Toon v Fulham today - not particularly auspicious as far as the fixture list goes, but a big day for me in my fight against the red tide.
To explain, by a wonderful quirk my brother has also made his home in the North West, and he lives about 10 miles away from me. This means that I get to see him and his family on a fairly regular basis, certainly more often than I get to go and see my parents who are still in the NE. He has two children, boy and a girl and Dan is 14. Needless to say he's football mad and also needless to say, he has spent the last few years as a confirmed Manure fan. Its a peer group thing, and perfectly understandable. He hasn't had the guiding hand of his father giving him sage advice as to the rights and wrongs of this - my brother has always had a limited interest in football and was the typical glory hunter as a kid, he supported Liverpool because they won everything....
Dan and I always have had banter and he's been to a few Manure games on corporate tickets. Then a strange thing happened - he went to a Scout jumble sale, came home with a Toon top and announced he was converted. I've no idea how long this will last for, but needless to say I'm shamelessly going to exploit this. I'm planning to take him to an away game in the near future, if the passion and excitement doesn't hook him then I'd be very surprised. Also, as the Fulham game is live on TV tonight we are having a special Aunt/Nephew night and he's watching it with me.
So, firstly "Howay the lads" secondly, please don't let it be another of those dull 0-0's or even worse a 1-0 loss with the Toon showing no heart - for Dan's sake make it a good game!