The only thing in the world that truly matters tonight is that Sunderland duly got the three points needed from the game against Birmingham. Two nil, might have been three.
But that wonderfully vast world of SAFC support ought to be aware that among the fans who witnessed this crucial victory was one Charlotte Ord. All of eight years old, she was making her first visit to the Stadium of Light. I hope she will never forget that she saw her team win.
I needed to be thousands of miles away to know of Charlotte’s SoL debut. My day had started with a slightly despairing search for somewhere in Abu Dhabi where the match would be screened. The late kickoff had me worried.
Then I was told that the Sports Bar at Le Meridien hotel was my best bet. It still took careful negotiation to convince bar staff that however many screens they would be devoting to Arsenal’s demolition of Newcastle – Wise Men (don’t) Stay surely – one must be given over to SAFC v BCFC.
A corner was found. Billy No Mates took his place, pretending to care little about the loud commentary from the Emirates stadium – a Gooner had badgered a barman into turning up the volume – and settling for commentary/sound-free footage from our game.
And we won. Won. WON. WON.
A colleague who supports Fulham had a less special night (draw at Bolton) but proved lively company. But between our goals, I was joined by another Sunderland fan, Jeff Ord, here on business (he is managing director of the emergency resources division of Asset Co and was previously Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services in Scotland).
He was great company, our team for once gave us joy and we both went (will go, in my case) to our beds happy.
But what about Charlotte, Jeff’s granddaughter, back in Sunderland? What an introduction to the fabulous club to which you have pledged your allegiance.
She and her family have one more duty to fulfill. To find and e-mail a picture of Charlotte in SAFC clobber of some kind. I will then place it on this website.