THE search for the definitive Newcastle United anthem gathered pace yesterday as The Journal was inundated with responses from fans.
Scores of readers emailed, texted or went online to vote for the song the black-and-whites should run out to.
And the overwhelming majority of fans who have voted so far want the Magpies once again to emerge on the pitch to Newcastle-born Mark Knopfler’s guitar classic Local Hero.
Supporters believe it has become synonymous with the pride and passion of the fans and the club.
But earlier this season, the 1983 classic was sidelined by club officials who said they wanted to introduce a new number to “improve the atmosphere” at the ground.
They opted for If the Kids Are United, by London punk band Sham 69, because of its upbeat ending, a chant of “United, United”.
But the switch received a mixed response from followers, many of whom were dismayed to lose the long-standing anthem.
So now The Journal is giving all Magpie fans the chance to choose the song they believe will best galvanise the crowd. And the club have promised to listen, insisting they want to find the perfect Magpie anthem, whether it be one of those two or The Blaydon Races.
We want all readers to write, text, or go online to chose their preference.
By last night – just hours after our poll was launched – we had received almost 200 votes. Local Hero is already miles ahead with 165 votes, against 12 for The Blaydon Races and just four for If the Kids Are United. Seven people voted not to have an anthem at all.
Season ticket holder Heather Wales, of Gateshead, was right behind Local Hero. She wrote: “The hairs on the back of my neck used to stand up every time the players ran out on to the pitch when Local Hero came on.
“Why on earth they felt they had to change it is beyond me. I want to enter my vote to bring back Local Hero.”
Streams of fans also logged on to our website journallive.co.uk to register their vote, with Local Hero also taking pole position.
A Newcastle United spokesman said: “We hear a lot of different opinions from fans. People are quite divided – some like Local Hero, others would like to hear The Blaydon Races, while some say they don’t want any music at all so the crowd can build the atmosphere.
“We are keen to hear from fans so we can get the best formula and ensure the atmosphere at St James’s is as good as it always is.”
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How to make your voice heard
YOU can tell us, and NUFC, the song of your choice:
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 , and follow the link to log your vote.
POST – Send your preference to The Journal newsdesk, Groat Market, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1ED.
EMAIL – Send your preference to firstname.lastname@example.org