Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Scoring with the Fans; EXHIBITION for over 130 Years We've Been There through the Exhilarating Highs and Exhausting Lows, So It Seems Only Right That for a New Exhibition about Newcastle United Football Club We Were All Invited to Pitch in with Our Own Take on What It's Meant in Our City and Our Lives. Now, with the Long-Awaited Toon Times about to Kick off, Barbara Hodgson Scores the Exhibits

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Scoring with the Fans; EXHIBITION for over 130 Years We've Been There through the Exhilarating Highs and Exhausting Lows, So It Seems Only Right That for a New Exhibition about Newcastle United Football Club We Were All Invited to Pitch in with Our Own Take on What It's Meant in Our City and Our Lives. Now, with the Long-Awaited Toon Times about to Kick off, Barbara Hodgson Scores the Exhibits

Article excerpt

Kevin Keegan IT was back in 2012 that footie fans first heard about plans for a Toon Times Heritage Project charting the colourful history of our black and white club as ex-Newcastle United stars joined current players in a high-profile launch.

Among them were Peter Beardsley, and Bob Moncur - the former captain who came to the region from Scotland at the age of just 15 and helped to bring home the 1969 Fairs Cup. Taking part in the project, he said, was a "privilege" and, in acknowledgement of the huge role which the game plays in many locals' lives, the club opened up the invitation to get involved.

Fans were invited to share their own memories of days spent at St James' Park and, since then, these have been feeding into the rapidly-expanding exhibition which - now complete - will be opening at Discovery Museum in the city centre on February 8. Toon Times charts the fortunes of the club from its beginnings in 1881 to its Premier League status and is free and interactive, enabling any Toon Army fan who has always wondered just how it feels to beat the heart of the beautiful game the chance to experience first-hand some of its famous features, such as the tunnel which the players pass through to the pitch.

This has been recreated for the exhibition, along with a dug-out and team changing room complete with the sights and sounds of a match day.

Among the exhibits on show will be a replica of that Inter-Cities Fairs Cup of 1969, the last major European trophy won by the club; plus other NUFC treasures that have never before been on public display, such as souvenir programmes and the signature black and white shirts worn by the likes of Jackie Milburn, Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer.

There's even a pair of stuffed Magpies, apparently, that helps explore how the club got its nickname.

A Newcastle United Foundation Hall of Fame display will commemorate some of those legendary players, managers and line-ups and there are plans to induct other names into the roll-call during the exhibition - again, with fans able to have a say. They can also display their own memories and personal trophies in a dedicated "fanzone": a kind of living testimonial to the loyal Toon Army who have made the club one of the most supported in the country.

But the focus will be not just on the players but also on parts played by their families, the linesmen and club shop workers, in a bid to tell the all-round story.

There'll be creative input too, from artists - professionals and otherwise - who took part in a competition to explore the NUFC theme.

The Balman Gallery @ Discovery Museum - a collaborative venture that sees the Corbridge gallery team up with the Newcastle museum - invited artists to capture (for display and sale) every element of the club, from the crowd and atmosphere to the stadium and history. …

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