I’m so lazy I even nicked the post title from Rikaitch. This was posted on NUFC.com and they ripped it from The Times. I just like it. It’s well-written and sums up how I feel about St James’ Park as well. Shame Gaby’s already taken. I’m sure we’d be great together *sigh*
TV Presenter Gabby Logan writing in The Times on Friday about her admiration for the new Wembley but her adoration of a ground closer to home:
On Monday, while watching the live action in the afternoon for Match of the Day, I was sitting alongside Alan Shearer.
When the teams walked out for Newcastle v Arsenal there was a fantastic camera angle that showed the stadium from what felt like a single blade of grass, looking up to the Gods.
â€œNow thatâ€™s a coliseum,â€ Shearer pined. He didnâ€™t need to tell me â€” St Jamesâ€™ Park is up there with the BernabÃ©u and the Nou Camp for atmosphere and grandeur.
There was a survey of Premiership fans a few years ago and, when asked which was their favourite away ground, 18 out of 19 said Newcastleâ€™s. Sunderland were in the Premiership at the time so Iâ€™ll let you guess which set of supporters dissented.
St Jamesâ€™ Park also has the enviable characteristic of being truly a city stadium. You can walk to the train station and the bars, restaurants and hotels in five minutes.
That doesnâ€™t just mean you can be sitting in a swish watering hole 15 minutes after the final whistle enjoying a glass of something chilled, it means that in the build-up to the match the whole town knows that there is a game of football on, and as you come out of the shops on Northumberland Street you can hear the roar when a goal is scored.
Of course I am biased. They are my team and I cut my teeth doing postmatch interviews on the touchline there, getting to the ground before the players, seeing the place become the Theatre of Hope and Expectation, if not Dreams.
I will always love it â€” I can understand why people have their ashes spread on the pitch and why fans arrive at the ground three hours early. Itâ€™s possible to appreciate other stadiums, for sure, but youâ€™ll only really ever love one.