Day 58

I closed my eyes and went to heaven

….no, I’m not talking about my near-death experience a week ago but my discovery of “The Back Page“/ (Photo below) Those who know me well, know that I am a huge collector of football memorabilia and in the “Remake of Towering Inferno” that starred everything I own rather than Steve McQueen, I lost over 2,000 programmes never mind books, CDs, tapes, DVDs, CDs etc etc. There were I remember over 720 Gillingham programmes, 500 Man Utd programmes, 400 Rugby League Programmes and 400 various programmes and magazines from a dozen plus countries. Sad! (….or words to that effect!)

Today was my first real day out and I decided to have a quiet day sightseeing in Newcastle and Sunderland. It’s a long, long time since I had free time here and I really enjoyed travelling around the area. For just 8 pounds you can get a whole day pass that gets you on the buses, the excellent metro and the ferry. I took good advantage of the ticket! I was wandering around near Newcastle United’s St James’Park and stumbled over The Back Page which is a veritable Alladin’s Cave of memorabilia. It claims to be the “World’s largest football memorabila and bookshop”. I have certainly seen nothing better and it dwarves Sportspages. It has far more non-mainstream books and literally thousands of programmes from every club in the UK and many international teams too. I had a happy 30 minutes here and will be back on Monday when I will have more time. Happy Days!

From there I went to ground 37, Newcastle United. To be honest it did not feel the same walking rather than cycling and I was still feeling a bit woozy so I took a couple of photos and moved on.

Funny after 45 minutes on the train, a coffee and something to eat how the world seems a better place! I had not seen Sunderland’s new Stadium of Light since I had moved to Spain and it IS impressive. It’s not as big as St James Park but it stands out well on the skyline and the stately entrance gates give it a certain grandeur that few clubs can match.

BUT ….. and I have said this one thousand times, football is about people and not bricks and mortar and Sunderland had all the trump cards here. Firstly, I met Danny in the car park. He has been a supporter for over 60 years and we had a super 15 minutes together as he relived moments from Stokoe, Hurley, Ashurst etc Then I was shown around by the charming Rebecca Seymour who obviously loves her job and the club. I passed on Bjorn’s best wishes and told her that the Sunderland shirt they had donated last year when he was in the North East was flown with pride at the World Cup. She was grateful for that update. Ground 38. Not the best week with only two new grounds but considering how I was 7 days ago I must be pleased. Thanks for all your support.

2 Responses to “Day 58”

  • Looks like you’ll be heading to Teesside (Middlesbrough and Hartlepool) soon, get in touch if you need any help, if I cam help I will! Could possibly help you sort out press, talks at schools etc?

  • Steve Hall:

    Any help would of course be most welcome. Will be in the area Thursday and Friday. Have BNI meetings 7am/9am (you would be most welcome) but free after that. Do not have bed Wed, Thursday and no real contacts at Boro or Hartlepool FC.

    TIA for anything you can arrange.

    Steve

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