Kath Cassidy

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Despite more than 40 years of service at Newcastle United, long-serving tea lady Kath Cassidy has never seen a Magpies match. But that will all change on Sunday, when the 85-year-old will be given one of the best seats in the house for the clash with Norwich City.

The grandmother of 13 from Battle Hill in Wallsend watches away games on television, but has always been too busy working to cheer on her team in the flesh.

Since 1968, Kath has poured brews for the manager - she's worked under 27 in all - and also serves her legendary cuppas to the press pack before games. She famously places her treasured photographs featuring the likes of Jackie Milburn and Alan Shearer next to her kettle.

But this weekend she will be in the directors box at the Sports Direct Arena, along with her family, after the club gave her Mother's Day off so she could finally watch her heroes in action.

It's no mere storm in a teacup for Kath, who is a lifelong fan and has admitted to being unable to sleep due to the excitement, and current Magpies manager Alan Pardew is hoping the team can put on a show for her against the Canaries.

"She'll find it strange because as she'd say, it's not really what she's about," he smiled.

"She comes in and looks after the manager. She has a wonderful personality and she tells us a story every week. It takes a while and it's usually funny.

"She's such a sweet lady and I'm so pleased she's in the directors box. She's what this club is all about. She's got that friendly nature but she is totally committed to this football team.

"She usually goes home early because of her age now but I know that she suffers at home if we haven't won. But she'll have to suffer watching the whole game this time!"