Viral Newcastle United fan behind Nick Pope madness praises ‘good side of Twitter’

The fan who started all this Nick Pope madness relives the day of viral stardom

The Newcastle United fan behind the viral account that broke the internet in Nick Pope style has told the story behind the crazy trend.

Liam Phillips runs the Toon Polls account on Twitter and got big companies, football fans and even the Match of the Day pundits talking over the weekend.

The Magpies supporter spoke to BBC Radio Newcastle about the Nick Pope bonanza on Monday evening.

Liam said: "I set Toon Polls up about five years ago for a bit of fun to put polls on about who we should buy, who should be in the team, what people thought the result would be.

"Over time I got this sort of cult following where if people would put a poll on Twitter and didn't copy my handle into it there was outrage. I realise when I say it out loud how ridiculous it sounds, but that is the mad world of Twitter."

Newcastle United applauds fans after the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United at American Express Community Stadium on August 13, 2022 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

The account soon had a reputation for hijacking random football polls on Twitter, sending its following over to vote and skew surveys to their desired outcome.

Liam added that he has always enjoyed running it with followers not taking anything too seriously - "that's the good side of Twitter if you will".

Speaking about Friday's events, he said: "It goes back six or seven weeks to when there was a poll saying who is the summer of the summer transfer window and there were four options, one of which was Nick Pope.

"When I got to it he was trailing with about one per cent with Haaland winning with 85%. I got onto Twitter and told my followers to give Nick Pope support, by the time it closed he had won the poll.

"A few days later another betting company put the same question up with no Nick Pope on the shortlist, I said they weren't giving us the choice so I said everyone go and reply Nick Pope.

"Similar to what happened on Friday, everyone under the comments was saying Nick Pope, there were hundreds.

"Fast forward a few weeks Burger King tweeted a non-football-related poll and as an in-joke among my followers, a very small part of NUFC Twitter, I quote tweeted it with 'Nick Pope haha' and that set it running."

Before long, the Newcastle goalkeeper's name was trending worldwide and companies including Domino's, Specsavers, Walkers and more jumping on the trend.

Eventually, the Magpies shot-stopped himself sent out a Tweet with his own name, which Liam admitted was the "perfect ending to the story".