Sunday, 6 February 2011

A Football Match On The Bus: The Depression And The Geordie Fightback

It was the needle match. Newcastle Utd vs Arsenal. I watched the black and white shirts as the occupants hung out of the window as the Newcastle bound train pulled into the station.
"They're all drunk, man," said a youth who had been on the same train. "They're drinking cans of beer and singing."

This was the start of an all day commentary of what sounded a remarkable football match. The passengers who boarded, had radios glued to their ears and became more and more depressed as an annihilation of the Geordies seemed likely by the Londoners.

0-1 "Eeh, they don't make them like they used to. If yer needed a centre forward they would just call down the pit."

0-2 "There's too much money in the North east clubs and too many Cockneys running them. The Geordies dinna like that."

0-3 "They're all spoilt. Paid too much, man."

0-4 "Bloody effing, useless, effing effers......"

All the passengers heads were down. They searched in deepest closets of their minds for any appaling story they could find to do with footballers:

"I worked for a well known footballer, once," said one man, "landscaping his garden. There was a young lad with me. The first morning when he saw his god, he ran up to him, calling his first name and asked him for his autograph. The next morning this footballer fired him. He was gutted. 'Anyone who works for me calls me MR - - - - -' he says."

Then an amazing transformation happened. Newcastle Utd began a fightback. The black and white shirts began to raise their heads.

1-4 "Well at least it won't be a whitewash."

2-4 "Aye that's more like it. A bit of Geordie pride."

3-4 "Ay, Aye. Now we're ganning. Bloody marvellous."

4-4 You could hardly hear yourself speak. Then above the noise came the voice of reason and hindsight. "I told you they'd give a good show. Never had any doubts."

Oh yeah?

But who cares? The market town and the bus will be peaceful and good natured tonight. They will all be full of footballing tales of bravado, similar to that on Lee Ryder's Newcastle United blog - Blog On The Tyne:

'All in all, this game was an example to everybody in any walk of life...don't give up on anything.'

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