Full Name: Stephen Ord
Where do you live:
Gosforth for the last eight years, after a two-year sojourn in the west end.
Where did you grow up?
Whitley Bay. At the time you think its normal to grow up so close to the sea and have the advantages of the open spaces of the Links etc. Was only when I moved away that I properly understood how lucky we were to live where we did.
How did you become a Mag?
Born into it. I have a picture of me as a baby with a knitted black and white shirt and a red number 7 on the back. Being born as Keegan retired I am sure that is probably linked. My dad was a season ticket holder for as long as I have been alive (until 2011) so going to the match with him got me hooked.
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Watford at home September 1989. First game back in the old Second Division. A 2-1 win with John Gallacher and Micky Quinn on the scoresheet. Also got an opportunity to observe my first real hero in Mark McGhee, he felt like the glue that kept the team going forward. However, I was 5, so that could have been poor judgement on my part.
Where is your spot at St James’ Park?
East Stand. Upper level, directly in line with the Gallowgate 18-yard line. The best view of the game in my humble opinion, although now my lad has started asking to come to games more regularly the chances are I might have to give up the seat.
Best Eleven Newcastle United you’ve seen whilst supporting the club?
It is a tough choice between the 95/96 team and then Bobby’s team of 02/03 and the Champions League run. I will plump with the Keegan team, as I have never so believed that we were the best team in the country. We should have won the league, would have but for two blokes called Peter and Eric.
Where do you stand on the takeover?
Don’t think its happening. I want Ashley to go and there are moral issues around PIF that I would rather we weren’t involved in. However, at the end of the day we have very little say in who owns our football club, so in some ways the richer, the better. However, I just don’t trust Staveley – if she got the City takeover so right, how come she has tried three times now to buy two football club and been called a time waster twice? The only comments around the takeover have come from the hopeful purchasers and sadly 16 months on we are still here.
Do you think there will be new owners for next season?
No, as I mentioned above I don’t trust them to get it done. Ashley has two separate cases which need to be heard and honestly, we don’t even know if PIF will still be interested. They have been embarrassed by this issue around taking the test, I don’t see them coming back. If they do it won’t be this summer – maybe during the season.
What is your view on Steve Bruce?
A man who got the job he says he always wanted about fifteen years too late. Someone needs to stop him doing press conferences or ringing Talksport as well, saying the fan base has unrealistic expectations and pedalling the same myths that the national media do is going to rub people up the wrong way.
How much damage has Mike Ashley done to Newcastle United?
Unimaginable and we don’t even know the worst of it yet. We are like someone going to buy a second-hand car, it shows signs of wear and tear but you might expect that. The hardest part is getting under the bonnet and having a look. At the moment we are in a position where we don’t even know if all parts are working, or even where the money from each area goes. A team that had qualified for Europe for large parts of the last fifteen years before him, has had one season in Europe since and two relegations. For a successful businessman who is used to a deal he is doing a horrendous job of shifting the club (70% off sale Mike?) and looking north of the border, he did significant damage to Rangers whilst only owning 10% for a brief period. He has had complete control of us for some time.
What is your prediction for this transfer window?
One permanent transfer, two loans and a free. Every time he has had a new manager he has backed them for one transfer window with big money. Bruce wasn’t in position in 2019, despite supposedly signing them off – what else can he say, so 2020 was his turn to get his money. Do not expect anything north of ten million to be spent.
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How do you think the mainstream media treats Newcastle United and supporters?
Really simple. They don’t know the club, don’t feel about it the way we do and so don’t care where we end up. They are happy to write about Ashley being a bad owner, but would rather talk about all of our unrealistic expectations than anything that is factual. People like Danny Murphy see us as a small club so we should be happy with twelfth. If we are a small club stop writing about us and making us a key part of the sports news agenda. If we are news worthy, then we are bigger than you say we are.
Best mainstream news outlet covering Newcastle United?
Apart from ourselves? I think The Athletic has excellent coverage of the club and has local writers who know the club well. George Caulkin’s piece on football and following it during the pandemic may be one of the only articles I have ever read to so pull at my heart strings. Craig Hope at the Mail has done a good job covering the stuff that other people don’t seem to get.
Luke Edwards for all his support of Bruce which is just like school playground now was spot on about the takeover and some fans I think still don’t like that.
Worst mainstream news outlet covering Newcastle United?
Talksport. I think this should be the answer for every team. When the business model is to wind people up so that they call in and get a rise out of certain fans then it isn’t really a news outlet. It’s also full of people doing that cringeworthy Robbie Savage thing of shouting ‘Have you ever played professional football?’ at someone he knows has not.
Best and worst bits of true faith?
Best bit is the different opinions that all the writers have and the way they see the club. It is interesting to hear as well from people who have never lived or had ties to the region, but still support Newcastle and their perspectives.
Worst bit at the moment is the fact that the football is dire and the club has no ambition, whilst the never-ending takeover continues in the background. It is fairly easy to write about, but not very uplifting. It would be nice to have a team on the up to write about.
What do you think of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust’s PLEDGE 1892 campaign?
A brilliant initiative and I was so pleased to see it pass its latest landmark of one hundred thousand. If people have not pledged and are able to do so, even a small amount, it can make a huge difference. I know from having looked into some more information about the Hearts bid, that a lot of the support that was spread far and wide getting involved made a huge difference.
What is your view on VAR?
Goal line technology is fine, it is a definitive judgement. It is either over the line or it isn’t. The rest has been pushed for by SKY and managers. The match going fan is the one punished by it and the emotion pausing through goals being given and then ruled out is not as Infantino said ‘extra adrenaline’ but is a pain in the backside that we need rid of.
What was your opinion on the punishment handed down to the Sick 6 by the PL following their involvement in the Super League?
Pathetic. The minimum they needed was a 10-15 point deduction. I thought no fine (they have too much money to start) but a 20-pointdeduction each would have made it interesting. That way all six would have needed to get 60 points to avoid being in the relegation zone, would have left Arsenal and Spurs definitely looking over their shoulders.
Enjoying the Euros?
Thoroughly enjoying it at the moment. Got the Czech Republic in the work sweepstake so hoping the whole summer will go a bit Euro 96 again, although if England could go further that would make it even better. Hope Chirstian Eriksen is OK, wonderful footballer.
Any final thoughts for TF readers
In the words of Journey, Don’t Stop Believing. We will get our club back and it can be great again. Let’s hope it comes around sooner rather than later.
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