One of the major areas Rafa Benitez talked about last week is to further make Newcastle United Football Club part and parcel of the City and have the club participate in even more charities than they do at the moment and try to bring the whole area together though the famous football club.
He did that very successfully at Liverpool, which is only one reason the fans there still hold him in such esteem today – and of course he still lives on the Wirral with his wife and two teenage daughters.
He will be back home a lot more now he’s managing Newcastle United.
Newcastle upon Tyne and Tyne Bridge at night
We imagine the Liverpool vs Newcastle games will be very special in the future, once we are back in the Premier League – hopefully next year at this time.
That’s the plan in any case.
Newcastle even now dominates the City and the fans simply love their club – and they will love it even more now that Rafa is rebuilding the team and the club from top to bottom.
This is what the manager said last week when asked whether he wanted to bring the fans and the club closer together and to improve community relations:
“Yes, we will have an open training session for supporters for sure.” “We want to bring fans closer to the club and to the players, we are all a team together.”
“And the club is also a really big part of the city and the community.”
“I have been talking to the staff and talking about the club’s Foundation, and also about the local charities in the North East.”
“The club already does excellent work in the community, and we can add to that and hopefully do more.”
“I have really good relationships and friendships with the people of Liverpool and Merseyside.” “I want to develop the same in Newcastle.”
“We have been talking already about organizing a children’s football tournament, bringing local schools together and connecting them with the club.”
“We are part of the community and the football club is part of the people in this area, we need to come together. When we come together we can achieve great things for the club and the city of Newcastle.”
“I think you will hear more about our plans for the tournament soon.”
My son Neil was in Newcastle last week – the first time he had been there for 28 years.
One of his uncles – who is has been a season ticket holder over around 50 years – took him around the Benton Training grounds and also arranged a tour of St. James’ Park for him and others in the family for last Sunday.
When he got back over here last week I asked him if he could see how Newcastle United dominated and was woven completely into the fabric of the City.
His five word response – “Oh yes, that’s very clear.”
By the way Neil loves Newcastle – he thinks it’s a very vibrant and very modern city.
No so keen on the weather though – he went down to South Shield on one of the days – and it was 45 degrees F and very windy.
Over here in Raleigh today – as a contrast – it’s going to 92 degrees F and at 5:30am right now this morning, it’s 78 degrees F.
Almost time to take my dog Milo out for his walk.