Sunderland, Newcastle and things we have in common

Look: these are just random thoughts on a quiet day/night. Joan Dawson, who edits here whenever M Salut is away or incapable, or both, has a bundle of old editions of 5573, later known as Wear Down South, estimable newsletter of the London & SE branch of the SAFC Supporters’ Association, which will end up at the council tip unless someone claims them. Best response to this modest posting gets the lot, with M Salut paying the postage. A Mag winner – and be patient if your comment takes a while to appear – could always have a ceremonial bonfire …

Any mention
of Newcastle brings Mags to the site in droves, and I am delighted that it does.

Broadly speaking, they loathe us and we, being more sportsmanlike, have misgivings about them.

But there is an awful lot we have in common:

* if we were born or grew up in the North East, we are the North vs the South

* stripes

* Paul Bracewell, Michael Chopra, Lee Clark, Robbie Elliott, Tommy Gibb, Shay Given, Mick Harford, David Kelly, Bob Moncur, Pop Robson, Len Shackleton, Barry Venison, Chris Waddle, Stan Anderson, Ron Guthrie, Lionel Perez, David Young

* that list was filched from Wiki Answers so blame them, not me if there are wrongful omission and inclusions. Without thinking too hard, I could add Jeff Clarke

* we all detest noon kickoffs, whether we are yobs or their casualties

* we loathe them even more if we cannot get tickets, or get there, and have no proper TV access

* long-term underachievement and self-delusion

* we like, if we have the slightest taste in music, the Unthanks and Bob Fox

* we all grew up, if in the North East and if of a certain age, in households where the older ones drank (courtesy of a discussion at the Blackcats loop, whose members provide the quotes):

a) Cherry Bs

b) Cherry B and cider (“used to be quite popular with the girls round our way and was nicknamed “‘The Knicker Dropper’ by the lads”)

c) Pony (“another girly drink with a kick in a tiny bottle”)

d) Babycham (“eeeeh me Mam used to drink it to look posh”)

e) Double Diamond, Watneys Red Barrel, Whitbread Tankard

And those of us who knew him liked – regardless of whom he or we supported – Kevin McElderry, and lots of us warmed to the story of SAFC-supporting Georgia Lewis and her Mag bridegroom Paul McMillan.

Add your comments , decent and law-abiding, on any funny, strange, unusually friendly aspect of the Wear-Tyne divide … people commenting for the first time may experience a short delay for moderation.

Monsieur Salut

27 thoughts on “Sunderland, Newcastle and things we have in common”

  1. Some great replies in here, along with those that are at the edge of acceptability (I’m not referring to Malcolm’s inexplicable dislike of the Unthanks and Vin Garbutt.

    Keep them coming and I’ll announce the recipient of Joan’s collection of London branch magazines in the coming days.

  2. I am now exiled doon sooth and am a proud Sunlund supporter and tell everyone who cares to listen. I was born in Newcastle and brought up just outside and consider myself someone from the North East, not a Geordie or a Mackem. My grandad and uncles went to both SJP and Roker alternately on match days even though 75% of my family were Sunderland fans, they always travelled together and derby days was full of banter. My cousin is a die hard member of the Cartoon Army as are his kids while I am red and white through and through. We rip the pee out of each other all season without maliciousness and always have a bet on who finishes higher. I have friends in the village I grew up in who are Toonheads and as with my cousin its banter nothing more.
    We can live side by side without the outright hatred and I enjoy the Cartoon Army being in the same division and look forward to the games with apprehension. Its a long drive back after a defeat. There are a few Toon and Mackem fans where I live and believe it or not we do drink together, especially as we are outnumbered by Manure ,Chelski and the Arse fans and we defend our corner especially as everyone of North East persuasion was actually born there and not a glory hunter. We are proud North Easterners and always will be

  3. Terry’s right. Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Geordies support Sunderland. I’d say the majority of Newcastle fans are not Geordies, if you use the Tyneside definition. Call them what they are: mags. And less than half Sunderland’s support are Mackems. I wish people could understand the difference.

  4. We should be grateful for the Mags existence if only for the amusement they ceaselessly provide for us.

    “Boycoutt” banners, their top player being decried as a “Mary Poppins,” the various Keegan fiascos, Mike Ashley in general, Dyer and Bowyer fighting on the field, pitch invasions at Darlington. The list just goes on and on and on. The “gift that keeps on giving” is so rightly named. If it was anyone else it would be so, so sad. As it’s them it’s just plain funny. Don’t ever stop doing what you are doing. We love it.

  5. As this is a Mackem/Mag thread with a touch of folk music thrown in, perhaps I confess that I once bought the Toon supporting Billy Mitchell a pint at a festival where he was performing. But, in mitigation, I was sporting a TWR tee-shirt emblazoned with a picture of Shack and his immortal quote “I’m not biased against New***!!. I don’t care who beats them.”

    BM still drank the pint though!

  6. Terry M are you genuinely taking the post seriously? Colour blindness is not restricted to Geordies. Nor is a humour bypass.

  7. Duing the 60’s the trains from Newcastle to Sunderland were crowded with Newcastle fans for Sunderland’s home games, and there were long queues at Seaburn station following the end of the game. I don’t know if the reverse happened for Newcastle’s home games.

  8. Once upon a time there were two brothers, one turned left and the other right. Despite being of the same blood and family

    –snip & cont–

    In the meantime the 666 bus remains a scheduled service between Noot but Hassle and Sunderland but the prospect of a Geordie reaching the gates of heaven let alone passing through them remains as remote as ever.


    So, into which category do the many thousands of Tyneside born Sunderland supporters fall? People like me who are more than happy to be a Geordie.

    County Durham and Tyneside born, but never a Mackem.

  9. That track I find one of the more tolerable M. Salut but on the whole not to my taste. That’s not to say I can’t appreciate their musicianship but not everyone has the same tastes. Gosh I even know people who like Vin Garbutt and Pete Morton both of whom I’d travel miles to avoid!


  10. Once upon a time there were two brothers, one turned left and the other right. Despite being of the same blood and family an antipathy grew between them that festered into hatred. In their case there may have been some logic because the decision to turn in different directions gave one lot all the oil and the others a wilderness in need of billions of American gold to transform it into a green and pleasant land riven by unbelievable debt. The dichotomy in their case was further exacerbated by a perverse decision to choose the same God but a different bus route to reach him. Both Arab and Jew each believed that the others bus had the devils sign of 666 thus few ever found the promised land.

    No prospect existed for a meeting of minds despite huge tracts of their religious beliefs being identical.

    Some might view the Geordie / Mackem divide as similar in proportion, however what used to be a jocular banter between brothers was allowed to escalate, through violent spoilt children bent on causing violence and mayhem, through a special club called Footy Hooli Gans. The lack of logic between a group of people close knit by family ties was nonsensical. Bound together in blood through constant interbreeding, instigated by enthusiastic Rievers and Vikings, who raped and pillage with gay abandon, this intermingling of blood continued through the middle ages. Even today when similarly enthusiastic contributions to the single parent family stock of the region continue. Saturday night forays into each others territory, by grown children, bent on washing the taste of Gregs pasties from their tonsils with copious draughts of alcohol until, semi-conscious, all restraint is lost is a regular occurrence.

    So close are the interbred tribal families that each chose stripes for their football team. Only the vestigial colour blindness on one side of the family, those North of the Tyne, ensured that when they too tried to choose red and white all they got was the black and white to go with their steam driven televisions.

    Passion dictates that love and hatred are two sides of the same coin but banter fun and rivalry better fits adults with the ability to enjoy logic and reason. Violence and hatred is the residue of those incapable of achieving adulthood and remains the stamping ground of out of control naughty children. We should be capable of admiring the strengths and qualities of our rivals and winding them up unmercifully, without resorting to abuse.

    In the meantime the 666 bus remains a scheduled service between Noot but Hassle and Sunderland but the prospect of a Geordie reaching the gates of heaven let alone passing through them remains as remote as ever.

  11. sunderland have people at the top who care about the club and its fans. while at sid james park they have had a bunch of pricks running it, remember the all geordie women are dogs story or taking the p*** about newcastle fans being ripped off in the club shop! then there was the time the mags took the club to court because they paid a fortune for a bond to have the same seat for ten years then the club moved the seats! now ashley has turned up to milk the club dry.if i were them id start going to gateshead fc games!!!!!

  12. As a Newcastle fan, simply the acknowledgement that we have shared Jackie Milburn, who I believed played a couple of games for Sunderland during the 2nd World war, which was a common occurance then; that Bobby Robson attended Sunderland games, which was traditional at a point of time in the NE when those from Tyneside and Wearside attended both sets of games, still did it until late age, sends more of a message why we have lots in common just to pick a Toon based example. But long live the rivalry, Nothing worse than finishing below you guys. Literally.

  13. goalmouth paul bracewell and barry venison went from us to scum and where outstanding if i recall for you

  14. After tonight we also have a minority of idiotic ‘fans’ in common that love to invade pitches and ruin matches.

  15. Er…a bit like scotland hating england way more than the english can be arsed with.
    mackems hate Geordies way more than the other way round, not surprisingly.

    You lot come to Newcastle, we never gan to s*land unless there’s a game on.

    So, personally,
    not chowed.

    Have any players gone from s*land to Newcastle (apart from given loan at you lot, sale to Newcastle)?

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