Cockney Mafia Banner - The Fight - And The Truth!
Keith Barrett here joining in with your forum. I am one of the 'thick' blokes with the 'Cockney Mafia out' banner.
I do not think I represent anyone but myself, I am not a member of NUSC, and I do not wish to be on the telly, despite numerous requests since my mate Graham Robson and I made the giant 'Howay The Lads' flag some years ago.
That giant flag took a lot of time, money and effort. The 'Cockney Mafia Out' banner was bought by myself and has been held aloft at various games by me, my 79 year old Dad, my friends Paul Fenning and Bernie Kane.
You will notice there are no nicknames here as used by writers on this forum, that's who we are.
I first went to St.James's Park in 1962, Plymouth Argyle at home 0-0, I follow my team home and away and have only missed three games in the last seventeen years, these were friendlies.
I ran Toon Travel for fifeteen and a half years, providing coaches, trains or planes to every game in that time at a cheaper cost than the club, if they even bothered to put anything on. Whilst running Toon Travel I was also trying to run my haulage business which eventually failed, due somewhat to my travel commitments. My marriage to my southern born wife has also failed, this was down totally to my commitment to Newcastle United and not her. Thats a bit of background about me.
The 'Cockney Mafia Out' banner. I fully appreciate that not every Newcastle United fan shares the same view as me, the banner is not aimed at cockney's in general, I have many cockney friends, I also fully appreciate that Mike Ashley and Dennis Wise were not born within the sound of Bow bells so they are not 'true' cockneys, ( I could not afford to have Buckinghamshire and Kensington put on the banner, it cost me a hundred pound as it is).
I had it made to express my feelings about the people who run our club. I don't want them there, I don't trust them, I think they have shown there true colours, I think they are con men.
Dennis Wise was a horrible obnoxious player on the pitch, that everbody hated, he has no affinity with Newcastle United whatsoever. Mike Ashley has shown contempt for the fans and presumably thinks he can worm his way back into our hearts, he was never in my heart, I do not remember seeing him on the terraces at Plymouth, Shrewsbury or Whrexham supporting the team, he, in my opinion is a con man.
Now, I know I have left myself wide open to critisism that previous or future owners have not or will not stand on the terraces, but, I have, Newcastle United have been a major part of my life for forty odd years, I love Newcastle United and the fans, we are adifferent people to anybody else in the country, or used to be at least.
I don't want someone who does not understand what Newcastle United means to its supporters dictaing to the fans. He had a choice a while ago, Kevin Keegan, who has his faults, or Dennis Wise, Keegan the man who brought the best football to Newcastle United seen in living memory, when left to his own devices, or Wise, a man with no Newcastle United connection at all.
The majority wanted Keegan, he chose Wise. He alienated himself. I don't want him in charge. I am only a fan like everyone else, but, that is my opinion. Now, if people have a different opinion, fine, it is a free world, sort of, express it, go out and buy banners with' I love Mike Ashley' or 'Cockneys are great' put whatever you want on. You be you and I will be me.
Yesterday at Hull. People seem interested as to what happened regarding the banner at Hull yesterday, I will put forward my point of view.
At half time, when the players were not on the pitch, obviously, my friend Bernie Kane and I held aloft the banner, some bloke came down and started abusing Bernie, we had words, I said I understood that he had a different opinion but would he leave my banner alone, I shook hands with him, I hope this was captured on cctv as were later events, and I also said as I have said above if he feels so strongly about Ashley, go and get his own banner, this seemed to confuse him.
At the end of the game me and Bernie, and Jordon from the Ultras young'uns held up the banner again, the ******** appeared again and shouted abuse at me, various things, one of them being 'Barrett, You are a **********', now I do not go around verbally abusing other people and at the age of 52 I do not expect to be abused in that manner, I also defy any man not to snap when subjected to abuse, some have shorter fuses than others, I snapped, I threw three punches at him, I know it was three because the police showed me on video afterwards, not very good punches as I only scuffed his chin with the first one, mind you he was about 6ft 4ins and standing on the step above me, I must improve my technique.
Thats what happened. According to the law I should not have done it, in my book he deserved it. I was arrested and charged while he walks away scot free. That's life. I am now banned from the West Ham game next week and face a far longer ban if the Police have there way and I am found guilty later in the month. I am sure this will greatly please some of your members.
I have posted on here to explain the banner to people that do not know me very well, 'Barrett is a tool' I believe is one of the comments posted, very constructive, and to defend myself from comments like the previous.
Everything I have done regarding the fans of Newcastle United has been done with a good heart, the travel, the flags, the bands, (Mungo Jerry, Happy Cats) the daft records we made for the cup finals, everything.
I love Newcastle United! Thank you for your time.
Regards, Keith Barrett
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