By Brian Hall
Friday 09 Sep 2011 08:17:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles






As I prepared some notes for a reading the other night for a cultural do at the Red House in toon about my County Durham Mam, who passed away in early Spring this year, it naturally led to thoughts of her attitude, and that of other Mams, to life with Newcastle United FC. 


I  obviously managed to include quotes from her, one of which involved our club, and thought of other Mams' statements, and their attitudes, towards a cultural Icon in our region. NUFC. Mams of mates of mine who have followed this Institution through some thick but mainly thin.


Clearly, I dont mean the views of many Mams, indeed Grans, who go to the games themselves. I mean the ones who dont, yet still had, and have, strong opinions on Black and White life.  Part of their culture, to use that word again, culture, not just a hobby or passing interest. Deep all of them wanted us to win.



My Mam, for example, used to be a loyalist in the 1970s. She even wanted Leeds to beat Sunderland in the 73 FA Cup final, and was devastated when we lost in that bloody cup final to the Red Scousers. She would not even blink, if you turned up to look for your coat on a Friday night to jump in a transit van to some obscure and unplanned away match - see you Sunda, eh, she used to say, and would add...........they should win down there. But as time progressed, she changed.       Why are ya wasting money on that lot for.....never win nowt, never will.......and they are overpaid........- and me and Our Kid had to try and justify ourselves.


Scotty's Mam, on the other hand. held onto her optimism a lot longer..Ya never kna, she would say, they seem to have a canny side and So and So looks like a good player. But she would add.....I just wish they would reward the fans for their loyalty, and then conclude, as the years passed, you must all be crackers following them. They dont deserve you. 



Strak's Mam was always a stalwart, in terms of Consoling Cousellor, often sorely needed in times of Black and White disasters and darkness. Never mind, they might win next week, man, she would say. 


Steve's Mam, not Wraithy's but another Steve, was called Monica. She was the female chief of a big County Durham set of Mags.

 Her stance and statements usually emerged confirming her annoyance, and bafflement, about some shambolic performance. How the hell could they not have put that chance in?


 And then, I thought of Pat, matriach of a very large Gateshead family, who carried on the tradition of the whole lot getting together for Sunda dinner. She used to tell them not to get on about the match, as they would all end up arguing with each other. She banned NUFC crack over the table. But if you saw her during the week, she would stop for a bit crack - about the Mags!!!!!                          


Up in the West End, Neil's Mam used to express her own disgust at the fact that he was spending a fortune on away matches, just to get beat. Neil used to think - what do you mean, I didn't spend all that cash to see us get BEAT.


Then, we have the current, younger generation of Mams of course. Just two examples. Young Andy's Mam. She wants NUFC to win, not just because she genuinely wants them too, but also because it means the said Young Andy, and indeed her husband, another Steve, will be in good mood!! And Jane, my ex-wife and Mam of Our Claire. She settled up here many years ago, and thought we were all bonkers about our club. She later tried to become more understanding of what this club meant to her young daughter. She has nearly got there!



As anybody reading this will notice, I have not mentioned a far more dangerous and potentially depressing bunch. The Grandmas and Great Granmas. They can bring up memories of Hughie Gallaher and Jackie Milburn and 3 FA Cups in the 50s. Avoid sitting on a bus on a Monday morning, as these characters might be on the loose - talking about NUFC's latest game, and reminiscing about better days.


In short, the above piece reminds me - as if I need it - on just how much Newcastle United matter. To the Mams and their Mams. Part of their North East culture.


I only make one request to Mr Wraith of Toon Talk and the PlayersInc team. Could you pass this on to the people in charge of OUR club? There again, I doubt that Ashley and Llambias would read it, let alone understand it.


tarah                           Bry




if My Mam, and some of her mates were still knocking about, they would make the London Rioters look like Angels. Armed with bus passes, that lot would have got involved in proper anarchy outside the East Stand to stop the dismantling of the sign and its replacement by Sports Direct AT Whatever.............for sure.

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