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Saturday - what a day! - 02/03/2003

I really enjoyed the game on Saturday, both the result and being asked to appear on the pitch at half time. I had no idea until I got to the ground that I’d be presented to the crowd – and to be honest, I’ve felt less nervous running out onto the turf to play!! The game was tight, they may have edged the first half but we played better in the second period and overall I thought we were value for the win.

I knew I was down to do a bit of my usual media work, but it turned out to be a bit of a mammoth session! Bob Moncur co-ordinates the ex-players who call in to see the corporate fans, he asked me to help out and I was happy to oblige. After the final whistle I was supposed to immediately visit the lounges; the Kielder Suite, Bamburgh Suite etc. But ESPN were covering the game and I had to do a live feed for them. I sent word out that I’d be delayed but it appears that not everyone got the message. The live feed takes a bit of time to set up, I was about 20 to 30 minutes late for the lounge visits, so apologies to anyone who missed me – I was genuinely delayed and certainly wasn’t skiving! I’ve heard that some people were told that I hadn’t turned up!! Anyone who knows me will tell you that that’s just not me and I’m quite disappointed to hear that a number of people didn’t get a full explanation. As it happens, I spent quite a lot of time chatting - to Chelsea as well as Newcastle fans. Jim Pearson accompanied me, the ex-centre forward Newcastle signed from Everton in the late 1970’s, and he’ll vouch for that! I did get to all the places I was supposed to be, but I am sorry if I missed you.

Going out onto the pitch at half time was a great experience, I mentioned earlier that I was a bit nervous, and that goes back to my playing days! I remember being a player when ex-players would be introduced to the crowd, I used to wonder who some of them were! This time the shoe was on the other foot…it was me being introduced to the crowd and as I walked up the tunnel I looked up and saw Lomana Lua Lua, I wondered if he’d ever heard of me! But any doubts about the crowd forgetting me were soon dispelled, it was a great feeling to step foot on the pitch and to receive such a warm applause – just a shame I couldn’t pull on my boots!!

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