Newcastle United stadium vandalised in protest over name change

Former title 'St James' Park' has been spray-painted on walls in a demonstration of disproval against new moniker

Newcastle's stadium has been the victim of vandalism as fans refuse to accept the new title ‘Sports Direct Arena’.

The old name of the stadium, St James’ Park, was officially removed on Thursday, prompting the protest, as walls near to the old lettering were targeted. The incident is rumoured to have occurred overnight, with workmen seen removing the paint on Friday morning.

A 29-year-old man was arrested in association of the act, and has been charged with criminal damage.

A Northumbria Police spokesman stated: "At 1.57am today a man was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage after a wall was vandalised at the Newcastle United ground.

"Michael Atkinson, 29, of Hareydene, Newbiggin Hall, Newcastle, has been charged with criminal damage and is due to appear before Newcastle Magistrates on March 7."

The announcement of the name change was made in November, but the city council have committed themselves to using the old St James’ Park moniker, that has been a part of football history for almost 120 years.