Sunderland 2 West Ham 0: now as then would be nice

Some of us can remember it as if it happened yesterday and we still played at Roker Park.

But it didn’t, and we don’t. Just as Hammers of a certain vintage hark back to a certain date in October 1968, we think of May 12 1980.

There was a difference in the scorelines – 8-0 against 2-0 – but our win was over newly honoured FA Cup winners and, though they started strongly and might easily have gone ahead, our victory secured promotion.

And never forget that the first of Geoff Hurst’s six goals 12 years earlier was, on his own admission, punched into the net; we’d surely have nicked a draw otherwise.

No controversy about our win. Kevon Arnott and Stan Cummins got the goals and the teams – with thanks to the official SAFC site – were:


Turner, Whitworth, Hinnigan, Chisholm, Hindmarch, Elliott, Arnott, Buckley, Hawley, Robson, Cummins (Dunn)

West Ham

Parkes, Stewart, Brush, Bonds, Martin, Devonshire, Neighbour, Pearson (Holland) Cross, Brooking, Pike

Anyway, memories of that promotion-winning last game of 1979-80 season have been occupying the thoughts of some of my fellow contributors to the Blackcats email discussion group.


My first SAFC match. 47,000 in the ground and thousands locked out – including Mr G (fellow subscriber), who was getting p***ed somewhere.

Griff (southern-based, Sunderland roots)

Wow! I was there too, Nic. Got a day off school. Drove up Monday morning from Woking early. Popped to the bakers in Sea Road to surprise my Aunty Hilda, asking how much she was selling her penny buns for. Off down Roker beach to watch lads train. Came back to RP, bought stuff in club shop inc an autograph book which I used when the players jogged back to ground later. I was so excited. Decided to go for Shaun Elliott first.
Then one of them came out later from the changing rooms (can’t remember who) and grabbed my book to take back inside in order to get whole team. I was like a pig in s**t.

Stood in Paddock for game. All the kids around me couldn’t understand why a ‘Cockernee’ (I certainly don’t sound like a Cockney, I’m proper Home Counties) wasn’t supporting Wist Im not Sunderland.

Great night. Got all newspapers on way down the next day, made a scrap book.

Still got it somewhere!


Actually, thinking back on it now, I think the nice SAFC player who took my autograph book back in was John Hawley.

I remember that one too. Drove up from Bristol, my wife a curry in what was becoming known as a great Indian – Taj Mahal? – in Sunderland if we did it, but bought her a Wimpy beforehand just in case. Nic and Griff: might have to nick these memories for Salut! Sunderland


One of the greatest ever nights. Only thing that came close was the Chelsea (FA Cup) QF in 1992 for me.

That night I was in RP at the earliest I’d ever been. It must have been around ten to six. Really early especially for a night game. Countless people scaled the walls and got cut to bits from the glass along the top. We went for a pint in The Gannet after the game, a place renowned for the smelliest toilets in Christendom. Got talking to a lad who was bleeding badly from a cut hand from scaling the wall. He had driven up from Bristol (I don’t think it was you Colin). Remember it all as if it was last week. Wonderful memories of a unique and remarkable night.


No cut hand, no scaled walls. Wife had volunteered to go to the game and I’d made sure we got up early in Bristol, drove relentlessly north and – that Wimpy apart – were in the Clock Stand Paddock queue long before kickoff. So we would have been close enough to you, Jeremy.
Not exactly a football fan, Mrs R had put up fairly well with the tightly packed crowd, and even the buffeting she got when Arnott scored the first, but couldn’t work out why we needed to score again and subject her to a second buffeting.
Stayed with my mother, who had inexplicably moved from Shildon (good) to North Shields (never sees daylight) to Seaton Sluice (bizarre). Like Griff, I compiled a scrapbook – or maybe it was just a couple of pages – using newspaper cuttings, though I didn’t have his youthfulness to justify it. The newsagent’s floor was a priceless sight, even if it was Mag country: every pile, nationals and locals, wiped out with the exception of The Sun. which in those days had no separate northern edition with late enough press times to accommodate evening games.

I’d take an 8-0 revenge win at a different stadium – picture of SoL gates courtesy of Mrs Logic – in Sunday, and Match of the Day’s tut-tutting if Darren Bent’s first of six, and even Asamoah Gyan’s first of two, are clear handball. I’d settle for a scrappy, snowy 2-0, with two own goals.

Colin Randall

3 thoughts on “Sunderland 2 West Ham 0: now as then would be nice”

  1. Davey – I lived in Delaval for a while, and actually built/renovated the harbour at Seaton Sluice in the late 70s. Which is why it’s probably fallen down by now!

  2. mixed feelings on this one! I couldn’t get away from work in Darlo until six, and couldn’t get in to Roker. I spent a while on a house roof out the back of the Fulwell, but could see so little that we buggered off home. I was driving past Ramside when the second went in.

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