My Matchday Experience – NUFC Programme Article for LFP Weeks of Action

April 20, 2015

This article was published in the matchday programme for the Newcastle United home game against Tottenham Hotspur on 19th May, it was in association with the Level Playing Fields weeks of action campaign. 


Joe Ayton - Morganville The SeriesMy name is Joe Ayton, I am 32 and I have been a season ticket holder for 15 years I have always had the same wheelchair space and carers seat in the Leazes Stand.

To mark The Level Playing Fields week of action 18th April to the 3rd of May 2015. I have been given the opportunity to share with you my match day experience in terms of accessibility at a recent home game against Arsenal as a disabled person and power chair user.

I am proud to serve as Vice-Chairman of Newcastle United Disabled Supporters Association which for over 15 years has been working hard to get a fair deal for disabled supporters.

I arrive by car and get dropped off opposite the ground there is a steep hill to negotiate in order to access the Leazes Stand. For me personally this is not a problem because of my power chair however if you use a manual chair it could prove problematic without help. In fairness to the club however because of the geographical location of the ground itself (on a hill) there is not much the club could do to change this.

At half time my brother assists me to the Accessible Toilet accessing it with my own Radar key. Stewards nearby always have one on hand for those who need a key. The light is on a motion sensor and there is grab rail. The size is adequate and meets my needs.

In terms of accessing food and refreshments I find the counters are too high as my chair is on the low side. Since last season the club and its catering staff have been using the venue menu App which is available free for Apple, Android and Blackberry devices. This allows fans to order food and refreshments and have them delivered to your seat. On this occasion I did not use this facility but I have used it successfully in the past.

I hope by sharing my experience of Match day at St. James’ it has been helpful and for more information on NUDSA see our website www.nudsa.org


Hull Away Trip

February 17, 2015

For the second successive year NUDSA and NUFC combined efforts to organise an away trip to Hull City for NUDSA members.

As part of the Premier League Away Fans Fund, which aims to assist travelling supporters across the country, NUDSA were allocated resources to ensure 50 of its members can attend, just as they did for the Magpies’ 4-1 win at the KC Stadium in March 2014.

The allocation of funds was proposed by the Newcastle United Fans Forum – on which NUDSA hold a permanent seat – last season, with the group and Club officials once again working closely to identify a suitable fixture following last season’s successful away day.

This year was just as successful. Three buses made the trip down the A1 to Hull, and once again everyone enjoyed a memorable day out as NUFC secured 3 points again with a comfortable 3-0 victory. The scheme is helping more disabled people experience the thrill of attending away matches, we hope this is something that continues into the future.


NUDSA Christmas Prize Draw 2014

December 8, 2014
Prize Ticket No Name
1st NUFC Lunch Vouchers + Nufc Shirt 1907 Pauline Thompson
2 Ultimate NUFC Book 1885 Harry Bucknall
3 NUFC Signed Pennant 717
4 Signed Gosling Boots 643 Simon Tait
5 Simple Gift Set 308 Don Herron
6 Lynx 1080 Lee Charlton
7 Nufc Cuddly Santa Toy 178 Isabelle Ayton
8 Jewellery 1119 Pauline Dewhirst
9 Bottle Mulled Wine 2053 G Flockton
10 NUFC Annual 412 Jonathan Lowes
11 Bottle Bucks Fizz 2974 Neil
12 Champagne 751 Stuart Bowman
13 NUFC Calendar 1356 Julie Pinel
14 Bubble Bath 1115 Nicola Thompson
15 Jewellery 221 Johnson
16 Red Wine 1876 J Thornton
17 Bubble Bath 1277 Johnson
18 Adidas Set 1699 R Anson
19 Wine 207 C Madden
20 Sweets 727 Jack Purves
21 Box of Biscuits 1971 Lynne Parmley
22 Box of Chocolates 695 M Ramsey

A Derby to be Proud

December 1, 2014

derby-pride-logo-sTaking advantage of the organisational capabilities of the Football Supporters Federation, the joint NUFC / SAFC campaign to “keep the passion, lose the poison” from Tyne-Wear derby matches have organised a social event for both sets of supporters – details below.
The focus of the campaign is that derby games should never again be staged without fans of both clubs officially in attendance and without fear.

In recent seasons the white hot atmosphere of the Tyne-Wear derby has, occasionally, spilled over into disorder. However, in the past 12 months there’s been a level of co-operation among fans not seen for many decades, if ever.

Back in January news emerged that a “bubble” match was to be imposed on Sunderland fans travelling to St James’ Park. These are games where no independent transport is allowed, infringing on freedom of movement and smearing all fans as hooligans.

Fans from both sides of the divide stood together in a unique coalition to say “no” to the bubble, demonstrating the strength of feeling and supporter unity on this issue.

Remarkably, the campaign succeeded in its goals with both clubs releasing a statement saying they would be “withdrawing the terms and conditions of ticket sales, which previously stated that all supporters must attend the game on official transport.”

Keep the passion, lose the poison

Fans groups followed up this success with the FSF -backed “A Derby To Be Proud Of” campaign, supported by A Love Supreme, Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust, NUFC Fans United, nufc.com, Ready To Go, Roker Report, Seventy3, #time4change, The Mag, True Faith, and Wise Men Say.

Their joint statement read: “Genuine fans don’t want the authorities to have any excuse to cut ticket allocations or restrict travel in future seasons, we just want a game to remember. We can keep the passion, but lose the poison. Let’s make this a derby to be proud of.”

The game went ahead on Saturday 1st February without major incident.

Flight MH17

This spirit emerged again over the summer, albeit in tragic circumstances. Following the deaths of Newcastle United fans John Alder and Liam Sweeney on Flight MH17, a fundraising page started by Sunderland fan Gary Ferguson raised an amazing £33,618.

The original target was £100 to pay for a floral tribute, but such was the response more than £15,000 was finally handed over to both the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Marie Curie.

“We may be Sunderland fans, who traditionally have deep rivalry with Newcastle, but there are things far more important than any football games,” said Gary.

A Derby To Be Proud Of

Of course no-one wants a situation where Newcastle United and Sunderland fans wander to the match, hand-in-hand, singing each other’s ditties, hoping for an entertaining draw.

Rivalry and a hostile “welcome” go with derby matches like salt and vinegar goes with fish and chips… but we believe the white hot atmosphere can remain, without the hatred and violence.

With that in mind fans from both sides will come together for an event before the derby on Sunday 21st December which will look at ways for fans to make the fixture A Derby To Be Proud Of. It will also show the local media what fans are doing to combat unacceptable behaviour.

There’ll be a bit discussion, a little entertainment, and plans laid out for this year’s games over a few pints in The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle, on Tuesday 9th December (7pm KO).

If it’s a success and proves popular another event could be arranged in Sunderland before the return fixture on Saturday 4th April 2015.

We hope to see you there, but move quick, places are first come, first served…

WHEN? Tuesday 9th December (7pm KO)

WHERE? The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle, NE1 1RQ

REGISTER: Email your name and club to events@fsf.org.uk


Newcastle United’s Mike Williamson Wins NUDSA Player of the Year Award for 2013/14 Season

September 15, 2014

trophyOn September 10th NUDSA held their annual Player of the Year 2013/14 Award Night at St. James’ Park.

Over 100 people attended the night, which included a pie pea supper, and brand new winner was crowned, with Tim Krul having won for the previous two years.

Tim was of course popular in the voting again this year but the award went to a player who has been with Newcastle United for a while now and perhaps doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves.

Yes, Mike Williamson was named NUDSA Player of the Year for 2013/14, the glass award was presented by NUDSA’s Vice Chairman Joe Ayton – who also voted for Mike.

The award, which is voted for by NUDSA members, was gratefully received by Mike, who said ‘I am 30 now and this is the first award I have ever won, so I am absolutely buzzing’.

The central defender, who has divided opinions amongst supporters during his time on Tyneside, played a key role in defence last season and he remains a first choice in the starting eleven so far this season.

The man from Stoke-on-Trent joined Newcastle from Portsmouth in January 2010 and after coming through some difficult times, he is now one of the most popular players at St. James’ Park.

Before picking up his award, Mike spent an hour going round all the tables in the room having pictures taken and signing autographs.


Player Of The Year 2013/2014

August 29, 2014

The NUDSA Player of the Year 20013/2014 Award will be presented on Wednesday 10th September 2014 at St. James’ Park. Doors will open at 7pm.  There will be Pie, Peas and Chips, a raffle, bingo, dancing and a quiz on the night. We apologise for the short notice this date has just been confirmed by NUFC, however we do need to know numbers by Thursday 4th September please.

Ticket prices are as below, if you are interested in this event please contact me, tickets will be allocated on a first come-first served basis, so please order your tickets as soon as possible, be aware that if you order tickets you will be charged for them. Cheques should be made payable to NUDSA. Please let me know if you would like a vegetarian option. Email us at info@nudsa.org or phone 01670 717739 to book tickets.

Adult Member / Carer – £18, Junior Member / Carer – £14

Adult Members – £9, Adult Non-Members – £11, Zebras- £5, Junior Non-Members- £6

Membership Cards for 2013/2014 will be sent out with September’s Toon Times for all those who have renewed and also New Members. If you have not yet renewed please be aware that you will not receive any more correspondence after the end of September.


NUDSA Easter Social

March 3, 2014

The NUDSA Easter Social will be held on Wednesday the 19th March 2014 at St. James’ Park, doors open at 7pm. This will be a Quiz Night with Games, Bingo, music from the disco, and Pie, Pea & Chips.

Get your quiz teams organised for a really competitive evening with great fun and great prizes.

Prices are :- Adult Member / Carer – £18, Junior Member / Carer – £14

Adult Members – £9, Adult Non/Members – £11, Zebras – £5, Junior Non/Members – £6

If you are interested in this event please contact me, tickets will be allocated on a first come-first served basis, so please order your tickets as soon as possible, be aware that if you order tickets you will be charged for them whether you attend or not. Cheques should be made payable to NUDSA. Please let me know if you would like a vegetarian option.