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Newcastle United Football Club are an English professional association football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear. The club was founded in 1892, by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, and has played at its current home ground, St James' Park, since. The ground was developed into an all-seater stadium in the mid-1990s and now has a capacity of 52,387. The club has been a member of the Premier League for all but two years of the competition's history, and never dropped below the English football's second tier, since joining the Football League in 1893. In 2007, long term chairman and owner Sir John Hall sold his share in the club to Mike Ashley.
They have won four League Championship titles and six FA Cups, as well as the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and the 2006 UEFA Intertoto Cup. Newcastle United has the eighth highest total of major honours won by an English club. The club's most successful period was between 1904 and 1910, when they won an FA Cup and three of their First Division titles.
They have a fierce local rivalry with Sunderland, and the two clubs have engaged in the Tyne–Wear derby since 1898. The club's traditional kit colours are black and white striped shirts, black shorts and black socks. Their traditional crest takes elements of the city coat of arms which features two seahorses.
Supporters of Newcastle United are drawn from all over the North East and beyond, with supporters' clubs all across the world. The club's supporters are also known as the Magpies, the Geordies or the Toon Army. The name Toon originates from the Geordie pronunciation of town. In a 2007 Virgin Money survey of football supporters who held season tickets or otherwise paid to attend games, it was found that Newcastle fans were the most loyal in terms of making sacrifices to attend the game. In a 2004 survey by Co-operative Financial Services, it was found that Newcastle United topped the league table for the cost incurred and distance traveled by Newcastle based fans wishing to travel to every Premier League away game. The total distance traveled for a fan to attend every away game from Newcastle was found to be equivalent to a round-the-world trip. In the 2009–10 when the club were playing in English football's second tier, the Football League Championship, the average attendance at St James Park was 43,388, the fourth best for an English club that season. At the end of the 2011-12 Premier league season, Newcastle United held the third highest average attendance for the season of 49,935. This figure was only surpassed by Arsenal and Manchester United, the only two clubs in the premier league with larger stadiums.
The club's supporters publish a number of fanzines including True Faith and The Mag, along with NUFC.com, which was established in 1996. They set up Newcastle United Supporters Trust in September 2008, aiming to "represent the broad church of Newcastle United's support".
In addition to the usual English football chants, Newcastle's supporters sing the traditional Tyneside song Blaydon Races.
Traditionally, Newcastle's main rivals are Sunderland, against whom the Tyne–Wear derby is competed.
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