St. James' Park

By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor

At the beginning of June, the St. James' Park pitch was bare after thousands of music-lovers watched US rockers Kings of Leon perform a memorable concert at the stadium.

Now, just a few weeks later - and with the football season still well over a month away - the surface is once again green and nearly ready for action thanks to the efforts of Newcastle United's hard-working groundstaff.

As soon as Caleb Followill and his band finished their stunning set on the evening of 31st May, Deputy Head Groundsman Andrew Tully and his colleagues sprung into action.

"It was seeded three weeks ago, straight after Kings of Leon," Tully told "Construction took three days and it was seeded down by the Friday.

"We had torrential rain on the Saturday which helped the seed to germinate, and from then on it's just been a case of feeding and now cutting.

"It's on it's seventh cut now and I think come next week it will need cutting every day. It's at a good stage and it's healthy."

Neighbours Sunderland have suffered several problems with their pitch in recent years, partly as a result of their own successful concerts, but Tully does not expect any similar issues at Gallowgate.

"We've got a great window," he explained.

"They've just had a concert at the Stadium of Light so their construction is this week - they're just laying the seed now which, although they're not at home on the first weekend of the season like us, doesn't give them as much time as we've had.

"We've got eight or nine weeks which is perfect and it'll be just as good as it is every year."

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