Saturday 30th December 2017, 4.20pm (day 2,319)
I have been to a lot of football matches in 2017 — around 25, give or take (I have lost count myself). But one distinction was claimed by this, the last match of the year — it had the biggest crowd. Around 52,000 were present at St. James’s Park, Newcastle, today to see them take on the mighty Brighton and Hove Albion — and everyone to leave rather underwhelmed by a 0-0 draw in which neither team seemed willing to take on the initiative. Frankly if there’s one thing the year’s football has shown me it’s that the 220 people at Mossley v Kendal Town last week (5-4) may well be getting rather more for their money. But we keep coming back, week on week. Amazing what tribalism can do isn’t it?