What an amazing day in the Town. We were in Newcastle from 11 and you could actually feel the atmosphere and anticipation build as the day wore on. We got some fab little impromptu interviews with a programme seller and also "Rafa Benitez's biggest fans" just outside the Strawberry. We also has scheduled interviews with Dave, Scud and gang and Julen from Bilbao. Amazing stuff. I bumped into a mate I haven't seen in more than 20 years, someone I used to see every Match Day in the Pit Bar, which used to be under the Tyne Theatre.
I left Devo (The Blade) and Esther at the Three Bulls to actually conduct the interviews while I went up to Richardson Road to meet Davey and his family who we'll be following through the season. What a view of St James' Park you get through the trees in Leazes Park. Interviewed them on Leazes Terrace - where I saw Tom Lynch, but didn't have time to talk as we had to be at the Strawberry for 1:30 to rendezvous with Devo and Esther. We were also supposed to meet Shane and his mum - who couldn't make it - and Callum. Hilariously - out of an entire football stadium - the tickets I bought for the crew turned out to be a dozen or so seats away from Callum's season ticket in the Leazes End!
After a little hoo-hah actually getting in to the match, I finally took my seat at about 2:20, so we could try and capture the full Gallowgate Flags display. Great playlist - though part of me wishes there'd been no music and the fans had been allowed to generate the noise. I think pregame music makes people lazy in a way - but hey, that's just me.
James and Devo tracked down a couple of Huddersfield Town fans to interview outside Bar Loco and then listened to the match on the radio in the Strawberry while learning of a Japanese NUFC fan who flies in to Newcastle three times a season to watch the Toon. Such dedication.
The day finished with a great interview with Mike (@ToonArmySyracuse) who was in Newcastle for his first ever match at St James' Park! Clip below.