It’s the third year that the Dacia Magic Weekend has been at SJP (St James’ Park), but it was my first visit. I was unsure exactly what to expect, but the build up from former colleagues and rugby league types was going to take some living up to!
It started off in a pub called the Crow’s Nest. Gentlemen of a certain age like me are still calling it Bar Oz or Inventions! After my oppo text to say he was late waiting for the bus, I could engage in a favourite past time – people watching and ear wigging in pubs. The craic seemed to be about the night before, the bus trip up and which Saints team will show up. The conversation was thick with Yorkshire and Lancashire accents and it was all very well intentioned.
Anyway, two pints in and my oppo was changing bus at the Metrocentre; he will now be known as the clown. I had taken the opportunity to utilise the city’s Metro system; It was all very efficient and allowed for my time alone observing!
When the clown finally arrived, we ambled up to SJP and entered the arena. We duly got a couple of pints and settled into our unallocated seats. Initially we were sat in and amongst a group of Wakefield Trinity supporters fully regaled in their Spiderman shirts. They were in good spirits after their teams opening win over Widnes. We then moved seats after we realised sitting at the end of a row gave us easier access to the bar and toilets…
We were now sat in amongst some Hull FC fans. Having spent some years in Hull I was able to swap stories of La’s, the Waterline, the Boulevard, Hessle road and white telephone boxes. It’s just as well really, as the Saints team that turned up smashed Hull who weren’t at the races 45 points to nil! I was surprised by how many of the different fans were all in the special Superhero themed shirts; The Hulk shirts didn’t pay dividends for Hull…
The Hull supporters were amazingly good humoured on the basis that their team had been embarrassed. They also took the time to explain to me the 40/20 rule; something that I had often heard mentioned but never got to grips with.
The main event, or it was as far as I was concerned, was the final game of Wigan v Warrington. The game didn’t disappoint. The fact that Wigan could have clinched all the points with the final kick of the game as opposed to a share of the spoils was probably about right. The song sung about Warrington to the tune of “Son of my father” seemed rather unfair… if not thoroughly amusing!
To sum up, I hope that the Dacia Magic weekend returns to Newcastle next year as the clown and I will definitely be attending! It was a great day out and if you’re not a rugby league aficionado, of which I’m not, don’t despair! The fans will take the time to talk and let you know the finer points – if you want. If not, then enjoy the atmosphere and have a couple of pints sat in your seat!
Me and the Clown sharing some selfie action