Blackburn 0 SAFC 1: baby steps to safety


Introducing James Mayne (if the current choice of first name sticks*), one of Sunderland’s youngest fans, who had to fight off dodgy approaches from Blackburn Rovers – and a “beat Bolton or else” ultimatum for his first match – before establishing his Mackem credentials. He is pictured sleeping it off after celebrating the win …

Whatever Ellis Short says to him today, Steve Bruce knows his job is safe for now from those snipers who had been on alert to go into service for Salut! Sunderland.

Six more points from the next two homes games and he’ll have repaired most of the harm done by the atrocious run. Even four points would be an acceptable return. Hopes springs eternal.

But Steve is not the only one with reason to be relieved about last night’s ultimately comfortable dismissal of Bolton.

Step forward young, as in two days young, James Mayne.

On Monday, James’s dad, Scott proudly announced the birth on the Blackcats list. After soaking up the stream of congratulations, along with a bit of bleak humour about the life of Sunderland-supporting agony that lay ahead of the poor mite, he added the thought: “Lets hope my son kicks off life with three points tomorrow night!”

Salut! Sunderland being in vengeful mood, the riposte wrote itself: “Sack him if he doesn’t, Scott.”

Jeremy Robson, a familiar figure at Blackcats and this site, thought this a bit harsh given all the understanding we’d shown Steve Bruce. “Ha’way Colin!,” he pleaded. “Give the bairn at least a couple of games.”

Then, like the fleet of London buses that arrives after you’ve been waiting hours for one, along came four goals when one had seemed nowhere in sight.

“I’ve just offered him a three-year contract (with the option of a two-year extension)!” Scott revealed. “I’d just spent the last 24 hours warning him about the endless disappointment that lies ahead of him and they go and knock four in.”

* Scott on Scott (and Jayne, and James): We are Scott & Jayne and we live in Lymm, Cheshire. I am from Gateshead but have lived away for 11 years now though still get to 75 per cent of games. Mrs is a Blackburn season ticket holder (one of nine, I believe) so I have had some resistance to disposing our son to the red & white stripes. Just deciding on a name for junior, James looks likely after Lori and Niall were point blank rejected.

Just told the missus that given the evidence so far, we should be planning the next!

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