Town reacts to Stevenage’s “magnificent” FA Cup victory over Newcastle

THOSE connected with the town have been sharing their thoughts with The Comet on Stevenage FC’s memorable win over Newcastle, hailed by one fan as “the best result the club has ever had”.

Reacting to Saturday’s FA Cup Third Round shock, Cllr Michael Downing, Mayor of Stevenage, said: “I would like to congratulate Stevenage Football Club on their historic FA Cup victory on Saturday. Their magnificent achievement in beating a Premiership side such as Newcastle United has really put the town on the map and has generated a feel good factor throughout the whole community.

“Like everyone else, I am already looking forward to the next round and I wish the club every success against Reading.”

Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, said: “It was a great match and fantastic result. The atmosphere was amazing and the team played their hearts out, they were definitely the best side on the day and I am looking forward to us taking on Reading in the next round.

“This victory has provided a massive boost to the town and has really helped lift our profile nationally, which is vitally important to the work I am doing to attract jobs and investment to Stevenage.”

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Michael Harniman, of Church Lane, Graveley, who has followed the club for the last 13 years, said: “For me this was probably the best result that the club has ever had - not for the 1998 revenge factor but for the fact that Newcastle were made to look like an average club and the neutrals at the game would not of known which side was the Premier League side if they hadn’t of [already] known.”

Fan and Boro turnstile worker Gill Baldwin said: “I have worked on the turnstiles for nearly 16 seasons and, apart from Arsenal coming to play a friendly some years back and the visit of Newcastle first time around, this cup game matched all that excitement for me. I still can’t believe it!”

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Supporting Stevenage since he was four, 16-year-old Matt Farley said: “Boro versus Newcastle was probably one of the best Boro fixtures I have ever witnessed as a supporter of the club.

“There has been some throat lumping results and some astonishing ones, but I’m going to stick to my word and say that the best ever fixture I have been to is Kidderminster away last season (when Stevenage were promoted). But my second place - the game on Saturday against Newcastle - gives it a close run for its money!”

A regular on fans’ forum, poster ‘FC Zulu’, of Woolners Way in Stevenage, was in South Africa when the 1998 Newcastle tie was played.

After taking his place on the terraces this time around, he said: “I am so glad to have seen such a wonderful game and been involved in an atmosphere which was out of this world.

“Maybe it’s my greatest Boro game ever simply because of who we were playing, but maybe there’s more to come - who knows.

“My feelings are that the upsets are not over and Boro are more than capable of ending Reading’s FA Cup dream.”

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