Passion, noise & a drum? Meet Newcastle United's newest fan group striving to enhance atmosphere

Passion, noise & a drum? Meet Newcastle United's newest fan group striving to enhance atmosphere. (Photo credit: Black and White Army website)Passion, noise & a drum? Meet Newcastle United's newest fan group striving to enhance atmosphere. (Photo credit: Black and White Army website)
Passion, noise & a drum? Meet Newcastle United's newest fan group striving to enhance atmosphere. (Photo credit: Black and White Army website) | Photo credit: Black and White Army website
Passion, noise & a drum? Meet Newcastle United's newest fan group striving to enhance atmosphere.

Meet Newcastle United's newest fan group, the Black and White Army, who are taking inspiration from their Champions League travels.

On Saturday afternoon, prior to the Magpies' Premier League fixture against Manchester City at St James' Park, the group have arranged an inaugural flag walk - and are calling on you to join in.

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For sure, this won't be everyone's cup of tea - like most things in life - but here is a group aiming to make a positive difference to the atmosphere through the power of passion, noise and maybe even a drum!

NewcastleWorld spoke to members of the Black and White Army to find out more and detail how you can get involved:

When did the group decide to form and why?  

The 'Black and White Army' also known as the 'BNWA' was founded with a shared passion for enhancing the matchday atmosphere at Newcastle United. The decision to form the group was influenced by the inspiring presence of fan groups encountered while supporting the team both home and away within Europe

The founders recognised the impact of atmosphere groups in creating an electrifying and supportive environment for the team. Drawing inspiration from these experiences, they sought to replicate and contribute to that vibrant atmosphere at NUFC. The ambition of the group is rooted in uniting like-minded and passionate supporters, fostering a sense of community among fans who share a deep love for the club. 

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It's noteworthy that the rise of atmosphere groups in England, including the BNWA, reflects a growing trend among football supporters. These groups play a pivotal role in elevating the overall fan experience and contributing to the sense of unity and camaraderie within the fanbase. The decision to form such an atmosphere group is a testament to the enduring dedication of NUFC fans and their commitment to creating an unforgettable matchday atmosphere both at home and during away fixtures. 

Tell us about Saturday - times, meet-up points, route, linking up with Wor Flags etc  

Saturday is our inaugural flag walk as a group. Within Europe, this is known as a ‘Corteo’ which is translated as procession. We encourage everyone to gather outside the Tower Cafe in Leazes Park at 3:15pm. At 3:30pm, we will commence our journey as a united group, heading towards St James' Park. The route will take us through the park, exiting via Leazes Terrace at 4pm, and concluding at the back of the Gallowgate. 

We have been working closely with members of Wor Flags, and their support has been hugely appreciated. We extend our gratitude to Wor Flags for their dedication to enhancing the matchday experience and creating a visually stunning atmosphere within St James' Park.

We also would like to extend our thanks to those at Northumbria Police, Newcastle City Council and Urban Green for their input, support and guidance. As an associative member of the Football Supporters Association (FSA) we would like to reiterate that our group is against any form of anti-social behaviour. 

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We encourage everyone to bring their passion, voices, flags and scarves as we want this to be as visual and as loud as possible! 

Is a pre-match march something you hope to do before every home game?  

At this moment, our focus is on the upcoming inaugural flag walk, which we are eagerly anticipating as a special event for our group. 

As a newly established atmosphere group, we have not made specific plans beyond this Saturday's flag walk. However, we want to emphasise that our group has a long-term vision. We are committed to creating a vibrant and engaging community for like-minded NUFC fans. Whether it be through flag walks, events, or meet-ups, our aim is to establish a consistent presence and enhance the matchday experience. 

The passion and unity of our members drive our aspirations, and we are open to exploring various activities that resonate with the fanbase. While we may not have detailed plans for each home game at this moment, we are excited about the prospect of establishing traditions and events that will endure in the long term. 

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We encourage fellow like-minded fans to join us in making these initiatives a success and look forward to the possibility of creating memorable moments together in the future. 

A drum seems to divide opinion among NUFC fans but European games show it can work.  Do you hope to bring one inside St James’ Park in the near future?  

The debate around introducing a drum is a nuanced one, even within our own group, where opinions vary. We appreciate the opportunity to address this matter and provide some clarity on our perspective. 

It's important to acknowledge that there are diverse opinions among fans regarding the presence of a drum at football games in England, especially in the Premier League. We understand the scepticism surrounding this idea, and we respect the fact that not everyone may be in favour of it. 

Our inspiration for considering a drum comes from observing the positive impact it has had in European and Scottish football cultures. These drums contribute significantly to creating a vibrant atmosphere and sustaining chants for extended periods. We recognise that many of our traditional chants, while beloved, tend to be short-lived, and incorporating a drum could be a means to address this issue. 

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However, we want to clarify that, at this stage, we have no intentions of bringing the drum inside St James' Park during matches. The drum is purely for pre-match meetups and other events outside the stadium. We are fully aware that drums are currently prohibited within St James' Park. Our focus is on enhancing the fan experience outside the ground and not infringing on any existing regulations. 

Interestingly a recent poll on X showed that 53% of respondents were in favour of including a drum. This indicates that there is a level of support within the fanbase for exploring the inclusion of a drum.

Have you been in contact with the club and if so, what has been their reaction to the group and its aims?  

As a relatively young and developing supporter group, we recognise the importance of fostering a positive relationship. In preparation for our upcoming event this Saturday, we have been proactive in reaching out to the club to share the details of our plans. The purpose of our communication has been to provide transparency about our objectives, the nature of our supporter group, and the exciting initiatives we hope to bring. 

While the club already has numerous existing supporter groups, we believe in the power of diversity and the unique contributions each group can make to enhance the overall fan engagement. Our aim is to complement and enrich the vibrant supporter culture at St James' Park. 

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As of now, the club's reaction to our communication has been positive, and we appreciate their willingness to engage with us. We look forward to continued collaboration and hope to build a strong and mutually beneficial relationship. 

What can people do to help?  

The most immediate way to contribute is by bringing your voices and passionate support to our events. We invite everyone to join us this Saturday and be part of the inaugural flag walk. Your presence and enthusiasm will add to the electric atmosphere we aim to create. 

If you'd like to be more directly involved, we are always on the lookout for volunteers. The work involved in establishing and maintaining supporter groups is significant, and any help is greatly appreciated. Whether you have skills in social media, artwork, music, or any other area, your contribution can play a vital role in our growth. 

For those who want to connect online then you can follow us on Twitter or visit our website for additional information about our group, events, and how you can get involved. 

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We want to emphasise that everyone is welcome to be part of the group. The only requirement is a passion for Newcastle United. Whether you're a long-time supporter or a newcomer to the fanbase, your passion, enthusiasm and dedication are what matter most.

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