French fans

St. James' Park is set to have a little more joie de vivre on display than usual this Sunday after Newcastle United's home Barclays Premier League fixture with Southampton was designated 'French Day' by the Club.

In homage to their growing Gallic contingent, which now stands at ten players following five new arrivals from across the Channel in January, 'Le Toon' fans are invited to dress up, paint their faces and bring along their Tricolore banners early to immerse themselves in a French-inspired theme across the stadium.

There will also be chance for a sing-along before kick-off as singer Gavin James Burke arrives on Tyneside to join in the festivities, with further themed entertainment on the pitch at half-time. Ticket holders in the family enclosure, meanwhile, will be in the spirit of things with a team of dedicated face painters.

And the pièce de résistance is yet to be revealed, with several other surprises awaiting fans at Sunday's game.

French midfielder Yohan Cabaye said: "I think this is a fantastic idea.

"The French players who were here last season and the players who arrived in January are very proud to be here and to play for Newcastle United so it will be very special to see our fans celebrating our culture and sharing it with us.

"The support from our fans and our teammates is a big reason why players have wanted to come here to Newcastle. We hope to repay that support on the pitch by giving the best performances we can."

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew added: "It's not just on the pitch that our French players have had an impact since they've arrived. The city has really taken to them as well and the players have spoken about how much they've appreciated the welcome they've been given and seeing things like French flags in the crowd.

"It's up to us as a Club to help our fans continue that outstanding support, so the French Day is an opportunity for people right across the stadium to come along early, have some fun and generate a fantastic atmosphere both before and during what is a big game for us."

Events and entertainment will be taking place from 1pm on Sunday.

To secure your seats for French Day as Newcastle United entertain Southampton in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday (kick-off 1.30pm), call 0844 372 1892, visit www.nufc.co.uk or call in at the stadium Box Office.

Limited hospitality places are also available for Sunday's game. Simply email hospitality@nufc.co.uk for more information or to book now.