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Saturday 15 February 2014

History matters: Newcastle stars launch Toon Times exhibition

Foundation project collates memories and memorabilia from fans,players and staff at the Magpies

Shola and Sammy Ameobi among the players at official opening of new club exhibition

Newcastle United stars past and present came together last week to launch a new Toon Times exhibition that will take fans on a journey through the club's history.

Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi and Paul Dummett joined Faustino Asprilla, Bob Moncur, Brian Kilcline, Steve Harper and Alan Foggon at the city’s Discovery Musuem to see the historic artefacts and interactive displays that will be open to the public at the free exhibition until 5 October.

The exhibition is the highlight of the Toon Times educational initiative which preserves and brings to life the heritage of Newcastle United and benefits fans of any age.

"The exhibition is fantastic," said Shola Ameobi, who was raised in the area. "We all have great memories of the club through the years so it's great to learn more about those special moments which have made Newcastle United what it is. I’m sure supporters will really enjoy it."

"It's great to learn more about those special moments which have made Newcastle United what it is"
Shola Ameobi

Toon Times began in 2012 and has collated stories, memories, photos and memorabilia from fans, players and staff involved with the club. It is funded by the Premier League PFA Community Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and by North East supply-teaching agency First Class Supply.

The project is being delivered by the Newcastle United Foundation to 15,000 children across 430 Tyneside schools. Toon Times improves the literacy and learning techniques of children through the use of historic artefacts, props and re-enacting famous Magpies moments. Youngsters learn about local history in school-based lessons as well as visits to the iconic St James' Park and the scheme has involved contributions from a whole host of Newcastle United legends.

It is not just young people who have enjoyed taking part in Toon Times. Older people have also benefitted as the fan recollections included in the project helps stimulate conversations and memories among them, including those with dementia and other mental-health issues.

"As an educational programme, Toon Times continues to be hugely successful in engaging young people in schools across the region so we're thrilled to see it come to life as an exhibition," said Kate Bradley, head of the Newcastle United Foundation. "The club has a wonderful history and proud traditions and the exhibition aims to capture those in a really interesting and interactive way. We would encourage as many supporters as possible to come along and experience it between now and October."

  • The Toon Times exhibition is open until 5 October

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