Guest smoggeordie Posted April 13, 2007 Share Posted April 13, 2007 .com TV Presenter Gabby Logan writing in The Times on Friday about her admiration for the new Wembley but her adoration of a ground closer to home: On Monday, while watching the live action in the afternoon for Match of the Day, I was sitting alongside Alan Shearer. When the teams walked out for Newcastle v Arsenal there was a fantastic camera angle that showed the stadium from what felt like a single blade of grass, looking up to the Gods. “Now that’s a coliseum,” Shearer pined. He didn’t need to tell me — St James’ Park is up there with the Bernabéu and the Nou Camp for atmosphere and grandeur. There was a survey of Premiership fans a few years ago and, when asked which was their favourite away ground, 18 out of 19 said Newcastle’s. Sunderland were in the Premiership at the time so I’ll let you guess which set of supporters dissented. St James’ Park also has the enviable characteristic of being truly a city stadium. You can walk to the train station and the bars, restaurants and hotels in five minutes. That doesn’t just mean you can be sitting in a swish watering hole 15 minutes after the final whistle enjoying a glass of something chilled, it means that in the build-up to the match the whole town knows that there is a game of football on, and as you come out of the shops on Northumberland Street you can hear the roar when a goal is scored. Of course I am biased. They are my team and I cut my teeth doing postmatch interviews on the touchline there, getting to the ground before the players, seeing the place become the Theatre of Hope and Expectation, if not Dreams. I will always love it — I can understand why people have their ashes spread on the pitch and why fans arrive at the ground three hours early. It’s possible to appreciate other stadiums, for sure, but you’ll only really ever love one. Link to post Share on other sites More sharing options...
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