One Old Timer, there’s only one Old Timer

Jake: this one's for Old Time SAFC

He probably wouldn’t expect it. But a special chant of that headline at the final game, versus Manchester United on Sunday, would be a grand gesture, especially if followed by prolonged applause. Just a thought …

When the number of views at a Ready to Go thread sweeps past 25,000, you know it is probably something out of the ordinary. In fact, two days on, I can say – having updated that figure several times – that it is now way past 60,000.

A subscriber to RTG’s Pure Football forum set the balling rolling with the sort of posting that at first seems nigh impossible to reply to but then draws responses by the barrowload.

Old Time SAFC says relatively little about his predicament, but has clearly posted previously about health and would appear to be just 51 but suffering from cancer, or some other life-threatening condition, so advanced that the final game of this season may also be the last one of his life …

See the thread at this link: But this is what Old Time SAFC had to say:

Now excuse my typing skills as written english was never my strong point!

Due to ill health the game next Sunday will be my last watching the lads, From the Roker to the North stand i have been there. Been through a few highs and many many more lows With the lads but would i change it for the world! would i f***.

I have seen the game evolve from Era to Era seen many great players at Roker and the SOl and see alot more s**** grace. but i was there week in week out win or lose rain or shine.

The bastards got me high left me low broke my heart But i fell in love with them and for ever more will be in love with the lads.

SO a message to all the fans still going Keep the red flag flying high we are a great club we have a great fan base a passion other than non we are one big family. We don’t have to get on but we all have one thing in common our love for Sunderland AFC.

I really really hope you get your European trip i will be there i spirit.

Keep the faith. FTM

You now see what I mean about wondering what on earth you say to that. But plenty have risen to the challenge. I will quote two or three examples:

* Blackcat1395 … Emotional reading that mate. Hope they make you proud on Sunday, you deserve it for all them years watching us

* TW2_Mackem … someone should pin this up in the lads’ dressing room on Sunday. If that doesn’t get them fired up nothing will!

* Kingmonkey … Hope you witness one of those rare games where the lads don’t let you down.

* Travis … Very sad reading but I have read some inspirational stuff from u and the others over the months. You guys are the life blood of this club not only with your dedication but your humility and spirit. All I can say is that i hope you get to spend as much time with your loved ones as possible, that you suffer as little as possible and that, if it is your last game that we show Utd and the world that we are Sunderland say we are Sunderland!

There is so much more and I hope Salut! Sunderland readers will spare a little time to glance at – Travis uses the phrase – this ”inspirational stuff”. On my visits to the thread, I have seen decent comments from Newcastle supporters, a reference to David Meyler having retweeted a link and suggestions that the club might be encouraged to do something on Sunday (though in a later posting, Old Timer says he wants no special treatment).

It may not be feasible to expect a chant to start up somewhere around the stadium. The 25,000 I mentioned live all over the world so only a proprtion will be at the game and they will be spread around the stadium. But who knows? A little inspiration from the south-west singing corner could be all it needs to give Old Timer – not precisely his username but it works better and would be perfectly understood – a rousing tribute and the courage to continue the fight …

Monsieur Salut, by Matt

5 thoughts on “One Old Timer, there’s only one Old Timer”

  1. I will reproduce that comment at RTG, Dennis, in the hope it may bring him encouragement.

  2. Dear Old Timer,
    39 years ago, this very week, my Dad, Geordie Hunter, was dying from lung cancer & we were told he had only a few weeks left, He had worked 30 years out of his 53 in a number of Durham coal mines & this had taken it’s toll. Born in Dawdon Colliery, he lived in Portobello, Birtley where I was born, until we moved to London following pit closures in the 1960’s. As you & every Sunderland fan knows, in May 1973, 39 years ago,Sunderland, massive underdogs, won the FA Cup beating the mighty Leeds 1-0. I watched the final with him on TV, he was too ill to go to Wembley, just a few miles away & I had never seen him so happy as on that day. He confounded expectations & survived until September of that year. It wasn’t long but it was treasured. Myself & my family have no doubt that Sunderland’s FA Cup run & their lifting of the trophy in 1973 gave my old man the hope & commitment that extended his time with us for at least six months more than expected. I do not say this lightly, I am a realist, I don’t believe in miracles or any divine intervention. However, I do believe in the capacity of the human spirit to withstand attrition, if only for a limited time. The spark that rekindles this spirit can be struck by lots of different things for different people. Although there will be people who think what I am saying is trite or contrived because they cannot conceive football as being this important, let me tell you I have no doubts whatsoever. For my dad, football was more than a game, and Sunderland was very much more than a club. It is difficult to explain his degree of allegiance & love for the red & white, to those who don’t understand,value or respect such belief. I feel, and hope that you know exactly what I am talking about, old timer, and how I wish I could get this through to the players who will take the field on Saturday. My very best wishes to you and yours, & come what may on Saturday, I shall think about you at the final whistle.

  3. Bill Shankly’s often misunderstood and misquoted remark comes to mind. “People say football’s a matter of life and death. It isn’t. It’s far more important than that!”

    A chant could rarely ever be more deserving. A wonderful idea M.Salut.

  4. The comments on that thread show just how caring many of our supporters can be about someone that most won’t know from Adam.

    Your chant idea, I think is a good one and would give the guy at least one positive memory on the day.

    Let’s hope that it happens and that the team can then make it two!

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