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The Passion For Football At Newcastle Is Like Nowhere Else I’ve Ever Been


Mike Williamson joined Newcastle when we were down in the Championship back in January 2010 after Steven Taylor had been injured.

And the former Portsmouth center-back – who stands 6ft 4ins tall in his stocking feet was an excellent buy for the club.

The big center-back played 169 times for the club with one goal.

And Mike just loved playing for Newcastle United and the atmosphere generated by the loyal Newcastle fans.

And that wasn’t just on game days.

But in general, as the city has its ups and downs depending on how well the team is performing.

If we win on a Saturday afternoon, you can bet things are jumping in the bars that Saturday night.

Mike came back in the northeast as manager of Gateshead, who are in the National League and was their manager in turbulent times for one year since August 2018.

He came back in January as their player-coach.

And he has been interviewed by Chris Waugh – the former Evening Chronicle reporter.

Mike Williamson – Gateshead player-coach

Chris is now with The Athletic, and this is some of what Mike has told him about the Newcastle area:

“It sounds strange but part of me craves that pressure. It exposes you… I always want to challenge myself.”

“Last season was an emotional rollercoaster and the summer was even more traumatic, especially for the fans,”

“Nothing surprises me in football anymore but those were unique circumstances.”

“When I was at Newcastle you could feel the city’s mood being dictated by the club,”

“Gateshead is obviously on a smaller scale but the same applies because the passion for football in the North East is unrivalled.

“One of the reasons I came into management was because I love those highs and the lows. I couldn’t see myself being in a job that doesn’t come with that sort of unpredictability; that’s what I live for.”

“I’ve always wanted to move back ‘home’, which was initially down in Devon. Then, when I met my wife, it became Windsor,”

“But two of my five children were born and another two brought up here. We all adore the place.”

“I initially moved here for football reasons. But this place gets inside of you. This is where we wanted to be. Luckily, once I’d made that decision, the chance to play for Gateshead came along.”

“Initially, when I came up, it blew me away the size of everything – the club, the stadium, the fan base,”

“It’s hard to quantify the size of the passion of the whole city.”

“A lot of people from elsewhere don’t get it. They hear people call Newcastle a ‘big club’ and say, ‘But they don’t win anything.’”

“But they haven’t experienced it. You just walk around town and every other person has a Newcastle top on. It’s the enormity of it. The passion for football is like nowhere else I’ve ever been.”

“Perhaps I became a little weathered to the enormity of it, being up here for a few years as a player, but my friends who left the club would say, ‘You don’t realize the size of it until you leave.’”

“I went to other clubs, still big clubs, but then you could feel the difference. When I was up here, I was absorbed in it; I loved it.”

Mike has a big job to do at Gateshead, who were recently in severe financial trouble.

We hope they can survive and do well in the current harsh environment with the coronavirus pandemic causing lockdown in many countries – including the UK.

We hope the pandemic will be over before the summer ends.

Gateshead could even thrive in the future – we hope they do.

Comments welcome.


47 comments so far

  • toon22

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #1

    Have we been sold yet ?

    5
  • geordietom

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #2

    i’m still confident about the sale happening …

    4
  • IrishRob

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #3

    Go back to the previous thread if you wanna see the links. Couldn’t be bothered posting them again.

    0
  • bettyswallocks

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #4

    Breaking News………. A man has been charged with strangling his wife of 44 yrs. to death after a heated argument during the lockdown .
    Police in Benwell charged the man with breaking the two metre rule during the murder telling him he could have shot her from a distance and that it was NOT essential that he came that close to her.

    13
  • Zele

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #5

    Repost

    The authorities should wake up to reality and cancel the current season.

    Without a vaccine and the population having not been tested for antibodies and people still in hospital and dying the Government isn’t going to agree to hundreds of thousands of people travelling around the country and then congregating at football grounds.

    10
  • WLtoon

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #6

    Crikey, the bus is on Turbo power this mornin. I see the doubts about a takeover are starting to surface again.. Hang onto your hats lads n lasses, its gonna be a hell ova bumpy physological ride

    2
  • bettyswallocks

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #7

    Just wanted to let everyone know that wor lass has been admitted to hospital , she’s only gone and poisoned herself. What she thought was an onion turned out to be a daffodil bulb. Doctors told me she should be out sometime in the spring.

    13
  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #8

    WL

    I’ve never been in doubt about my doubts

    2
  • AncientC

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #9

    Mike Williamson was the original ‘one season wonder’. That season MW won player of the season, he was as good a CB as you could ever see. You have to wonder what a Rafa type manager could have got out of Iron Mike.

    6
  • WLtoon

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #10

    Betty

    was just about to give you my get well comments re your lass ,, then i realised lol

    3
  • WLtoon

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #11

    Boycott

    yeah i guess you could be right after all mate

    2
  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #12

    I don’t think the issue is the alleged 340m , just the residuals, ie advertising. if you are buying something do you really want sd still plastered everywhere, especially when it’s not even being paid for.

    Sheikh’s mate

    ”warped psycho misfit” I thought you were referring to someone on here.!!!

    1
  • geordietom

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #13

    i’m still confident about the takeover happening …

    keep the faith lads and lasses …

    3
  • WLtoon

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #14

    Hope MW does a decent job at Gateshead, he,s a good pro and a nice fella

    1
  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #15

    zele

    would it not be behind closed doors

    2
  • bettyswallocks

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #16

    Wltoon………. Thanks pal. She is genuinely accident prone though . She was rushed in last year when she went charging through the sliding glass doors that she thought were open and cut all her face.
    She gets so kin excited when she hears the ice cream van.

    4
  • WLtoon

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #17

    Betty

    From now on ile take everything you say the same way as i take any takeover rumours,, with a pince of salt lol

    0
  • WLtoon

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #18

    Geordietom

    Good to see you back on here today,, i hope yesterday was,nt too upsetting for you mate. HWTL

    1
  • toon22

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #19

    Newcastle United players ‘reacted badly’ to this Mike Ashley move – repor

    https://www.shieldsgazette.com/sport/football/newcastle-united/newcastle-united-players-reacted-badly-mike-ashley-move-report-2535190

    If Jabba aint gone before the season starts id say were probably getting relegated
    You think the players or the staff want to help dig him out of the hole hes dug ?

    5
  • geordietom

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #20

    Wltoon …

    cheers mate just thought i’d stay off here yesterday hurts it’s something you dont get over …

    how you coping with the loss of your mate stay strong bonny lad …

    you from north or south shields mate ? …

    1
  • investinyouthtoon

    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #21

    Further words from MW interview more or less sums it all up.

    “In 2012, players could have arrived thinking, ‘Hmm, we could be the ones to win a trophy.’ But then I feel as though, through the business side of things, that gets diluted somewhat and dreams don’t become a reality.

    “People now know how Newcastle are run and players possibly go there accepting that now.

    “Avoiding relegation is the target, anything else is a bonus. That’s where the mentality perhaps differs.”

    It’s a shame MA bought us and not anybody else, that one event 13 years ago will have a knock on effect for years to come unless this takeover does happen even long after MA has left

    2
  • toon22

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #22

    How many season tickets you think he will shift next season ?
    Betya cant wait to give him yer cash

    7
  • Moonraker15

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #23

    From previous.
    With respect to Rob Lee he’s entitled to his opinion but he doesn’t know any more than any of us!
    It seems to me like the fat man is just having a laugh at our expense yet again! Nothing to do with Coronavirus; he doesn’t want to give up £100 million every year!
    As for the price; if properly run we’d be worth £2 billion in 5 years!

    4
  • Mister Tuff

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #24

    I am confident there will be no takeover…

    Season will be voided as if it never existed…

    5
  • geordietom

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #25

    the season that never was , poor liverpool NOT …

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #26

    Mike Williamson,
    My favourite player under the Pardew era, was useless but gave his all, seriously unfairly targeted by fans who should have applauded him.

    3
  • JohnReese

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #27

    Jail

    I always though Mike was one of those defenders, like Steven Taylor. With the right partner in the right system could have looked so much better but when you had them alongside Colo, the severe lack of pace was exposed so badly time and time again. You’re right though, couldn’t be faulted for his effort and was always one I was willing on to have a good game.

    5
  • Pain in the Blog

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #28

    JohnReese,

    Good to see you posting again. How are you keeping?

    0
  • Zele

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #29

    Rotonda height

    There are a couple of issues with games behind closed doors.

    In general the managers (not sure about the club’s views) are against it.

    Some managers, especially those fighting relegation, say that their home crowd is their 12th man and without them they are at a disadvantage.

    The authorities are very vary of it based on the example of the recent PSG (I think) game played behind closed doors where fans travelled to the game and then hung about outside the stadium.

    I guess the broadcasters would be in favour of them although I suspect the games would be a bit surreal in empty stadiums. I suppose the broadcasters would have to adjust their mics as they will pick up all the Anglo-Saxon encouragement from the touchlines from the silent stadiums.

    0
  • WLtoon

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #30

    Geordietom

    Im a Jarra lad mate. nowt happening round here , like a ghost town, even before the lockdown

    0
  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #31

    moonraker

    I think this 100M a year is a bit of an urban myth. Not doing a jib but that 100M a year can get largely swallowed up by wages and insurance etc, it’s not just clear profit for the fat man. It could take him another 5 – 7 years to get what he would in a one off payment from the Saudis.

    0
  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #32

    mr tuff

    is that your daily bulletin now

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #33

    investinyouthtoon,
    Wow, did he actually say that.

    1
  • WLtoon

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #34

    A big vote in Scotland today on whether to cancel the season, apart from the top flight.. If it is cancelled then at least half the smaller clubs are in real danger of going to the wall. I think the same could happen to many clubs in the EFL if something is,nt in place by the FA of the EPL to help struggling clubs through this.

    0
  • toon22

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #35

    Jabba will think this whole thing will blow over again

    Imho he has tried to make himself too big to fail
    He knows he’s in the clarts with all sorts of government bodies and will fall foul eventually
    It’s seems though he’s made himself public enemy no1 this time

    He finally got his wish at being the pantomime villain

    10
  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #36

    On MW,
    We went to Salou in 2017 or 18 and I got talking to a Wolves fan who was worried about signing him as he’d been deliberately sent off. Absolutely disgusting accusation from John Carver, a man hopelessly out of his depth and looking to curry favour with those fans that used MW as a scapegoat, really damaging for someone who had arguably been the best pro at the club.

    3
  • toon22

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #37

    WL

    The smaller clubs will vote for it as it means they get their end of season payments

    2
  • Mister Tuff

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #38

    Rotonda – indeed – I think it’s a good shout for balance purposes.

    2
  • Moonraker15

    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #39

    Rotunda
    Yes Ashley would make a good profit if he sold up but I’m one that believes he’s been filtering money out of the club for years and still showing a profit. Fair enough he owns it legally if not morally but that’s the reason we’ve had no success in the most prosperous period in football history with record crowds. Averaging £6m a year net spend for 13 years won’t get you success in the premier league! All kk so the Sports Direct publicity is huge!

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 10, 2020 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #40

    He was forming an excellent partnership with Mbwia until Collo returned from his jollies and went straight back in to the team.

    1


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