Howay The Lads

Over the past week #NUFC Twitter and social media in general has been bursting to the seams with chatter about tickets for the League Cup Final (I prefer to call it that as I can’t spell Carabao, let alone pronounce it!).

It’s great to see United supporters delight at having secured a ticket and wanting to share the news with the world. I don’t accept the odd criticism I’ve seen that doing so is somehow “bragging” – but I can understand how some folks might see it that way.

It’s equally sad to see the posts from folks who haven’t managed to get a ticket in spite of all of their efforts. But I guess the good news is there will be other opportunities in the future, as this sleeping giant called Newcastle United is once again rousing itself and beginning to move!

Personally, I don’t have a ticket, didn’t want one, wouldn’t qualify for one on this occasion anyway. I was one of the long-term United fans who gave up their season ticket in despair as I witnessed our previous owner dismantling the club that I have loved since my dad first took me to the Popular Side in 1962 (yep 1962!).

I grew up as a member of the Leazes End choir, went to loads of away games in the days when it could be open warfare at many away grounds and I have been there for every semi-final and final, every Wembley appearance (and Cardiff!) since the Burnley semi and 1974 final against Liverpool.

I know many of our current fans just haven’t had the chance to go to a semi-final or final with United. All I can say is – boy, are you in for a treat!

The excitement of the day is fantastic and unavoidable, the sight of so many other black & white shirts on the way down, in London and of course at Wembley, the flags, the noise, the occasion, it just creates memories that will live with you for the rest of your days.

The hard bit can sometimes be co-ordinating the chanting amongst so many fans all in one vast end of the ground, with the unavoidable result that sometimes there’ll be two or three different chants going on at the same time.

But that’s OK.

I guess my biggest memory of many is that I was there for the 1976 League Cup final and saw us score a goal at Wembley – courtesy of Alan Gowling. The noise from the Toon fans was incredible when that one went in. When we got home on the Sunday, the highlights were on the telly – and I swear our telly rattled when we scored.

For those of us not going this time there’s lots of options for watching the game of course. Pubs, clubs and other venues for those who need to be with other United fans on such an occasion. Or at home with friends and family for others.

Personally, I’ll be in my favourite chair at home in me “Saudi” shirt right in front of the telly with plenty of great food and drink within reach. I’m hoping Wor Flags take a massive surfer flag to Wembley that screams “We Are UNITED” – got to show these Manc upstarts!

Have a great time wherever you will be folks – and stay safe.


What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below.

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