There’s some good news today and after discussions between Newcastle officials, members of the NUFC Fans United Group, and Sir John Hall’s Magpie Group, who have been storing the iconic gates that once stood at St. James’ Park – new shirt sponsors Wonga have agreed to provide the funding to have the gates re-installed.
St. James’ Park iconic gates coming back
The news was posted on the Newcastle web site late last night and this is some information taken directly from the web-site:
“The donation has enabled work to begin on lifting the huge wrought-iron gates from Sir John’s farmland at Woolsington Hall, Northumberland, which will commence at 9.30am on Friday, 14th June. It also covers the construction of a custom-built frame which is being used to transport them to a dedicated workshop where extensive refurbishment work will now be undertaken prior to installation.”
“It is anticipated that the gates, which are set to be located outside the entrance to the main Milburn Stand reception on Barrack Road following a feasibility study, will be unveiled close to the start of the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season and will remain as a lasting symbol of the relationship between the football club and its supporters.”
Derek Llambias, Managing Director at Newcastle said the following:
“We are very pleased to have worked with our supporters to see plans for the gates come to fruition. St. James’ Park is already an iconic stadium and the gates will create a focal point that Newcastle United fans will be proud of, and that all football fans will want to see when they visit the ground and the city.”
“We look forward to seeing the gates back in their full glory where they belong ahead of the new season.”
Darryl Bowman, marketing director for Wonga, said this:
“Every fortress needs some imposing gates and it’s time for St. James’ Park and the fans to be reunited with these old friends.” “We wanted to help as soon as we heard about the exciting plans that were being developed between the club and NUFC Fans United and I can’t wait to see them reinstated.”
NUFC Fans United is a fan organization you can join for free, and they have worked with both Newcastle United, Wonga and Sir John Hall – it all sounds good to us.
An unnamed spokesperson of NUFC Fans United said the following:
“The re-installation of the gates permanently safeguards the feature of St. James’ Park as a name and its ties to the stadium and city.”
“NUFC Fans United views this as an ongoing and lasting tribute to every Newcastle United supporter, player and club official who has ever entered the hallowed shrine that is St James’ Park.”
“Over time the gates can become a focal point that all Newcastle United supporters, as well as visitors to this great city will embrace.”
Malcolm Dix, on behalf of Sir John Hall and the Magpie Group said:
“We are delighted that the gates will, in due course, take their rightful place outside the stadium.” “We sincerely hope that they will become a great attraction for all supporters, young and old. They will be a huge attraction for visitors to the city and the North East.”
“This will fulfil Sir John and the Magpie Group’s original concept of them becoming an example of ongoing and future cooperation between the club, fans and the city. They are there for posterity and we are grateful that the Club will maintain and care for them.”
This is good news as Wonga continues to try to improve their image with Newcastle fans – but if they would only reduce those ridiculously high interest rates……
I hadn’t heard much about NUFC Fans United – but their web-site is here and they seem to be doing some good work on behalf of Newcastle fans – and that’s always good to hear.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org