Natalie Sawyer, 24th January 2021: “I wanted him to do well…because he’s a Newcastle fan…it’s a fairy-tale, it’s a fairy-tale that a fan could go to his club and do well.”

Thanks for your input Natalie (and other media pundits to be fair), but let’s put this urban myth that Steve Bruce is ‘One of us’ to bed once and for all. Don’t get me wrong, Steve Bruce sings a great song in order to push this narrative, with heart-warming soundbites such as “I have always been a Newcastle lad and when I was a kid, I crawled under the turnstiles to get in to try and save a bob or whatever it was. They were my team.”

Now, despite the above, let me tell you why I don’t for one second think Steve Bruce is ‘One of us’, a bona-fide Newcastle United fan.  Similarly to Bruce, I was born and raised in Newcastle but left the area at an early age (16). However, that’s (clearly) where the similarities end.

Me? I’m ‘One of us’…I might have left the area aged 16, but Newcastle United remained everything to me when it comes to football. It was everything to me in the away end when we got walloped at Southend, Barnsley and Oxford, it was everything to me at Villa Park on 24th May 2009 and it is still everything to me after a 10 game unbeaten run in January 2021.

In contrast, after leaving Newcastle, Bruce’s football career took him to Gillingham, Norwich, Man Utd, Birmingham and Sheffield United, before then moving into a glittering managerial career spanning another nine clubs before he rocked up on Barrack Road in the summer of 2019.

That’s 14 clubs that he’s been utterly focussed on, across a 42-year period, since “They (NUFC) were my team”.

If you marry at 17 and divorce at 18, your ex isn’t still ‘your’ husband or wife when you hit 60. They are your EX. The love you had for them is likely to have diminished after your second or third wife, and it has long since disappeared by the time you’re on wife No 14!

Surely, it’s therefore to be expected that Wor Steve’s footballing eyes wandered, and he no longer saw Newcastle United as “His Team”?

I don’t hold that against him. What I do take offence to, however, are pundits in the media, and Bruce himself, incessantly rolling out the same old “He’s a fan” narrative in an attempt to persuade ‘Us’ to accept him as one of our own.

My evidence in suggesting that Steve Bruce should no longer be seen as ‘One of us’?

Where do I start…

October 20th 1996 – Bruce acts as a Sky pundit in Newcastle’s 5-0 dismantling of Man Utd.

One of us’ is not visibly upset and whining about a penalty that should have been awarded to “United” as the game would have been a ‘different story if that had been given

June 5th 2009 – Bruce assumes control of SAFC:

Managing Newcastle has never been my dream. This opportunity at Sunderland has everything I want – the infrastructure, the fanbase, an ambitious chairman and an ambitious new owner.

One of us’ could never utter the words “Managing Newcastle has never been my dream”?

‘One of us” would never refer to the SAFC fanbase as “Everything I want”?

October 31st 2010 – Bruce referring to the NUFC PA system playing ‘Daydream Believer’ following a 5-1 defeat for his Sunderland charges:

“It was typical of their etiquette…I hope we can repeat the same dosage when they come to our place.”

‘One of us’ would not refer to Newcastle United as “Their”.

One of us’ could not refer to the Stadium of Light as “Our Place”.

Again, let me reiterate – I don’t hold this against Steve Bruce…42 years at other clubs is a long, long time, but, to Wor Steve, Newcastle United are no more than that long since forgotten Ex-Wife that it didn’t quite work out with all those years ago.

So, if you’re reading this Natalie Sawyer I’d like to suggest that you and your pals in the media use the following, far more apt description of our esteemed manager…

Steve Bruce USED to be a Newcastle United fan.

I don’t have any issue with the fact he’s no longer an Newcastle United fan – I do however have an issue with being told that he is.

LEE FORSTER – @LeeDForster