Stop worrying about our decline or gloating at Newcastle’s. As a worldly postscript to our Mackem diaspora articles, help yourself to a blue, Sunderland-flavoured lollipop …
The recent series on Sunderland supporters who find themselves in far-flung corners of the world presented some great anecdotes and personal stories of exile from the North East or, in some cases, not even coming from there but having family connections to be clung on to.
In the course of the series, which brought together reminiscences that had been posted at the Blackcats e-mail loop, I also mentioned a Google map on the same theme, created by Neil Chandler.
Neil’s own story was quite succinct:
“I’ve been in London since leaving Sunderland in 1995 aged 25. I don’t miss Sunderland, but I do enjoy visiting family and friends up there; and I do miss the sea and being able to get to home games easily – I haven’t made a single one this season.”
But Neil’s bright initiative has been a stunning success. At the last count, the map looked as if it would pass the 5,000 mark within a few days.
“Blimey,” Rob Hutchison exclaims at Blackcats this morning, “just looked at the map again today – almost 4,700 hits, and we are spread truly far and wide! It’s great to see where some of the names reside. Do we have any South American lurkers about to pop their heads up?”
To add your name the map- link below – you grab your own blue lollipop icon and move it to where you are. My first go had Stephen Worthy observing that I “appear to live on the Toulon to Ajaccio ferry” but I was able to bring myself ashore at a second attempt.
There are only 30 or so names attached to the map so far.
This may be because a lot of people are as technologically illiterate as M Salut. Neil almost certainly had me in mind when he wrote: “If only everyone could see the blue lollipop so easily and put a new one down rather than editing other peoples, or the map title …”
The victim of my unintended lollipop smash and grab had been Bill Young, who was listed as “Sherburn to la France profonde”; I think he’s up in the Beauvais area north of Paris. Someone – Neil? Bill himself? – has managed to restore him to the map so all’s well.
But Salut! Sunderland has loads of readers who live away from the North East, whether in other parts of the British Isles or overseas, and it would be great to see their names attached to lollies of their own. Just try not to nick mine.
** The Blackcats map can be found by clicking here
The Mackem Disapora series: