The Swansea City vice captain will be backed by plenty of his friends and family on the weekend as he goes with his team mates to Newcastle – fulfilling a childhood dream in the process.
As a staunch Sunderland supporter Tate always wanted to play at St James Park and despite never managing it before now he does just that tomorrow with the Swans just three places below the home side prior to the match.
And with his family hailing from the area it was no surprise to hear of the demand of tickets from the Tate clan as Alan explained to the Evening Post “I think it’s cost me about £400 in tickets
“You get two complimentaries from the club, but I have had to buy another 21 tickets for my family and my fiancee Linzi’s family.
“There are still people who want more, but some of my mates have had to buy tickets in the home end.
“A few of them are Newcastle fans anyway to be honest, but all my family are Sunderland so they’re in the Swansea end.
“Some derbies around the country aren’t so fierce,” he adds.
“But Sunderland-Newcastle is very similar to Swansea-Cardiff.
“I remember the last time I went to one of the derbies, in 1997, Newcastle fans were banned from Roker Park and vice versa.
“I have never been to a derby at St James’, but I’ve seen a couple at Sunderland and the atmosphere is superb.
“It’s like Swansea-Cardiff, but on a bigger scale because they are bigger places.
“Really they should still be in the Premier League,” reckons Tate.”It’s a club and a city which deserves top-flight football.
“When you get there, the first thing you see is St James’ Park, it dominates the place, and the fans are brilliant.
“As long as they keep all their players in the January transfer window, I think they will go on and win our league, so it’s obviously going to be a big test for us.
“They are like the Manchester United of the division, the biggest club with the biggest fan base.
“And you look at the players they have got — (Fabricio) Coloccini and (Jonas) Gutierrez are expected to go to the World Cup with Argentina.
“They have an English international in Alan Smith, Shola Ameobi might be going to the African Nations Cup with Nigeria.
“Then there is Steven Taylor, an England Under-21 international, and Kevin Nolan, a good Premier League player.
“They have all proved themselves in the top division so that shows how difficult it’s going to be.
“People will say that if they play well and we play well, they will win because they have better players,” Tate concedes.
“But the way we play, we know teams find it difficult against us.
“If we pass it and keep it and break up their attacks, as we did at West Brom, there’s no reason why we can’t get a result.”