This website iz dedecated to the Newcastle United groundhoppers
who follow the fortunes of the
team aroond the world
The ground totals include
competitive and friendly forst team, resorve team, junior team and Newcastle United X1 games that 'the mad-sad groundhopper' has attended, aall for Newcastle United games
only, in the last SEVEN decades***
(the mad-sad groundhopper!)***last count 367 (368 inc Motspur Park outside)
UNITED 3(Neil McDonald, Peter
Beardsley, Kenny Wharton)
18,753 (3,000 Toon fans)
“PSYCHO THREE! THREE!”
“SORRY ABOUT THE CHIP IN THE CUP!”
“THE TALE OF THE CHIPPED CUP!”
(WITH NE HANDLE!)
on ‘Finks Travels’ for this one (ie: MY ‘jamjar’!) and in addition
‘Magpie Travel’ had aboot 20 bus loads of fans who’d aalso made the jorney
doon, which meant ‘The Toon’ had a canny followin’ on this grey October day!
‘The Hunter’ who waz one of wor travellin’ companions had insisted that we left orly to catch openin’ time in Watford and we
duly set of at ‘six am bells’ to comply with hiz wishes!
got there very late coz of major traffic congestion on the ‘M1’, and wih parked
behind some allotments doon a narrow lane a few hundred yards from the groond with
less than half an hour to spare ‘til kick off and to top it aall we were ne
where near any boozers eetha! (much to ‘The Hunters’ annoyance!)
ti walk through the ‘said’ allotments tih reach the tornstiles and with the
‘three bells’ start time approachin’ we had to make A MAJOR DECISION!---ie:
Eetha miss wor pre match ‘gargels’---or!---miss the start of the match!
‘ne contest!’---‘the match’ waz more important than’the hootch!’ and so we
hurried towards a ‘cut’ which winded through the allotments and tih the
more like ‘Follow the grey shingle track’ than ‘Elton Johns’ ‘ Follow the
Yellow Brick Road!’ and some keen gardeners were merrily diggin’ their
‘precious plots’ and hoein’ the weeds az the Geordie hoards made their way to
the groond! (diggin’the weeds waz obviously more excitin’ than watchin’
were lang queues at the tornstiles, and so it waz just az well that we’d went
straight there, rather than gan for ‘that’ ‘gargel’ doon the road! (yiv got to
get yi priorities reet!—ah meen!---yih can get a few Arthur Scargills at
anytime!---carnt yi?---but yi can hardly ask Peter Beardsley tih ‘re-score’ hiz
spectacular owerheed sizzers kick again coz yi missed it!---can yi?)
a typical lower league ground of that time, with a mixture of open terraces and
waz covered terracin’ which waz very shallow, and tih get a good view yi had
tih crane yi neck and stand on yi tip-toes tih see anything at aall! (good job
a’m six foot taall!) (NOT so good if yi a Dennis Wise size guy!)
managed to get a good vantage point az the game kicked off, but there were
hundreds of Toon plonkies who had ‘risked’ a ‘quick liquid’, who were still
ootside, desperate to gain admittance az anly two tornstiles were open! (which
waz typical of a ground like this in them days!) and yi could hear them shootin’
and baallin’ to get in! (drunken bu**ers!---shud have got hear orlier like us!)
would normally expect a few hundred away fans and not the thoosands that The
Toon had brung that day!The players ran
oot to rapturous applause with ‘ROCKET MAN’! (wot else?) blarin’ oot ower the
(very!) loud speakers! (*a message to aall yeez ‘young pups’ readin’
this!---Elton John waz Watford’s chairman in them days!)
a great start orly on and took the lead after fine work from Chris Waddle on
the wing, who foond Pat Heard and he threaded a through baall to Neil McDonald
who fired home at ‘The Vicarage Road End’ at the far end of the groond from us.
Anderson then made two excellent clearences off wor goal line and thanx mainly
to him we went in 1-0 up at half time.
wasn’t lang before we doubled wor lead in the second period when Heard and
McDonald combined to send a through baall to ‘Pedro Beardsley’ and he slooted
the baall past the advancin’ Watford keeper to put us two goals clear in front
of the ecstatic 3,000 Toon faithful in ‘The Allotment End’.
NUFC and before lang the home side had pulled one back followin’ tremendous
pressure on the Toon goal.
equaliser came a few minutes later and a point looked on the cards.
Wharton had otha ideas and put us 3-2 aheed near the end to the fotha delight
of the travellin’ fans.
hearts then sank in injury time az ‘The Blaydon Races’ rang oot aroond Vicarage
Road when Watford cruely denied us wor win with a last gasp equaliser! (it just
wasn’t to be!)
HOUSE OF HORRORS!”
the game we heeded back alang the track and after stickin’ a pin in mee ‘AA’
road atlas, wi decided to heed for Loughborough in Leicestershire az it wasn’t
too much ‘drinkin time distance’ away! (er!---actually! The ‘pin’ had ended up
stuck in some unprenoooceable place in north Wales with with aboot twenty seven
letters beginnin’ with ‘LLL’! (too far away for a ‘gargel’, and
in the wrang direction!---so Loughborough it waz!)
arrived in Loughborough,namely Bob
‘’Patter’, ’Tex’ Taylor, Ronny ‘The Hunter’, ‘Fawlty Dowaz’, ‘Smudger’ and of
course little ol’ me! (Er!—that’s six of us in a five seater car?---mee memory
must be playin’ tricks???)
arrival, we dumped the car in a side street and heeded for the nearest
waaterin’ hole for some ‘sustenance’ and to ask for the nearest (and cheapest!)
the pub manager where we could get digs for the neet and he pointed us in the
direction of the toon centre
scruffy deranged lookin’ ‘Rigsby type character’ waz eavesdroppin’on wor conversation az he supped hiz pint of ‘lubrication’
at the bar! He waz az ‘skinny az a rake and
he had lang scraggly hair and huge teeth that a shire horse would have been
up---“I’ve got a large lodgin’ house not
far from here and I could put you up for TWO QUID includin’ a bacon and egg
breakfast in the mornin’ az my lodgers are away at the moment!”
F*****’ QUID! FOR BED AND BREKKIES!?---It was an offer we COULDN’T refuse and
so we arranged to meet him at ‘chuckin’ oot time’ ootside the boozer!
bruised with the drink (we bumped into a couple of lamp post on the way!) we
staggered back to the forst boozer after several pints in the toon centre
hostelries and dives. ‘Rigsby’ (az he waz now ‘affectionately’known!) duly torned up (‘cattle trucked’ az
well!) at the appointed time and we heeded up a hill with ne street lights
where a huge three story hoose stood on it’s own.
"SOMEWHERE IN LOUGHBOROUGH!"
looked remarkably like Bates Motel in the Alfred Hitchcock house of horrors
film ‘Psycho’ and the anly thing that waz missin’ were a few bats and ‘Norman
Bates’ himself! (the psychopath hotel owner in the film!) Although there waz a
full moon to complete the scene! (Honest!)
come to think of it!?, wor 'deranged friend' with
hiz huge teeth and scraggly hair DID look a bit like Norman Bates’s
mother from the same film! (help!)
took us up to the rooms where threadbare carpets adorned the creakin’ floorboards
and me and ‘Smudger’ were allocated one of the lodgers rooms on the second
floor, which wouldn’t have been oot of place in Steptoes livin’ room. (hardly
‘The Ritz’!---ne wonder it waz anly two quid a neet!)
az we got in we bolted the door
securely,(just in case!) and ‘Smudger’ (who I didn’t naa very well) then started
searchin’ the draws and cupboards,where
he foond a half eaten ham sarnie covered in green mould and an apple ‘gook’
which had been bitten to the core!
there he went into ‘the toolshed’ and took the back off the toilet cistern to
have a look inside???
He then came
back and started takin’ the pictures off the waalls and undoin’ the frames to
look inside the back covers???
“WOT! THE F**K ARE
YI DEEIN’ LIKE!?”,
aa said to him, thinkin’ that ‘the demon drink’ had taken it’s toll and he didn’t
naa wot he was deein’!
“This iz where they
hide the money, Fink!”, he
said excidedlee az he prized a picture frame off with a kitchen knife he’d
foond in one of the draws, but hiz sorch for any hidden ‘treasure’ waz in vain (apart
from the sarny and apple gook!) and he re-hung the pictures back onto the waall
wasn’t until later on, when aa telt the rest of the lads wot he’d done, that aa
waz telt that he waz a F*****’ HOOSE BURGLAR!) (“help!”---“where’zz mee wallet gone!”)
mornin’ aa had a quick wash n’ brush up in the manky bathroom, az there waz ne way aa
waz gannih take a shower az half the floor tiles were missin’ or broken.On top of that, there were loose electric
cables hangin’ from the wall sockets next to the shower cubicle and aa didn’t
fancy bein’ electrocuted! (OR stabbed to death, like in the film!)It waz then doon the stairs to the manky basement
dinin’ room where brekkies waz bein’
sorved from ‘hells kitchen’.
"AA WASN'T TAKIN' ANY CHANCES!"
who looked eerily like ‘death waamed up’ from hiz hangower , offered me a cup tea, but when he came back with
the cup, he uttered these ‘immortal
words’ that will live with me forever!: “SORRY ABOUT THE CHIP INTHE CUP!”, he said, az he handed it
to me------the anly problem waz!!!----it had NE F*****’ HANDLE! (which had been broken clean off!)
AN ARTIST'S IMPESSION OF THE 'SAID' CUP!
After a quick
‘slurp’ of stewed tea from ‘the cup with ne handle’, aa peered into ‘hells
kitchen’ and could see that the stove waz thick of grease az he used the fryin’
pan spatchaler to flick the black fat onto the fried eggs, most of which missed
the eggs and splattered onto the filthy waalls! (the word ‘food poisonin’ came
to mind!) (ie: Egon Ronay cuisine it wasn’t!)
WERE ‘Hank Marvin’ by this time (starvin’!) and we forced the bacon, eggs and
grease laden brekkies doon wor ‘john o groats’! (nearly ‘hoyin up’ in the
process!)before sayin’ wor ‘goodbyes’,
thankful that we hadn’t been electrocuted, poisoned or stabbed to death in ‘the
house of horrors’!
then a three hour jorney back up the M1 and A1 back to Tyneside and yet another
story to tell for the archives!----and di yi naa wot!?---a’v NEVA been back to
Loughborough since that day!