Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Toon Takeover a Real Party Deal

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Toon Takeover a Real Party Deal

Article excerpt

Byline: By Miles Starforth

Magaluf was bouncing to the tune of Blaydon Races today as the Toon Army turned the resort into one huge party ahead of Newcastle United's UEFA Cup tie.

The Magpies will face Real Mallorca tonight at the Son Moix Stadium in neighbouring Palma backed by a near 3,000-strong travelling support, though cup fever has yet to grip the Balearic island club's own supporters with a crowd of 10,000 expected.

Club officials admit ticket sales have been slow since Real's 4-1 defeat at St James' Park earlier this month, with few on the island giving Mallorca a chance against a team they regard as one of the elite of European football.

Whether you speak to taxi drivers, barmen or restaurateurs, the answer's the same. Mallorca do not have a prayer.

But Newcastle's official allocation of 2,300 tickets was sold out, with the chance to see United in Majorca and temperatures in the high 60s too good to turn down.

Outside the summer season Magaluf resembles Blackpool in the winter with bar after bar shut for the off season.

But Magaluf has steadily filled with Newcastle fans through the week ahead of United's quarter-final and last night resembled Whitley Bay, with Geordies partying the night away.

And the sun-baked beach of cheap-and-cheerful Magaluf contrasted with Newcastle's last European outing in Oslo, when United supporters had to trudge through snow and pay through the nose for a drink.

Many of those in Palma and Magaluf had visited Majorca before, but few ever thought they would see the Magpies in action on the holiday island.

One fan, in Magaluf's appropriately-named Black and White Bar, said: "I've been here with the lads a couple of times, and my lass the year before last, but this beats that."

This afternoon Newcastle DJ Mick Edmondson, known as Mad Mick, was hosting his usual Idols pre-match warm- up in Europe's biggest nightclub, the 8,000-capacity BCM. …

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