Newcastle step in to host local league game affected by rampaging fans
Chance of a lifetime: Newcastle welcomed the two parks sides for a game at St James’ Park
Two amateur clubs whose matches were disrupted by Newcastle fans in March faced each other at St James’ Park today as special guests of the Premier League outfit.
On March 17, a group of Magpies supporters that had travelled to the DW Stadium for the top-flight clash with Wigan later that day caused chaos near to the ground where South Lancashire Counties League fixtures were being played, encroaching on to pitches and stealing or damaging equipment including balls, corner flags and nets.
One game affected involved Wigan Cosmos and another featured Goose Green Reserves, and the two clubs were subsequently invited to play against each other at St James’ Park by Newcastle, who also offered to cover the cost of any losses related to the incident.
Wigan Cosmos won this afternoon’s resulting contest against Goose Green at the 52,000-capacity Tyneside venue 2-0.
Wigan Cosmos manager John Pendlebury said afterwards: ‘You would never want what happened to happen to your club but there couldn’t have been a better outcome. For me and the players to be here is mind-blowing.
‘The support we have had from the Geordie public is phenomenal. I don’t think any other club in the country would’ve responded the way Newcastle United and its fans have.’
Goose Green boss Colin Clark said: ‘To bring my team here is just fantastic. Some people never get the chance to come to a ground like this.
‘The way Newcastle United have dealt with us has been absolutely first-class. Everything that’s been done for us and that has been arranged has been brilliant.’