Today, we find out a bit more about Leazes Flags and what they are all about. I put a few questions to them last week and the answers are going to make mags excited for what is to come in the near future.
First of all, I would like to thank Leazes Flags for taking the time to answer the questions I put to them and for giving such great and in-depth responses.
How many people are part of Leazes flags?
Since launching last Monday, we now have over 4,500 followers across FB and Twitter which has been very encouraging indeed. Within the group, which consists of people who have put forward a desire to help/volunteer in various ways, we are already over 100 but we don’t want it to stop there. We want and hope we can get support from many more mags, the more the merrier. This will only be successful if as many people as possible get involved in this project.
How did the idea come about?
The idea has been there with me for some time now and by speaking to fellow mags, I am not alone. After last week’s game against Liverpool, our group thought ‘why not have that in the Leazes End?’. So, on Monday morning I got in touch with Gallowgate Flags to make sure they had no objections and to see if they could offer us any advice. They fully backed us and have been a great help already. I then met with the club on Tuesday, who were also very receptive to this idea and those talks continue.
When are you planning to do your first display?
This is really dependent on how the talks continue with the club. Ideally as soon as possible, but of course there are health and safety aspects to consider. Once they are concluded, we will be closer to bringing the displays to the Leazes End. We have already raised in one week enough to fund around eight flags, so we have got off to a great start. Our overseas fan groups have all been in contact with us showing a desire to fund their own flags for us to fly for them, which we think is an excellent idea and support fully.
Have you got any ideas for flags you can share?
We decided to ask all mags last week to put forward ideas for flags and we have been inundated with suggestions. Our aim is to produce as many as possible, so we have a great variety that capture all aspects of this club. Initially, we plan to put a vote in place to ask fans which ones they want to see in our first display and that will be published for people to vote on later this week.
Some of the ideas that seem to be most popular are: Bobby Robson, Kevin Keegan, Cheick Tiote, Gary Speed, Manager Montage and Jamaal Lascelles; they are just a few of the many excellent suggestions we have received. We want to give everyone the opportunity to have an input into the designs they want to see.
Do you feel like you can emulate what Gallowgate Flags have done?
A: Put simply, yes. Based on our first week, if that kind of goodwill continues we can see excellent times ahead for the Leazes End and a superb contrasting display to compliment what we can see in the Gallowgate.
Q: What do you think you need to do to make your plans a reality and/or success?
Once we have established official sign off with the club, then we can really get moving. That is the first hurdle we have to get over. Based on the take up so far, we are 100% confident this will be a success, it can only be a success with mags’ help and support and that is something we have had in abundance thus far.
Q: Where will you be in 3-5 years time?
We can envisage a sea of flags right across, up and down the whole Leazes End with a singing section established. A match day experience that is truly enjoyable, singing and chanting all the way through the game and we hope to be renowned once again for the atmosphere at SJP. We can be that ground that no teams want to come to!
Q: What would you say to fans in the Leazes who are opposed to your proposal?
As yet, we have not encountered any negative feedback on this. I think we can all see from the great work of Gallowgate Flags that this helps bring a better atmosphere along with the visual benefits of seeing the flags. The pride that we all feel when we see them in full swing is hard to measure! I am sure some will not like them, but hopefully, they can see that the aims of this group are to help improve the atmosphere at our end of the ground. That is something we can all agree has room for improvement.
Once again, we would like to thank Leazes Flags for taking the time to participate in this Q&A. We would also like to pledge our support to them and offer any help in the future with design ideas or getting their ideas out there.