STAR Sam Fender whipped Glastonbury into a frenzy last Friday night by singing Hypersonic Missiles.
One of his keynote hits, The Youth Movement’s Man of the Hour, drank from a bottle of Newccy Brown, wore his Geordie heart on his sleeve and sang about global injustice and bombs falling on Gaza.
Trailing behind young Sam was the band’s saxophonist, decked out in a Newcastle shirt.
A few yards above the 200,000-strong crowd that filled a field in Somerset in June, fluttered black-and-white striped flags, checkerboard standards – magpie-colored banners.
So is it me or are there really a lot more Newcastle fans out there?
Blimey, the takeover by the shady Saudis only completed in October and already you can’t step out your front door because you’re blinded by a dozen human crosswalks.
After years of being hidden away in Formica closets across the country, it’s striking how many people are dying to wear the shirt and tell the world they follow the team, which not too long ago was synonymous with incompetence.
Whether it’s due to Fender or the sudden flood of millions of pounds from new owners at St James’ Park is debatable.
But it’s uncanny how being booted straight to the top of football’s rich list, how an emergency goal-line clearance from Paul Dummett has lured legions of new troops to the Toon Army.
There will no doubt be those who claim to be lifelong supporters, having stood at Gallowgate End drinking The Strawberry, beating police horses and dropping petrol bombs at West Ham fans long before the glory days were on the horizon.
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Nobody chooses who owns their football club. And up there in the North East we are told they love Newcastle more than their own wives.
It’s a fact that those who have followed one of the most unpredictable and inept teams in England all their lives are pretty p****d to see the Geordie come layers fare.
Some even took a perverse pleasure in supporting such a terrible team because they were part of a cult of losers. It was a badge of honor to fill an away game in London and succumb to defeat.
Aside from the fact that many Newcastle fans actually live in the capital, it’s not entirely Mao Tse Tung’s Long March that Spurs visit.
Other clubs have gone through this fashionista phase. Chelsea were first, Manchester City followed them as people of questionable reputations and huge bank balances transformed clubs overnight.
The difference from Newcastle is that Roman Abramovich or Sheikh Mansour have not been directly linked to mass executions of prisoners in their home countries, or flatly accused of murdering journalists who speak out against them.
While it’s understandable that the fan on the street has enough to worry about at the moment, it makes those who wore the colors on stage and in the audience at Glasto a bit uncomfortable.
Down there it says ban bomb, ban burgers and rainbow colors in support of liberal diversity. And good for her.
But it doesn’t fit the theme of the biggest festival of the summer to line up with dodge pot owners who throw people into the slammer at home if they’re gay.
Especially since “Hypersonic Missiles” is a crashing tirade against global injustice. Just a thought.
Romelu Lukaku returned to Inter Milan after a disastrous year with Chelsea in the Premier League and declared: “I’m very happy to be back!”
Not nearly as happy as the Chelsea fans you left behind, mate.
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The Women’s Euros begin on Wednesday with 15 teams traveling to England for a three-week festival of football.
It is the second summer in a row that Britain has played the role of host or co-host for a major tournament that showcases the game around the world.
The commitment of the players will be the same, the optimism, the expectation.
All the same ingredients from the girls that went with the boys at Euro 2020.
England take on Austria at a sold-out Old Trafford, with the final taking place in front of a packed 90,000 spectators at Wembley.
A similar trajectory to last year’s men’s campaign, which ended in a tumultuous evening with England losing to Italy on penalties.
But I’m going to stick my neck out here and suggest that there will be some key differences between the tournaments.
I’m willing to take an athlete’s bet that we won’t see anyone stick a lit orange smoke bomb up their ass on the final day.
Nor highly drunk men urinating in the streets around Wembley. No gangs of marauding, ticketless jobs storming the turnstiles to force their way in.
Ordinary paying fans need not fear serious injury when mobs of drunken thugs hijack other people’s seats and threaten anyone who dares question their behavior.
I’m willing to be proven wrong but I expect everything will be peaceful, with perhaps a less electrified atmosphere but one that allows families to enjoy football that may not be as fast or physical as that of men – but not either. I’m not coming with the unsavory baggage.
If so, then football isn’t the problem, it’s the boys in football.
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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5676563/newcastle-takeover-fans-premier-league-news/ Newcastle are going through the fashionista phase – after Sam Fender at Glastonbury, Toon Army is suddenly everywhere