The judges and the judged: Wolves, Villa and Arsenal among frontrunners …

The 'Who are You?' co-sponsors: When Saturday Comes

Those are some of the clubs whose supporters are picking up points as a team of judges deliberates on the best sets of answers given by opposing fans in our regular ‘Who are You?’ feature. But nothing is yet decided; others within reach of glory in the annual awards include supporters of Liverpool and Newcastle United. Oh, and our own Pete Sixsmith is on BBC Radio Newcastle’s Total Sport programme (6pm-7.30pm tonight, May 9) …

One week from now, Salut! Sunderland will announce the winners of life-changing prizes in the ultimate annual awards ceremony, conducted entirely in the bunker of Monsieur Salut’s French hideaway.

Judging is at an advanced stage, which is all the more shame for John Lichfield, the excellent Paris correspondent of The Independent, whose responses as a Manchester United supporter – he was there when we beat them to deny them a title in 1968 -have yet to grace these pages and can not, therefore, be considered unless someone makes a last-minute change to his nominations.

John will take that on the chin, even though it means he misses out on goodies from the US sportswear supplier and the ever-admirable When Saturday Comes magazine.

The judging panel this year is …

* such Salut! Sunderland stalwarts as Pete Sixsmith (where are your nominations, Sixer?), Malcolm Dawson, Jeremy Robson and Bill Taylor

* Tom Lynn, whose comments at this site are always pertinent and incisive and who was, for one issue only, my boss at The Wearside Roar fanzine

* Paul Dobson, alias Sobs, with special dispensation from our confrères at A Love Supreme

* The BBC’s Martin Emmerson, who used to partner Nick Pickering in matchday commentary for Radio Newcastle and now, among other duties, covers Durham County Cricket Club (catch him at People)

M Salut will have a say, too, but no more than any of the others. I have asked for first, second and third choices and then award five, three and two points respectively to each nomination in order to arrive at the total scores for favoured candidates. I supplied the judges with a shortlist but this was intended to make life easier, not tie their hands.

Jake has prizes for the best answers

The 2012 awards process was introduced at this posting:

. There you can see mention of the prizes and links to all the shortlisted interviews.

I detected an element of weariness on the part of one or two judges and in the reasons a couple of others gave for not being able to join the panel. There was a lot to plough through even if judges struck to my whittled-down list of contenders.

Some readers clearly enjoy the long reads the questionnaires produce but it may be that the feature needs to be sharper and lose a bit of weight; thought will be given to that as Martin O’Neill scous the planet for top quality players this summer. I may also come knocking on one or two other doors as I pressgang prospective new judges.

And my thanks to every supporter who has taken the trouble to respond, often at short notice, to my questions. It amazes me that I managed to find someone for every Sunderland game this season …

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Click anywhere on this sentence for a glance at the home page – and highlights of all the most recent articles …

Click here for the Martin O’Neill ‘Team of all Talents’ mug: ¬£9.50, post-free for UK buyers, from the Salut! Sunderland Shop

Monsieur Salut, by Matt
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