The Football League Paper - - NEWS -

ON a Tues­day night back in April 2010, New­cas­tle and 2,431 of their fans made the long­est jour­ney in English football, an 820-mile round trip to play Ply­mouth Ar­gyle.

There, with a com­fort­able 2-0 win, they clinched the Cham­pi­onship ti­tle, rel­e­gat­ing the doomed Pil­grims in the process.

Ply­mouth’s Green Army would have been within their rights to re­sent their op­po­nent’s achieve­ments, and rain on their pa­rade.

But they didn’t. As the PA sys­tem played Blay­don Races and Lo­cal Hero, Home Park rose to ap­plaud the Toon Army. A ban­ner was un­veiled con­grat­u­lat­ing New­cas­tle on their pro­mo­tion, even as their fans in­vaded the pitch.“Fan­tas­tic hosts,” said Toon keeper Steve Harper.“It was just a won­der­ful place to be.”

It is a ges­ture that has not been for­got­ten.When Ply­mouth were strug­gling to pay their staff dur­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion in 2011, New­cas­tle fans made a video pub­li­cis­ing their plight and money was raised for a hard­ship fund. It is some­thingTran­mere would do well to pon­der af­ter re­fus­ing Bournemouth per­mis­sion to lift the League One tro­phy at Pren­ton Park.

Ini­tially, Rovers tried to pass the de­ci­sion off as a polic­ing is­sue. How­ever, af­ter the lo­cal cops de­nied their claims,we were left to as­sume a more spite­ful mo­tive.

If so, what a grubby trick. More than 2,000 Bournemouth fans made their way to theWir­ral yes­ter­day, pour­ing money into Tran­mere’s cof­fers. Those who stayed overnight won’t even get back for Sun­day’s pro­mo­tion pa­rade.Would it have been so hard to let them cel­e­brate?

But hey-ho.You can’t buy class. And as Ply­mouth found out, what goes around comes around.

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