Tyne & Wear

Newcastle United wrought iron gates unveiled

Gates being reinstalled at St James' Park
Image caption The gates have been set up in front of the Milburn Stand

Historic iron gates are being officially unveiled after returning to Newcastle United's football ground following a 14-year absence.

Since their removal when the stadium was expanded, they have been in storage at the Northumberland home of the club's former owner Sir John Hall.

Following a campaign by fans they have now be reinstated in front of the Milburn Stand.

A ceremony is taking place ahead of the first home game of the season.

Known as the Leazes Gates, the two-tonne wrought iron structure was installed in 1989.

Dense undergrowth

They were removed in 1999, and transported to farmland at Woolsington Hall in Northumberland, where it was initially planned that they would form the entrance to a new club training centre.

When planning permission was denied, and the club eventually changed hands, the gates remained hidden away beneath dense undergrowth.

Two years' ago a project involving a supporters' group and Sir John Hall's Magpie Group led to discussions with club officials, and the decision to reinstall them.

Steve Hastie of NUFC Fans United, said: "This marks the culmination of almost two years of hard work and demonstrates how communication between supporters and the club can produce positive outcomes.

"From the moment the historic ground name St James' Park was removed, we made it our aim to do something that preserved the name in the city.

"This monument does exactly that and we are delighted that our perseverance paid off."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites