Some of us are old enough to remember the red card protest. Others steadfastly refuse to look back in a revisionist way and say what a grand chap he was after all. And the luminary of British film who worshipped him? Read on …
Five years ago today, as safc.com has helpfully pointed out, Bob Murray – now Sir Bob – stood down as chairman of Sunderland AFC, handing power to Niall Quinn and the Drumaville consortium.
People’s memories, one way or the other, remain strong.
Here are some views from the Blackcats site:
Overall, I think his record is fine. He could have invested at the
right time, when we were in the top 2, but a good stadium and some
fantastic football with Quinny and SKP. Overall a decent chairman
(especially when compared to the likes of Cowie). I know there will be some who disagree with me, but they are wrong.
History will judge him to have done a good job, all in all,
particularly with having the drive and vision to build the SoL.
Give it a rest about the stadium. Everybody else has got a new one
too. Murray was a crap chairman and those who disagree with youj are
You would think that Murray was down at Wearmouth Colliery with a
trowel and bricks, building the place himself.
A chairman who was happy to just avoid the drop every year, and that’s official.
Give over, Jeremy, most clubs dont have a new stadium and plenty went down
the route of jamming seats onto terraces, building new stands in cramped
stadia, or building new grounds which are too small for PL football. Murray
was criticised for thinking big at the time but he was right. He made
mistakes but he saved the club in the mid-80s and deserves a bit more credit
now he’s gone.
No real affection for Bob Murray here. To quote my dad, “the best thing
about Bob Murray is that he’s not Tom Cowie”.
You can bet there’ll be more from both sides. My own recollections tilt towards him on the stadium – I’d have preferred a rebuilt Roker Park but this was not feasible – and against him on the entirely unnecessary relegation of 1997, when reasonable investment would have saved us. I still remember listening to the starting line-up being announced at home games and thinking there must be some mistake: it ended with Stewart and I was sure there should be another striker who’d been forgotten.
But we all have our thoughts on his reign. Salut! Sunderland leaves you for now with the words of David Puttnam – Lord Puttnam, of course, as he is – as I reported them after interviewing him for Wear Down South, newsletter of the London and SE SAFCSA branch, at a time when Bob was still Chairman Bob and otherwise plain mister. The interview was repeated here at this link:
Stand by for a controversial pronouncement. Put down anything breakable or boiling hot that you might drop or spill. Lord Puttnam is anxious for Wear Down South to hear his considered opinion of Bob Murray.
“I absolutely worship him,” he says. “He’s quite wonderfully good, and has an amazing way of making you feel part of a very special family. He lives and breathes that club. I was watching him at Spurs and you could see that every kick, every movement of the game was etched on his body.
“He has effectively poured his life into the club. The most ardent fan of Sunderland AFC hasn’t a quarter of the commitment Bob has got”.