Newcastle United Change

Newcastle United Alex Bell

I would like to tell you about my two son's first ever NUFC game. We all live in Cheshire, I moved there in 1986 after living in Newcastle till I was 21. I have two boys, Mike and Peter, and in 2002 when they were 12 & 9 respectively. I bought tickets for the Juve game in the Champions League, and the day before we drove up the M6 to stay at my Mother's house. On the morning of the match we made our way into town to visit the ground and to build up the excitement. On walking round the Gallowgate we spotted Sir Bobby Robson climbing out of his car and heading our way, he walked over to us and proceeded to spend the next ten minutes asking us who we were, where we were from and was impressed that it was the boys first match and that we had travelled so far to see the game. At the end of the conversation he put his arm around the boys and said he will make sure the team put on a good performance for them. I got his autograph on a work business card as it was all I had, which I still have, what I would have give for a camera. I don't know who was more awe struck, me or my boys.

As history shows we won the game and a fantastic night was had by all. Can it get any better than that for a Magpie debut?

It contrasts with my first non-match. My brother took me to NUFC v Blackpool in the early 70's, I remember getting on a clackerty old train at Longbenton in the rain, I was still buzzing though, but by the time we had made the Central station the game had been abandoned. Major disappointment. At least that prepared me for life as a NUFC fan.

Alex Bell


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,



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