Magpies hero Given backs Wor Flags' #BringYourScarf campaign
Written by Andrew Lisgo
Newcastle United fan favourite Shay Given is encouraging fans to get behind Wor Flags' #BringYourScarf campaign at this weekend's clash with Arsenal.
The former Magpies stopper, who visited the club's training ground this week, says he is in awe of the city whenever he returns to Tyneside.
"The city has gone crazy with matchdays and the atmosphere," he told nufc.co.uk. "The whole day with packed restaurants and bars and the walk up to St. James' Park is bouncing, then again when the players walk out of the tunnel the noise is so special."
Given has been back to St. James' on numerous occasions this season through his punditry roles and will be present for Sunday afternoon's game, admitting that he cannot wait to see the atmosphere in the build up to kick-off.
"It's amazing what Wor Flags do before every game at St. James' Park, creating an incredible atmosphere, and this Sunday will be special, seeing 50,000 Geordies waving their scarves as well as the flag displays," he said.
"I'd encourage fans to dig out their scarves and bring them along because it really does make for a special occasion. I'm at the game for Sky Sports on Sunday and the noise and views before the game will be deafening.
"The job that Wor Flags have done is so special with the big flags behind the goals, and they are extra special in the big games where the atmosphere is something else."
Given made 463 appearances for the club after joining in 1997, going on to become a hero on Tyneside having played for the Magpies on the European stage for numerous seasons.
Looking back on his playing days and the European nights at St. James' Park, Given admits there was one game in particular that he will never forget.
"The stand-out game for me has to be against Barcelona in the Champions League," he said. "The atmosphere before, during and after the game was something I'd never had before or even after that because it was such a special night and maybe the fans realised how important they are in helping the team in big moments.
"We've seen this season the importance of the home fans and how difficult St. James' Park is for teams to come to. There's a really strong connection happening between the fans, manager, players and ownership of the club, and the direction of the club is making sure that something really special is happening."
Earlier this season Wor Flags launched their #BringYourScarf initiative for the Carabao Cup games against Leicester City and Southampton, receiving a great response throughout the stadium.
Fans can find our more about the initiative ahead of this weekend's game by using #BringYourScarf on social media.
"It's amazing what Wor Flags do before every game at St. James' Park, creating an incredible atmosphere, and this Sunday will be special, seeing 50,000 Geordies waving their scarves as well as the flag displays."