By Liam 28/03/17
My first experience of the famous St James’ atmosphere was in 1988 where as a 5 year old lad, my dad took me to my first game. I remember walking up what seemed like very steep steps at the time and being greeted by a wall of noise as I took my first look at what would become a huge part of my life.
My dad’s job took us outside of the North East for a large part of my early years, but we always went back to the game when we could, and when we moved a bit closer to home, I got my current season ticket in 1997, aged 14. The highlight of the weekend was always the match, both home and away. Being part of the atmosphere, the noise, and getting behind the 11 blokes in black and white stripes was what it was all about. I felt I was part of a group of supporters that all felt the same.
Things seem to have changed, and not for the better. I am regularly mocked in my family for trying to go to sleep at a game as a youngster and telling my dad to ‘tell them to stop singing’. The sad truth is that you could quite easily go to sleep at a game now and be undisturbed. The atmosphere feels flat. Even in a season where we are top of the league with Rafa Benitez as our manager, the amount of negativity on matchday is a disgrace. That is the reason I am 100% behind everything that Wor Hyem and Gallowgate Flags are trying to achieve. In an ideal world, atmosphere shouldn’t have to be manufactured, forced or coerced. But in an age where the only thing that gets people on their feet is a bad refereeing decision, or to hurl abuse at our own players, something has to change.
Hopefully one day I’ll have my own 5 year old lad to take to the game, and I want him to feel exactly the same way about Newcastle United as I did when I was that age. Howay the lads!!!