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Newcastle United John Haig

A great day out at SJP courtesy of the Newcastle United Foundation My First Match Scheme on Saturday. We took some kids from Ashington Colliers Under 10's, some of whom were attending their first match at SJP. The game itself was a particularly good one versus an excellent Southampton side, though we were all disappointed Newcastle could not force a win. Newcastle had the better of the first half but then Southampton came out second half and played really well so I suppose a draw was fair enough. The kids had a great time and have already asked if they can go again.

The match day experience is an excellent one nowadays and so different to the one I experienced 23 years ago attending my first match versus Barnsley. It was 17/11/1990 and in front of a crowd of around 15,500 in the old second division, Ossie Ardiles lined up the following team.

Burridge, Ranson, Stimson, Bradshaw, Scott, Anderson, Clark, O'Brien, Brock, Sloan, Quinn. Sub: Fereday

Not a Frenchman in site - 9 Englishmen and 2 Irishmen in the starting line up with one English substitute! Highlight of the game which was a drab 0-0, was Mick Quinn diving and punching the ball into the Gallowgate goal, wheeling away in celebration only to be booked for his efforts. The match was rubbish but I still enjoyed the experience. We belted out a few songs that day, the best of which - "He's fat, he's round, he's worth a million pound, Micky Quinn.....".

Fast forward 23 years - 50,000 crowd, a good cosmopolitan team including internationally recognised players and an all-seater arena. Amazing transformation.

From memory we finished the 1990/91 season 11th in division 2. I am hoping for a higher placed Premiership finish for the 2013/14 season. I am going for 7th or 8th as my prediction.

Thanks to Newcastle United Foundation’s Toon Times Project on behalf of Ashington Colliers Under 10's.

John Haig


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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