I was born 77 years ago in a terraced street known as Smiths Row ! I never have been an Arsenal fan but when I see that the Arsenal forward called SMITH- ROWE has scored it gives me a "jolt".Does this make me an Arsenal fan??
The what was the Sports Direct Emporium and in now the Sheik's Palace has a history :-
Historically, a hospital and chapel named St. James’ and St Marys' stood near to where the Hancock Museum building now stands in Newcastle.
In 1542, the master of St. Mary's and St. James granted a lease of land and plots that extended to Castle Leazes.
St. James Place was later built on the site and the area continued to develop to where the football ground now stands, featuring St. James Street, St. James Terrace and Leazes Terrace by the early 19th century.
Fast-forward to that first match on the site in 1880 and it’s easy to see why the ground immediately became known as St. James’ Park.
The ground now is totally different to when I first went in the 1960s when it looked like this . I have fond memories of my first visits hope you will indulge me . Before all of the high and maybe not so high quality food you get at matches now we had a peanut seller who walked around the ground on the adjacent surrounding track selling peanuts with a loud shout of "Peanuts!!!!"
IF someone shouted loudly back "here" to indicate they wanted a bag he would throw the sealed paper bag of peanuts in the direction of the requestor . All the hands used to go up so whether or not the person ever got them is questionable . After a few seconds a hail of coins would come down from the crowd to the seller again the hands went up trying to catch it although most reached the seller and he spent the next few minutes scratting around picking them up and so he'd move on It was a sad day when he was "retired" by the club.
I used to bowl on a league which was called St. John's Mixed. Gradually some teams dropped off and the league bowling next to us was a small Jewish league. Well we merged, but there was one problem and that was the name of the league. So they asked and got the name changed to Ain't Saints.