A Christmas football wishlist. 3 (R-Z): the return to Roker Park, Paraguay for the cup


OK Father Christmas, père Noël, Papá Noel, ??????????, ????? ??????? – this completes Salut! Sunderland’s Christmas wishlist. We’ll leave your usual bottle of beer and cigar by the Christmas tree …

R is for Roker Park. We wake from the dream to find ourselves back on/in the (much modernised) Fulwell, Clock Stand Paddock, Roker End, wherever it was we used to stand (or, for those who already did in those days, sit). The Stadium of Light’s great and all that, but can you actually fall in love with the East Stand?

S is for Salut! Sunderland which reveals, in late January, that a consortium including Sir Tim Rice, Lord Puttnam, Gina McKee, Alan Price, Steve Cram and Kate Adie has purchased the site. Press speculation suggests a selling price of at least £1.99. “It won’t change our lives,” says Mr Sixsmith.

T is for the trophy we’d all like Sunderland to win (haven’t decided which one; Barrow (h) is too close to call to allow us to count just yet on it being the FA Cup)

U is for the unbridled joy we feel on winning that trophy (see T); seeing Steve Bruce win three manager-of-the-month awards in a row (see B); finishing sixth (also see B) and watching Bordeaux and Newcastle’s promising seasons fall apart (see L and G).

V is for a collective V-sign to the Football Data Co for its preposterous denial of the freedom of fanzines to say who their teams may be playing on coming matchdays.

W is for the World Cup. Paulo César da Silva started the thought process, the red and white stripes clinched it. Santa should note that our team for South Africa is Paraguay. Let England do well, of course, but that’s too easy; Salut! Sunderland backs Paraguay unless and until they come up against England.

X is for The X Factor. X being for draws, we’d like an x or better from Man United (h), Chelsea (a), Arsenal (a), Man City (h), Liverpool (a), Aston Villa (a), Spurs (h) – plus lots of 1s flor home wins begtween now and May.

Y is for a memorial to Lev Yashin, one of the best goalkeepers in football history. The 20th anniversary of his death falls on March 20 but his soul won’t mind another burst of the song that starts: “Aye, aye. aye aye, Monty is better than Yashin …..”

Z is for the zoology department of Cambridge University, which announces in February that it is to conduct a comprehensive study of supporters of a certain London football club. Footage from events during a game at Upton Park will assist in the research. The press says there is only a remote chance of the scientists detecting human life.

* With thanks to Alex McGibbon and his pages at Flickr for the photo of our fellow Paraguay fans.

11 thoughts on “A Christmas football wishlist. 3 (R-Z): the return to Roker Park, Paraguay for the cup”

  1. Sorry Sunderland fans but i’ve just had the funniest few minutes in ages listening to ‘Dirty Monkey Mackems’ on utube (Just key in the title of the song). It’s a true example of the ingenious Geordie art of combining music with toilet humour and schadenfreude at it’s mocking best. To be fair i would love to see a suitable response from the mackems (if you’ve got one)- and i promise i could laugh out loud if it’s as good. Schadenfreude is the enjoyment of laughing at the misfortune’s of others, and as a lifelong authentic Geordie i’m wondering if you found a suitable retort. Come on Mackems, it should be easy for you now so lets have it! Don’t worry, we don’t, we learned to laugh at our misfortunes ages ago but remain the most forever fans in the world- a miracle in the modern game.

  2. feel free to drop me a line Jim on sam[at]footballunited.com at any time – it would be good for Colin to have the competition of a Geordie around 😉

  3. Salut! Thanks for the offer-il have a think about it, but im worried i dont know enough to make it work- about football or blogs-didnt really expect to have a piece on your site to be fair, this would just annoy Sunderland fans surely? I admit, im only fooling around and retaliating with my posts the majority of the time-having said that, i can hold my own when i need to-not sure my grammar is perfect though, but i can usually spell ok-

    Sam H, I had a look at your site-its tempting-i would like to know more if thats ok-not before christmas though i doubt, yikes! im getting scared now-being offered pieces on blogs! lol-have a nice xmas anyway all 😉

  4. Jim: the offer’s open. Write a Toon fan’s piece for this site and provided it’s literate or editable, it will be published. But you’ll need to use a proper e-mail address if posting a comment to say you’re up for doing it. The one you’ve used so far appears to be fictitious. Post a comment with the real one (which will not show up on the site) and I’ll get in touch.

  5. U is for Up, always a very good place to be.

    V is for the Vainglorious Victims of tabloid misinformation who can’t get it through their Venomous heads that being top of the Championship still only makes them the best of a bad lot. Temporary best, at that.

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