It was the 23rd February 2020 when I sent the letter to the box office. It started ‘I am writing to confirm the cancellation of my season ticket at Newcastle United’ and I hated writing it.

It was a sad day but one that had been coming for a long time. I’d first contemplated chucking it just as Rafa Benitez was given the job. The misery of Steve McClaren was too fresh in my mind and the failure of another of Ashley’s ‘yes men’ was just too much to take.

It was a miserable existence watching a team who didn’t want to achieve anything other than to just stay in the Premier League and they were even bollocksing that up! I remember the exact day that I changed my mind. It was Swansea at home on 16th April 2016 and I made my way up to SJP just waiting for the inevitable drop out of the Premier League and a home defeat to just put us out of our misery. We played brilliantly and won 3-0, I really enjoyed it. I came out hating and loving Rafa in equal measure. I wanted him to let me just leave Mike Ashley’s version of The Mags but he wouldn’t.

The next three years were worthwhile. Winning the Championship title on the last day of the season was great and then steady performances for the next two years culminating in a fantastic second half of the 18/19 season playing some great attacking football.

Like many others, I thought the last day of the season 4-0 win at Fulham was a platform for us to build on. Back Rafa with moderate investment and with a couple of good signings we could get to the position our world class manager wanted to be in, namely challenging for the top 8 and having a proper go at the Cup competitions.

The problem was, even that small amount of progress was too much for the shithouse in charge. Ambition just isn’t a word used at Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United. It was gut wrenching for me to see Rafa leave and then even more gut wrenching to see another Ashley ‘yes man’ walk through the door.

Just for the record, I’ve got nowt personally against Steve Bruce but bloody hell man, he’s such a puppet, he may as well of come with the strings already attached. That was it for me.

I’d said to friends that it Rafa goes, I go and so it was. Like many others, I didn’t shout this all over social media and just did what I thought was right. Nobody told me how to think and nobody told me what to do, I just decided for myself. I think that’s how a lot of our fans do things to be honest, they just make their own minds up. Whether it is shite football, lack of ambition, losing a world class manager or any other reason, it was enough for people to say ‘that’s it for me’!

But then the promise of a new dawn and a takeover, hope was delivered and I fell for it, to say we all know how that ended up is stating the obvious, but it made me hang around for another year.

And so here we are again in January 2021. It’s that time of year when people on direct debit payment schemes (like me) need to see if they are going to keep on keeping on! I think it’s simpler than that this year and the question is ‘do I really want to go back?

I can honestly say that football during the pandemic has bored me stupid, I enjoy watching other sports on TV much more now. I think it has exposed the Premier League for the pile of shit it really is, a league where cheats and liars prosper and the bull shit sales pitch from Sky and the other broadcasters just sticks in my throat.

As for United, I’m just not arsed.

Steve Bruce is the symptom, not the cause but if this is what I am looking to go back to then bollocks to that.

It’s just another Mike Ashley sponsored shit version of Newcastle United and I’ve seen too many of those in the past 13/14 years. How many of us can actually say we have really missed watching Newcastle play?

The standard is shit and the club has no identity or USP that I can see or follow.

The term ‘Zombie Club’ has been used on many occasions and it’s spot on. I noticed this morning that ‘Takeover’ talk has re-emerged in the local press but I just don’t listen to it anymore.

I can’t find anything to believe in or buy into at United and as long as the Yes Man is in the Head Coach seat then I really don’t see how going back would be any fun.

I’m 99.9% sure that my letter cancelling my season ticket will be sent into the club in the next week or so. I take no pleasure in that.

DAVE “TED” EDWARDS