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Newcastle United Richard Oliver

 

Although my support for Newcastle United dates back to my Primary School days in the early 1960’s I suppose my first real abiding memory was being taken by my dad to my first home game in 1967, a Wednesday night 1-0 victory over West Ham (Birkett o.g). Probably more than the details of the match itself my memories are of the atmosphere and ‘smells’ as we walked around the ground and waited
outside. I can even remember the turnstile we used which was up the cobbled back lane that ran up the side by the ‘Popular’ terraces – I think someone was actually murdered in that alley some years later. Rather than wait in the separate and much longer children’s queue my dad lifted me over the adult turnstile and I assume slipped the guy behind the desk my entrance fee - something that was common at the time. After that I was hooked and didn’t miss a home game for many years, happily going on my own when my friends couldn’t make it.

Subsequent highlights were:

Checking off seeing all the members of the 1966 England World Cup winning team when their visited with their respective teams. I can still name them all if asked!

The Fairs Cup campaign and particularly the first match against Feyenoord (4-0) with Geoff Allan starring but then soon blighted by injury.

The FA Cup campaign in 1974 including a memorable 3-0 victory away to West Brom when Jimmy Smith replaced an injured Terry Hibbitt and then went on to run the game. Of course the semi-final against Burnley at Hillsborough was also a magnificent day and performance that will never be forgotten, unlike the final although I did win a fiver in the sweepstake at work having picked Kevin Keegan as first scorer – well every cloud as they say!

Later memories are then of taking my two sons to their first game in 1992 (3-2 against Southend Utd) after which they themselves became hooked. I am sure it would have happened in any event but certainly those Kevin Keegan made it a lot easier. I also bought season tickets that year for the first time just before the season started. Within two weeks there was a massive waiting list.

Richard Oliver

 

 

Newcastle United Foundation have a heritage project for fans of all ages called Toon Times.

Toon Times will culminate with a major Newcastle United exhibition at the Discovery Museum, Newcastle, although in the lead up to this event Toon Times wishes to reach out to all Newcastle United fans across the North East and further afield to get involved and share their memories, experiences, photos and memorabilia what people have collected over the years.

We are supporting the project by helping to collect NUFC memories online - fans can share their memories on the Replay Football website, simply select the Toon Times tag when submitting yours.

For more info contact the Toon Times Heritage Project Coordinator, Newcastle United Foundation, gavin.ferry@nufc.co.uk

 

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