We await news of Pete Sixsmith’s weekend with interest. Did he get to a game, any game? In the meantime here’s a heartwarming tale of human kindness …
When you’ve travelled all the way from Toronto hoping to catch a Sunderland win at home to Bolton Wanderers, it must seem a mixed blessing when the consolation for that game’s postponement is an unexpected ticket for Chelsea away.
But that was the fate of the caller to one of the phone-ins (606, I assume, though I didn’t hear it).
I had heard of SAFC fans who, despite the early postponement designed to save people making unnecessary journeys, had unchangeable travel plans or were already back in the North East: a couple of fellow members of the London and SE branch of the SAFC Supporters’ Association, for example, and also one from Norway.
They all seemed philosophical enough, accepting that the authorities were right to call off the game and, in the case of Rob from Bromley, enthusing about the snowy delights of Wearside: “Well flights were delayed three hours last night but Seaburn beach looks just stunning this morning. Covered in snow, clear blue skies with big waves breaking. Only in the NE!”
But what about the lass flying from Toronto? At first, hearing of her disappointment (and that although she’d still be in the UK for Chelsea v Sunderland this Saturday, she didn’t have a ticket), I wondered whether it might be an elaborate wind-up. Doesn’t everyone know that Toronto is just outside Bishop Auckland?
No, she was genuine enough and, by the end of the programme, had her ticket.
A Chelsea season ticket holder apparently called in and said her husband was away in business so she had spare ticket “and would lady like to join her and her next door neighbour at match, next door neighbour being a S’land fan?”.
I feel a Private Eye-style apology coming on:
For some years, we may have given the impression that all Chelsea supporters were either out-and-out thugs, from the lowliest fan to the most moneyed director, or glory-seekers of the first order. In fact the contrary is the case. They are all compassionate and generous folk who see old ladies across roads, dig strangers out of snow and and give loads to charity. Oh, and we’ve got a charming Chelsea devotee, Gill Brown, previewing the same for Salut! Sunderland later in the week.
That might be stretching it too far. Even so, it was a grand gesture.
Now let’s wait to see if having a ticket for the Bridge will, against all odds, bring further joy when the game actually takes place …