Issue 11             November 99
 
 
Featuring: Comment
AGM
Fleet Street v Yatesies
Sing Along a Tom
Sporting Tipster
I Can't Believe my Ears
Twin Passions
New Members
Conundrum
Bits and Pieces
Steady's Skull

 

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COMMENT

I hope everyone reading this is fine and is enjoying this strange start to our season. I mean, how many teams can say they've changed their manager three times in the past two years and on the same day! What will the 28th August 2000 hold in store for us? Who knows, but since it's Newcastle you can be guaranteed it'll be nothing dull!

The new millennium seems to have just about everyone spooked - the millennium bug, the biggest party the world has ever known, Armageddon, and lets not forget interactive TV! With Sky launching their new channel Sky Sports Extra you will be able to replay goals, fouls, tackles, saves, shots etc from any camera angle you may desire without moving from the comfortable mould you've made in your favourite chair. This could be a good thing but it may also take the scapegoats out of the beautiful (and flawless?) game.

How well do you think you could cope if there was clear visual evidence to prove a member of the sacred eleven was actually guilty of a crime. You could argue until you were blue in the face, but with this new system there's evidence available to anyone watching against you. On the other hand it could prove you right but how often does luck fall our way?

And would all this new technology or the beamed back games to St James' keep you in the warmth of your homes in the winter months to come? I hope not. Stick to the terraces. And just remember that if you do happen to come back from somewhere warm and head straight to a Newcastle game, please remember to wrap up warm. You may look hard wearing only your colours and that sombrero, but you won't feel it!
 

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AGM

Nothing changes. The September monthly meeting - and AGM - saw the re-election of the previous committee.

JT, Tom and Dave were all re-elected. The production of club membership cards had been delayed to protect against the risk of them being wrong as everyone thought JT would be booted off the committee and we'd have a new chairman, especially since he was absent on business in Oxfordshire.

Other changes saw Paul Dodd volunteering to act as auditor for the club accounts and he also agreed to take responsibility for our publicity efforts. No one was keen to actively organise travel.
 

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FLEET STREET V YATESIES

Heard the one about the king's new clothes?

You know, a little lad blurts out that HRH is starkers and everyone realises what complete Makems they've been. Well, prepare yourself for a similar revelation. The pub we use before home games is crap and has been ever since they changed the name from Printers Pie to Fleet Street.

Allow me, for a moment, to become a boring old git with flat cap, Old Holburn and misty eyes.  Like all great pubs, The Printers Pie had an affinity with the nearby industry - in this case newspaper production at next door Thomson House, pie being a unit of measurement in the newspaper world.

For travellers from the wastelands of Yorkshire it offered a taste of civilisation not far from the Central and just a short walk from St James Park. The beer was well kept and reasonably priced, there were pool tables and Sky TV, sausages on the bar every Sunday and "House of the Rising Sun" was always on the juke box.

Then some gin and tonic sipping corporate bod decided the Pie needed "modernising".  "Newspapers" thought the bod, "well we better call it Fleet Street".

This was bizarre on two counts: a) Fleet Street is in London and b) newspapers left Fleet Street about ten years ago.

The decline became apparent when dads were told kids were banned from the pub even before a match (Alan, how come Michael has got round this?) Then the pool table went west, the prices went up and the beer quality fell - even the sausages disappeared on a Sunday. Finally Sky came out so instead of a decent sporting starter before the game we had to make do with the BBC's exclusive rights to the ping pong world championship (hold me back). But the most important reason we should kick the pub into touch is the X-file like effect its decline has had on our beloved Newcastle United.

I'm sure the day they appointed Dalglish was the same day the pub's name was changed. When we sold Ginola the pool table came out, the switch from Sky to the beeb saw Ferdinand replaced by Tommasson and when Tino buggered off so did the sausages. Rather like Newcastle, the pub has struggled on ever since surviving only through the loyalty of its patrons.

The last time I went in was before we got beat by Sunderland - that was the final straw. So, as Haircut 100
would say "where do we go from here?". The answer? (as the creature from the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce would say) "the nearest pub".

Rising like a phoenix from the ashes, like Wyn the leap, like Steady's todger, is the new Yates Wine Lodge on Grainger
Street. Three floors of wood and chrome, cheap beer and Sky TV and just a snicket away from our former abode.

Consider the evidence. The first time I went to Yates we won 8-0 and afterwards over a post match beer I caught the second half of the smoggies losing at Leeds. On my next visit we proceeded to beat said smoggies 2-1 and the after match entertainment saw Chelsea thumping Man United 5-0.

So see you there next game, the second floor bar is best for getting served (only 1.30 a pint after a match), the third floor is best for watching the big screen.

If enough of us go I am confident we will sign Rivaldo, win the league and see the Greater Manchester snatch squad jailed for life.
 

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SING ALONG A TOM

The bus back from CSKA at home revealed that the crooner with the extensive knowledge of ribald rugby and World War One soldiers’ songs has an even larger repertoire than any of us imagined.

There had been a developing weariness and a declining desire to join in with tales of:

• His (ex) wife’s mother and her tattoos
• I don’t want to join the Army
• Old King Cole (sic) - and his bizarre sexual orientation. (I don’t totally understand this one yet -does he watch his wife with the huntsmen, policemen, butchers or does he join-in?) and
• The Twelve Days of Christmas (“5 choir boys” mix)

But he met the challenge of boredom and the new oval shaped traveller from Wetherby - who’s knowledge of such ditties comes close to rivalling his - inspired our youthful looking, 40 ish crooner to extend his poptastic range. The bus was like an over 60’s seaside mystery tour and we were encouraged to join in with:

• Perry Como and his Magic Moments (in the park)
• Jilted John by Jilted John - (Gordon is a Moron)
• Bohemian Rhapsody - with a hopeless percussionist who could cover for Animal in the Muppet Show, and
• American Pie - yes it got that bad.

The last one was the final straw.
Even a sober (?) JT joined in.
At least 2 others - Graham Helling and the Wetherby Whaler - also knew it word for word.

It was literally the day the music died - on the bus.
 

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SPORTING TIPSTER
 

When you pop into the bookies do they tremble with fear or rub their hands with glee ? Well fret no more, help is at hand. Over the coming months I can reveal the secrets of the gambling world that separate shrewd investors from mug punters.

The most important rule for any punter is look for value. There is no such thing as a certainty so don’t back a team simply because you think they will win - back them because you believe they have a better chance of winning than the odds offered by the bookies.

A recent good example was Huddersfleld at Chelsea in the Worthington Cup.

Chelsea put out a well below strength team and apart from a blitz against Man United and the Makems have had trouble scoring all season.

Huddersfield are doing very well in the first division, have scored an average of over two goals a game, were up for it and put out their best team.

So, the game was a top-of-first-division team against a top-of-the-Premier reserve team.

Hills offered 8-1 Huddersfleld. In other words if the game were played in the same conditions nine times Huddersfield would have to win only once for punters to avoid losing.

This was stand out value. The thought process is not “who is more likely to win” but “are Huddersfield value at 8-1. The answer was yes and Huddersfield obliged

We will stay with the Worthington Cup for today’s advice. Everyone has been slagging the competition off but for punters it is a potential goldmme and Mystic Mag is confident of nailing the winner from the 16 left in.

Firstly, the last eight winiiers have all been Premier clubs so that cuts the field to ten.

Secondly, there are no replays so playing at home is a massive advantage in the next round - that leaves us with three teams, Leicester and Villa (available at 10-i with Ladbrokes) and Middlesbrough (a best 8-1, or 10-1 with Chandlers).

From our starting bank of 100 points I’d recommend five points on each of the midlands clubs.

It’s hard to see the Smoggies winning but they’ve reached Wembley three times in the last three seasons and if they beat an under strength Arsenal have an easy route to the final. A two point saver is the call.

The beauty with these three teams is that they are not in the Uefa cup and unlikely to be fighting relegation or for the title so will field fill strength teams.

They also have very good recent records in this competition and it offers them their best chance of reaching Europe - just pray Martin O’Neill doesn’t leave Leicester.
 
 

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I CAN’T BELIEVE MY EARS!

One can only view changes in the board of Newcastle United with a jaundiced eye. The directors seem to have a shelf life shorter than a yoghurt, but deposed board members can be reinstated if they own enough shares. The latest moves at the club promote the chief executive to chairman and the finance director to chief operating officer. There is also the appointment of Michael Winskell as strategy director and company secretary. This role apparently "does not require full-time involvement". Hmmm.

There is no truth in the rumour that the supporters in the milburn and leazes end who are being asked to pay £1350 to stay in their seats next season (some of whom are indeed bond holders ) are being offered the opportunity to sell their shares to the club at the price they paid! After all the share price can go up as well as down (currently 65p).

I hove been reliably informed that the Newcastle United club doctor who gave buncan Ferguson his pre £8 million transfer medical has been replaced. Apparently Doctor Marten has been succeeded by Doctor Pepper!
 

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TWIN PASSIONS

I, like many football fans, passionately and loyally support two clubs. In my case the same player captains both. I was fortunate enough to be at Wembley when one of my teams beat Luxembourg 6-0 and my hero, who had taken a lot of stick in the press and on the television in the run up to the game, scored a hat trick However, before the match kicked off the team sheets were announced. I was disgusted to hear that when Shearer’s name was called about 20% of the England fans (yes England fans) booed. Now I don’t care if David Beckham (who I don’t like but is an undoubted talent), David Mellor (who I don’t like and is an overweight, gappy toothed, smug know-it-all) or even Graham Poll (who I can’t stand) pulls on an England or Newcastle shirt they will have my full and loyal support until they either transfer to another club or retire. Although Graham Poll would push my loyalty to the limit I suspect.

After the game, and the hat trick, the criticism continued on the 6.06 programme on Radio 5. Richard Littlejohn (Spurs fan and big time smartass) called Shearer a “miserable git” (and of course George Graham isn’t!) adding to David Mellor’s comment after Sunderland game that Shearer was vastly overpaid for what he did (and of course David Mellor isn’t!). One female caller even moaned that Shearer, peeling off to the left side to celebrate his hat-track did not run over to Keiron Dyer on the right to see how he was - although two England Physio’s were abeady seeing to him. For Christ sake, please please get behind the lad. He has pledged his loyalty to us and we should do the same to him when he needs it most, unlike the whinging letters in the Mag recently such as the anonymous “Mag in Exile - Mag 125 page 8”.

Whilst on the subject of loyalty, some fans may have heard the half time P.A. at Old Trafford for the Toon game announce with glee “and today we welcome Johnny Cockney (or what ever his name was) to his first game. Johnny was a life long Arsenal fan but has now seen the light and has now decided to support Mian. United”. Well, how’s that for loyalty, from a team whose fans had whinged all summer about Anelka’s lack of loyalty to the club.

Finally, is it just me or did anyone else notice that the spot on the pitch where Shearer was sent off by Uria Rennie for not touching Calderwood against Villa this year was exactly the same spot that Psycho was sent off by that man Poll for jumping up with his elbows against West Ham last year. Spooky or what?

Keep the faith.
Paul Cook
 

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NEW MEMBERS

Latest recruits to the club are:

Dave Harrington plus his two lads Robert and Liam and the wife - Maci - all from St Albans. Dave’s a Lancastrian who was at University in Newcastle and has many tales to tell about he utter numbness of Ian ‘Murt’ Murtaugh who now reports on the Toon in the Journal or Chronicle. Amazingly Murt couldn’t drink a drop when he was a student - and he became a sports Journalist. He was also as tight as a gnat’s chuff - allegedly.

Gary Foster from Stanley, near Wakefield - formerly from Gateshead - and another high volume Dog slurper, as demonstrated by the state he was in and his utterings on the bus back from CSKA, viz ... “Call yourself a chairman JT - you’re not even pissed!” Wait and see the master Gary. Wait and see.

Rob Campbell from Pickering is very much an unknown quantity having had his membership paid for by Louise Horsburgh as a present. We’ll be doing gift vouchers next.

Tracey Grady from Leeds, introduced by Jim Philpott.

Paul Atkinson from Altofts near Wakefield has joined following Malcolm Wood’s introduction. Again nothing to spill on Paul so far but there again he is a new source for cheap printing so any mis-demeanours are likely to be edited out.

Bernie ‘My Name is Basil’ Rafferty from North Shields - now in Wetherby - who is vying with Gary Foster for the joke of the year award. Although the recent examples on male only bus trips mean that they are unlikely to get a hearing at the curry night, one or two may just make it past the politically correct equal ops committee for an airing on 18 December. (Gary currently leads the polls with tales of a scantily clad fish and chip shop serving wench and two dyslexic skiers.)

And finally the biggest welcome of all to the new recruit we have all been waiting for - the one and only Gary - ‘The Leg’ or ‘Shakey’ - Bailey from South London. He is a ‘Leg end’ in his own lifetime. His antics in Barcelona are now long forgotten and he’s a welcome member. Look out for his look-a-like brother ‘Fruity’ who may be more difficult to recruit.
 

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CONUNDRUM

How do you allocate 5 adult tickets and 2 child tickets for the Newcastle seats for Leeds (A) when demand outstrips supply?

Or - in Martin Bare’s (club sponsor) words - “Bailey, how the ?@ck did I end up in the Leeds end, you b*$ +@-!“

Simple really.

Jason Mollet sells the Mag outside Elland Road - gets abused by the YPs - and then goes and sits in their end? No I don’t think so. Toon end ticket.

Keith Barclay - Driver of the Year - say no more - Toon ticket.

Paul Dodd and Lucas - dad and lad package - Toon tickets.

Dave Layfield - bought a ticket from LUFC for the East stand and would have been sat on his own - Toon ticket and his Leeds end ticket sold outside the ground.

Brendan Duggan - loud, large, lippy - happy to take a chance with the kids ticket (under 16) - Toon Ticket (well done Hamish)

An finally - Jim Philpott - now come on would you want to sit with him in the Leeds end? - Toon ticket.

Sorry Martin maybe next year.
 

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BITS AND PIECES

Christmas Cards

Don’t buy any until you see what Dean has done for us. We’ll shortly have our a charity Christmas card ready for sale - design has yet to be finalised but it will feature our new millennium badge.

New pin badges and shirts featuring Dean’s design will also be ready soon.
 

Congratulations

Dr Lee from Ripon for passing his driving test at the 5th attempt, and Tom for not letting it drag on for more than a year. Now this could BE A TRIXy one to explain. And JT for joining Tom in a Swiss Roll.
 

December meeting

Exceptionally, because of the reserves playing at Bradford on Tuesday night, the next meeting at the THT will be on Monday 6th December.
 

Home Tickets

Just to let you know, the bids for the Club's season ticket's post-Christmas games need to be drawn. A list of those games you wish to and can attend would be useful. Please take them along to the next meeting or get them to any member of the committee.
 

Christmas curry night

Get those beer bellies out and prime your worn out taste buds for the Christmas Curry Night is upon us again. It will be held at the usual spot - the Kashmir in Bradford -on the Saturday of the away game at Bradford City - (very well planned I'm impressed - ed) - which is the 18th of December.

Hopefully there will be the traditional, but strange, awards seasoned with the usual drunken speakers. Good laughs are had by all who attend and children are more than welcome. If there are any queries talk to Dave B.
 

Tickets

We have acquired an additional season ticket for the rest of the season. It's in the Milburn Stand in line with the 18 yard box at the Gallowgate End and comes with a free poncho - Alan Hutchings can demonstrate his aptitude for gethng it back into its bag - sometimes. We will sell the ticket on a match by match basis, prioritised for members who don’t have a season tickets and can only get to the odd match. We are selling it at less than face value @ £25 per match. The other ticket we have is available for £20 per match.

So please let us know if you would like to use either of them for any of the forthcoming matches. This also means that if anyone needs a couple of tickets together we will be able to arrange some swaps. Also Paul Cook and Geoff Speight have been very successful in getting tickets through the Connect Club for home games. Please get in touch if you need any.
 

Travel

A 15 seater mini bus has been booked for forthcoming games against:

Tottenham (H) on Sunday 28 November
Aston Villa (A) on Saturday 4 December
Roma (H) UEFA Cup on Thursday 9 December (which also means the FAC rd 3 game will not be on a Saturday.)

Ring Dave Bailey if you need a seat. There have been some recent instances of the bus being over subscribed so book early. Is there any one out there with any contacts for a 17 or 18 seater bus?
 

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STEADY'S SKULL

It’s back, for a one-off special group accusation for four alpine alcohol adventurers.

Big Issue, Gordano, Miguel and Wheeley Bin decide - with inspiration from the well travelled homeless magazine peddler - to use their Geneva to Zurich train tickets and visit a skiers tourist haunt on top of a mountain - a bar at 5000+ ft. They arrive via the mountain funicular railway to find a hotel and bar populated  by a Swiss wedding party enjoying the view and the lager.

Toon tops, trainers (not Gordano of course) anoraks, carrier bags and label lover’s lightweights marked out the four ambassadors from the leather trousered local yodellers. So at ten minutes to six o’clock - a couple of hours after arriving at the bar - a few locals glance over at the pils pouring pals and, with furrowed brows and shrugs, most depart for the six o’clock train down.

At ten past six, Heidi the laid back waitress asks casually if the four amigos are staying the night in the hotel.

"No",  replies Big Issue, "we’re going down on the last train at 18.30".

"Oh", says Heidi, "there isn’t a train at 18.30. The last one for the night went at 18.00.".

Expletives follow particularly from the Tad lad in his £500 outfit - ideal for a night on the pull, not a night scrambling down a mountain in fading light.

Over two hours later they reached civilisation and the train back to Geneva. The rock strewn goat track wiped the shine off the Lacoste loafers. He’ll be throwing up in scouse curry houses and shopping at Famous Army Stores next.
 

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