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Bring Back The Noise

By Lee Ryder on Mar 26, 07 09:03 AM

An in depth look at what the Toon Ultras are doing to re-generate the electricity at St James' Park

The good name of Newcastle United has always been backed heavily by the best supporters in the country, and in many eyes the entire planet.

Now after 38 years without a trophy not many fans around the rest of the world could blame them if season tickets were thrown on to the pitch at the end of the season and many walked away.

However, we don't do it like that in Newcastle - as the Toon Ultras are proving with their 'Bring Back The Noise' campaign.

Certain substandard performances have muted the St James' Park crowd in recent years but attendances have remained some of the best in the UK.

Indeed, how many teams would attract 50,000 plus crowds for mid-table football?

True, Glenn Roeder has been dealing with the worst injury crisis in the club's history.

But for many the performances of individuals have not mirrored the efforts of the Toon fans.

Against Manchester City, the Toon Ultras are looking to pump up the volume.

For many years people called for a singing section at SJP but for some reason it never came off.

Instead the Toon Ultras went out and simply made their own - making Level 7 their home.

Despite the fact they are up in the skies at Leazes, they can still be heard loudest at most home games.

And in the recent UEFA Cup games, they branched out to the Gallowgate corner to make sure their loud support was heard at both ends of the stadium.

The feeling on Tyneside now is that regardless of how certain individuals perform on the turf, the Toon Army, the Geordie Nation - the people - are going to make sure their reputation remains the same.

But hey, when have the Toon fans ever let themselves down?

You'll always get the odd idiot who doesn't fly the flag for the Geordie Nation in the right manner but overall they usually make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

Yes, i'm talking about atmospheres like Man U 5-0, Barcelona 3-2 or Sheff Wed 8-0.

But i'm also talking about walking back down Wembley way - after cup final defeats against Arsenal and Man U - and still out singing a team that had just done what all Geordies crave - win a trophy!

And who can forget games like Portsmouth 92 when David Kelly scored to probably stop United going out of business or any away game you have ever been on in your life, there aren't many Newcastle fans that haven't made themselves heard when needed.

toonultras.jpg

Yet anyone would admit the atmosphere has dipped somewhat in recent times.

Toon Ultras was orginally created by United fan Michael Luke but a spokesman says: "We believe in standing and supporting your club, singing your heart out for the full 90 minutes.

"We try to bring variation to our song repertoire by thinking up new chants and bringing back old chants which have been forgotten over the years. It’s not all about vocal support however.

"As Toon Ultras we are constantly discussing ideas to put on visual displays of sorts as well as promoting the idea of flags and scarves at Newcastle match.

"These ideas were put into motion with the purchase of the ‘Toon Ultras’ banner, which can be seen at most home games.

"We are aware that there are other Ultra groups around Europe, and there is an unwanted connotation of hooliganism and violence surrounding the word.

"However, we would like to emphasise strongly that we are not hooligans, as is the case with most Ultra groups across Europe."

Against Man City the aim off the pitch is a simple one.

And it's an aim that's been talked about from the pub, to the post office, to the chippy or the bus stop, basically anywhere you walk in Toon Land: Bring Back The Noise.

Click here to read more about the Toon Ultras

26 Comments

Martin Floyd said:

The only contribution from the club on this issue has been a negative one- their over-zealous stewards ejecting countless numbers of young fans from the area for the crime of standing up to support the team.

The Toon Ultras have done well to get together but this is only possible because no-one else is prepared to pay through the nose to watch from such high altitude.

Even when it went to all seater, the stadium had quite a good singing section which was the Leazes wing of the Milburn Stand but we all know what they did to that.

sawdox said:

I'll listen out for them on Sat. I wonder how loud they'll be I wonder how loud they'll be when they sing Shepherd Out"

denise allen said:

Well done for your efforts, but i have to say there is one chap who sits behind me in the gallowgate, and he never stops..We often joke his wife must be happy when he gets home cos he'd have no voice left. I have no idea who he is but he brings a smile to our faces every game.

patanegra said:

It'll sound fantastic when they sing "Shepherd Out" and the whole ground joins in.

Steve Wright said:

Let's hoep the Toon ultra's start the singing off for Shepherd to leave NUFC. I'll join in.

oldleazes said:

Hopefully we'll hear them chanting for the removal of Freddie Shepherd this saturday.

Gerry Hagon said:

Why is it necessary to stand up to sing? One away match with the Toon fans was enough for me and my wife. Being forced to stand up to see anything for the entire match was not our cup of tea.

We had assumed that the struggle to stay seated had almost been completely won since the introduction of our all-seater stadium (not without some difficulties we had at the Leazes End) and was now normal everywhere. Not for the Toon away fans unfortunately.

This silly practice seems to be the stage for bare bellied 'hard men' showing off to 'soft southerners' and not for genuine supporters. For goodness' sake, sit down, take advantage of the seats provided for you, and let the people behind you watch in comfort. Unless you are singing out of your backside you will find you can sing quite comfortably seated.

WayneFereday said:

It'll be beautiful when the `Shepherd Out` chants start coming over loud and clear.

I wonder if the Chronicle will print this post...I somehow doubt it.

jimmy said:

perhaps if the team gave us something to sing about we might raise our voices.

roberts said:

they look like a real noisey bunch if the photo is anything to go by mind lol!

Martin Floyd said:

Whilst I strongly disagree with the views of Mr Hagon, they are another example of why there should be designated sitting and standing areas for home and away sections so that those who do not want to stand at away games don't have to and those that want to stand together and sing at home games have the opportunity to do so.

It was much more simple when the fans that wanted to stand and support the team were on the terraces and the likes of Mr Hagon could sit with his flask and blanket and quietly enjoy the match in the Milburn or East Stand. Now that everyone is mixed together it just causes friction and has a detrimental affect on the atmosphere.

A recent survey from the Football Supporters Federation found that 92% of supporters favoured the return of safe standing areas - surely they can't all be bare bellied hard men!

Dave said:

If you want to sit in silence then I reccomend an armchair and sky sports!

It's fans like yourself who ruin the atmosphere at matches. Standing for 90 mins is no hardship, but if you can't handle it I would reccomend staying at home.

Site author said:

Comments on this site are moderated if they are deemed offensive - and therefore that's why some are not posted.
The Toon Ultras campaign was designed to lift the team on the pitch and not to shout for the removal of the board.
However, as paying supporters you are more than entitled to your opinion.

Blandandtedious said:

Bring back the noise; bring back the noose more like it! This is nothing more than a front for Hooligans and other criminal types. Judging by the photo some of these miscreants are no more than 6 years old, but at least the police have a photograph to go on, as the toilet has sadly been stolen. It’s a sad day for us all when so called respectable journalists such as Lee Blog condone this sort of thing.

Lee's reply: Now you really are having a laugh!
Football violence will never disappear in full but these days is looked upon by the proper fans with a very, very dim view.
The Toon Ultras have already stated they aren't out to cause any trouble - merely boost the atmosphere at St James' Park.
And judging by the graveyard atmosphere against Boro, they have a job on their hands.
The day this Blog condones hooligans will simply never happen.

Alan Clark (no relation to sniffer) said:

Very simple new song to the tune of country boy by jimmy nail
"Raise your hands jump for joy lets hear it for the geordie boys." As jimmy is a top toon fan and goes to games, I feel sure he would be ower the moon to hear it on match days.
howay the lads

macs said:

If the Toon Ultra's are aware of the connotations of hooligan groups across Europe calling themselves 'ultras', why use this name??

Surely they would get more people joining if they had a different name.

Change your name!!

Mark McMeekin said:

I cant honestly see what problem people can have with The Toon Utras, if any people on here attented Newcastle's last two Uefa cup games and sat in the south east corner then you would relaise how much of an effort they have made!!

Back youre team, people instantlly think that because they are trying to change the atmosphere that they are hooligans them people could not be more wrong!

Ali said:

I can honestley say we have the worst fans in the north east. I believe we should look up to sunderland both on the pitch and off it. get souness back!

Ryder's reply: And you not a Sunderland fan are you?

the kernal said:

The ultras is a great idea but that banner needs to start making a trek outside of newcastle ,spread the word.
Also can you stop all these pansys posting messages saying you are trying to start a firm these are the same fans that turned this stadium into a morgue. I think your next aggender should be stopping the 'cockney mags' attending away games cuz there making it shit for true fans with there cokes n shandys and no singing. The ultras is a great idea but it needs to be more intimidating!!!!!!!!!

prodigy said:

if you don't know what the ultras boys do you should ask.it's a long way to hooliganism so don't talk of something you know nothing about.

john white said:

ithink its a great idea to bring back the noise to st.jame's. we need the team to know tat we are 100% behind them and not get on their backs. the atmoshere has gone down hill and i truly believe in standing up and sing you heart out for the toon for 90 mins
BRING BACK THE NOISE!!

john white said:

ithink its a great idea to bring back the noise to st.jame's. we need the team to know tat we are 100% behind them and not get on their backs. the atmoshere has gone down hill and i truly believe in standing up and sing you heart out for the toon for 90 mins
BRING BACK THE NOISE!!

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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