LIFELONG Newcastle United supporters are sharing their gratitude to an initiative to limit isolation and loneliness among older generations.

Magpie veteran, Rob Waugh, was among 11 million over-60s in the UK who faced lockdowns cut off from the extra care and support many older people rely on daily.

But Football Talks, a Newcastle United Foundation project, launched during summer 2020 by its health and wellbeing team, offered him the lifeline needed with an online support group to bring isolated people closer together.

Building on the charity’s popular Walking Football project for the over-50s, foundation staff developed Football Talks, an informal weekly Zoom call on which participants could chat and reminisce.

Mr Waugh, of Urpeth, County Durham, looked to the foundation for positivity during a difficult time and the chance to relive the feeling of watching his club play at St James’ Park.

“When Covid hit, I got a notification from the foundation to say they were doing Football Talks and those sessions make you feel as though you’re part of the club, you feel as though you’re part of Newcastle United.

“It really creates a community spirit because gradually over the months, you’re starting to know more people at the sessions, and they know you too.”

More information about the initiative can be found on, or on the foundation’s website.

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