Wor Hyem started in late November 2016. After the all effort Gallowgate Flags put into the displays, we felt it wasn’t making a difference to the noise and people were really starting to take it for granted. A Twitter discussion between three of us took place, after we found we were all beating the same drum on social media. It was clear we were all passionate about the poor atmosphere at St James Park and that we all wanted change. Changes to the atmosphere across the whole stadium, so we decided collectively to try and do something about it.
After that, the group of three quickly turned into eight and that formed the founding group of this movement.
After that we established the name Wor Hyem. We believe to have a passionate atmosphere you need a sense of pride and patriotism, so using a Geordie term like ‘wor hyem’ which means in English ‘our home’ seemed a very fitting name to call ourselves. The logo was then created and we went with some symbolism: The fist represents the people’s unity and fight, the Tyne bridge as a local iconic structure, the flowers follow suit with “ultras” groups logos around the world, the star is for the blue star of the old shirts, but we decided to fill it with the Northumbrian flag to try and instill some local patriotism, Newcastle once being a major town of the Kingdom of Northumbria.
We now have around twenty members including the founders who run the movement on a day to day basis. All are passionate about the club, their region, their city and above all bringing back the atmosphere to our home games again. We have a growing membership which is now totalling just under 1,000 members, who have all registered and provided us with meaningful feedback on their experiences at home games and their thoughts on how to make it better.
Who are we?
Our membership is growing but have been delighted with the diversity of the demographic who are taking part in this. Our ages range from 14 up to 60+ and that is what makes this so exciting, this is not for some people of particular age group as you may expect. This is for anyone who loves our club and wants a better atmosphere, from the supporters who have been coming for over fifty years to the ones who are in their first season of watching and supporting.
It is also, not just males joining our movement we have a growing number of females, young and old all with the same goals, all likeminded and all looking to give the team a 12th man to take onto the pitch with them, inspiring them, making it difficult for the opposition and creating that atmosphere that has been missing for some time.
What is utopia?
People meeting up with their mates and/or family, pre-match in the bars and having a good catch up and discussion before the game. Around 1:30 before kick-off, fans get into the Gallowgate concourses, the price of beer has dropped and there’s a live band playing. Already, there is a real lively atmosphere. 15 minutes before kick-off and people are out into the stadium, singing, chanting and making a real racket. Meanwhile, the opposition manager is spending the majority of his team talk stressing the importance of silencing us.
When the opposition players come out, they look left and up into the Leazes, then they look right and see the intimidating displays. They hear the noise booming out of the Gallowgate and see our team feeling relaxed, confident and up for it and everything they were told, pre-match has gone out of the window and they’re thinking “I don’t want to run towards that end.” There are some flags going all game and non-stop noise. Hopefully, we win and then at the end of the game the captain or man of the match comes and starts a chant with us like they do all over Europe. That’s the dream.
Final WordDon’t get on players’ backs. Don’t tweet them telling them they’ve been rubbish all season, when in reality they’ve just had a bad game. Be positive, be vocal and be supportive.
Our prayers were answered when Rafa decided to remain at our club, he stated one of his determining factors for staying on was the crowd, the fans. We showed him what is possible on the last game of the season against Spurs, but have not managed to live up to it since. Despite being top of the league for the majority of the season, we are short changing him and it’s time to stop and put the atmosphere right, together.
One city, One club, One voice.