A Banner Alternative

Newcastle United fan Darren Curry has organised for a plane to fly over Sunderland’s Stadium of Light tomorrow, with a message reading: “United by cancer divided by leagues”. The message has appalled the majority of Newcastle and Sunderland fans alike. Frankie Sherwood, Bradley Lowery and Hope Feeney are incredibly brave at such a young age, they have really united everyone together.

It’s a bad sign. If anything, a positive message about the regions support for cancer victims – without any mention of the rivalry, would have been a better alternative.

The banner is seen as revenge for last season, when Sunderland fans organised a plane to fly over St James’ Park with the message that read: “Auf Wiedersehen Prem Tyne To Go”. I have never been a fan of these sort of things but each to their own.

As a Newcastle United fan myself, I am no different to the majority. I am all for something to raise money to help the families and to raise awareness, however I believe there are much better ways of doing so. It is fantastic to raise money for the cause, however doing it while mocking Sunderland is not right and does not sit comfortably with me. Cancer is a horrible disease and one that nobody should go through.

The initial idea of raising money for those affected is a great one, however, personally I believe a better message should have been organised. Doing it this way can easily be seen as causing offence, which i’m sure wasn’t the intention when organising it.

An idea that came to my mind was having a charity game Newcastle Legends v Sunderland Legends, with all money raised going to the relevant charities, the foodbank could also be in place before the game, we would then be helping another great cause. It would show that both sets of supporters have been united by these incredibly brave children. I believe it a much better way to raise awareness and to raise more money for those affected.

Though I doubt this will reach the families affected, on the off chance it does, I would like to say that everyone is with you and Frankie, Bradley and Hope have all warmed our hearts with how brave they have been. Keep fighting.