I am an avid Newcastle United fan, I bet some of you already knew that. I have so many happy and sad stories from being a Newcastle United fan, but this one, is my saddest stories.
It was started in a sunny day of 1997, when Dad (now he had passed away) took me to one of the sport shops in Semarang. A little me –at that time I studied in junior high school– stopped and stared at a clothes rack full of colourful fake jerseys. AC Milan, Sampdoria, Manchester United, Fiorentina, etc.
“You can pick the one that you like, son.” Dad smiled and rubbed my hair. Yay! I moved to the rack vigorously, choosing the jerseys. It was the time when I started playing football with my friends, and having the (fake) jersey, is a must.
I sorted the jerseys. AC Milan and Manchester United? Umm, no, too mainstream. Sampdoria? I don’t really like the badge, man with cigar? No. Fiorentina? Seriously, you want to play football with purple shirt? Umm, no. My next stop was a black and white shirt. At first glance, I thought it was Juventus jersey, but it was different, and none of my friends has jersey like this. I think it was cool to be different than others.
“Can I have this one, Dad?” I begged. It was Newcastle United jersey.
Of course it was slightly different from the image above, yes, because it was a counterfeit jersey. It didn’t have ‘adidas’ embroidery under the collar (lately, I put an ‘adidas’ iron-on sticker on it), it didn’t have the ‘Newcastle United’ print in the back, and the collar was too tight and almost killed myself when I use this jersey. It only had the Newcastle United badge (two sea horses flanked a black and white crest with castle and flag above it) –which I think it was the coolest logo until now (seriously, you put crane and devil to your football badge?)–, and the Newcastle Brown Ale logo on its chest. Thank God, that Dad didn’t know that it was an alcohol brand (My Dad is a devout moslem), so he still bought me the jersey.
Then I started to fall in love with Newcastle United because of their non mainstream jersey. Shallow? Yes. But it’s love. My first love, so you can’t blame it on me.
As a Newcastle United fan, my biggest childhood dream was visiting England to watch them play.