The Steve McClaren era gets underway when United take the short trip across the Tyne to McLaren3the Geordie Left-bank for a pre-season opening friendly with our bestest friends in the whole wide world, none other than Gateshead Football Club.

Like us, our fellow Geordies will be welcoming a new manager to their ranks and the new Heed boss is none other than Malcolm Crosby, who some of you may remember took the Mackems to the FAC Final in 1992 where they happily lost to Liverpool under the Twin Towers.

Apparently, Steve McClaren and Malcolm Crosby are bessies so this might mean even more cordial relations between the two clubs.

Gateshead obviously could really benefit from a good turn out of our support on Friday but similarly could do with our knacka squad to behave itself as well.

The friendly is an all ticket affair.

Its £15 for adults, £10 for over-60s, £8 for students and U-18s and £3 for accompanied U-15 yr olds.

You can purchase tickets online from United or on the phone or the old fashioned way by tipping up at the Box Office.

If you have nowt planned for Friday it might be a good idea to spend the night kicking back amongst friends and knowing your wedge is going to a worthy cause.

That is all.