Darlington Vs Newcastle United

This is my first and probably last blog about football. It’s not something I usually feel the need to write about, while I enjoy a bit of banter and football craic I often find something ends up spoiling it.

Last night was one of those times, a time when I wanted to crawl under a rock and hide. The occasion was a FRIENDLY match between Darlington and Newcastle at Darlington’s ground, The Northern Echo Arena. The evening started as it usually does with a quick pint, the bar under the ground was quite smart, nicely decorated and relatively quiet, what I did noticed though was a fair few people that looked a little bit too young to be drinking, let alone having a pint in each hand. They were already quite drunk and getting a little loud so we

Newcastle Vs Darlington

lovely evening for a game of footy

decided to head for our seats.

We worked our way through the turnstiles and the internal bars, which were packed with Newcastle fans drinking the various plastic bottles available inside the ground. We thought about getting a couple for during the game but noticed the big signs about alcohol not taking alcohol onto the terraces so gave it a miss. It was soon clear that a lot of people had ignored the signs as there were plenty still drinking on the terrace.

For a friendly the atmosphere was great, there were thousands of Toon fans around us, the official figures say over 6000 of the 9000 crowd were the Toon Army, the usual chants rang around the ground as Newcastle applied some pressure whilst wearing their new bright orange kit (which I quite liked).

It wasn’t long before Newcastle took the lead through Joey Barton, after which Newcastle continued to apply the pressure without getting the breakthrough they needed and the fans wanted, half time soon arrived and it was a chance for us to discuss the new signings we had seen on show or at least try and figure out who was who.

Shortly after the break  the managers started to ring the changes, one of those to come on was Sammy Ameobi, chants of “If Sammy scores we’re on the pitch rang around, the next thing we know is he’s scored a peach of a goal from the edge of the area and a few fans are dancing on the pitch, this soon turned into hundreds of fans all over the pitch.

The people we saw invade the pitch were mainly younger lads who looked worse for wear, these were then followed by older guys and from there bedlam insued.

From our spot in the corner we could see quite a lot of punches being thrown, what started them I’m not sure, but there were both Newcastle and Darlington Fans involved and what looked like fighting between both sides and amongst the Newcastle “fans”.

I’ll also say It did look like a guy in Darlington shirt punched a steward, why I’m not sure but that along with the fighting on the pitch was not something we wanted to see.

The trouble seemed to go on a lot longer than expected, the stewards and police were very few and far between, I remember counting 8 stewards along the edge of the pitch as the trouble started and not many more just after, The police turned up a little bit too late and again there wasn’t many of them. Severely understaffed, I think.

The police and stewards struggled to clear the pitch which lead to a lot of chants from the Newcastle fans, my self included aimed at those on the pitch, spoiling it for those of us who were there for the game.


There’s more videos on youtube unfortunately too, they can be seen here

After this it briefly calmed down before more people were on the pitch, prompting the ref to remove the players, we thought the game had been cancelled but then out of the dugout Messrs Pardew and Carver walked across the pitch to ask those fans at the front and on track around the pitch to move back away from the hoardings. It seemed to work and the game re started although by now the atmosphere was ruined, what remained was very strange and hard to describe, probably a mix of fear, anger and disappointment.

While I wholeheartedly disagree with the actions of a handful of fans, there is no place in the game for scum like that, questions have to be asked about the staffing and policing of the ground and why, when they were expecting a big crowd there weren’t more stewards and why rules about no drinking on the terraces weren’t enforced. Either way I hope they identify the idiots and ban them from grounds for life.

Yet again Newcastle will be in the news for the wrong reasons. The papers and journo’s are already sticking the boot in, The Daily Fail, reporting that Joey Barton was angrily confronted by fans, which from his twitter page isn’t quite true, shortly after the game he tweeted “Daily Mail r WRONG again, fans confronted none of the players. Especially not me, they were just asking me to stay!!”




  1. Phil Walker
    Jul 16, 2011

    Whatever happens mate, dont let a mindless minority, coupled with a common sense on the part of the home club, put you off going to watch your team.

    I know plenty of Newcastle fans, and have been to a few games at Anfield against the Toon, and never seen any problems. The atmosphere has always been great, but there’s always a few who want to spoil it for the rest.

    Keep plugging away mate, and roll on the start of the season for some real football.

    • Moggy
      Jul 18, 2011

      Cheers Phil, rumours are the Leeds game will now be played behind closed doors.

      Kind of lookig forward to the new season, looks like your lot have signed some decent players.

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