(GROUND NUMBER 2)
Date of First Visit: 30th DECEMBER 1967
JOKER PARK, 5UNDER1AND
NEWCASTLE UNITED 3 (Ollie Burton 2 pens, John McNamee)
(OLD) DIVISION ONE
ATTENDANCE 46,030 (10,000 Toon fans)
"THE MORAL OF THE STORY!"
The 'mackems and the tackems', the 'Weaze Keys are Theaze' brigade or the S.M.B.'s,
(caall them wot you will!?)
Mee forst visit tih Joker Park was aalso mee forst ever away game watchin' the Toon. Me and a lad who lived ower the road caalled 'Denny' travelled doon on the train tih Seaburn Station from 'The Central' for this 'festive fixture'.
Mee auntie Elsie had knitted iz a huge black 'n' white woolly scarf as a Christmas present, which was aboot TEN foot lang and twice the size of me!, plus a 'much tooo big' woolly pom pom hat which aa wore for the occasion!
A'd first worn the scarf on the Boxin' Day fower days orlier when we beat the mackems 2-1 at St James' in front of 60,000 and aa was hopin' that it would be a good omen for the retorn match at 'Joker' (fingers (& knittin') crossed!)
The train was packed to the rafters, with kiddas climbin' into the luggage racks above the seats to avoid the crush, as it was standin' room anly. When we arrived at the groond which was a canny waalk from the station, there were thoosands of Newcastle fans tryin' tih get into the Fulwell End.
Some had marched roond to the newly opened 'black cat supporters club' which was built on stilts at the back of the main stand and 'The Leazes End Boot Boys' duly 'christened it' by hoyin' some 'half wollaz' (bricks!) through the plate glass windows!
The game was'nt aall ticket back then and yih could just pay on the day at the turnstiles! (2 bob for kids) (10p!)
Once inside the groond, ah noticed that the fans were split 50-50 doon the middle of the terraces, with the Toon fans on the left hand side of the the Fulwell goal and the mackems on the other side. It was wot yi would caall 'self segregation', and the fans just went where they wanted, and stood with their 'own kind', which is unthinkable these days!. (especially at a Derby match against 'the sworn enemy'!) Amazingly, the attendance was just ower 46,000 which was well below the groonds capacity at the time. (aroond 60,000)
'Joker' consisted of three covered stands and the huge open Joker End at the far side which fell away at a curious angle from the back. The Fulwell End had a high pitched roof and the wooden main stand to wor left was a double deck affair with a standin' paddock at the front, while the tiny Clock Stand to wor right had a low roof with a big clock in the middle (beleeeve it or not!)
There was a fantastic atmosphere just before kick off, with the Toon fans singin' a little ditty towards the mackems to the tune of 'The Beatles' classic 'Yellow Submarine', which went sommik like: "We all p**s in a red 'n' white pot!"
(it was aall good natured hatred back then!) (note: in them days people used to keep a chamber pot underneath their beds in case they were 'caught short' durin' the neet!)
'The Toon' ran oot wearin' their aall blue change strip, to huge roars from the 10,000 travellin' contingent and the match started off at a frantic pace.
We went aheed in the 13th minute when centre forward 'Wyn the Leap' was brought doon in the box by Charlie Hurley and the ref pointed straight to the penalty spot. Ollie Burton stepped up stepped up to take the kick and slotted the baall past the despairin' Montgomery in the mackem goal to send the travellin' Geordies wild!
However!---on the half hour mark the mackems equalised when 'Suggett the Nuggett' (as the Toon fans caalled him!) looped the baall past Gordon Marshall in the Newcastle goal---------we'd hardly recovered from this when 'the Nuggett' (er!---that's 'nuggett' as in 'thick b*****d' and NOT as in 'gold'!) struck again after a mad scramble in wor box and he toe poked home from close range as aa held mee 'heed in mee hands' in despair!
With just two minutes of the second half gone, horror upon more horror!, the mackems increased their lead tih three-one when Bruce Stuckey 'stuck' his foot oot to steer the baall past Marshall and ah thought, "wi'v lost it nuw!" and aa pulled mee woolley hat ower mee 'mince pies', as aa could'nt bear ti look!
And so, with aboot ten minutes tih gan, me and mee mate Denny made a fatal mistake!, thinkin' that we had 'lost it', wi decided tih head back tih Seaburn tih beat the crowds, and catch the train yem.
As wih reached the bottom of the stairs at the back of the Fulwell End, there was a huge roar!. Somebody had obviously scored---but WHO?.
The sight of a Toon fan at the top of the stairs, jumpin' up 'n' doon gave us the answer!. Wih hesitated for wot seemed like ages and decided tih gan back in ti see if we could get an equaliser, but as we were half way up the stairs there was another huge roar, and again, wih did'nt naa who'd scored?.
A mackem, who was comin' doon the stairs, telt wih in a dispairin' voice that Newcastle had equalised!. (Can yih imagine THAT happenin' nuw??) (Yi'd probably get a smack in the gob!) and me and Denny danced wildly on the Fulwell stairs!
Just after that, the final whistle went and the crowds came pourin' oot---wi'd missed the goals, but at least wih did'nt get beat!. The celebrations were in full swing as wih headed back tih the station!.
Some 'Leazes Enders' were that exited that they started to rip the train seats oot and hoy them oot the doors and windows onto the tracks! (mee forst 'eye witness acoont' of futbaall hooligans on the rampage!)
Later on, wih heard that Ollie Burton had scored wor second goal by convertin' another penalty, and that Centre Half, 'Big John' McNamee had scored the late equaliser, and celebrated by swingin' off the crossbar!---which later on went doon in 'Geordie Folklore'
(He was built like a brick 's***hoose', so just how the crossbar did'nt break is anybody's guess!?)
Tih make matters worse, the match was'nt? f*****' televised, and so aa could'nt even watch a 'replay' of the game on 'Shoot'! (the name of the Tyne Tees Telly futbaall programme which used to be shown in them days)
And the moral of the story izzz!:
NEVER!---EVER!---LEAVE THE MATCH BEFORE THE FINAL WHISTLE!
©Fink™ (the mad-sad gr☺undh☺pper!)◄(work it oot!) caall them what yih will!, but tih me they'll aalways be 'The Jokers from Roker', even though they divvint play there ne more!.
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