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Thread: Nostalgia #1 St James' Park

  1. #1
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    Nostalgia #1 St James' Park

    Felt we needed some threads that aren't about the misery of supporting the club in its present state.

    What are your best memories of the ground? And I'm not talking about games, more just the place itself, the first time you went, things that stick in your memory. I'd imagine everyone's got a story so lurkers...get involved even if it's to tell us one thing then bugger off again.

    My earliest memories are of my Dad sitting me on one of the concrete barriers in the late seventies so that I could see; there was even one game where it got so crowded that they allowed some kids-me and my brother and sister included-to sit behind the advertising hoardings which ran around the pitch.

    When we couldn't afford to go-which was more often the case than not-my Dad would take me down for the last 20 minutes (yes, that was a thing)because that's when they opened the gates for people to leave so there'd be a few people going up the stairs as others were coming down, usuually saying stuff like 'divn't bother, man, it's shite'

    I also remember the peanut sellers carrying their trays around the pitch and people would pass their money over and he'd hoy the bags at them. Fuck's sake, amn, I might put a Hovis ad gif up myself!

    I remember getting our first season tickets in the Milburn Corner (it's where you graduated to once you'd grown out of the Corner or the Scoreboard ) and, after beating the mackems one time (used to do it all the time but never went all mong about it like they do) and realising after the final whistle that they were all just staring up at us from the old Leazes paddock with absolute hatred in their eyes, screaming heinous obscenities while we just looked down on them and laughed like drains.

    I think I've mentioned this before but I always used to wonder why the steps down from the Gallowgate were wet and had big puddles which you couldn't always avoid when everyone was tightly packed coming down them after a match and I couldn't remember it raining during th game. It all became horribly clear one day when I wasn't at the game but had wandered down from Fenham to stand outside and listen-I got there at half time and there were hundreds of fans standing up and down the steps having a piss and i suddenly went 'ohhhhhhh........'

    Anyway, there are plenty more but this isn't meant to be just my recollections so I'll stop there.

    Howay, pile in...

  2. #2
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    I've told mine more than once but it's impregnated on my memory so it won't hurt again.

    League football had been suspended during the war. A few games were played when players were home on leave and represented the club nearest playing a game irrespective of which club they were registered with.

    The first game in our area was a friendly against Middlesborough in 1946 and my late Uncle Arthur Gallagher (nicknamed by his workmates as Hughie) took my late cousin and myself, both in short-pants, to our first game.

    My first memory was us lads running in front through some lanes and Uncle shouting to us "Steady on lads they won't kick off before I get there".

    We were in the Gallowgate end and I found out later that the gate was about 35,000, bearing in mind that gates were always much bigger by the turnstile bloke letting mates in and the powers above hiding cash from the records, but it seemed to a little lad that the whole world had turned up.

    We didn't see a lot of the game because of the big crowd but us lads took turns standing on the barrier and up on uncle's shoulders.

    I seem to think the score was 3-1 to us but I'm not sure except that we won.

    Later that year, 1946 we began again in the old second division but were promoted to the first at the end of the following season 46-47.

  3. #3
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    My first time wasn't to watch the Toon,it was a Northumberland Cup Final between Ashington and Rising Sun Colliery Welfare.The only time I sat in the old stand as my dad worked at the Rising Sun and got me a ticket.I followed my dad to the same Pit at Wallsend anout five years later.

  4. #4
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    It wasnt my first game at St James' and it wasnt even a win but the 4th round tie v Man U sticks out in my mind.
    We had a drink in the Nova Castria and when we were walking down the whole place just erupted and Newcastle were going on a rampage and its the only time I've ever felt sorry for Man U fans 😃.
    I'm still amazed at the noise we managed to generate without a roof.
    It was a case of gallant losers which I've become all to accustomed to but its one of those days when players and fans were all in it together.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AP69 View Post
    It wasnt my first game at St James' and it wasnt even a win but the 4th round tie v Man U sticks out in my mind.
    We had a drink in the Nova Castria and when we were walking down the whole place just erupted and Newcastle were going on a rampage and its the only time I've ever felt sorry for Man U fans 😃.
    I'm still amazed at the noise we managed to generate without a roof.
    It was a case of gallant losers which I've become all to accustomed to but its one of those days when players and fans were all in it together.
    aah the nova castria - my uncle must have had shares there he was never away from the place !!

    one of my ~non game memories~ was queueing for tickets, cup matches. - box office top of car park

    queues went all the way up Barrack road we would get there at stupid o clock in the morning -

    once we were "old enough" ha 16 - we would go out on the town - go back to someones house then get the all night bus back into town about 2 or 3 am to queue up.

    we always got tickets ! ha and what a laugh we would have while waiting

  6. #6
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    It was a great place to drink back in the day.
    I remember going through to queue for Blackburn tickets in the FA Cup at 3am and they had already opened the ticket office.

  7. #7
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    Aye, I stood in a couple of queues, like. Now you just have a cuppa, watch the telly and hit 'refresh'.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippity View Post
    Aye, I stood in a couple of queues, like. Now you just have a cuppa, watch the telly and hit 'refresh'.
    Nothing better though after queuing and being handed a ticket

  9. #9
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    I remember once trying to work out if I'd get one by trying to count the number of people ahead of me and attempting to calculate the number of tickets left.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippity View Post
    I remember once trying to work out if I'd get one by trying to count the number of people ahead of me and attempting to calculate the number of tickets left.
    Looking at people walking away with tickets and muttering to your mates "that tw@ts got 4"

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