Newcastle United supporters have gathered in central London’s Trafalgar Square ahead of the Carabao Cup final against Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.
Fans of the Magpies have travelled down from the North East in large numbers for the match, their first appearance in the final of a major cup since losing 2-0 to United in the 1998/99 FA Cup final.
The 32,761 tickets allocated to the club at the 90,000-seater Wembley Stadium sold out within a week and the travelling fans have wasted no time getting acquainted with the capital.
Supporters congregated in Trafalgar Square as the sun set, singing terrace chants together, drinking cans of beer and letting off smoke bombs in the club’s black and white colours.
Mehrdad Ghodoussi, the club’s co-owner, posted a picture on social media of him and fellow director Jamie Reuben enjoying the festivities with their hoods up.
One middle-aged fan even stripped to his boxers to enjoy a dip in one of the square’s two fountains.
Other fans congregated around Nelson’s Column in the centre of the square, which commemorates Admiral Horatio Nelson’s victory over the Spanish and French navies at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
One of the songs the supporters were singing was, “Tell me ma, me ma, I won’t be home for tea, we’re going to Wembley” to the tune of 1950s hit Que Sera, Sera.
Another chant saw an alternative rendition of gospel hymn When the Saints Go Marching In, with “Saints” replaced by “Mags”.
Newcastle have enjoyed a rapid rise up the Premier League table since the arrival of Mr Ghodoussi, Mr Reuben and other new investors.
Their Saudi Arabia-led consortium has funded more than £210 million of new signings since taking over the club in October 2021.
Managed by Eddie Howe, Newcastle sit fifth in the Premier League, just one point behind Tottenham Hotspur in the final Champions League qualification spot.
Victory over Manchester United in tomorrow’s final would secure the club a play-off place in next season’s Europa Conference League.
It would be the first time Newcastle have played in Europe since the 2012/13 campaign, when they reached the quarter-final stage of the Europa League.