DESPITE there being no crowd at Rodney Parade for Newport County AFC's Carabao Cup clash with Premier League Newcastle United one Magpies fan will be given pride of place.

Robert Godden, who was an ardent supporter of the Premier League club, passed away on August 10, 2008, leaving two children - six-year-old Kai, and Tegan, five.

He was 22 years old.

Growing up, Robert's dream was to attend one of his beloved Newcastle United's games.

His mother, Suzanne - a Newport County AFC fan - promised him that she would take him to watch Newcastle United in action one day.

However, she was unfortunately unable to do this as Robert passed away at just 22.

Now, after discovering that the Magpies will be travelling to Newport following their convincing win against Morecambe in the third round, she will finally be able to fulfill her promise to her late son.


Fans are unable to attend Wednesday evening's historic game - the Exiles' first game in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup - due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite this, the club have made special arrangements so that Robert will be the only supporter to proudly take his place inside the stadium.

A photo of the life-long Newcastle supporter will be attached to a seat in the Pure Vans away stand, ensuring he will be watching on when Steve Bruce's side take on the Exiles.

Robert's mother, Suzanne, speaking to Newport County AFC, said: "Robert was a huge Newcastle fan from a young age.

"If you asked him what he wanted do when he grew up, his reply would be ‘goalkeeper for Newcastle’

"I always promised him I’d take him to a game one day, but sadly it never happened.

"His funeral was football themed; he was buried in his Newcastle kit with a Newcastle flag over him as a blanket.

"We had black and white horses with a black carriage, and everyone wore football tops.

"He had a Newcastle flag on his coffin too, and his grave has Newcastle memorabilia on it with a black and white fence.

"His photo being at the ground when they play us would mean I have finally kept my promise to him that he would see his team play."

After seeing off Watford in the last round, County now face Premier League opposition in the form of Steve Bruce's Newcastle United, a game viewed by Newport manager Michael Flynn as a "very very tough challenge".

"Let’s not dress it up," he said.

"You see what they’ve done to Morecambe last week (7-0), who are in our league.

"They’re taking the competition seriously."

The Newport manager said he was glad the fixture was being played on home turf, even without the Amber Army in attendance.

"It gives us that little bit of advantage in terms of being used to our surroundings," he said.

He added that County's opponents would also be fully motivated ahead of tonight's clash, with potential winners medals in mind.

"I think Newcastle themselves have got a better squad this season," he said.

"They’ll be looking at is as a chance to get to a final or win some silverware.

"You want to get a result against what you perceive to be their first team.

"Yes, it makes it harder, but it is doable because we’ve done it in the past."