St James' Park faithful got their reward in the rain

By Lee Ryder on Mar 30, 10 03:57 PM

Don't talk to Newcastle United fans about endurance.

Down the years they've been there, done it and got the soaking wet t-shirts!

Last night against Nottingham Forest was another example of their incredible dedication.

I've already drew comparisons in tonight's match report with the shocking weather the last time there was an important game at St James' when Fulham came to Toon last season and Newcastle were more or less relegated in the process.

I'm sure that you all have your own memories of braving the elements while watching United to go with that fateful 1-0 loss against the Cottagers.

The two games with Sunderland stick out for me for starters.

First in 1993 when Scott Sellars curled home a free-kick to secure derby victory and three important promotion points, this was also the day that Terry Butcher bundled Ned Kelly into a giant puddle near the Gallowgate corner and the pitch was steamrollered (yes really) before the game to try to get rid of some of the water.

Then came the 1999 clash with the Mackems - a 2-1 loss and the end of Ruud Gullit who lost the plot and axed Alan Shearer and Duncan Ferguson.

That night I was one of the lucky ones in the Gallowgate corner and shielded from the rain, the Leazes Enders weren't so lucky with no roof during the expansion of SJP.

I remember watching the waterfall at the Leazes End rushing down the steps and fans taking off their tops as they couldn't absorb any more rain!

Just to pluck another couple out from the memory bank and Southend in 1992 when Paul Bracewell lashed home just minutes into his debut also sticks out while a freak snow storm in APRIL against Plymouth Argyle 20 years ago will never be forgotten!

Anybody also travelled to Metz in 1997 and survived to tell the tale will recall sub zero conditions at the Stade Saint Symphorien and Toon fans jumping up and down to In The Navy at half-time to keep warm with many donning short sleeves in December in Northern France.

Last night, it proved to be too much for some Press men who scurried back down to the comfort of the media room!

The fans stayed out and went through the motions to see Shola Ameobi crack home a crucial goal and then the moment that was worth getting soaked for when Jose Enrique popped up to blast home his first Toon goal.

There have been some cracking atmospheres at SJP this season but that has to be right up there with the whole stadium chanting the name of "Jose, Jose, Jose" and giving it the Ameobi before a rousing chorus of "We'll meet again" to the Forest fans.

It was a night that showed what being a fan was all about as the players partied in the rain.



anthony said:

eindhoven back in 1997 i think it was... absolutely freezing, never experienced frost and sub zero like that since that day, even the seats in the stadium had heaters above you

Pop Robson said:

I remember standing in the Gallowgate in a blizzrd against Setubal in '68. Some of the poor beggers had problably never even seen snow ... we tonked them 5-0 :)

Ozmag said:

I was at the Victoria Setubal game, first time I had seen players wearing gloves!

Lambic peach said:

It's great to hear our crowd being positive again.. Long may it continue. Howay the lads

LN2MAG said:

To stand out games in the rain for me, once at Barnsley when our team of Ossie Ardilles boys got thrashed 3-0, with Steve Howie playing as centre forward and the humour of the Toon Army calling the tough experienced Barnsley players Child Molestors for the thrashing they were givng our players, talk about men agains boys. The second was very similar, can't remember the year but again we lost 4-0 in the rain at Notts County. Sweet revenge was to come a couple of years later when we beat them 7-1!!. I cannot remember the weather being particular bad vs Southend KK's first game of the famous promotion season. I raced back from Scotland on holiday to make the kick off, but i'll take your word for it

George Fail said:

I can remember the Hereford FA Cup disaster, we travelled down there in the pouring rain and when we got there the game was abandoned and we stayed down there for the game which I believe was on the Monday, then,,, Oh sad day for all

keir said:

when we played mallorca at home in UEFA cup i think it was.
we were 1-0 down at half time it was freezing.
we scored 4 in the second half which warmed me up no end


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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