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BEGINNING TO SEE THE LIGHT 8 If I’m being completely frank about my response to recent events, the death of Lou Reed was actually the worst thing about Sunday 27th October 2013. As Lou changed my life forever from the very first time I heard the opening bars of Waiting for the Man by The Velvet Underground when I was aged about 14, I can’t even pretend that the poisonous, malign influence of Mike Ashley on Newcastle United and its supporters caused me to feel this way, by effectively downgrading our defeat to the Mackems to the status of a minor irritation and no longer allowing me to regard such a happenstance as a tragedy of enormous proportions. Remember, music never lets you down; football always does. Let’s be honest, only Keegan’s Entertainers or Bobby Robson’s 2001 to 2003 side could come anywhere near the first four Velvets albums in terms of sheer, hairs standing up on the back of your neck, pleasure. Shola Ameobi stumbling over the ball or What Goes On from Live 69? Cisse being caught offside or White Light / White Heat? No contest… I didn’t see the Mackem game; in fact, I hadn’t seen a single Newcastle United fixture either live or on television, other than on highlights programmes, including the Fulham game where I won a pair of tickets and palmed them off on my son, at all this season, before I took myself off to St. James’ Park for the Man City cup tie. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not actually boycotting the club, as I’d always intended to make the Stoke City game on Boxing Day a must attend match, but I had found so many better things to do with my time, including watching 31 Northern League games up to and including October 26th. The vagaries of the fixture list so far this season have meant we’ve avoided any Sunday or Monday home games, as I’m not prepared to sacrifice a Saturday at a nonleague game to watch Newcastle United, so I’d not seen the inside of SJP since the tame surrender to Arsenal at the end of the previous campaign. I have to say, I’ve not missed the place; those Wonga and Sports Direct adverts give the place a seedy, unwholesome air. Even in the pub before the game I was questioning my reasons for attending. As a lifelong Hibs fan, I could have taken to my sofa to see a predictable 1-0 home loss to the hated Hearts in the Scottish League Cup on BBC Scotland or, more productively, headed up to Blue Flames on a kind of semi scouting mission, to see my real team’s rivals West Allotment Celtic and Northallerton Town in a battle for 3 crucial league points. Allotment bossed the Yorkies 3-0 incidentally. What’s that I say about my real team? Well, so far this season I’ve had a simply wonderful time following Heaton Stannington during our debut Words by Ian Cusack campaign in the Northern League, where we sit proudly atop the Division 2 table as November begins. At Grounsell Park, I edit the programme, update the website (www.heatonstanningtonfc.co.uk) and generally involve myself as much as possible in the day to day running of the club. Come and see us; it’s only £3 in and there are always 3 real ales on hand pull at an incredible £2.25 a pint. At The Stan, I feel enthused, energised, fulfilled and above all, appreciated. Can any of us truly say the same about Newcastle United these days? And yet, in the minutes following Borini’s goal, which Krul really ought to have stopped (Shay Given denied Sewpa Kev twice from similar positions in the Dabizas game), my only thought was to get on line and book myself a ticket for the City cup tie. Cont. on page 10 9