Both sides now: the Newcastle v Sunderland build-up

If anyone still wants to enter the Tyne/Wear derby competition, the prize is now a choice between a copy of Ian Black’s pictured book and the Lance Hardy account of Sunderland’s famous last FA Cup win, Stokoe, Sunderland ’73. See footnote …

Countless thousands of people have caught the Tyne/Wear derby fever.

Those of us getting long in the tooth may sort of just want the whole thing over, preferably with three points (and that goes for fans of either side) in the bag.

Others hang on to every detail of the build-up to a game that captures imaginations around the world and is seen, rightly, as a fair English equivalent of the Old Firm or Milan derbies.

We’ve been very busy at Salut! Sunderland over the past week. There are now only a few hours to go.

But this, for those who may have missed any or all of it the first time around, is a summary of our coverage (just click on the title in each case). It comes from both sides of the divide …

* “Another voice: on coping with Newcastle” – lessons to Steve Bruce from a Mackem

* “When Dr Feelgood felt good, then bad” – a rocker remembers a chilly moment on Tyneside

* “Alan Shearer penalty points” – anecdotes from the 2000 Toon/Wear derby

* “Harmless banter or poisoned hatred?” – Keith Topping, writer and broadcaster, give a Mag view

* “Suffering in the rain at St James’ park” – Pete Sixsmith remembers wet, wet, wet

* “Newcastle away … at Roker Park” – now Pete finds himself watching on the right day, at the wrong ground

* “Talk of the Tyne meets the Wear” – a second Toon look at the game.

And if you want something completely different, a story that has both tragic and uplifting elements but puts all the puerile hatred to shame, hark back to:

Georgia’s tale: when Sunderland/Newcastle tribalism loses meaning.

I’ll take any remaining entries for the little competition mentioned below – just send brief memories of past derby encounters as Comments to this posting – up to kick off.

Now, enjoy the game – if you can.

* *** Share your memories of derby games – Tyne-Wear on this occasion so save any Roker/SoL reminiscences for later inthe season – and you could win a copy of Lance Hardy’s excellent book Stokoe’s Sunderland and 1973: the story of the greatest FA Cup Final shock of all time, or the Ian Black Mackem/Geordie book featured in the photo.

Monsieur Salut

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