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New Boys Discover Toon Times With Local Boys Club

Two of Newcastle Unitedโ€™s latest star signings discovered even more about their famous new football club on Thursday by visiting a special Magpies exhibition with local youngsters.

Dutch international footballers Siem de Jong and Daryl Janmaat, who made high profile transfers to Newcastle this summer, joined 20 children from Redheugh Boys Club at the Toon Times exhibition inside the cityโ€™s Discovery Museum as part of their first community appearance for the Newcastle United Foundation.

The free exhibition takes visitors on a journey through the clubโ€™s long and colourful history and was specially commissioned in February 2014 by the Foundation โ€“ the clubโ€™s official charity โ€“ in partnership with Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums.

The exhibition has achieved record-breaking visitor numbers in excess of 200,000 people since opening, with more than 50,000 people flocking to its opening month. Thousands more visitors expected before it concludes on 5th October 2014.

As well as enjoying a tour of the museum โ€“ one of the cityโ€™s most popular attractions, the two players took part in a special quiz with the children at the end of their visit to test their knowledge on all things Newcastle United.

Siem, who was appointed as one of the clubโ€™s two vice-captains shortly after his arrival on Tyneside, said: โ€œWe had a fantastic afternoon meeting the children and looking through the exhibition with them. It was great to learn more about the club that weโ€™re so proud to represent and to do it in a really cool way.

โ€œOne thing that is obvious about Newcastle United is how important the club is to the people of the city. The passion is unlike most places. Weโ€™ve already learnt so much about the Newcastle United Foundation and what it does to use that passion to achieve great things and as players, weโ€™re really happy to support that.โ€

With funding from the Premier League PFA Community Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and North East teaching agency First Class Supply, the Toon Times exhibition is the culmination of the Foundationโ€™s Toon Times educational programme, which is improving the learning techniques of 15,000 children across 430 Tyneside schools.

Complete with a replica playersโ€™ tunnel, dressing room and fanzone, the exhibition embraces the Newcastle United Foundationโ€™s ethos of using football as a powerful tool for learning and community engagement.

Kate Bradley, head of the Newcastle United Foundation, said: โ€œThe Foundation relies on players such as Siem and Daryl generously giving their time to support our community projects so weโ€™re incredibly grateful to have had them here today.

โ€œThe Toon Times exhibition has been an overwhelming success and has really brought the educational aspect of what we do to the fore. The children loved meeting Siem and Daryl and learning more about the club they love and we hope theyโ€™ll take that enthusiasm back into the classroom as they continue with their education.โ€

Gavin Ferry, Toon Times project coordinator, said: โ€œWe are all exceptionally proud of the exhibition we have created at the Discovery Museum and the number of visitors shows just how good the exhibition is.

โ€œWe set out to take Newcastle United to the fans and we have more than achieved that through our outreach programme and the exhibition. I would encourage anybody who has not already been to the exhibition to get along and see it before it closes.โ€

To find out more about the Newcastle United Foundation and how it works with 50,000 young people and their families across the region each year, please visitย

The Discovery Museum is located in Blandford Square, close to St. Jamesโ€™ Boulevard, and is open from 10am-4pm midweek and 11am-4pm at weekends. Admission is free.

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