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Pardew Wants Prayer Room At St. James’ Park – Why Not?

News in the local press today that Newcastle manager Alan Pardew wants to open a prayer room at St James’ Park.

Ba and Cisse in prayer position against Aston Villa

Newcastle have a number of Muslims in their ranks at the moment,  including Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba, Ben Arfa and Cheick Tiote, and it may be that some of the players have gone to the manager and asked him for a prayer room, but that’s just a supposition.

This is what Alan told the local press today:

“It is something I have discussed with club secretary Lee Charnley as I think it is important.” “We look after the players here and their religious backgrounds.”

“Even at the stadium, it is not ideal. It is something we are looking at.” “Religion plays a very important role for some of our players.”

“You have to respect that – Hatem, Demba and Cheick are a different religion to most footballers in this country.” “We need different facilities for them.”

Pardew is one of the best man-managers in the game today,  and this move by him is not too surprising, if it’s what his players need to feel right at home.

And Newcastle will also be sending out a strong message about Alan and Newcastle United, that the club goes out of their way to make foreign players feel at home on Tyneside.

There could also be a prayer room  installed at the Benton Training grounds – and hey – we are all for this – if it makes the Newcastle players feel more comfortable at the club.

And of course we have seen both Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba get into the Muslim Prayer position after scoring for Newcastle, as shown in the photo above.

We see nothing wrong with this – and will only put Newcastle in a very good light.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

37 comments so far

  • Spuggy

    Apr 28, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #1

    Another few classic by the writer of Home Newcastle …. brings a tear to your eye …. so proud to live in the northeast!

    RIP Ronnie.




  • super magpie

    Apr 28, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #2

    I don’t really care about religious stuff, but if it helps them feel more comfortable at the club then I’m all for it to happen.

  • davybtoon

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #3

    Anyone know we’re the match is on in town today

  • nufc786

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #4

    Tottenham and Newcastle are weighing up a move for Javi Marquez, 25, after the Espanyol midfielder turned down a new deal at the club, paving the way for a summer exit.

    Everton boss David Moyes is ready to snap up Wigan’s Senegal midfielder Mohamed Diame on a free transfer in the summer, but he could face competition from Newcastle. The 24-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the season.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #5

    You have to appreciate these lads are muslim first and in their eyes footballers by virtue of that. Their Faith is pivotal to their lives so whatever keeps them happy is what should be done.

  • check the toastie

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #6

    Wud give Cisse/Ba Tiote and Benny whatever they want, if they ask for it, giv them it, no real discussion really, these boys are a blessing to the Toon, let them feel at home, better than going on the p1ss down the Big Market. This team will be remembered in history as our best i can just feel it in my bones. Love them all. Come on boys another massive effort today.

  • nufc786

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #7

    respect the faith!!!!!!!!!!!
    well done pardew….
    ba cisse benny will all benefit from this as this would makee newcastle more than a home to them

  • woolerbill

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #9

    Sorry but we need to leave religion out of football. It should be kept private and nobody will be offended

  • check the toastie

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #10

    here boys make it feel like a home game, turn the volume up.


  • Graeme

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #11

    Why not indeed.

    Seems like a sensible thing to do.

  • Magforlife

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #12

    Makes a change from us being on our knees praying for divine help 🙂

  • Tsunki

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #13

    Check @ 6 – yeah for the sake of drywalling a side room upstairs why not way better than pulling Nile out of clink every weekend lol. Hey – maybe they can convert Ranger ? I’m beginning to see Pardews master plan for reforming the bad lads! 🙂

  • check the toastie

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #14

    woolerbill – why wud anybody be offended if the lads took 5 minutes to practice their faith, if it adds to their attachment to te club it should be embraced, strange.

  • SmileyFace

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #15

    I’m all for this.

    You’ve seen Chicarito on he’s knees praying before kickoff, David Luiz praying over Torres before a game, and there’s nothing wrong with it. It can’t be kept out and i don’t want it to be. It shows how much football has changed, from the days of having all british players, and i love it. I will only be against it things such as parcel bombs are sent to player / managers, in Neil lennon and Celtics case, Sectarianism is not good at all, and being from northern ireland originally i know what it’s like.

    As long as there is no satanic ritualistic stuff, i’m happy 😀

  • Minato

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #16

    Surprised there isn’t one already…at least it hasn’t been swept under the rug. Good call to address it…

  • Benton Toon Exile

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #17

    Davybtoon @ 3; it will be on in the Holtspur opposite the Haymarket bus station.

    Gonna see a Demba Ba goal today!

  • murvar

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #18

    The mackems are installing a “haven’t got a prayer” room.

  • Benton Toon Exile

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #19

    Sorry Davy Hotspur Pub….

  • ady

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #20

    LOVE YOU ALAN i am muslim my self i would love to see if that happens 🙂 also not just that newcastle will have more fans 🙂 and i am sure after seen this world best players would like to come to newcastle

  • Minato

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #21


    Nicely done…

  • JC148

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #22

    As a Christian first and football fan second I think it’s a great idea to have a prayer room. Not only will it make Muslim players like the Dembas and Hatem feel at home but it gives them the facility to practise what they believe in. Shola is a Christian and I think he’d love the use of a prayer room too.

  • giimps

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #23

    Gotta say another masterstroke for Pards, Keep the muslim players happy, I would like to be there is a christian room somewhere and a christian vicar or something that like that too.
    It could also entice more players here knowing we go out of our way to make everyone feel at home.
    I have no problem with anyone practising their faith, as I go to my church of St James park every chance I get, sometimes it gives me the strength to carry on, other times it absolutely lifts my soul and to me, makes my world a better place.

  • Oleg G

    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #24

    Well. I am not for things like this at all in general. Don’t see why the facilities outside are not enough (Christian, Muslim, Jewish and others), but I guess that if it will help our players, then why not.


    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #25

    Brilliant idea! If it helps the players then why not!

    But for the rest of “St James”! is the Temple like!

    Hope if they do set something like that! They make it Multi-Cultural !

  • cupiddstunt

    Apr 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #26

    Woolerbill @ # 9

    Stop being a knobend,,,,,,

    Almost every catholic footballer crosses themselves when coming onto the park and when they score so religion is firmly entrenched in football as it is in all walks of life.

    If the boys feel they need an area where they can go to pray before a game then that should be fine and a prayer room should be supplied.

    I myself am an atheist but have never been ignorant and arrogant enough to think that the beliefs and thoughts of other should be ignored (as long as they do not harm others).

    Apart from that football is my religion.

  • Trent Toon

    Apr 28, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #27

    I am a born again christian – and i think this would be fantastic idea! I respect other peoples beliefs! And i think all christians should!!

  • GeordieoftheSouth

    Apr 28, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #28

    If it keeps hold of the Demba boys…then do it! I remember seeing one at the Nou Camp in their tunnel, so why not us?


    Apr 28, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #29

    That’s a really good idea. If it makes them feel more comfortable and makes them happy then no one can argue against it surely. It will be good for Newcastle especially one of our best players are Muslim.

  • 3110

    Apr 28, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #30

    Some of you can be a bit condescending. “We see nothing wrong with this” “we need to leave religion out of football”. Well I bet Demba and Co are delighted they can practice their religion safe in the knowledge that we think its OK.
    I’m not a religious person but I work in a Muslim country and Muslims have a completely different view to their religion to a western take it or leave it approach. To a Muslim his or her sole purpose of existence is to love and serve their God. It is their life. Prayer is seen as a personal experience where they can express gratitude and worship. They are Muslims first and foremost who happen to play football.
    For NUFC to provide the facilities and time for them to worship in a fitting surroundings should be encouraged and should be looked upon with pride and not in such a condescending manner. If the rest of the world were as far thinking towards different beliefs as NUFC then the world would be a better place

  • geordiesteve520

    Apr 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #31

    A very classy, educated and clever idea. This will again paint the cob in a very positive and tolerant light and will appeal to many players not simply of a Muslim faith but to any player who has a strong faith and illustrates just how important a player’s character is to the club when they are looking to sign him.

  • argentoona

    Apr 28, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #32

    I’m also Muslim and proud
    I feel double delight when Newcastle score because the 2 demba’s perform this religious act 😉 aswell as a goal

    I heared the emirates have. A. Prayer room

    Also I would encourage the club to make a room for Christian

    By the way Zidane has openly said he is a non practicing Muslim

    Respect all religions

  • josh

    Apr 28, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #33

    Why not is what i say. It’s not like there gimme buy a quarter of st James’s park and secluded themselves off and claim its a multi cultural society whilst not interacting with the other team members. If it gets us goals give them an inflateable mosque in the middle of the pitch Monday to friday

  • josh

    Apr 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #34


  • Toon666

    Apr 28, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #35

    I went on a guided tour of the Nou Camp in Barcelona and they have a prayer room – apparently it is used a LOT by their players…..if it’s good enough for Barcelona it’s good enough for me! 😉

    I wonder if it’s specifically a “Muslim prayer room” or a prayer room open to everyone.

    I hope it’s the latter……

  • jakesome

    Apr 28, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #36

    brilliant move pardew, its ovbious that religion is really important to some of our players and this will show that we are not just willing but happy to accomodate those beliefs in our great club.
    really havnt felt this good in freakin years

  • jakesome

    Apr 28, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #37

    @toon 666 most other religions dont require a space to pray, its because in islam you unroll mats to pray on


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