Who can stop Hero?

HUNDREDS of fans have joined the campaign to get their favourite anthem back on the playlist at St James’s Park.

Newcastle United fans

HUNDREDS of fans have joined the campaign to get their favourite anthem back on the playlist at St James’s Park.

More than 800 readers have contacted The Journal in an effort to get Going Home, the theme from Local Hero, blasted out once more at the ground as the team emerges on to the pitch.

And hundreds more have joined an online campaign urging officials at the club to bring back Mark Knopfler’s anthem, which has become synonymous with the pride and passion of the club.

The site, on networking site facebook.com, has been running for about four weeks and nearly 700 followers have signed up to urge bosses at the club to make a U-turn on sidelining the long-standing run-out song.

The 1983 classic by the Dire Straits musician was ditched at the start of the season, with officials saying they wanted to try an alternative to “improve the atmosphere”.

But the switch to London punk band Sham 69’s If the Kids Are United has caused masses of supporters to call for a return to the song Knopfler adapted for Newcastle United about a decade ago to celebrate the return of black-and-white hero Alan Shearer.

Now club officials have promised to listen to you, the fans, and you can have your say through The Journal. After three days, Going Home tops the table.

After another day inundated with responses from across the country and the globe – including people in America, Switzerland and Spain – Local Hero’s vote is growing. It has pulled in 838 votes, compared with a lowly nine for its replacement. The Blaydon Races has 51 votes, and 12 wanted no music as teams run out.

Season ticket holder Neil Marsden, 22, a construction firm contract manager, of Chester-le-Street in County Durham, who helped start the facebook campaign, said: “I can’t believe they ever took it away. Could you imagine Liverpool taking away You’ll Never Walk Alone?

“The club has no right to take this song away from the fans, they should have consulted us. I just hope they listen to The Journal’s poll.”

Others who logged on to the “Bring Back Local Hero to St James’s Park” site, also expressed disappointment at its loss. Lee Turnbull wrote: “The thing with Local Hero is that it’s timed perfectly; by the time they’ve done the whole hand-shaking, mascot photos, etc, it’s just ending and there’s always a roar from the crowd to signal the start of the match. Bring it back.”

To join the online campaign, visit www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=4820958405

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Tell us what you want to hear

YOU can tell us – and Newcastle United – the song of your choice in a number of ways:

TEXT – Voice your opinion by texting JLNEWS followed by a space, then HERO, KIDS, BLAYDON or NONE, plus your name, house number and postcode to 84080. Texts cost 25p plus your standard network charge.

ONLINE – Go to our website www.journallive.co.uk/anthem

POST – Send your preference to The Journal newsdesk, Groat Market, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1ED.

EMAIL – Send your preference to jnl.newsdesk@ncjmedia.co.uk

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Stars help auction for music therapy charity

ROCK legend Mark Knopfler is joining a host of other music stars in signing radios which will be auctioned for a music therapy charity.

The Dire Straits front man is helping out the charity Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy.

Twenty four Pure Evoke -1XT Marshall Edition DAB digital radios have been signed by rock stars past and present and are up for auction.

It will be the third round of the auction, with thousands of pounds already pledged online.

This time, radios have been signed by: Eric Clapton; Liam Gallagher; Mark Knopfler; The Manic Street Preachers; Mika; Ronnie Wood (Rolling Stones/ Small Faces); Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters); The Enemy; Editors; Mark Ronson; Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music); Gallows; Keane; Jim Marshall; Graham Coxon (Blur); Andy Powell (Wishbone Ash); Ray Manzarek (The Doors); Alice Cooper; Guy Pratt (Pink Floyd); Ronnie James Dio (Heaven & Hell); Steve Hogarth (Marillion); Fish; The Answer and Thunder.

This wave of bidding will close on October 31.

All proceeds will go to Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, the UK’s leading independent music therapy charity.

To register and place bids, log on to www.rockstarradios.com


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer