FLAF received this eyewitness account of the behaviour of Newcastle fans from an NUFC supporter who was disgusted by the antics of the fans around him at Easter Road. Newcastle is the city that spawned Show Racism The Red Card (STRC) and from which comes the Chief Executive of the Football Supporters Federation (FSF). These organisations are awash with funds & have had decades to work against racism in football. What legacy have they built at Newcastle Utd, their own club? Based on the evidence of last night’s match at Easter Road, very little. A paltry press statement decrying the behaviour of the supporters is not good enough. Actions speak louder than words. Newcastle United fans who want to build a grassroots movement to fight racism & fascism at football should join FLAF.
“I went to Edinburgh yesterday to watch Newcastle United. A pre-season friendly at Hibs, a great chance to visit a proper football stadium, in a great city, see some friends and drink some beer.
The platform at Newcastle Central Station was packed with people making the same journey. The train pulled in, the “Lest We Forget” express judging by the spitfire painted on the front alongside those very words. Seems entirely normal for 2019.
The crowd was like any other really, mortal drunk and pretty happy, then it began. I’ve watched Newcastle since I was 11 years old, I’ve heard nothing like it since the dark days of vocal racist abuse in the 80s and early 90s. The English nationalism was thick, in every sense. Never has Newcastle in my memory been THAT nationalistic. Elements, certainly, you get that everywhere.
The crowd, a lot of them, belted out, “God Save The Queen”, “You can stick your independence up your arse”, “Rule Britannia”, and lots and lots about fucking “the IRA” and “Fenians”. Scotland is a “shithole” apparently. We were in one of the country’s greatest cities, with wealth and a swagger nowhere in the North East can compete with, but people from Gateshead, Walker and County Durham seem to think they are superior to others when, if they took a good look around, they’d surely realise they’re victims.
There was even a Tommy Robinson ditty, although that one passed me by. Dunno why I am putting this here, I am genuinely shocked. For all the radge packets I know at the match, for the dickheads you see and think, “Thank fuck I’m not them”, this show of nationalism was beyond anything I have ever experienced following my team. It genuinely felt dangerous, everything around us was being “othered” and I felt apart from it all too. We left, I couldn’t stomach it.
And to show the contradiction, we ended up chatting with other NUFC fans about it in a gay bar on the way back to Waverley. The paradox of 2019, exclusion and progress in the same experience. If I had a glimmer of hope for the future of the UK it was extinguished last night, and my love of watching my team was a bit too. Who wants to be part of that?”