On Saturday19th September I visited Newcastle United’s St James’ Park for the first time. They were up against Plymouth Argyle who’s fans had made the longest trip in the football league from Plymouth to Newcastle.
Before arriving in Newcastle I stopped off in Gateshead to have a look at The Angel of The North which is quite an amazing sight. It was built in 1998 and is a landmark to show that you are in the north of England. The angel stands at 66 feet tall and 178 feet across. It really was an amazing sculpture and looks superb from close up.
While driving to Newcastle we also saw the famous ‘Get Carter’ car park. The car park is where some scenes in the 1971 film Get Carter starring Michael Caine was filmed.My Dad is a big fan of the film and was pleased to see the car park as it is going to be demolished in the near future. The final landmark before getting to the ground was driving over the Tyne Bridge.
When we arrived at the ground it really was an awesome sight. The Sir John Hall and Milburn stands dominated the rest of the ground and were roughly twice the size. St James’ Park is the 3rd biggest football ground in the English football league behind Old Trafford and the Emirates.
After buying tickets at a very reasonable £15 for my Dad and just £8 for me, we had a walk all around the ground before going inside. We were sat on the Milburn stand. We walked up a few flights of stairs to get halfway up, which I thought was really high up as it was, then I realised we were even further back, in fact we were right at the back!
As the stand opposite was only about half as high we could see right over Newcastle from our seats and the players looked very small. It was amazing watching football in a stadium like St James’ and the atmosphere was great. With an attendance of over 40,000 it was the second highest attendance for a football match I had visited, only beaten by Sunderland v Chelsea last year.
The game kicked off at 3pm and both sides got off to a good start. Plymouth had a good opportunity early on but a tame shot meant an easy save for Steve Harper. Then on the 6th minute when Geremi’s corner found Steven Taylor at the far post to header home and put the Magpies 1-0 up straight away.
The atmosphere when Newcastle scored was superb. Magpies fans are famous for being very passionate about their football and you could really tell from the atmosphere.
The game stayed at 1-0 until half time. However Plymouth started the second half much brighter and after having a few chances they equalised on the 50th minute courtesy of Karl Duguid who stuck the ball home from close range after a cross into the area.
Argyle continued to look the better side up until the hour mark but Kevin Nolan put the Toon Army back infront who put the ball home from close range. Newcastle seemed to have taken back the initiative and continued to dominate the game.
Finally on the 84th minute Newcastle finished off Plymouth as Andy Carroll chested the ball down in the box and put the ball home to give Newcastle United a 3-1 win.
I had a great day in Newcastle and I think St James’ Park is the best ground I have been to on my groundhopping travels.
See below for photos.
The Angel of the North
Get Carter Car Park
Crossing the Tyne bridge
Inside the biggest club shop I have ever been in!
The Jackie Milburn Statue