Newcastle United: How the Saudi takeover celebrations at St James’ finally showed me what life can be like as a Geordie

To grow up a Newcastle United fan under the reign of Mike Ashley was to feed off scraps of stories such as signing two-time Ballon d’Or winner Kevin Keegan, Keegan’s return to the club as manager, a Tino Asprilla hat-trick to defeat Barcelona and Alan Shearer’s homecoming made for themselves.

But October 7, 2021 was the day that every Newcastle fan under the age of 25 could finally do more than dream of seeing history made for themselves.

Having grown up 200 miles away and settled just for getting to the odd game here and there, to be stood outside St James’ Park amidst thousands of Geordies celebrating the end of the Ashley era and a dream new start under new ownership was a something that will always be with me.

For the first time in 14 years or more, the fans of this great club had cause for genuine hope and celebration.

Forget the transfer riches coming our way, last Thursday was simply about finally being able to be proud of the club I fell in love with over a decade ago without ever having had that love returned.

Being from the Midlands, and living through an era when so much goodwill towards the club evaporated, it was often difficult to understand quite what Newcastle United could mean to the people of Tyneside.

But to be in the middle of the frenzy outside St James’ on Thursday, I finally understood how United can make it genuinely feel like to be a Geordie.

From “ticking over” in the Premier League with survival our only goal, Amanda Staveley and co are now talking about wanting to “win the Premier League”.

For those of us who celebrated last Thursday? Hope is all we have ever asked for.

And now, we have it . . .