Newcastle United 2 Ipswich Town 2
IT was the sort of day when the sun shone but you could not help but feel a shiver down your spine and goose pimples running up and down your arms. It was the sort of day which made being a Newcastle United fan something special.
When Alan Smith and Nicky Butt raised the Coca Cola Championship trophy above their heads, the roar almost shook the roof off St James’ Park.
Newcastle fans have not had a lot to celebrate and there were plenty, young and old, sceptics and romantics, cynics and hopeless optimists, determined to enjoy the moment.
It was a roar of joy and of release, but also of hope and expectation.
It was a roar which will have been heard a few miles down the road in Sunderland and further beyond.
If their Premier League rivals say they have not missed the Magpies they will be lying, just as any United supporters who say they have not missed the Premier League will be kidding themselves.
The Championship has been good fun, but it should come as a massive relief to be able to leave it behind again.
Through the smiles and the laughter, though, there was something else.
During the celebrations and the cheers there was relief.
Newcastle have dug themselves out of a hole they created for themselves, they have cleaned up a mess almost entirely of their own making and that cannot just be forgotten after ten months of football in an inferior division.
Mike Ashley appears to have fallen back in love with football and the club he owns. Both he and managing director Derek Llambias enthusiastically joined in the celebrations over the weekend and nobody can blame them for that, but nobody should be more relieved than they are.