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'The atmosphere was incredible in there' - James Bay on United's win at Spurs

Written by Rory Mitchinson

Among the 3,000 travelling supporters cheering the Magpies to victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last Sunday was BRIT Award-winning singer-songwriter James Bay, who – as many nufc.co.uk readers may already know – has been a United supporter almost all of his life.

Though brought up in Hitchin in Hertfordshire, Bay adopted the Black ‘n’ Whites as his team as a boy and has made little secret of his allegiance on social media. As an artist, he shot to prominence through 2014 hit single Hold Back the River, with debut album Chaos and the Calm topping the chart in the UK – and beyond – the following year. His second album, Electric Light, was released in 2018, with a third one currently in the works…

Last week, the club’s official matchday programme – UNITED – caught up with James to find out a little bit more about his day out in N17, what it’s like to follow the Magpies from afar, and a hugely exciting summer on the road. Check out what he had to say below…

Thanks for chatting to us, James. You must have been chuffed to see Newcastle pick up their first win of the season?

It was amazing to see the Toon pick up a win so early in the season. Obviously we struggled for a while at the start of last season, so the win is a well-earned confidence boost for the team and new manager this early on. And to beat Champions League finalists Spurs at their own ground, too – amazing!

What did you make of the overall experience? Spurs’ new stadium is a pretty decent place to watch football…

Spurs’ new stadium is pretty remarkable, I have to say. They really took care of us, too – huge thanks for that. It was about 32 degrees in that stand, but it didn’t stop the Toon fans giving full support. We had an amazing time. The atmosphere was incredible in there.

You were performing in Portsmouth the night before, so it must have been a busy weekend for you?!

It was a busy weekend. We had a brilliant night the night before the match in Portsmouth at Victorious Festival, right by the sea. I was so excited to see this new Newcastle squad in action the next day. It’s a shame Saint-Maximin had to come off early, but Atsu absolutely shone, as did the rest of the team. And Joelinton did the No. 9 shirt very proud!

How often do you get to see Newcastle play? Reckon you’ll be coming to another game sometime soon?

It’s difficult as I have to travel so much. I’m rarely in the right place at the right time. I think I only managed two games last season, one of them being a 0-0 draw on a rainy afternoon at Crystal Palace. Not quite a highlight.

Living in London I try and get to as many away games as possible. But I’d really like to get back up to St. James’ as soon as possible. There’s simply no greater home crowd atmosphere. I have to thank the hero Alan Shearer for getting me along to a few games last-minute – hugely appreciated.

For those readers who don’t already know, can you remind us how you came to support Newcastle in the first place?

It’s a simple one, really. As a little kid, Shearer was my absolute favourite footballer, like so many youngsters at the time. I remember all of the big announcements when he was signing for Newcastle, I was about five years old and in that moment I decided whoever Shearer plays for is the team for me.

You recently brought out a new EP, Oh My Messy Mind, and have just finished touring with Ed Sheeran. What’s the year been like for you so far?

2019 has been wonderful. Touring with Ed in stadiums throughout Europe is something I’ll never forget – he set the record for the highest grossing, most attended tour of all time. So it was an honour to be a small part of that. Releasing new music is always exciting but right now I’m getting my head down and focussing on making album three. Can’t wait to have more new music to show everyone!

"It was about 32 degrees in that stand, but it didn’t stop the Toon fans giving full support."

James Bay

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