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Fan of Big Tone: A Lifetime of Supporting Notts County


Fan of Big Tone, a devoted Notts County fan, has been supporting the club for many years. When asked how being a fan of Tony Hateley influenced his support for Notts County, he replied with great fondness. 

He recalls the excitement and buzz in the city when it was announced that Hateley had re-signed with Notts County for the 70/71 season. Fan of Big Tone was one of the 21,000 fans who packed into Meadow Lane to see the return of the messiah, Tony Hateley. He describes it as an unforgettable experience that still brings a lump to his throat.

That season, Tony Hateley scored 22 goals in 29 matches, leading Notts County to win the 4th division title. It was Fan of Big Tone’s favourite season ever. As an 18-year-old with no ties, he had the freedom to travel far and wide to watch Notts play. He travelled by train with a group of friends and also in the back of a friend’s battered old van. Those were happy days indeed.

Although Fan of Big Tone had been an ardent fan of Notts since he was around 9 years old, that game and that season cemented his love for the club. Tony Hateley is and always will be his all-time favourite Notts player.

In a recent interview, Chris Buckley asked Fan of Big Tone about his expectations for Notts County before the start of the past National League season. Fan of Big Tone responded with cautious optimism. "To be honest, I was hopeful that this would be our year.

"The owners gave me confidence that we could make it a special season along with the new management team and some promising sounding signings. 

"But as always, being a Notts fan for over 60 years, I’ve had too many false dawns, so I wasn’t counting my chickens."

Fan of Big Tone’s cautious optimism is understandable given his long history of supporting the club and the many false dawns he has experienced. However, when asked about the play-off final, he said: "It was an unbelievable end to an incredible match. 

"I’m not ashamed to say I cried even though I wasn’t there but watching on the television.

"The tension was unbearable and not really good for my 70-year-old heart, but I survived and enjoyed celebrating afterwards with more than a few pints of real ale, which in the morning I did regret having a few too many." He added.

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"In a word ecstatic, I was particularly pleased that we have regained the “Oldest Professional Football League Club in the World” accolade. 

"Notts are too big a club to be languishing in the 5th tier of English football, but they don’t have an automatic right to be in the league, and they had to have the right ownership, management and players in order to achieve that. 

"This season it all came together to give the fans the thing they most wanted, a return to league status."

Matt Palmer and Macaulay Langstaff have been instrumental in Notts County’s push for promotion to League Two this season. Their performances have not gone unnoticed by the fans, who have rewarded them with prestigious awards. 

Palmer was voted as the Pride of Nottingham Player of the Season, while Langstaff received the club’s Player of the Season accolade.

"Matty is an incredible player and must be one of our best signings. Everything seems to go through him, and it’s very rare he has an off match. 

"He reminds me of a player from my era who was known as “The King” and his name was Don Masson. Matty in my opinion is the new king." he replied,

When asked about Macaulay Langstaff, Fan of Big Tone said: "Well his record speaks for itself, and it’s an award he very much deserved, although the player of the season could have been won by a few players this season I believe that Macaulay richly deserved the honour. 

"Regardless of whether he stays with us or not, his record-breaking season in front of goal will go down in history and will be talked about for years to come. I don’t think the record will be beaten for a long, long time if ever, in my many years of watching Notts I’ve never seen anything quite like it."

Notts County ended their four-year exile from the Football League by beating Chesterfield on penalties in the play-off final. The Magpies' smart recruitment and consistent performances under manager Luke Williams paid off as they secured promotion to League Two.

"As long as we have the Reedtz brothers as owners, I think we will be okay. I see no reason why we can’t progress and eventually reach the championship. 

"It may take several years, but I really believe it’s achievable. However, let’s take it one step at a time and secure our place in League 2. If we reach the playoffs, that will be a bonus."

We encourage all fans who have read this article to get involved and join in with the Pride of Nottingham discussions.

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What a fantastic read! @Fan of Big Tone’s love for Notts County is truly inspiring. It’s amazing to see how much the club means to him and how it has been such a big part of his life. His memories and experiences are so touching, and it’s great to see them being shared in this article.

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Tony Hateley was a legend and it’s great to see him being remembered so fondly by the fans. His impact on the club and its supporters is clear from Fan of Big Tone’s story. It’s wonderful to see how much he meant to the fans and how he will always be remembered as a Notts County hero.

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@Chris did an amazing job with this interview. @Fan of Big Tone’s story is so touching and it was captured perfectly in this article. The way he describes his experiences and memories is so vivid and it really brings the reader into his world. Well done, to you both!

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I can relate to Fan of Big Tone’s cautious optimism for the future of Notts County. As a long-time fan myself, I’ve also experienced many false dawns and disappointments. But with the Reedtz brothers at the helm and a strong management team in place, I’m hopeful that this time things will be different. Let’s hope for the best!

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The description of Tony Hateley’s return to Meadow Lane gave me goosebumps. What an unforgettable moment that must have been for all the fans in attendance. To see their hero return to the club and lead them to success must have been an incredible experience.

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I’m excited to see what the future holds for Notts County under the Reedtz brothers’ ownership. They have already brought success back to the club with promotion to League Two, but I believe there is potential for even more success in the future.

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The play-off final was such an incredible moment for all Notts County fans, myself included. To see our beloved club finally achieve promotion after four years in exile was an unforgettable experience. I’m glad @Fan of Big Tone got to experience it too, even if it was just on television.

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Pride of Nottingham

Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest professional football club. Created in 2013, it has served as a source of Magpie news, features, match previews, reports, analysis and interviews for more than three years.

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