‘Breathtaking’: Lifelong Newcastle United fan from Australia makes emotional visit to city for first time

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Clayton has been a Newcastle United fan as long as he can remember but, living 10,500 miles away, only got to make the pilgrimage to St. James’ Park for the first time at the age of 25 this Christmas.

When he walked into St. James' Park for the first time, Australian Magpie Clayton said the sight of the Newcastle United home ground took his breath away.

For most Geordies, their first time seeing the cathedral on the hill and the hallowed turf that has been touched by Newcastle greats comes when a youngster.

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However, for Clayton who lives almost 10,500 miles away from Newcastle, he had to wait 25 years for that experience.

Having spoken to Newcastle United fans across the globe before, NewcastleWorld caught up with Clayton about his first trip to see the Magpies, what he made of the city and those two goalless draws.

Q: Whereabouts in Australia are you from and how did you come to be a Newcastle United fan?

A: “I'm from a place in Western Sydney called Penrith and have lived there my whole life. My grandparents on my mum's side were born and raised in Newcastle - my pop is from Gateshead and my nan is from Wallsend. So it’s in my blood to support Newcastle.

“Ever since I was a kid, whenever my nan would come back to visit family she would always bring me back the home and away kit from that year so I’ve always been a Geordie at heart.”

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Q: You finally made the trip over this year. How long had you been waiting to do that and what made you finally book the tickets?

Clayton at St. James’ Park for the Leeds fixtureClayton at St. James’ Park for the Leeds fixture
Clayton at St. James’ Park for the Leeds fixture | -

A: “I've been waiting my whole life really, planned to try and make it over before Covid but that kind of got in the way. I finally had the opportunity this year to come at Christmas time to visit family as well as see a game.”

Q: Walking around the city, what was your first impression of Newcastle?

A: “The city has been nothing but welcoming since we arrived, the weather is a little bit different to home - our winters don’t get anywhere near as cold as this.

“The city is beautiful from the top of the hill where St James Park is and all the way down to the Quayside, is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It’s pretty cool to see the similarities between the Tyne Bridge and the Harbour Bridge back home as you can tell a lot of the same materials were used.”

Q: How was your first experience at St. James' Park? Any standout moments?

A snap of the Wor Flags display taken by ClaytonA snap of the Wor Flags display taken by Clayton
A snap of the Wor Flags display taken by Clayton | -

A: “It takes your breath away when you walk out and see the massive stands, it was everything I ever dreamed of and more. Being in and around on match day, feeling the buzz was really awesome to experience. I couldn’t get past the flag display. I've always seen them on TV at home but it’s even more stunning and pretty cool to say I was there to witness it.”

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Q: You've been pretty unlucky to get two 0-0 draws whilst you've been here. Have you felt frustrated by that or pleased with the games?

A: “Results have been obviously mixed. Going into the Leeds game I only wanted the win but to me, that match was just to be there to see the boys play for the first time. It was a shame with the wet conditions because I really think that affected the flow of the way we set up and play.

“Arsenal was a bit of a slog but proud of the boys and how they played - it’s good to see that we can go into each game and have a plan to adapt to that situation. Eddie Howe deserves much praise for what he’s done in the last 12 months.”

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