Middlesbrough ‘Who are You?’: Alan Comfort’s broken career and fond Boro memories

From winger to author to parish priest
The relatively few Boro fans who have seen Alan Comfort’s excellent – I would say, but there it is – interview with Salut! Sunderland have given it mixed reviews.

Alan – now the Rev Alan Comfort, who moved on when injury cut his career short at 24 and became a Church of England priest – talked about lots of things: his career, his ruined hopes, his faith, his outlook on football, cheating and sky-high wages. And he predicted SAFC 0 Boro 1 in Sunday’s FA Cup 4th round tie.

From the ComeonBoro website came this:

* He has obviously lost his senses (from “Ridsdale”: in fairness, this was an apparent reference to Alan’s heart-before head prediction of a Boro win in Sunday’s game).

* privatepile:

Alan Comfort sounds like a right soft twat.

* Critical Bill:

I remember his volley at Leeds, and the Parky Kevin Poole calamity in the last minute.


Very Graceful (no pun intended it was how he played) winger was Comfort, i remember him playing and it was such a shame he had his career cut short as he looked an exceptional talent.

Here, then, is a sample from the interview:

Salut! Sunderland: Tell us a little about your spell at Ayresome Park: who were the individuals who stood out while you were there, either as players or as people? And what did you make of the town – not everyone’s idea of idyllic – and the area?

I remember it as if yesterday. Just married before I arrived, my wife Jill cried as we entered Middlesbrough for talks but my heart soared. I loved the area and travelled regularly to the dales and York and so on which Jill did love! We lived in Durham near the training ground at the time and loved the people we lived by and their friendly and straight forward manner. There were mad Sunderland and Newcastle families around us there and all so genuine. The players were a great group who had been together for some time in what had been an amazing revival at the club under Bruce Rioch. Tony Mowbray, Colin Cooper, Gary Parkinson, Stuart Ripley, Bernie Slaven, Mark Proctor. I could go on and everyone I remember. Some real characters like Trevor Putney who made us all laugh. In that group were some really top people not just great footballers. People with values and strength of character. I have watched from afar but a number of those in the group have suffered tragically for those so young and yet handled themselves with such quality. I am really proud to have known them for however short a period..

See it in full at https://safc.blog/2012/01/boro-who-are-you-the-stars-wife-who-cried-on-seeing-middlesbrough/

Colin Randall

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