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Shearer’s paradox

Like most big football clubs, Newcastle United doesn't understand the magic it works—as the official club tour proves

By Robert Colls   September 2006

We were in the Milburn stand of Newcastle United football club. The foyer smelled of last night’s cigarettes, and although full ashtrays are not what you nowadays associate with “a top European football club,” in that stand, dedicated to that man, they were fitting. Jackie Milburn liked a smoke. A famous picture of Newcastle’s greatest hero has him happy as Larry, with boots around his neck and a tab in the corner of his mouth.

There were 20 of us. We’d paid £8 each for the Newcastle club tour, and along with my brother and his family, and me with…

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