grow out of the terracing on the old abandoned grounds which haven’t yet been razed.

For those Championship grounds still holding onto a bygone era that existed before all-seater stadia, terracing awaits us and hopefully good memories for some.

Personally, I can’t wait for it.

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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12 Responses

  1. Ah yes, the terraces.

    It brings back (faded) memories of watching Supermac with my father and my Uncle Stan.

    My father was there in 1930 actually when they had 68,000 in for a game against Chelsea.

  2. The surge of the crowd as you got swept along trying to avoid being crushed into those huge concrete crash barriers, little kids being passed down over the crowd to the front or parking themselves on top of the barriers so they could see better, the smell of bovril,pies and urine(yuk)especially the latter as it cascaded down the terraces, the noise, the scoreboard, watchin gazza as he was serenaded with ‘who ate all the pies’, Keegan’s first game, Supermac pelting down the pitch with those funny bandy legs and scoring some fantastic goals, Jinky ‘Jimmy Smith’, the fencing etc, it all seems a long time ago…

  3. Great article by the way Bowburn Mag. I think these kind of articles mixed with the latest news at the club will make this blog really successful in the future. Thanks for stirring uo those memories

  4. Bowburn, you sentimental bugger, I love this article.
    My first memories are of standing in the family enclosure, barely able to peer over the edge of the pit trying to see what was going on through the fences.
    It wasn’t until I was older and started going to the game with “bigger boys” that I was introduced to the joys of the gallowgate end. Too chicken to go in the corner with the radgies, I was a scoreboard lad. We still had the golden rivers running down the terrace, but it was a more civilised place than the corner. :-)
    Did anyone actually manage to drink a cup of bovril? Mine was always hotter than the sun and usually ended up on the ground when there was a surge.
    Remember the kids who came around the pitch at half time selling chewing gum?

  5. Cheers Deb, glad you enjoyed it. Whatever contributions I make, I envisage they’ll generally be anecdotal whenever possible. They’re the kind of posts I enjoy reading and writing. Topical issues are bread and butter of course so I’ll chip in with those as and when the boys need me to.

    MT – Glad the nickname is back, it felt all wrong before. “selling chewing gum” at half-time? That demonstrates the couple of years you have on me! My earliest and most poignant accessories to football are my nylon flat cap with the NUFC badge on it and a plastic peak built into it. Also wagon wheels and hot pies that were so hot they stripped the roof of your mouth so that it didn’t matter how bad your spam fritters tasted at school for at least a week or so.

    Stamping on the old wooden floors in the West Stand stands out as a lasting memory but I think I’ve shared that story before, along with giving the radgies up behind the Brewery 50p to make sure all the wheels stayed where they should on my dad’s car and walking down to the blinding floodlights and the smell of hops up my nose.

    You should definitely contribute mate. Without getting into an embarrassing ‘blowing smoke into behind’ situation, I’d wager you’d be one of the best Newcastle bloggers going. Give the lads a shout.

    By the way, The Scoreboard was full of….

  6. Class BBM – great post!

    I’d also like to add one more to the list

    “The romantic waft from those who being locked in the surge, being full with beer, as not being able to dash to the toilet, they pittled down the terraces, which started as small streams at the back and soon gathered momentum, forming mini waterfalls on each step and soaking ones legs”

    LOL – they were the days!

  7. Bowburn, cheers for the comments. I’ve got the means to contribute, I’ve just got to find the time to pen something more meaningful than my usual diatribe.

  8. Just noticed I got my ‘logistics’ wrong in the article! Clearly I meant “pray you don’t stand IN FRONT of the man who can’t make it back”. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be an issue and you could just laugh at the poor buggers below getting a good watering. I’m sure I was given the benefit of the doubt being a blog article-writing virgin.

  9. Hugh de Payen says:
    June 4, 2009 at 6:12 am

    “My father was there in 1930 actually when they had 68,000 in for a game against Chelsea.”

    Gallacher’s return as a Chelsea player, still the highest gate ever. I wish that I’d been there too, but I hadn’t been born yet, unfortunately.