Confessions of a Newcastle United fan (Part one)

Posted on February 27th, 2013 | 118 Comments |

Old Newcastle United programmes.
Ahhh the memories…
Going against my parents wishes was nothing strange to me, but the day I am about to describe where I did just that definitely set the course of my life.

I was born in Brunton Park, Wideopen, to Cynthia and Bert, a firm upbringing but nontheless loving. I mostly had a carefree childhood ’til my little brother came along when I was 4 and everything was my fault from then on! Then, for some strange reason, we moved to Jesmond and without realising it, that was the start of love and despair following the glorious Black and Whites.

Perhaps my parents fell on tougher times, I never found out or even asked the question. However we arrived at Clayton Park Square, just behind the Brandling Park. I’d settled into my new school, made some mates, and managed to get to seven years old without too many scrapes. As with most young tear-arses, I was up to all kinds when one Saturday morning, I was playing with all me new mates in the Exhibition Park who were all alot older than me because I was always very tall for my age, when they all decided it was time to “nick into the match”. Whats this aal aboot? I’d never even heard of “the match.”

Away we gans, through the exit and into Leazes Park, arriving at Leazes Terrace with about 30 mins to kick off. The queues were miles long and I had nee idea how this was going to work until I saw two of the lads crawl under the turnstiles and dissapear. I got in the queue and was about ten from the front when it dawned on me that being nearly 6ft tall at my age was a distinct disadvantage. Having written that, I’ve never lost a pugilistic confrontation, but I digress somewhat.

It was probably only about 2 bob in them days (10 pence) but the most I ever had was a threepenny bit. (God I feel old!). So with due consideration, I abandoned that one and was on my way towards the Leazes end in despair, when, I spotted a bunch of kids climbing all over a spanking brand new Morris 1000 Traveller with a roof rack on top. Every one was being pulled up over the wall so perhaps this was more me being so tall. The top of the motor was absolutely totalled but this was more important.

Not to be outdone by me mates, I took me turn. The row from inside the ground was rising to a crescendo, and, frantic not to miss owt, I made a last desperate leap. I was grabbed from above by the wrists and hauled over the wall, to be confronted by a police seargant with the brightest ginger hair I have ever seen to this day. The bollocking I recieved was,”not to leave it so late the next time”. Very strange looking back, but it shows that nothing should be a surprise with Newcastle United. A bloke lifted me up onto a barrier in the Leazes end, I was astounded to see so many people in one place, and the sight of that lush green turf for the first time was to live in my memory for such a long time. Nowt like the rec we kicked about on every neet with it’s craters and doggy dump.

Most of the day went by in a blur, but I do remember we were playing Preston N.E. and the score was 2-1. it was season 56-57, I’m not that sure, but the memory of that day burnt it’s way into a young lad’s mind that would never be changed or forgotten. So many people in working clothes, woodbines and flat caps and the like. I can’t remember who the players were even cos I’d never seen them before. It was my first game as a Toon Fan. Needless to say, my arse glowed in the dark for a number of days afterwards, and it was some time before I ventured up to the Cathedral on the hill again.

The damage had been done however. We got a black and white cat that Mam and Dad called “Badger” but I insisted on calling it “Maggy” instead. Everything in my life was black and white, as it still is today, so my indoctrination was complete. Over the many years that followed, the passion grows in the loins like the lust for a good (bad) woman and in the case of the Toon is even stronger, (well mebbies not).

When I got to 17 years old, I was working as an appprentice ships cabinet maker (sometimes known as a joiner) at Vickers Naval Yard. My life was good at this time apart from an illness to my mum who had suffered from the Big C since I can remember. One day, at about 2 in the afternoon, I was summoned to the Head Foreman’s office to be told that mam was gravely ill in the RVI, and I was driven to the hospital by the gaffer in double quick time. I should have known but this was my Mam, always there. I missed her passing by about 10 minutes, and found Dad in shreds.

A few days later I was working on a newly launched ship, when out of the blue my workmate, Kenny Greaves, offered me an envelope. Surprised, I opened it and found a season ticket for the North side centre paddock in the old stand, right behind Joe Harvey’s dugout. Kenny’s brother, Alan, had sent to work at Southampton and therefore the ticket was to go to a deserving cause, which I gratefully accepted! Every Saturday was a joy, not only for the football, but I was never more than 6ft away from the players as the came up the tunnel and we quite often swapped a bit of banter with Joe Harvey.

Little did I know…

Part 2 soon.


NUFCBlog Author: Porciestreet Porciestreet has written 1 articles on this blog.

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118 Responses

  1. well written porciestreet the young’uns wont believe that you could nick into the ground it would not be possible now but hundreds used to do it even in the seventies and early eighties

  2. I went to KK’s debut with m mate intending to pay but about ten yards from the gallowgate turnstiles there was a surge of people, I was sandwiched between a couple of gorillas my feet were about ten inches from the deck and the next time they hit the floor I was through the turnstile.

  3. sammy d says:
    February 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    “I was sandwiched between a couple of gorillas”

    Lost somewhere in a massive Geordie’s beer belly Sammy? :-)

  4. The only game I ever got pushed into was Blyth Spartans v Wrexham in 1977 . I went with friends at the age of 11 , it was the fa cup replay , played at st James . The ground was full but a group forced a turnstile in the old west stand , remember the wooden one , every goal resulted in the stamping on the old wooden floor . We went down to the paddock and watched as much as we could see , being 11 it wasn’t much as it was all standing . It was the first match I’d ever been to , and it was under floodlight . I remember it so well , the atmosphere was the thing that would make you return from then until now .

  5. Sb: I was there. It was the first game I had been to when I didn’t stand in the Leazes End. I remember people passing kids over their heads down to the front it was so crowded.

  6. Ah yes i remember it well.
    Tried both the Leazes end and the Gallowgate end, but finally sussed out, as i did’nt care to go down in front with the other kids (Though you did get up close to the action) and standing anywhere in the crowd was not the answer.
    So i settled for a spot on top of the East End fence, which was constructed of 12’By 12″ wooden uprights and longtitudinals, giving ample room to stand on.
    It would have been ideal if one could have watched the game sitting, but beind it was at the extreme outside of the upper pathway, one had to stand, in order to see, especiallychildren.
    However it gave me a great view (near the gallowgate end) of my hero Bobby Mitchell, on the left wing, during one half and Jimmy Scoular at right half in the other period.
    It was also close to the larty, which came in handy, i think the entrance fee, was around elevenpence and went as high as one and three.
    But great memories from a less complicated world.

  7. i remember the fairs cup semi final against glasgow rangersin 1969.i was 17yr. old. Before the match a rangers fan went on the pitch and placed a scottish flag on the centre spot, an old lag went on the pitch from the poular terrace(east stand) and replaced the flag with a bottle of newcastle brown ale! (halcyon days!)It cost me 10 bob for a ticket to get in a jock oferred me £5 for it before the match.

  8. porciestreet, it’s good hearing the old stories how people got into supporting the toon, apart from your mother’s passing, which puts everything else into perspective.
    i think everyone would try to sneak in, at some point, i used to jump the wall at the bottom of the gallowgate, it was hard, and you couldn’t always get away with it.
    you had to picj you time and make your way into the back lane, then jump up on the wall, under the barbed wire, then run across the corrugated iron roof, of the toilets.
    it was tough to do on a saturday, but the dark nights and the midweek games, were a cynch.

  9. joe hawkins says:
    February 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm (Edit)

    “i think everyone would try to sneak in, at some point,”

    I’m a bit embarrassed after reading about all you bad lads bunking in Joe. Back in the old days I was like Little Lord Fauntleroy up in the posh seats.

    Sneaking into places was to be my downfall later in life though. I jumped over a high wall in Cornwall with a trench on the other side when I was being chased by security guards. I did a lovely job of busting my neck. I knacked it for life so let that be a warning to all you young reprobates out there! ;-)

  10. worky, if anyone can remember the toilet at the bottom of the gallowgate.
    it was basically a leanto, with a corrugated iron roof, held down with bricks on the corners, and a wall that you slashed against.
    good job we were young’uns because an adult would have went straight through, a la the wolves fan who crippled himself at scarborough, back in the day.
    it’s easily done, when your messing about.
    the toilet used to be right beside the small police hut, that had a temporary cell, if i remember correctly.

  11. the fans coming up now, dont know their born.
    the shop at half time was no more than a green garden shed.
    anyone remember the club shop?, it was basically a prefab, in the west stand carpark.
    the old west stand was a corker, it looked like parsons from the outside lol.

  12. many a cold night spent watching the reserves, sitting on your programme to avoid getting spelks in your jacksy.
    the days of brian tinnion, before he went on to be a bristol city legend.

  13. “anyone remember the club shop?, it was basically a prefab, in the west stand carpark.”

    I remember, joe. And I remember promising to get my niece a hat and them not having any in stock for three home games!

    The word “merchandising” just wasn’t really used in those days.

  14. DarthBroon says:
    February 28, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    “Bloody hell, Worky! I didn’t know that. Has it left you with a permanent disability”

    I’m not in a wheelchair or anything like that Darth, but I crushed the disc spacers in my neck so it’s like bad osteo arthritis. Then I took anti inflammatories for it for over a decade and that buggered up my insides and gave me hypertension, so I have to take more medication for those things now and watch my diet. Your muscles get knacked over time too so I seem to have permanently frozen shoulders which they couldn’t seem to get rid of with steroid injections, physiotherapy and so on. I hate cold weather so the last few months haven’t exactly been perfect!

  15. Joe: from what I remember the Leazes and Gallowgate were open air toilets. The 6 pints that people would have before the game would end up flowing down the concrete steps in a lot of cases.

  16. joe hawkins says:
    February 28, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    “worky, if anyone can remember the toilet at the bottom of the gallowgate.”

    The netties back in those days after they’d been used by thousands of pissed up Geordies and they’d had “issues” were a site to behold. Sometimes you’d have the less cultured attendees just getting their cock out and relieving themselves of a gallon of Federation Ale down the terraces. I still prefer to it nowadays though!

    joe hawkins says:
    February 28, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    “anyone remember the club shop?, it was basically a prefab, in the west stand carpark.”

    I’m sure that everyone of a “certain age” will remember Stan Seymour’s Sports Shop too Joe.

  17. Worky

    That sounds like agony, mate. I have a minor back problem by comparison – even so, the pain in my back and left shoulder is staggering sometimes. It flares up maybe once a year but it’s enough to lay me low when it happens.

    Probably a daft question, but have you tried using TENS machines?

  18. DarthBroon says:
    February 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    DarthBroon says:
    February 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm (Edit)

    “I have a minor back problem by comparison – even so, the pain in my back and left shoulder is staggering sometimes.”

    Sorry to hear that Darth.

    “Probably a daft question, but have you tried using TENS machines?”

    No, no-ones ever recommended one to me until now. Thanks for that.

  19. I recall as a youngster, envying those sitting comfortably in the stands and vowed i would pay whatever it cost as an adult to get the best seats available.

    However after leaving Tyneside following a few years stay, seldom had the opportunity to visit St. James’ Park again, until the mid nineties, sure went to games in london while there in the seventies and even caught Newcastle games there.
    But that what seemed an interminable trip back and forth, to the north east was daunting.
    However since retirement, i now spend most of the summer in europe and have cought a good number of games at St. James’.
    What a difference from the day, great stadium, with terrific facilities, though i have only bought seats in the main stand (actually a couple of times quite close to Ashley,strictly by chance not choice)
    From what i see the east stand looks like a choice place, but wonder about the facilities, as sometimes going for a larty visit and a beer, at some stadiums is like joining in with a rugby scrum, no thanks!
    Though my experiences at St. James’, it’s been state of the art.
    I understand there’s a movement to-wards allowing beer sales, with vendors selling beer to the fans while sitting, something that has been commonplace in almost every US stadium.
    Ashley should be in favour of that, as parking fees plus the profits from vendors is an enormous part of most us clubs revenue.

    Talking bout revenue, my guess was right.

    About what ?

    About why Ashley sold off 4% of Sports Direct.

    I see he has subsequently bought a high end retailing chain “Republic” which has 116 stores and recently went into receivership.
    Just what i projected.

  20. Chuck, the East Stand is the natural home for grumpy old buggers like us nowadays. You mustn’t forget your tartan lap balnket and your walking stick for waving at cheeky young buggers who make too much noise though. ;-)

    I suppose that anything’s “high end” compared with Sports Direct! Another more upmarket one he’s bought recently is the “Cruise” chain. It does seem to be his thing at the moment.

  21. Getting back to football.
    An interesting game approaching against Swansea.
    With the prince of Denmark basking in the accolades bestowed on him by the media, for beating Bradford in the forgettable cup, FFS Bradford ?
    Of cousrse the 5-0 thrashing the game before by Liverpool, was quickly forgotten.
    But apparently The prince is not like Pardew, who would have claimed he played a weakened side in order to be at full strength against big bad Barnsley.
    Instead Laudrup took full responsibility and offered no excuses.
    Anyone who watched the game was aware the score was not a true reflection of play, as it couldda been ten zip.
    Which indicates that Swansea have little depth.
    Of course if i had my druthers i would willingly exchange managers with either Swansea or Liverpool for that matter, in fact just about anybody, but thats another story.
    The question will revolve around tactics.
    I believe a high front three, harrasing those attempting to bring the ball forward, either forcing them to cough it up or use a 50/50 pass, is the way to go.
    Not to cede ground and if they do bring the ball into our half, be ready to spring the fast break, utilizing our speedy forwards.
    Plus the same applies to us on bringing the ball out, no series of endless hoofs upfield, give the ball to a defender and have a plan on how to get it upfield.
    Hoofs are 50/50, possession is what we need, hey! the opposition cant score as long as we have the ball.
    Hopefully someone, whether Coaches or Manager, have figured out a tactical approach, that does’nt involve either hoofball or parking the bus.
    But then whadda i know !

  22. The team picks itself for Saturday with Coloccini probably sidelined and Ben Arfa given another week to get fit.

    What chance of Jonas being captain? Some would say he shouldn’t even be in the team as Marveaux is a better player. I would agree for home games, but he seems to have perked up since competition was brought in for places.

    Our hoofs are not 50/50 as the opponent always have 2 centre backs on our centre forward whether it be Cisse or Shola who invariably mis-time their jumps. From Krul especially, it was just like giving the ball straight back to the other team.

  23. Yeah Worky, for a candidate for goal of the season :) If Cisse could do that every time, he would be Messi :)

  24. So whats wrong with long passes ?
    They can be some of the prettiest and most lethal of all if properly delivered and requires both foresight and skill.
    I would have our midfielders practicing, wing to wing, over the defenders head, and ground passes, that our speedy forwards can run onto, essential for a fast break.
    I have often noticed, sides like Arsenal and quite a few other short passing, possesion bent sides, become more lethal when on breakouts and involving long passes.
    Slow buildups with short passes only gives time to the opposition to set up defensively.
    And in to-days game, are often hard to break down.
    I love to watch the quick transition game, which catches the majority of the attacking side in their opponents end, which leaves the defenders vulnerable, especially if done right and with pace.
    On the other hand i have nothing against possession and stroking it around looking for the opening, but we aint reached that level yet, finding it difficult to string more than a half dozen passes to-gether.
    I was watching the Zenit vs L’pool game, which was a pleasure, with both sides using a one or two touch system, which was so fast it gave the opposition little time to figure where the ball was going next and prepare for it.
    On that level we can be predictable, but we have good enough players, who can react and play any system, with the right coaching.
    Thereby lies the problem, is it because of unfamiliarity with both the EPL style (or speed) or with each other, or is it in the tactical direction and resulting coaching methods used.
    I know that prior to Ba leaving there were some grumbling as to Pardews methods, i know what i thnk, what do you’all think ?

  25. Aimless hoofs or belting it directly up the middle 5 yards inside the opponent’s half where the centrebacks can head it back is what I am against.

  26. The first ncl match I went to was v wolves in the Fa cup , 78 or 79 . It was 1-1 . Kenny Hibbit scored the wolves goal , a volley at the gallowgate end , don’t know who scored the ncl goal as it was at the other end . I think the attendance was around 20k , nothing compared to now . But when your 12 it seems like everybody in the world is there . From then on I went every week £1 to get in , sitting on the concrete pillar from 1.00 , reading the program and watching the scoreboard side fill up . Some bloke sang about a little white bull . Still dont understand why , but everybody joined in . The match started , we stood in front of the pillar , in case of a surge , and sang along . Most of the time it was crap . Bobby shinton , George Riley , tony Cunningham . But we hoped and cheered with bill mcgary …..terrible. Then cox came .

  27. S b says:
    March 1, 2013 at 12:36 am

    “reading the program and watching the scoreboard side fill up .”

    S b, One thing I miss was that old scoreboard with the stick men that would do a daft little dance when we scored. Those little dancing gadgies always got a smile out of me no matter how many times I saw them.

    “Some bloke sang about a little white bull . Still dont understand why , but everybody joined in .”

    Was it this Tommy Steele song S b? It was a bit before our time, thank f*ck!

  28. Will you stop making me feel so old.
    First game beat Cardiff City 4-1 at the start of Wor Jacks career think he scored in the first minute and Len Shackleton played and that was in 1948!!!

  29. Nutmag, didn’t Jackie Milburn play during the war? That’s why Alan Shearer was able to beat his goals tally, because they didn’t have the usual league system during the war and Mikburn’s goals from that period didn’t count.

    I was reading the other day about how Milburn made so much money out of Newcastle United that eventually, he was able to buy a brown Ford Cortina after he had his testimonial in 1967!

    I’ve got Tommy Steele’s “Little White Bull” stuck in my head constantly now. Thanks for that S b!

  30. Started composing my recollection yesterday but had to abandon them as life intervened and what I had written failed to save. so here goes again.

    Can’t remember my first game, aah the vicissitutes of getting old!

    I do remember watching players such as Vic Keeble, Jimmy Scoular, Bobby Mitchell, Dick Keith, Alf McMichael, Bobby Stokoe to name but a few. Never occured to me to try and bunk in, probably would have done if I had thought of it.

    Don’t remember the club shop either but wouldn’t have been able to afford anything as my dad was a poor miner and even though I had a paper round most of my money went to me mam. Funny thing was that she spent it on fags but that somehow seemed ok, don’t even feel upset about now.

    Worky if the TENS don’t work, e-mail me, I might be able to suggest something else.

  31. LWB got to Number 1 in the charts didn’t it, we had bl**dy awful taste then didn’t we.

  32. Worky@41
    Yes Milburn did play during the war in every position bar center forward but did,nt take on the roll and number 9 shirt till then.In fact I read somwhere he did,nt want to play center forward to start with.

  33. Oh your right about that Little White Bull getting stuck in your head.Im having to play my 1930s and 1940s music at full blast to purge it.

  34. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    March 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    “LWB got to Number 1 in the charts didn’t it, we had bl**dy awful taste then didn’t we.”

    Grumpy, I know about music, I’ve worked in music, I’m not prejudiced about generations or genres or anything like that and I’ll tell you one thing – The worst ever time for music is right now.

    You used to have a revolution in music every decade or so, starting with Elvis, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and all the others from the other side of the pond. Then we hit back with all the big bands of the sixties and it happened in the Seventies and the Eighties too. That stopped happening though and since then it’s all just degenerated in bland talent show crap.

    I actually really liked Cliff’s first ever record, which was about the same time as that Tommy Steele one.

  35. Nutmag@46: is that George Formby? Thank god I dont know any of his songs as I would hate for one to get stuck in my head. Oh sh*t I do know one – leaning on the lampost.

  36. Nutmag says:
    March 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    “Im having to play my 1930s and 1940s music at full blast to purge it.”

    My dad used to torture me night and day with all the old crooners from that time Nutmag, so much so that I became an expert on them. Al Bowlly was my favourite and I still listen to his songs today. Shame he was bombed during the war.

  37. Worky: part of it is the talent shows, and some is because hip hop is very much the same and a lot of the hooks are samples of previous songs. I have hundreds of Cds and can probably count on 2 hands the number I have bought from the last 10 years. I bought sandanista the other week as I had never really listened to it. I reasoned it was new to me and wojld probably be more interesting than mumford and sons (even though they are not terrible, it is an indictment of what is out there that they win the Chicago XRT Best Album of 2012)

  38. On the subject of late fifties / early sixties pop stars, I had lunch with Adam Faith once down here in London. He was a very nice gadgie. My favourite thing of his though was the TV series “Budgie” which was on when I was a bairn. I used to have a little crush on Georgina Hale who was in that.

  39. Worky. you’re correct in what you say. Adam Faith, Joe Brown, Tommy Steele (again), Cliff Richard, Helen Shapiro Brenda Lee, The Everley Bros. plus many more I can’t recall at present. We used to love them all. Go back a wee bit further and theres Bill Haley, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Chubby Checker. My Big brother was a Teddy Boy and helped smash up the odd cinema!!

    As for modern stuff I agree it aint brilliant but there is some good stuff around still. I quite like Muse for example althiugh some of it gets to sound a bit samey.

  40. Worky, I remember Budgie and Georgina Moon. Do you recall that scene where she is cooking a meal in just a little pinny, phwoooah!!

    I remember seeing her in Camden walking along the street one day and her face was really lined, it dispelled a few fantasys for me. Shows the power of screen make-up!!

  41. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    March 1, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    “Worky, I remember Budgie and Georgina Moon. Do you recall that scene where she is cooking a meal in just a little pinny, phwoooah!!”

    I actually do remember that Grumpy!

    I used to like “Callan” as well with Edward Woodward. That was about the same time.

    Alot of the stuff from that time has been wiped forever just to save on tape costs, which was insanity.

  42. Worky, Yeah my wife was a big Callan fan, as a wargamer I used to love the way he incorporated games into the series occasionally.

    I still have hundreds of figures in armies that I need to dispose of on e-bay.

  43. Also a lot of puppets at the time ended up in skips. I believe someone made a lot of money out of rescued ones.

  44. GS says:
    March 1, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    “I have hundreds of Cds and can probably count on 2 hands the number I have bought from the last 10 years.”

    Some would say that’s just an age thing GS, but I would say that for once, things really are different now. The idea of teenage rebellion is different. The older generations always used to say that the younger generations were too loud, too wild and too rebellious. Now however it’s actually gone into reverse. Many older people would say that the younger generations aren’t loud and rebellious enough! Too many of them are just pathetic, consumerist conformists with no capacity for critical thinking whatsoever. All they care about is “bling” and the wherewithal to aquire it. They have no soul and too much of the music is a reflection of that, whatever genre it is.

  45. This is the number one record right now in the UK. Of course, it’s an awful boy band, completely empty vessels with no personality whatsoever taking two records from the 70s turning them into absolute shit as usual.

  46. Worky: the main thing is a lot of it is not interesting. When I hear a new “alternative” band now I can usually think of at least one other that they sound like. Derivative isn’t a strong enough word. The rest is from the talent shows (or sounds like it is) or hip hop.

    C’mon even Adele sounds like Amy Winehouse and I am sure a lot on here could tell me who Amy was copying.

    Hell, I bought a best of Dusty Springfield the other week.

    It also says something when it is The Rolling Stones, Springstein, Madonna and U2 who are doing these mega-tours and cashing in on their past glories. The Stones haven’t done anything since 1974.

  47. GS, I don’t have anything against Adele whatsoever, she’s a decent singer, but as you suggest, she isn’t doing anything new whatsoever and neither was Amy Winehouse. As I mentioned above, there isn’t that tean or eleven year cycle anymore where something comes up which is revolutionary and changes everything.

    On the subject of the Stones, their most unsung member ever was Mick Taylor the guitarist. His time in the band was their greatest period.

  48. GS@48
    No it was,nt Formby but quite a list Benny Goodman, Arty Shaw, Glen Miller, Ella Fitzgerald, and Harry James to mention a few.Give them a try sometime they may suprise you.
    Grumpy Old/Young/Toon@52
    Like your brother I was a Teddy Boy but not into the cinema thing Love the music from then and like Worky todays is a bit naff.

  49. Worky @59: they are not even good looking!

    It does sound like we are getting old and reminiscing about the old days when music was better :) My point is that the old music is what is still popular as I said @60 and there is a reason for this.

    I watched a youtube clip of Sabbath in Paris in 1971 the other day. Just the band live on stage. It blows anything that you see now away and would sound fresh if it was new today.

  50. The only successful UK singer in the 50s in the USA was Laurie London with “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”. Anyone remember him? A bit twee even then but what he achieved was a bit of a sensation.

  51. Nutmag @62: I wasn’t having a go. George Formby was the only one I could remember because they used to play his black and white films on school holydays when I was a kid.

    You missed Frank Sinatra, he was an original talent and didn’t he start with big bands?

  52. Grumpy@64
    Saw him at the the Toon the Empire I think can’t believe Im admitting that.

  53. Grumpy, as you may recall, the first really really important UK record on the other side of the pond in those days wasn’t a singer, it was a producer called Joe Meek with a band called the Tornados. That was the real start of the British revolution in music.

    What a sublime record, and well ahead of it’s time too. Meek’s old studio was just down the road from me on the Holloway road.

  54. black sabbath, now your talking, i love geezer’s basslines, there always good to play, when your starting off.
    led zeppelin
    deep purple
    the doors
    pink floyd and the who vanished up their own a**es a bit during the 70’s, with their concept albums.
    some of jethro tull’s stuff is good, and ian anderson, is a maestro.
    lynard skynard f**kin’ brilliant, tragedy what happened to the lads.
    blue cheer were amazing.
    sly and the family stone.
    robin trower
    even sweet are a guilty pleasure, can’t believe i’m saying that, but steve priest was brilliant.
    iron maiden, one of the best of all time imo.
    jimi hendrix
    jefferson airplane
    the clash
    angelic upstarts
    sex pistols
    stiff little fingers
    the ruts
    uk subs
    the damned
    the slits
    the jam
    purple hearts, were a canny mod band
    the exploited
    charged gbh
    not really into rockabilly, but the blasters are as tight as a drum.
    black flag
    the 4 skins
    you could go on all day, and they will all take the pepsi challenge, with todays diet of brainwashing s**t!

  55. Joe: I saw Bon Scott’s last show at the Mayfair.

    Grumpy: I lived on Holloway Road opposite the Flounder and Firkin although it may not have been there when you were there. There was some good old cockney knees up music there on Saturday nights.

    Worky: Morrissey had to cancel parts of his US tour with a bleeding ulcer (to match his bleeding heart). I knew all that hand wringing and moaning would catch up to him.

  56. Incorrect, Joe. All of Tull’s stuff is excellent. Esp the 70’s stuff.

    Quadrophenia is vanishing up their collective arse? That’s an excellent album. Some of the best music of the modern age are concept albums.

    Now lets stuff Swansea and get moving up the table.

  57. GS says:
    March 1, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    “Grumpy: I lived on Holloway Road opposite the Flounder and Firkin”

    GS, I thought you became a Yank before they had pubs over here with crappy names like the “Flounder and Firkin.”

  58. The Flounder and Firkin was one of the original ones along with The Slug and Lettuce. They weren’t bad back then. Brewed their own beer on site, you could look through a window in the floor and see the tanks. I moved to Chicago in 1990.

  59. Worky, Johnny Leyton, I bought his LP, might even still have it somewhere.

    Jethro Tull, great stuff even after Ian Andersons throat problems.

    Joe a lot of the gud-uns have shed their mortal coils, I’m amazed at some of the ones who are still going strong.

    I have been waiting all day for someone to ask if this is still a football blog. :)

    And I reckon we will beat Swansea by the way.

  60. Grumpy: it has been a long time since this blog went off on a tangent. It used to happen all of the time.

  61. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    March 1, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    “I have been waiting all day for someone to ask if this is still a football blog. :)

    And I reckon we will beat Swansea by the way.”

    Grumpy, if I ever mention Swansea or Michael Laudrup on here, I usually get Chuck on my back insinuating that I have some kind of gay crush on him, and that it’s a bit creepy for someone of my age to point out that he is exceptional. Hence, I’ve been trying to stay away from the subject. ;-)

    Turns out I was right about him and Michu at the start of the season though! :-)

  62. Am currently watching a bidding war on an item we have on e-bay, brilliant.

    We have been clearing the loft, just found Bernard Briggs, says he will sign for the Toon for all the chip butties he can eat!! ;)

  63. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    March 1, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    “We have been clearing the loft, just found Bernard Briggs, says he will sign for the Toon for all the chip butties he can eat!!”

    Sounds more like a Micky Quinn quote to me Grumpy.

  64. Anyone else remember who Bernard Briggs was, if I mention the name Wilson does it ring any bells.

  65. Correct, he was in the Wizard or the Rover, was a scrap metal dealer with a bath as a side car on his motorbike and he played in goal. I was brought up on these comics and they had proper stories at the time not picture stories. I had then all from issue one, be worth a fortune on e-bay now. :(

    My item did good by the way.

  66. Actually thinking about it I wouldn’t have had the early editions as it began years before I was born. :)

    It’s really sad to see one of our young rising stars leave. :)

  67. maze202 says:
    March 1, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    “Nile Ranger has left by mutual consent!”

    Aye, I was just reading about it maze. I thought it was more of a question of “when” rather than “if” and I daresay that alot of others did too.

  68. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    March 1, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    “Correct, he was in the Wizard or the Rover”

    I only really read the Beano, apart from the odd read of the Dandy, and brief glimpses of one or two others. I just remembered the name very vaguely though.

    “My item did good by the way.”

    Well done Grumpy!

  69. Worky
    I’m afraid you missinterpreted my use of the word romantic.
    I ment it as used in describing someone who has a romantic nature in regard to a subject, which certainly was not ment to insinuate any reference to that love that cannot be named as wor Oscar once described it, or something similar ?
    In your case it’s not simply Laudrup, but Cruyff and others of that era.
    Sort of like fifty year old + fans, wearing replica shirts, with their favorite players names, just a bit unbecoming but then thats just my opinion.

  70. I just turned 50 and have a replica shirt. I wear it down the pub so other fans can identify my allegiance. It is an away shirt as I don’t want to be mistaken for an NFL Ref.

    I don’t think it is unbecoming but Chuck will probably say it backs up his point that I wear one :)

  71. I got the shirt on kitbag and the really good thing about it is that it has the blue star on it instead of the Virgin Money logo, or god forbid if I buy one next year and have to suffer with Wonga on it.

  72. GS says “…or god forbid if I buy one next year and have to suffer with Wonga on it.”

    I always liked the Newky Broon star on the shirts as well, GS, and I’ve got plenty of them to choose from in my classic pub-wear collection! I won’t be buying a Wonga shirt either.

    We could have worse shirt sponsor than wonga, I suppose, though. Say it was something like

    Anusol, Lanocaine, Preparation H, SportsDirect :)

  73. Talkin music here?
    Undoubtably the greatest music was penned by those musical greats, such as Cole Porter, Irving berlin, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Rodgers & Hammerstein, well you get the picture.
    And sung by the great balladeers and jazz singers of the era, Bill Holliday, Helen Hulmes, Ella, not to mention Frank Sinatra, Nat Cole, Billy Eckstine, Johnny Hartman, Tony Bennett, to name but a few.

    Those, followed in the late forties and early fifties by the Johnny Rays, Frankie Lanes etc.

    Then came the revolution,RR, with Bill Haley playing in “Rock around the clock”, which caused riots in the movie theatre located on Clayton St., dont remember the name.
    Quickly followed by Elvis, Gerry Lee, Lil Richerd, Bo Diddly, Chuchk Berry.
    And for just about every US artist, there was a British immitator, awfull stuff.
    Dunno what happened in the uk after that as i was’nt around.
    But we had a lotta Doo wop here in the states, then the Wilson Pickets Aretha, plus Stuff like Boogaloo, Plena etc, which i doubt made it to the UK.
    At most some Tex-Mex stuff like Freddy fender, made it’s way, plus songs like La bamba.
    Of course Country was the dominant music in the US, along with other styles Blue grass, Zydeco, Rock ‘a Billy all sharing a big market.
    And of course Jazz had not gone anywhre, but had like classical music had a limited audience.
    One of the many regrets was the Cuban embargo, which cut off a great combination of cuban inspired jazz, with it’s most amazing rythm sections.
    Of course there was also a fusion with various South American jazz inspired sounds, of which Bossa Nova was probably the most impressive.
    Actually it would take a book to write the musical history of the last fifty or sixty years and you will notice where i left off, as i have nothing much to say of the music of the nineties or the music of the present millenium, not to say it was all bad and i did leave out punk, which i like, mostly because of it,s energy
    And if i have left out things, it’s simply too large a subject to cover and i never shouldda started.
    Ah well!

  74. The harsh reality may be some wearing those same WONGA shirts, may be up to their necks in debt, to the very company they are advertising.
    For Shame ! but i guess Ashley has no concern as to where he fills his pockets.

  75. chuck says:
    March 1, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    I’m afraid you missinterpreted my use of the word romantic.
    I ment it as used in describing someone who has a romantic nature in regard to a subject, which certainly was not ment to insinuate any reference to that love that cannot be named as wor Oscar once described it, or something similar ?
    In your case it’s not simply Laudrup, but Cruyff and others of that era.
    Sort of like fifty year old + fans, wearing replica shirts, with their favorite players names, just a bit unbecoming but then thats just my opinion.”

    Chuck, you’ve obviously worked for the CIA at some stage as I’ve never known anyone get things wrong so often.

    1. the only replica shirt I have ever worn was one bought for me by a girlfriend as a souvenir when we attended a Valencia game together. It didn’t have a name on it and the only time I wore it subsequently was to actually play football and it didn’t have a name on it. I don’t do replica shirts.

    2. Johan Cruyff and Michael Laudrup were players of different eras. Johan Cruyff was Laudrup’s coach at Barcelona, not his teammate. I also have other favourite players from other eras too.

    3. “The love that dare not speak its name” wasn’t written by Oscar Wilde, it was written by his lover, Lord Douglas.

  76. Worky: “I don’t do replica shirts.”

    I think you’re more of a silk pyjamas and long cigarette holder sort of bloke though, aren’t you?

    Have you never been tempted to get a big number nine stencilled on the back of your ‘Noel Cowards’? :)

  77. chuck says:
    March 1, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    “And for just about every US artist, there was a British immitator, awfull stuff.
    Dunno what happened in the uk after that as i was’nt around.”

    Oh we just had a few boring bands you probably didn’t hear about over there like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Who, The Yardbirds, Cream, The Hollies, The Small Faces, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Animals, Traffic and a few hundred others ;-)

  78. goodoldjimgold says:
    March 1, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    “Amstel is awful beer.”

    That it is, Jim. Only fit for consumption for monkeys (and Upchuck).

  79. DarthBroon says:
    March 1, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    “I think you’re more of a silk pyjamas and long cigarette holder sort of bloke though, aren’t you?

    Have you never been tempted to get a big number nine stencilled on the back of your ‘Noel Cowards’?”

    Darth, I’m actually rather casual for a man of my years though funnily enough, I really have always wanted to treat myself to a good smoking jacket and I still own a few cigarette holders from the time when I was an Antiques and Fine Art dealer.

  80. Worky: “…from the time when I was an Antiques and Fine Art dealer.”

    lol. Time you updated your Avatar, I think! In light of recent conversations/posts, I think Alexander Armstrong or Noel Coward would be perfect ;-)

  81. DarthBroon says:
    March 1, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    “I think Alexander Armstrong or Noel Coward would be perfect”

    I went to the same school as Alexander Armstrong Darth. He’s a Geordie. His family used to have a little factory down Elswick way by the river and they had quite a nice place in Rothbury too.

  82. I did know that Alexander Armstrong was a Geordie, Worky. And a glance at Thickipedia tells me that he went to Durham School. You too, eh?

    No famous old boys from my school, Leeholme, near Bishop Auckland, but I did have the pleasure of going to school with Alan Shoulder’s younger brother, Willie at both Coundon Junior School and Leeholme. He was a great lad and it’s a shame to say he’s no longer with us (as of around three years now).

    I’ve never really thought that my school days were the best days of my life, but Willie Shoulder did his share to make them bearable!

  83. Darth, I went to Bow, which is the Durham Prep School but I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t last very long at Durham as I wimped out, and my parents moved to Darlington so I had to become a border there. I don’t know about now but it was as hard as nails back then for a baitn. It was one of those posh schools that bred Army Officers and England Rugby captains. It was the best Rugby school in the country in my time and there was lots of Army Cadet training.

    We were the hard posh lads and our sworn enemy was the Choristers school in Durham where Tony Blair attended quite a few years before. They were the choirboy “Cuthbert Cringeworthy” types, hence Chorister bashing was a kind of tradition. It was a bit like a posh version of Geordies and Mackems if you know what I mean? My brother served the full term at Durham but he was brilliant at Rugby and the right type. I wasn’t that type at all.

  84. Worky: what’s with avoiding replica shirts? Did you have a NUFC scarf and hat as a kid? I really don’t see that much difference if you are wearing it to go to/watch a match. I think it is very much the same and an identification with the team – football was always tribal. This is just the latest way to show it.

    I never really see football shirts as a fashion item, although Blackhawks and Bears jerseys are often worn that way in Chicago.

    For poorer kids in Newcastle I suspect they get the top and that is probably the most expensive thing they have. They might wear it around town for that reason. Well, that’s my amateur sociologist view.

  85. Worky: is kitbag an advertiser on here? It is shown at the bottom of my page but sometimes the ads come up because of my internet history and aren’t associated with a particular page.

  86. Worky

    “Chorister bashing” sounds great. Much better than Gremlins V Casuals :)

    I know Darlington well, incidentally. I worked as a programmer at the DWP, Mowden Hall.

  87. Ah ! glad to see i oncen again grabbed the attention of y’all.
    Worky, did i suggest that you ever had anything to do with wearing replica shirts, in which case why do you
    defend the issue.

    As for my music post, sure i realized before i was a quarter way through, that it was more of a book than a post here.
    And yes i stated so, plus the fact i had left out many major influences.
    And to defend Tommy Steele, Cliff Richards and other aufull immitations of American artists of the era, is in fact indefensible.

    I have to laugh at all of the references to private boys schools (breeding grounds for homo-sexuality and brutality)
    Could’nt hack it at Durham eh?, then got a place at another second class boarding school, (obviously your parents wanted to get you off their hands) in which case i would’nt be too anxious to make it public.

    Working for the CIA, nah! they would’nt have me in the MAFIA, so had to find an alternative.

    Amstel a bad beer “Dark Broon”? , you know thats not so, it’s one of the best selling beers there is, is that all you can say as a personal insult?

    Plus your statement about your classic (is there such a thing)collection of “Pub Wear” shirts sounds a bit embarrassing for someone your age.
    But then who am i to judge ?

  88. chuck says:
    March 2, 2013 at 6:58 am

    “Ah ! glad to see i oncen again grabbed the attention of y’all.”

    Chuck, if you’re so so desperate for attention that you prefer provocation followed by inevitable hostilty and contempt to nothing at all you must be very lonely and bitter inside. You just can’t seem to keep your anger and bitterness down for long, but that isn’t the answer to your problem.

  89. Mate texted me last night saying Ranger was Gone….best Toon news I have heard in ages.

  90. sirjasontoon says:
    March 2, 2013 at 11:57 am

    “Mate texted me last night saying Ranger was Gone….best Toon news I have heard in ages.”

    Even better news than 8 years of Pardew, SJT?

  91. sampdiago says:
    March 2, 2013 at 11:19 am

    “Worky how are you going to celebrate pile ranger leaving?”

    I’m not going to celebrate, on the other hand, I’m not going to be heartbroken either. I’m not really into this hostility thing towards our own players or ex players. I hope that Ranger gets his act together and does well elsewhere.

  92. Chuck says:
    March 2, 2013 at 6:58 am

    ” is that all you can say as a personal insult?”

    lol. NO, you sad, daft, lonely old seppo blowhard!

    Let’s build on all the other things I’ve called you over the last couple of years and ADD that you’re nothing more than an illiterate, poor man’s John Wayne who lives down to every negative stereotype people have of your country.

    I’m amazed you’re still posting (your crappy, cribbed essays) here, to be honest. You recently called for an overwhelming show of support from others posting here or you’d LEAVE – and you ended up writing the thing yourself :) Unbelievable.

    And I don’t believe for a moment that you have any connection to this city and this club (or this country) beyond googling other people’s comments and articles (and converting to that ridiculous, affected trailer park drawl, of course).

    Enough personal insults for you, seppo?