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On a cold May evening, Newcastle United rose to the occasion to beat Middlesbrough. But the team owes it all to their fans

A survey conducted in 2007 found that, at 129 decibels, Sunderland’s crowd was the noisiest in the Premiership. I had no way to measure but I doubt that was anywhere near the loudness of the roars that filled St James Park on a cold Monday evening in May, when Newcastle United beat Middlesbrough 3-1. I can’t recall a Premiership crowd, perhaps any crowd, that has thrown up such an unbroken wall of sound. The noise had a tangible, physical quality and the players responded with a display of exhilarating football. This was a chorus that almost became the principal; for…

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