Monthly Archives: July 2016

When Las Ramblas Spoke Geordie Scene 6

Scene 6
{ Magpie Restaurant, St James Park. }

( Sound of knives and forks on plates and glasses clinking. )

Stat : So I’ll book the hotel and Trotsky will deal with the tickets. We’ll catch a flight the day before the match.
Stevie : Try to keep the costs down Stat we’re not all made of money.
Stat : I’ll do my best.
Iddy : This is a bit different to when we used to scran a pie and cup of bovril on the Leazes End, isn’t it ? How do you manage to scoff all this down at half time ? You must miss loads of the second half.
Stat : They don´t serve meals during the match. If you must know they give sandwiches to Platinum Club members.
Stevie : Cucumber?
Stat : Whatever we want.
Iddy : Nah, I’ve never wanted a royal box to meself. I like to be where the action is.
Stat : You mean fighting?
Iddy : Nah, y’knaa the singing, the jumping up and doon when we score, the crack with the lads.
Stat : The Taylor Report just passed you by didn’t it ?
Stevie : Standing’s not dangerous.
Iddy : It is if you stand on your seat.
Stevie : Iddy, did you know that some of the boxes are soundproofed?
Iddy : You’re joking!
Stat : Yes, it’s true. The hospitality guests don’t like bad language.
Iddy : They shouldn’t fucking swear then.
Stat : It’s not them. It’s the crowd.
Iddy : But they are the crowd, aren’t they ?
Stat : No they´re not. They’ve come to be entertained. They’re customers.
Iddy : Ah yeah. We’ve got the same problem on the railways. They’ve tarted the trains up, put us in poncy uniforms and hats and told us to say yes sir no madam to THE CUSTOMERS. To me they’re still bloody passengers.
Stat : Things have moved on. Soccer is part of the entertainment business now. It’s like when you buy a ticket for the theatre.
Stevie : He’s never been to the theatre.
Stat : Let me finish. When you go to the theatre you get a good seat, clean and modern facilities and you don’t expect anyone to hurl abuse at the actors.
Iddy : Yeah, but the actors don’t usually play shite do they ?
Stat : You two are living in the past.
Stevie : No we’re not, we just can’t afford the present. The past was cheaper. Do you really think football is better now?
Stat : 100% better. Attendances are 20% up. There´s been a 1,000% increase in profits in the last 5 years. Newcastle sold 500,000 tops last year. You can´t argue with the figures.
Stevie : I’m not talking about that. What about the atmosphere? The passion? The pride?
Stat : As Sir John says, Newcastle´s success is attracting business to Tyneside, it has a knock on effect.
Stevie : The pits? The Shipyards?
Stat : You don’t understand. The future is leisure and retail. Look at me. We started with one sport’s shop in the Metro Centre. We’ve got five now. I reckon we have sold 70% of the tops in Newcastle. We can’t lose. There are plans to produce special edition tops for the League and FA Cups and of course special limited editions for Europe. The punters can’t get enough, business is booming. I have a lot to thank Sir John and NUFC Plc for.
Iddy : I hope you’ll be bringing tops for the lads to wear in Barcelona then.
Stat : Er, I’ll see if I can sort out a discount or something.
Stevie : You what? Do you not think you’ve had enough money off me?
Stat : What do you mean?
Stevie : We had to fork out over 50 quid this Christmas on a new strip for the lad. Wor lass worked overtime in the Metro Centre to pay for it. You can stuff your bloody discount. You’re not getting another penny off me.
Stat : I think we should pay up and go. 15 quid each should cover it.
Iddy : I thought it was your treat?
Stat : You wouldn’t want me to insult you by paying for you would you?
Iddy : Nah really Stat you can insult me anytime you want.
Stevie : Here tek it.
Stat : I’ll get the bill.

Stevie : He never changes does he?
Iddy : Yeah, he’s the only guy I know who throws his money around at himself.
Stat : That’s probably why he’s well off and we’re skint.
Iddy : Listen if this Barcelona trip is too expensive for you I can lend you something if you want.
Stevie : Thanks mate. I’ll manage. I’m due a big cheque soon.
Iddy : Hey, look at that big gadgee on the door.
Stevie : Aye? He’s a big bastard alright. But who is he?
Iddy : (sings.) Remember Nottingham Forest! Remember Nottingham Forest!
Stevie : Yeah. Bryan Clough. Two European Cups. Stuart Pearce. Too good to go down. What else?
Iddy : Nah man. FA Cup ‘74. three one down. Pat Howard unjustly sent off. Pitch invasion. Fightback with ten men. Four three to us. Fucking brilliant.
Stevie : It’s not is it?
Iddy : It is. Big Tommy who led the pitch invasion from the Leazes end.
Big Tommy : I’m sorry lads but I’ll have to ask you to leave. The management don’t allow singing at St James during the week. There are a lot of people here who are not football fans.
Stevie : And on match days?
Big Tommy : Only in the cheaper seats and the away end.
Iddy : It’s Big Tommy isn’t?
Big Tommy : Me name’s Tommy yeah, so what?
Iddy : (singing quietly.) Remember Nottingham Forest?
Big Tommy : Christ. Keep it down mate, you’ll get me sacked.
Iddy : You were my hero Tommy. You changed football history and got us to Wembley.
Big Tommy : Aye it was a long time ago. Y’knaa Cloughie said that the Forest players were so shit scared after the pitch invasion they didn’t dare win. I like to think I played my part.
Stevie : Pity you didn’t do the same in the final.
Big Tommy : I was banned from going.
Iddy : I always wondered why we lost. Hey Tommy, let us see the pitch, go on mate. We can invade it for old times sake.
Big Tommy : I’m supposed to keep people off the pitch. It’s more than me job’s worth.
Iddy : Go on man, please.
Big Tommy : No.
Big Tommy : Sssh! Come on then. Five minutes.

( Restaurant sounds end. Silence. Then sound of footsteps and plastic seat backs springing up.)

Big Tommy : Leave the seats alone, will you?
Stevie : Behave Iddy. I haven’t set foot in here since we nearly went down to the third.
Big Tommy : Lost interest?
Stevie : No me job when the yards shut.
Big Tommy : Sorry mate.
Stevie : I’ve spent the last five years in the pub watching Newcastle. It’s not the same as being there though. Are you one of the lucky few?
Big Tommy : What! On these wages? No, working here I sometimes see some of the players and Kenny. That’s enough for me. I still feel I´m part of it all though.
Iddy : Look this used to be the Paddock . We saw our first match here. Who was it against?
Stevie : Can’t remember. Stat will though. He always remembers.
Iddy : And that’s the Leazes End over there. (Singing.) It’s in the Leazes End, where Geordies never end, and all the Sunderland fans lie dead at your feet.
Iddy, Stevie & Big Tommy : La la la la la la la la la la
Iddy : (In Motsonesque voice.) And Newcastle are three one down to Notts Forest. My word! Pat Howard has unbelievably been sent off. The crowd are furious and quite rightly so. But what’s this? Big Tommy from Wallsend has jumped over the wall and yes, he’s on the pitch followed by Long Benton Boot Boys. Big Tommy is running towards the centre circle and his fat belly has flopped out for all to see. Incredible!
( Silence followed by restaurant sounds.)

Stat : Where have you two been?
Iddy : Invading the pitch.
Stat : I hope you get banned for life.
Stevie : Don’t worry we already have been.
Iddy : Are we pissing off then?
Stat : Yes, things to do. Shirts to sell.
Stevie : Money to count.
Iddy : See you Tommy and thanks a lot. Make sure you keep the hooligans off the pitch.
Big Tommy : I will. See y’s lads.



When Las Ramblas Spoke Geordie Scene 5

Scene 5
{ In bed in New Zealand. }

(Silence. Then radio static and heavy breathing and beep, beep, beep and BBC World service music.)

The Pie : Yes ! Yes ! Yes !
Sue : Are you finished under there ? Come out from under there.
The Pie : I’m speechless.
Sue : How was it then ?
The Pie : We beat Barcelona at home.
Sue : Is that good ?
The Pie : Fantastic. I’ll just tell the lad.
Sue : No you won’t. Wait till morning.
Lad : (shouting from his room) What was the score Dad?
The Pie : I’ll put him back to sleep. ( Sound of bed creaking, footsteps and opening of bedroom door.) We won son, three, two.
Lad : Who scored?
The Pie : (Sound of page turning.) The month of November. TINO! TINO!
Lad : Is Tino better then Supermac Dad?
The Pie : No son but he’s still a good player.

(Phone rings in bedroom.)

Sue : Yes ?
Trotsky : (in a Spanish accent) Hola, puedo hablar con Pedro, por favor ?
Sue : Pardon?
Trotsky : Ah, perdoname, you don’t speak Spanish. Can I speak to Peter please ? I am his, how you say, primo,? Ah cousin from Catalonia ?
Sue : It’s for you Pete, someone who says he’s your cousin from Catalonia.
The Pie : Yes?
Trotsky : Listen carefully Pie. It’s me Trotsky calling from Barcelona. Just say Si or No, okay?
The Pie : Yes, I mean si.
Trotsky : You know the result?
The Pie : Si.
Trotsky : You want to come to the return leg?
The Pie : Si.
Trotsky : Sue won’t let you come?
The Pie : No.
Trotsky : All the lads are coming, you’ve got to. We’ve arrived. Barcelona, the Nou Camp. Tell her that your Uncle who went to Spain for the civil war has died and that you have to go there to claim your inheritance.
The Pie : No!
Trotsky : Si! Si! Si!
The Pie : Okay, si.
Trotsky : Now repeat after me, hasta la vista en el Nou Camp.
The Pie : Hasta la vista en el Nou Camp.
Sue : I didn’t know you spoke Spanish.
The Pie : Just a bit telephone Spanish you know.
Sue : What was that all about then ?
The Pie : It was me cousin from Spain. Me Uncle has died.
Sue : You never told me you had family in Spain.
The Pie : Aye, he went to Spain to fight in the civil war and never came back. They want me to go there to claim me inheritance but its too far to go isn’t it?
Sue : An inheritance? Was he rich?
The Pie : Well offish.
Sue : I suppose you could visit your mother in Newcastle as well.
The Pie : Yeah, two birds with one stone.
Sue : What was he called?
The Pie : Who?
Sue : Your Uncle!
The Pie : erm Faustino. Uncle Faustino.
Sue : That’s not a very common name in Newcastle is it?
The Pie : It is now.


When Las Ramblas Spoke Geordie Scene 4

Scene 4
{ In the Strawberry pub after the match. }

( The bar is packed and everyone is singing. Sound of music and football commentary.)

Stevie : Brilliant wasn’t it? I wish I’d been inside though. What was the atmosphere like? It looked great on the box.
Stat : Excellent. We never stopped singing.
Stevie : What? In the platinum club ? I thought it was sound proofed so you didn’t have to hear the hooligans.
Stat : Give over will you. Look at the door, it‘s Iddy isn’t it? What’s he doing with that bonny lass?

(Iddy enters bar and puts a record on the Jukebox, “Wherever I lay my hat,” by Paul Young.Music plays over noise.)

Iddy : Look pet still no rings.
Girl : Should I know you?
Iddy : No, I just always wanted to do that.
Stevie : Christ look who it is. What you doing here Iddy ?
Iddy : TINO ! TINO ! I couldn’t miss this. Get them in Stat. I’m probably on the dole again and you’re always loaded.
Stevie : Probably ? I thought you were back on the railways?
Iddy : I was until twenty minutes ago.
Stevie : Jumped ship then ?
Iddy : Aye.
Stat : Get these down your necks.

( There is a lot of noise in the bar. Phone rings and barman answers.)

Barman : The Strawberry.
Trotsky : Can I speak to Stevie Walker please?
Barman : You’ll have to speak up mate its mayhem in here.
Trotsky : Can I speak to Stevie Walker? He’ll have a Newcastle top on. Probably the Nº9, Shearer.
Barman : You’ve got to be joking bonny lad. I’ve got ninety nine Nº9s in here the night.
Trotsky : Please man. I’m calling long distance. Give a shout for anyone who knows Trotsky from Barcelona. Okay?
Barman : Aye okay. (shouting) TELEPHONE FOR STEVIE. A MR. TROTSKY FROM BARCELONA. (to himself) Funny I thought he was Russian.
Stevie : Did he say Trotsky ? I’M STEVIE.
Barman : There’s a call for you from Barcelona. Reserve me a ticket for the match over there will you?
Stevie : Aye, okay. Trotsky? Is that you ?
Stevie : How are the Catalans taking defeat?
Trotsky : They literally can’t believe it. Crying into their Voll Damms. Look I’ll have to be quick cos I’m running out of dosh. You and the lads have got to come over here for the return leg. It’ll be the big one.
Stevie : You know I’d love to but I´m still on the rock and roll.
Trotsky : Howay man. We’ll work something out.
Stevie : Okay, I´ll have a word with Iddy and Stat. They’re here in the bar.
Trotsky : Say hello to Iddy and tell Stat he’s a Tory capitalist shitbag. I’ll phone the Pie in New Zealand and you get things sorted your end. Hasta la vista bonny lad !
Stevie : Aye, Adios mate.

Iddy : Who was that?
Stevie : Trotsky. He says hello to you and he told me to tell you you’re a Tory bastard Stat.
Stat : Charming talk from a so called English teacher. Well he’s behind the times as usual. I’m New Labour now. Tony is doing a fantastic job for the small businessman.
Stevie : He’s why I stopped voting Labour.
Iddy : I’m confused. What did he say anyway ?
Stevie : He wants us to go to Barcelona for the return leg. He’s going to phone the Pie in New Zealand.
Iddy : Great. Why not? It’ll just be like old times.
Stevie : That’s right we were always jetting off to Barcelona to see the Toon.
Iddy : We once went to Barnsley.
Stevie : Yeah, it was Trotsky’s birthday treat. They mentioned his name over the PA. Remember we were with some miners, his mates from the strike. And the Tykes tonked us three nil. Happy days.
Stat : Even though I’ll have to put up with Comrade Trotsky I think its a brilliant idea. Why don’t we go ? I tell you what we’ll go for lunch tomorrow and talk about it.
Iddy : Lunch? Why don´t we just go for a pint ?
Stat : Don’t you want to visit the Magpie Restaurant while you’re home ? I can sign guests in.
Stevie : You mean it’s like a working men’s club or what ?
Stat : Do you want to come or are you just gonna take the piss ?
Stevie : Okay, you’re on. Iddy ?
Iddy : I’m not wearing a suit or bowing to Sir John though.


When Las Ramblas Spoke Geordie Scene 3

Scene 3

{ London to Newcastle train. }

( Sound of moving train and coffee machine in buffet car. )

Announcer : The train is now leaving Darlington. Next stop Newcastle.
Cockney Steward :  Look Geordie you need a big squad to compete in Europe. Newcastle just aren’t in the same league as Man U. This is our year in Europe.
Iddy : What again? Haddon a minute. What part of Manchester are you from Cockney?
Cockney : I’m not. I’m from Hackney but that’s irrelevant. I’ve always supported Man U.
Iddy : Since when? Are you an 80s or a 90s fan? I remember  Man U when the team was shit and the fans were … okay. Now the team is…. okay and it’s the fans who are shit. Now piss off and leave me alone. I’m listening to the match.
Cockney : No need to be abusive and take that walkman off when a customer comes.
Iddy : WHAT ?
Iddy : No need to shout. I’ve got two ears.  Look I can take one earpiece out and still serve. And they’re not customers they’re passengers. ( to passenger ) What can I get you?
Passenger :  Three gin and tonics and a pork pie.
Alan Green : ( Radio commentary. ) … and Gillespie goes past the Barcelona defender as if he isn´t there. Crosses. Asprilla’s in the box. Hat – trick ! TINO ASPRILLA AND NEWCASTLE UNITED THREE BARCELONA FOOTBALL CLUB NIL. Magnificent.
Passenger : Can I get served please?
Iddy : Sorry pet what was it? Three Tino Asprillas and a pork Gillespie. Here they’re on the house.
Cockney : You’re mad Geordie. Make sure you pay for that.
Iddy : It’s not your fault Cockney. You lot don’t feel it like us. Look at those bridges, the river. I can just see the lights of St James. In a few minutes the lads’ll be heading for the Strawberry to sink a few pints in celebration. Aye. See you Cockney. It’s my stop.
Cockney : You what?

( Iddy makes an announcement over the PA. )

Iddy : I hope all passengers have a had a pleasant journey. We are now pulling into Central Station. The news from St James is, Tino Asprilla three. Football Club Barcelona nil. Finally there is an urgent message for any Manchester United and Sunderland fans on the train,  Bob Stokoe, Ian Porterfield, Peter Reid Monkey Heed, Matt Busby, Bobby Charlton, Captain bloody Marvel, Ooh aah Cantana – we really showed you lot tonight! Howay the lads !

( Sound of passengers cheering and train doors slamming and station noises .)

Announcer : Welcome to Newcastle Upon Tyne. Change here for Metro.


When Las Ramblas Spoke Geordie Scene 2

Scene 2
{ In the Strawberry pub before match. }

( Sound of very noisy bar. Football fans cheering and singing. )

Barman : ( Announcing over P.A.. ) Ladies and Gentlemen. Lads and Lasses. The management of the Strawberry public house would like to remind you lucky sods with season tickets that you have 15 minutes to get to your seats. The rest of you sad buggers are welcome to stay here and watch the match on our massive screen and drink us dry. Howay the lads!
Stat : Hi. How’s it going ?
Stevie : Hello Stat. I see you’ve dressed up for the occasion. You can borrow me top if you want so you don’t stick out.
Stat : Thanks but I don’t think I’ll bother. We don’t usually wear club colours in the Platinum club. A tie and badge suffices. It’s not good business to offend the people in the hospitality boxes.
Stevie : Yeah, they might be Man U fans.
Stat : You don’t want another do you ?
Stevie : ‘Course I do.
Stat : I just thought as you’ve got a quarter of a pint left and I’m not stopping long.
Stevie : Just get them in man.
Stat : Okay okay, two pints when you can, cheers. So you’re still selling that rag are you? (reading from fanzine) “Reclaim the game from the football fat cats.” I suppose you think I’m one of the fat cats ?
Stevie : Well you´re not exactly thin are you ?
Stat : What’s your problem ? Look we’ve never had so much success. Statistically NUFC Plc are second only to Man Utd as a sound investment. The ground’s always full and tonight we’re playing FC Barcelona one of the greatest clubs in the world. What have you got to whinge about ?
Stevie : I’m not whinging I’m reminiscing.
Stat : You what ?
Stevie : I was wondering where the lads are tonight. It’ll be early morning in Auckland. The Pie will be under the covers trying to tune in to the BBC. And of course Trotsky’s in Barcelona. Lucky sod. That’ll be handy for the return match. Where’s Iddy nowadays ?
Stat : Back on the railways. Probably abusing cockneys as always.
Stevie : It’s a pity we aren’t all together for this one. Remember when we used to go on the Leaze’s End together ? Remember the atmosphere, the singing and the crack?
Stat : Yeah and the piss on the back of your legs and the fights. The good old days. When we scored we’d throw our whippets in the air and when we lost we’d kick our flat caps. Or was it the other way round ?
Stevie : It wasn’t that bad.
Stat : It was. Soccer’s changed for the better. It’s all down to Sir John. We wouldn’t be where we are today without him.
Stevie : Christ you even sound like him. Since when has football been called soccer ?
Stat : We have to change with the times. Soccer’s big business and Sir John has shown the way.
Stevie : More like shown the door.
Stat : Who to?
Stevie : The unemployed, the pensioners, working class Geordie fans, me and King Kev.
Stat : Keegan resigned.
Stevie : No he was forced out by your mates in the city just like they’ve locked me out of tonight’s match.
Stat : Oh shite ! I’m sorry mate. I couldn’t get you a ticket. I’ve got some customers up from Essex to see the Metro Centre and they want to meet Sir John and Lady Hall, you know how it is.
Stevie : Aye okay. I understand. Don’t worry about me. Rupert hasn’t managed to buy this match so I can watch it here 200 yards away from the ground. At least I’ll hear the crowd live and direct.
Stat : Look I’ve got to go. If we win I’ll see you back here after the match, you can buy me back that pint you owe me.



When Las Ramblas Spoke Geordie Scene 1

Scene 1
{ An English class in Barcelona. }

(Sound of kids talking in Catalan and desks opening and shutting.)

Trotsky : Hi kids.
Kids : Hi.
Trotsky: If you’re good today and don’t make too much noise we can have a conversation class. I know today’s a special day for everyone. Now listen, you can see my football top. What team is it?
Kids : Juventus. Juventus.
Trotsky : No. No. Juve aren’t the only team to play in black and white. Anyone know?
Josep: Notts County.
Trotsky : Very clever Josep. We all know you’ve got satellite TV. Any others? Las Urracas? The Magpies?
Josep : Newcastle.
Trotsky : That’s correct Josep and that’s why we´re going to finish the class 15 minutes early so everyone can get home and see Newcastle shaft Barça.
Kids : ¿Qué es shaft?
Trotsky : It doesn’t matter. Now, we need to work on the pronunciation. Where are Barça tonight ?
Kids : N.E.W.C.A.S.T.L.E.
Trotsky : No! No! No! Let’s practice that again. It’s NY’CASSEL. Repeat after me, NY’CASSEL!
Trotsky : Mas rapido! NY’CASSEL!

Trotsky : Okay, quiet please. I’ll have to do some grammar with you. I think the Director is listening. Shh. Today we’re going to learn the present perfect. Josep, can you give
me an example?
Josep : Si, pues, Barça have gone to England and they are going to win to Newcastle..
Trotsky : Very good but the phrase is, Newcastle are going to beat Barça or Barça are going to lose against Newcastle.
Kids : Imposible.
Josep : English football is terrible. The ball is always in the sky and it’s very long.
Trotsky : You mean the long ball game… have gone is the present perfect. It links the past and the present. For example Josep I see you have a Ronaldo shirt on. Ronaldo is not in Newcastle tonight, where has he gone ?
Josep : Italia.
Trotsky : In English please and the full phrase.
Josep : Ronaldo has gone to Italy.
Trotsky : Okay I want everyone to think of a phrase or question in the present perfect. Susanna?
Susanna : Barça have won the European Cup. What have Newcastle won ?
Trotsky : Nowt recently.
Susanna : ¿ Qué es nowt ?
Trotsky : It doesn’t matter, Roger?
Roger : Shearer has broken his uncle and….
Trotsky : The word you want is ankle and I’ll break yours if I get one more smart comment.
Roger : ¿Qué ?
Trotsky : In English please. Alfonso ?
Alfonso : Manchester….
Trotsky : Manchester what ?
Alfonso : No entiendo
Trotsky : How many times have I got to tell you? There are two Manchesters. City or United ?
Alfonso : Ah si. Manchester United have won the league four….
Trotsky : Right that’s it. You! Stand in the corner and everyone else open your books and do exercise four on page 56.

( Bell rings.Sound of kids talking in Catalan and desks moving. )

( Sound of Catalan Rumba. Glasses tinkling and people cheering in Catalan.)

Trotsky : Una cerveza por favor.
Barman : Ah English! You are Newcastle no?
Trotsky : Yes, I am Newcastle.
Barman : I am sorry but Barça win. Spanish league is best in world.
Trotsky : All your players are foreign.
Barman : ¿Qué?
Trotsky : Nada, gracias.

( Barça fans cheer as players run onto pitch. )



When Las Ramblas Spoke Geordie


On 17/09/1997 Newcastle United Football Club played FC Barcelona at St James’ Park. The Barcelona team included present manager Luis Enrique and Luis Figo.

The experts predicted a victory for the Catalans but Tino Asprilla had other ideas…..

Newcastle United 3 – 2 Barcelona

The return leg at the Nou Camp turned into a pilgrimage for Toon fans.

“When Las Ramblas Spoke Geordie” is the story of a group of fans who travelled to Barcelona to celebrate their common love for the Toon and on the journey they discovered dark Makem and Blairite secrets which put their friendships at risk…..

The Play will be published scene by scene on this Blog over the next few weeks.