Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Frogs' Legs? - No Fear

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Frogs' Legs? - No Fear

Article excerpt

Byline: By Rob Kennedy

You might have thought Newcastle's European adventure would have made the Toon Army go all continental.

Visits to countries like France, Spain and Holland have seen the Geordie faithful dabble with a bit of foreign culture.

But there is no chance one Magpie well-known for his love of food will be sampling any French cuisine when his team take on Marseille in the Uefa Cup semi-final.

For 27-stone Beefy will be sticking with the same pre-match menu which he believes has brought Newcastle good fortune in the win over PSV Eindhoven - a Chinese meal.

And he is hoping to end a long wait for European glory after missing out on the famous 1969 Fairs Cup win over Ujpest Dozsa when he a youngster.

The Newcastle-daft 41-year-old said: "I'll be going for a few jars and a Chinese in Chinatown before the game.

"That's what I did before the PSV game and I'm superstitious. There'll be a few of us going to the away game as well but French food gives me a bad stomach so I'll be steering clear of that.

"But I'll definitely be at both games. I've waited 30 odd years for this.

"My dad never took me to the game in 1969 and this is the biggest European game since then I reckon."

Beefy shot to fame by stripping to the waist in front of his beloved Newcastle United and showing off his enormous stomach with NUFC emblazoned across it.

The lorry driver has achieved cult status with other black and white fans and has featured on Match of the Day and Sky TV.

Beefy stripping stunt happened in 1999 when he whipped off his top in Rome's Stadio Olimpico during a European tie. His impromptu performance captured the hearts of the Italian fans and catapulted Beefy to stardom.

Now, along with other Newcastle fans, he is keeping his fingers crossed for a result against Marseille.

Frank Gilmour, chairman of the Newcastle United Independent Supporters' Association, said: "It's a massive game and possibly our biggest game since 1969.

"The response from supporters has been fantastic and people have been queuing up for the tickets, which shows what it means.

"We can repeat what we did in 1969 and a place in the final would make good what some would say has been a pretty poor season. …

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