NUFCW v Alnwick Town Ladies (1 May 2022)May 2, 2022
Wor Flags Season Review (2021/22)June 20, 2022
The final game of the season, and all efforts to date this season have been leading to this. We’ve gradually been increasing coverage of the ground, and this game was the final piece in the jigsaw for a complete event for Wor Flags.
We made plans much earlier in season to increase scale to a crescendo at the end and this was a culmination. The order of the day was to prepare the display equipment, which for this game was to order many thousands of ‘foils’ – the plastic squares on seats. The plan for this game was for every home seat to have a foil on, so there was a need to order a massive number of these. The plan for the game was Gallowgate and Milburn to alternate black and white stripes, the East Stand the same but with ‘United’ in big gold letters superimposed on there. The Leazes likewise black and white stripes with a big blue ‘S&N’ type blue start, with gold outline. Aside from that, flags were to remain dispersed around the ground as usual, except for the special pattern areas in East Stand and Leazes. Behind the goal, a large print banner of the image of the dressing room photo with players and owners on, together with ‘Newcastle United Football Club’ around top and bottom of the image. This is very much a celebration display.
So to the Friday before the match, all display equipment had arrived, so a group of volunteers, and some staff from the Newcastle United Foundation mapped out the blue star on the Leazes and black / white foils around it.
Over the weekend, dozens of volunteers from Wor Flags and the display group attended into the darkness to attach a foil to every seat with an elastic band, and this is something that would take a large team a good 2 days to put together. The team worked long days in the baking sun, some in the Milburn described it as feeling like a greenhouse. Working mostly in pairs, sections were covered in either black foils or white, in a very labour intensive tasks of putting foil on each seat and fixing it in place with electric bands.
Some ask is about how sustainable the approach is and we plan to be more sustainable in our approach going forward but we very much expect to reuse as many of the foils as possible. This being a rather unique season, we try to be responsible with what we put out.
Messages were put out on social media and local press to encourage all fans to be in their seats 15 minutes before the kick off to make sure that the display was a success.
Some of our flags are designed in house, others are suggested, but recently, we held a competition with the Newcastle United Foundation for children to design a flag. The winner, Ava, had her design printed onto a flag and her father together with a NU Foundation member of staff will hold the flag, made up with two flagpoles to keep it vertical and static, in the Gallowgate end, to be seen by Ava and her mother in the Leazes end.
For the large banner in the Gallowgate, we needed 35 volunteers to mange the display, from picking up the display to opening it out to face the right direction at the right time, and to hold it open until just before kick off. With the ‘Sgt Major’ at the front using hand signals to direct movement in the right way. Lots of messages were exchanged to get enough volunteers to hold the banner but by golly, it looked a treat from the other side, and from TV.
We had asked for people to be in their seats 20 mins before kick off to enable the display to start on time. We asked Club Photographer and Wor Flags friend Serena Taylor to take some images from the pitch, but she needed to be back inside 15 minutes ahead of kick off.
This was a truly amazing display, all fans played their parts and did what was asked, the blue star looked absolutely amazing, as did the large banner, and the UNITED. The atmosphere was so electric and one not to be forgotten.