This Is Why We Created The Newcastle United Blog

As long term readers of the blog will know, we have had our own problems with this web-site we created back in April, 2007.


And there have been at least a couple of times, mainly due to the comments getting way out of  control, that we have considered just shutting the thing down completely.

When we started, one of the main reasons we cited for creating the web-site in the first place, was because we were stationed in Raleigh, NC in the US, and we thought we had a unique opportunity to put our own opinions out about all the news surrounding the Tyneside club, and there’s always a lot of that, to be sure.

That was especially true at the time, when the Premier League and Newcastle’s games were being beamed live around the world.

Every single PL game in truth is televised and shown over here,  and if it’s not live on TV,  it can be found on one the many growing PC sites that show football games live.

We can tell you that’s hardly the same now, in the Championship,  which is one reason we considered giving the gig up, when the club was relegated in May – because we just couldn’t watch many of the games.

And by the way, just to kill the myth about how much money this site makes – and the nasty letters I get from people who seem to think I’m making a bundle on this.

My personal billing rate per hour, when I was an Executive Consultant at IBM and hired out to other companies, at the end of my consulting career, was more than I receive in one full month from this site.

That’s absolutely true – so let’s hope that will end any debate , and no more nasty letters please.  Good job I’m not doing this for the money.

Well,  back to the only reason for this article – here’s one of the heart-warming letters we received on the 2nd of September:

How are you doing?

My name is Sgt. Caleb Heagerty, and I’m an Infantryman in the US Army, and I found the beautiful game of football back in 2004 while in Baghdad, during my first tour to Iraq.

All the kids there played and I saw one kid who I became close with from the Al Amiriya neighborhood, who I called Frankenstein and he had a Newcastle United shirt on.

We struck up a bond of friendship and I discovered Newcastle – I’ve been in love with the Toon ever since.

Although it feels like I boarded a sinking ship I can’t shake my loyalty to the Magpies.

I was wondering if y’all knew of any supporters clubs in Missouri, USA and if y’all new how I could watch the soda pop games on TV stateside.

Anyways just a Yank who loves football and loves Newcastle United.

We sent Sgt. Heagerty the information about PL games being on Fox Sports, Setanta Sports and now ESPN over here in the States, which all show PL games live.

Kevin Keegan  is the new, rather impressive analyst at ESPN, and Warren Barton does a great job as the main analyst at Fox Sports.

And whenever Warren was reporting on a live Newcastle game, he would wax lyrical about both the club, the fans and the St. James’ Park Cathedral. Let it never be said that Warren Barton doesn’t just love Newcastle United –  it was so great to hear him!

So you can see Newcastle is all over Stateside, even though the club is currently now in England’s second division.

But to get that letter from Sgt Heagarty was just so heart warming, because he is now a firm Newcastle United fan, and an avid reader of the blog we may add.

And apart from that,  he is one of  the thosuands of Military men in both Britain, America and other countries , who have shown so much courage, in the terrible wars taking place in both Baghdad and Afghanistan.

That’s another reason why we greatly admire Sgt. Caleb Heagerty.

This article is dedicated to Sgt. Caleb Heagerty, and all those brave souls like him around the world.

81 comments so far

  • budmon

    Sep 15, 2009 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #1

    Well said Ed! HOWAY THE LADS!

  • stevep

    Sep 15, 2009 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #2

    Good stuff Ed, always great to see new overseas fans joining the journey – welcome aboard Caleb

  • majormiggs

    Sep 15, 2009 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #3

    Welcome to the family Sgt Heagerty

  • Mags

    Sep 15, 2009 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #4

    Lovely piece Ed – well done. Caleb good to welcome another member to the Toon Army.

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Sep 15, 2009 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #5

    Ed as an ex Heaton Technical & Manor Park Technical Grammar school boy to another. Great blog keep up the good work & ignore the mindless idots there are a lot of TRUE Toon fans out there who read this blog every day like me.

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Sep 15, 2009 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #6

    Ed By the way I was up in Newcastle a couple of weeks ago seeing family. I drove past Manor Park School Icouldn’t believe it it’s now a housing estate.

  • Davy Craig

    Sep 15, 2009 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #7

    Great blog Ed! We all have our own story about how we got the bug, either from an incident like this or just ingrained in you from an early age.

    I’m in the latter group but it was the last game of 1974/75 season against Birmingham that cemented it within me. A 1-2 defeat that saw Supermac score a header in the Leazes End. The sights, sounds and smells during the journey past the old brewery, turning the corner to see the stadium knowing I was going in for the first time! Jostled through the turnstiles with my hand held firmly in my dad’s with my black ‘n’ white top and scarf proudly on display. Sat right at the back of the Gallowgate on the wall looking down on a crowd of fans and a well worn pitch with the smell of the toilet just behind me! I loved it and have hardly missed since!

    Welcome to Sgt. Heagarty – There can never be too many members of the Toon Army!

    PS – You should’ve organised your trip to Europe during the season to catch a few games in person! Bad planning for once eh Ed!! All the best.

  • Dennis Twice

    Sep 15, 2009 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #8

    Welcome Sir Heagerty

    Ketsbaia: Olympiakos exit

  • sirjasontoon

    Sep 15, 2009 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #9

    Glad you have kept the blog going Ed and the hard work you put in is appreciated,hope you are on the mend-Jason

  • lacedaemonian

    Sep 15, 2009 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #10

    It always fills me with pride to hear from our overseas fans, many of whom post here regularly. You can never accuse these people of being glory supporters because we have not provided any glorious moments in such a long time.

    I also think the posts on the blog have mellowed down since relegation.

  • lesh

    Sep 15, 2009 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #11

    Geordiedoonsooth…. and another Manor Parker but unlike you and Ed, I was an incomer from the other side of the Heaton Tech/ Middle Street partnership.

    To matters more geramain to the article, can we induct Calab and his comrades in the US Infantry brigades into the Toon Army?

    I’d rather they that than the other way around – then they could enjoy the footie in peace!

    GeordieDS…. remind us what Jimmy Carter said when you and teh Parsons’ folk were tucked round the back of the Civic Centre.

  • michael kent

    Sep 15, 2009 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #12

    i enjoy reading this site very much please dont give up

  • batty

    Sep 15, 2009 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #13

    Sgt Heagarty well come too the toon my eldest lad been iraq and will be off too afgan in jan his nick name is toon so you might bump into him lol

  • MacToon

    Sep 15, 2009 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #14

    Again a big well done Ed, your blog is still no.1 in my books and again great to have fans all over the world with their stories to tell and opinions to post.

  • Mikey25

    Sep 15, 2009 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #15

    And you were contemplating ending the blog…sheesh 😀

    Fantastic job done by all really, Ed for working tirelessly and the bloggers for making the blog what it is!

    On another note Ketsbaiaiaiaia for toon!! Got them thru to group stages in Champs league, won first drew second club match and gets fired…..hmmmm? Sod Shearer he’s my number 1 choice!

  • Lew Davies

    Sep 15, 2009 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #16

    Ed – the majority of us do appreciate all the hard work and time you are putting into running this blog, and are glad you are continuing again this season. So I at least say Thankyou.

  • NICK C

    Sep 15, 2009 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #17

    Ed, there will always be snipers. Just go on to nufc online to see what they they think of us!

    I, like many people enjoy your articles and some/most of the banter they create.

    Keep up the good work. I, for one wouldn’t mind if u did make some money out of it…

  • dave 1961

    Sep 15, 2009 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #18

    no doubt these that moan about money, do everything free, the go to work & expect nothing in return, money does make the world go around weather we like it or not, if you don’t like the facts start your own then it can be run for nowt.

  • Pons Aelius

    Sep 15, 2009 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #19

    Great letter Ed, nice to know some of the great stories that surround the club.

    As for this site I’ve been a regular reader and sporadic commentor over the last few years and truth be told I’d feel a little lost without it!

    Glad you’ve kept it going 🙂

  • Stuart79

    Sep 15, 2009 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #20

    Can anyone join in this ‘love in’?

  • lesh

    Sep 15, 2009 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #21

    I wonder if the club’s well-oiled and ever observant PR team might be able to get a signed shirt to Sgt Heagarty – via you of course Ed?

  • lesh

    Sep 15, 2009 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #22

    Stuart79 // Sep 15, 2009 at 3:37 PM

    Can anyone join in this ‘love in’?

    There’s a small cover charge Stuart – a smiley’d cover it nicely!

  • MacToon

    Sep 15, 2009 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #23


  • magpie6699

    Sep 15, 2009 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #24

    Welcome – glad you like “real” football and especially a real team with real supporters!

  • Phillippe Alberrrrrrrt

    Sep 15, 2009 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #25

    Excellent Article Ed!! This blog is great for people to debate,vent and most of all share the hair tearing love that is NUFC.

    To the Sarge – welcome to the rollercoaster although it could be worse Frankenstein could have been wearing a Mackem shirt!!

  • SirAlan

    Sep 15, 2009 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #26

    batty // Sep 15, 2009 at 2:57 PM

    Sgt Heagarty well come too the toon my eldest lad been iraq and will be off too afgan in jan his nick name is toon so you might bump into him lol
    <<<<<batty ya son is in the Army cadets and because he went training at Aldershot for the week dont mean he's been to Iraq lol and hes up in Court on January and Going to Prison not Iraq you BullSh****

  • Ericles

    Sep 15, 2009 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #27

    Welcome Sergeant. Keep safe mate. Glad to have heard from you.

  • Bigbadbob

    Sep 15, 2009 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #28

    Daniel Cousin says he would welcome a loan move to Newcastle, just the experienced target man we could do with but will Ashley allow this to happen?
    Scrounging players surplus to requirements is what we have been reduced to and i couldnt in a million years and words describe how much i hate FCB and his mates for what they have done to this club.

  • magpie6699

    Sep 15, 2009 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #29

    PS Two articles hinting that Ashley may be more inclined / able to sell. The Times says that the Keegan case resolution will clear the way, whilst the Daily Mail “quotes” (yeah, right) that Ashley is wanting to concentrate on the Fraud case and cannot be distracted by the club business.
    More non-news?

  • RyanToon

    Sep 15, 2009 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #30

    I see the REF for the Blackpool game had trials with S*nderland and supports them!

    What a disgrace!

  • Mags

    Sep 15, 2009 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #31

    RyanToon – where did you get this info?

  • stavros

    Sep 15, 2009 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #32

    There are a lot of places in the internet that you can watch Newcastle games. I know most people on this site already know this but at the risk of sounding ageist, there may be a few of the older readers that are not as active on the internet. I moved over to the California just over 1 year ago and I’ve hardly missed a game this season.

  • Big Dave

    Sep 15, 2009 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #33

    Ryan tbh every ref supports a team its not his fault he was burdened with the SMB’s Im sure if he could wash himself clean from them he would. 😉
    Sgt. Caleb Heagerty welcome to the roller coaster and dont forget as punishment for the grunts when they step out of line they have 2 choice’s swear allegiance to the toon or drop and give you 50

  • lesh

    Sep 15, 2009 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #34

    Ryan @28…. the fact that the ref supports Sunderland could work to our advantage – he’ll not want to be accused of bias will he.

  • MDS

    Sep 15, 2009 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #35

    Ed- thanks for all you do with the blog. Sorry to hear your recieve nasty letters but some people are just idiots and there is nothing you can do about that no matter what job you have.

    Welcome to the Toon Army Sgt. Heagerty. As a fellow American who became a supporter in ’96, I am proud to see that you have such good taste.
    For those who aren’t familiar with football watching in the U.S., the majority of American born fans here support the big 4 (with a smattering of Fulham). But no matter what footy bar I have entered in this country (and there are surprisingly plenty- more and more every year) there is always 2-3 black and white clad souls sitting indiscriminately among a sea of red and blue. In one particularly sad day last May, I watched us go down, but shared a few parting whiskeys with 2 such strangers as we toasted the Toon and a quick permotion. glory hnters we are not!!!

    Long live NUFC!!!

  • Mag 48

    Sep 15, 2009 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #36

    Ed could’nt care less how much the blog makes.In fact I wish you could make enough for a Toon buy out.Some comments on here really get me climbing walls but thats the nature of the toon and its supporters.

  • JinkyGenius

    Sep 15, 2009 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #37

    Jimmy Carter’s Friendship Force, now there’s a bizarre memory for those of us of a certain age… “Haowaaa thar lairds..”

    I’ll be the party pooper today….

    I’m certain we don’t all think the US forces are doing such a great job, Ed, quite the opposite, the ongoing US military occupation of large swathes of the planet is arguably at the root of the problem. ‘Pax Americana’ tends to fly in the face of the great socialist traditions of internationalism that many of us Geordies were brought up with before Maggie, Ronnie & the Corporates started brainwashing everybody with ‘free’ (ha ha) enterprise propaganda post ’79, closing pits and sinking battleships for fun.

    There’s a lot more to this club’s cultural traditions (or those of the supporters) than an empty trophy cabinet and a succession of half-brained owners… I fear we are in danger of losing our understanding of working class history at times, and how important NUFC was as an outlet for downtrodden working people over the decades. My own Grandfather, along with many others, walked over 40 miles at a time of struggle and poverty just to attend that legendary homecoming of Hughie Gallagher where 68,000 officially attended and many, many more piled in over the walls. I’m sure we all have hundreds of such stories.

    It is these crucial cultural resonances that keeps the club important to so many folk, in spite of the pea brain that currently ‘owns’ it as part of his investment portfolio. It is also the reason that I firmly believe there can be no stability at the Toon until the supporters actually own the club.

    Welcome one welcome all to NUFC, and especially the Iraqi lad who first wore the shirt in Baghdad! But the thought of black and white flags on occupation HumVees really turns my stomach.

  • jordi

    Sep 15, 2009 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #38


    Wouldn’t worry about flags on HumVees mate it’s not like they’re allowed to pimp their rides…

  • lesh

    Sep 15, 2009 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #39

    Jinky…….. that’s precisley why I’d suggested inducting Calab and his comrades in the US Infantry brigades into the Toon Army.

    Think about it Jinky, same point as yours and with a view to letting those guys watch the footie in peace!!!

  • SuperShearer

    Sep 15, 2009 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #40

    Ed I just want to say thank you to you for all your hard work on this blog, I’m a huge fan and it is my main source of all things Toon related. Always the first point of call. Don’t listen to the nay sayers you have a core group of loyal readers and we are eternally grateful for all your hard work. I would also like to thank all the members of the armed forces around the world trying to keep peace. I recently lost a friend out there and they do a tough job with limited resources so thank God you have bought light to one of them.


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