Bid for unique piece of Sunderland memorabilia. Or expect Mick McCarthy round to ask why not

The famous top: bid for glory

This is not a competition as such but an auction. I thought we had a Sunderland top signed by the players then assembled under the command of Roy Keane but it turns out that it dates from the Mick McCarthy era (see the fascinating story of how it originated in the fifth comment below). Whether or not my use of “unique” is strictly correct, please bid generously …

Faithful readers of Salut! Sunderland may have guessed by now that if the site could pay enough to live on, and keep the workers (ie The National Union of Peter Sixsmith, or NUPS) from becoming restless, Monsieur Salut would give up other work like a shot and do nothing else but keep it buzzing.

Sixer, having retired from teaching, is back in the classroom, a phenomenon known to anyone familiar with the lives of retired teachers. So he might be hard to bring on board. Which would, in turn, make it tough to fill the pages.

But then nothing of the sort is likely to happen. As I was saying in a plaintive missive to all Salut! Sunderland contributors yesterday, the site might as well have closed down for the summer had it not been for Stephen Goldsmith and John McCormick and, yes, Sixer.

M Salut has been as lax as anyone; leave aside the proper reason I had for going quiet recently and I have to admit that nothing has happened with regard to SAFC to inspire me to write a word. So why should I expect others to break sweat for the site?

But here’s a classic close-season sort of jape.

Stephen Rowley, a Northern Ireland supporter encountered through the recent James McClean debate, has offered us a Sunderland top dating, he thought, from the Roy Keane era and signed by his squad. When I asked him to provide more information, he found he was mistaken; it’s from even earlier, when Mick McCarthy was the boss. Stephen tells a great story about the top’s origins in his comment below.

Use the Comments field to register your bid. Please make sure to use your real e-mail address when posting. The address will be not be seen publicly but will enable me to make contact if yours is the top bid.

I will announce a closing date later – in fact “later” has arrived and the deadline is July 31; see second comment below – and have assured Stephen that I will personally pay £25 for the top if no one bids higher. It is for a good cause which I will allow Stephen to explain:

You sound like a dyed in the wool Mackem and I was wondering if you could help me. I run a yearly charity for the Marie Curie Hospice in Belfast where my mother was looked after prior to her death and I always get great support from friends but one of them brought me an article which unfortunately no one wanted as there is a dearth of Mackems in Newtownards!

He brought me a Sunderland shirt which is signed by all the players – it’s brand new so was obviously never worn by any of the players (it’s when Vardy’s were the sponsors). It’s gathering dust in my house and I was wondering if you could put the word out amongst your mates to see if anyone would be interested in it – I’m not looking for anything ridiculous for it, just a token donation to the charity.

If Mme Salut does not object, I will admit that mention of Newtownards brought back memories of a brief romance with one of its prettier products. But that’s long ago … get bidding.

Monsieur Salut, by Matt

5 thoughts on “Bid for unique piece of Sunderland memorabilia. Or expect Mick McCarthy round to ask why not”

  1. I can’t believe the offers which have already been made – shows there are still good people out there.

    I’ve just been speaking to my friend John who got me the shirt and as always there’s a story behind it. His young fella (Karl Berry) had been over at Sunderland on trial when he was about 15/16 and he hurt his arm playing one day but the physio told him he had only bruised it and he continued to play on in the trials for two days but he didn’t do himself any justice as he was in agony (for good reason as it later transpired). When Karl came home he was still in great pain and John took him to hospital in Belfast who confirmed that he had broken it – no much wonder he couldn’t show off his skills (he was supposed to have been a smashing young player).

    John rang Sunderland that day and told them what had happened as he wasn’t best pleased about the (lack of) treatment Karl had received – the youth team coach (a Geordie John seems to think which would explain everything!!) apologised profusely and asked if there was anything he could do and the next day the signed shirt and a signed ball arrived at their house.

    John in now back living in Manchester but he told me he knows a few who were connected with Sunderland quite well (Peter Reid being one) and he also had Phil Bardsley over in Dundonald doing a few coaching sessions with Dungoyne Boys (the youth team John helps out with that I mentioned earlier today)

    Our next function is on the 17th November so I’ll make sure you and your fellow Mackems get a mention – cheers once again.

    John tells me that Karl was on trial about 8/9 years ago which means it cannot have been in Keano’s time as he only became manager in 2006 so it must have been under my old friend McCarthy (who you know better than me also took you up to the Premiership).

    The shirt has obviously been signed by the players of that team (I’ve tried to recognise them but as I can hardly recognise my own signature I don’t know them) and not Keane’s team.

  2. And that’s a wonderful bid on your part Graham. Thanks for setting the ball rolling in such spectactular fashion. Let me say now the deadline for bids is midnight on July 31 (and I’ll decide when midnight is – UK, French or WordPress time)

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