NUFC v Leicester City (17 April 2022)April 17, 2022
NUFC v Liverpool (30 April 2022)April 30, 2022
Plans for this season have often relied on very short notice activities, much like the owners, and this was no different. We planned to have a large tribute to ASM for the game, and this involved 2 parts. Firstly, we needed a large banner to be printed and delivered, and secondly, we wanted to get a large number 10 spelled out on the seats in the Gallowgate, in small gold flags to match the numbering on his home shirt, as tribute. Normally, we don’t move the flags from seats they have been left in, but for this, we’d need to redistribute flags from the 10 area so not to confuse the message. We drew out on a computer a plan of the Gallowgate seating (one of our volunteers has this already done) and mapped out what needed to be where so we could order the stock.
Both items were ordered, and shipped via a large courier company to be delivered on the Monday before the game, so we put out a WhatsApp message to our match display volunteers to see who would be free to help on the Monday to help to set everything out correctly.
Monday came and went and no flags had been delivered, so we kept comms open with the volunteers. Eventually, late on Tuesday afternoon, the order was delivered to St James Park, and a shout for help was sent out. Around 30 volunteers descended on the ground from around 3pm to start to set up. We started by clearing the Gallowgate seating of flags in anticipation of using that space. We then mapped out an outline of the number 10. It’s quite difficult to see the pattern form on top, so a couple of us went to the Leazes end to take a photo and analyze the position of the flags. Satisfied by the position, the volunteers set about filling in the numbers with a single gold flag per seat. The flags were to cover the middle and lower tiers. It took around 2 hours to do this work with out wonderful volunteers, with us checking frequently how it looked, both in terms of static flags, but also in terms of expected active use by fans on the day. The 1 and the 0 were separated by sufficient space to fit in a large banner with an image of ASM facing the Gallowgate but taken from behind, to show where the inspiration came from. The large banner was left on the floor ready for the match, but we wanted to take an image before the match. On this occasion, there were lots of stadium visitors and to enable us to control more closely what is publicised in advance, we weren’t able to do that.
We redistributed some of the Gallowgate flags into the Milburn middle tier, and moved the larger waver flags to the East Stand and Leazes end so it to interfere with the main display. We also did a little maintenance, taking worn or damaged flags out of use, and giving those drenched flags and airing before the game.
Job done – almost. On leaving, we looked back and the 0 looked a little odd, so we rounded off the bottom left corner, so all 4 corners were rounded off. Fortunately, those few minutes gave us time, all others having left the stadium, to get the main banner stood up for a quick photograph. It’s also interesting to note how easily noise travels in an empty stadium. ‘Got it’ travelled easily from back of Leazes to Gallowgate, once the picture was taken.
On to the match, the plan was that stadium announcer would ask those with gold flags on their seats to hold off and wave once the teams came out. Well, some things can be influenced more than others… 🙂
The display was everything that we hoped it would be, and there was excellent feedback from ASM and those watching. The usual frenetic waving in the Gallowgate at goal scored and at the end was tempered with the removal of the larger flags but the sentiment was still there.
Onwards and upwards to the next game, with some clearing up of the gold flags into stores.