Football Blogging Awards: even Dylan and Darwin couldn’t save us

Charles Darwin

STOP PRESS: Monsieur Salut writes: I could have sworn the Football Blogging Awards website had November 7 as the closing date for votes. I looked again today, wondering whether to make one final plea for support, and found that the preliminary stage is now over and shortlists have been announced. We are not to be found. but thanks hugely to all who voted for Salut! Sunderland in any of the categories and may the best of the remaining blogs and bloggers prove triumphant. I’ll leave the original post intact below so that you have an idea of the categories and a link to enable you to cast votes in the playoffs if you wish …

Jaake swears Dylan and Darwin voted for us, but not often enough
Jake swears Dylan and Darwin voted for us, but not often enough

THIS IS HOW WE INTRODUCED THE 2014 AWARDS – use the link if you wish to vote for the finalists

It is time to vote in the annual Football Blogging Awards. There are some big guns in the field and Salut! Sunderland is under no illusions about its chances of picking up an award. We are not sure this is how it works in the Oscars but invite you, all the same, to consider voting for us. You can go directly to the voting form at, or read on first to learn a little about one site courting your support. Salut! Sunderland qualifies for votes in four (not three as I thought) of the 11 sections: Established, Forum, Club and Young Blogger …

Salut! Sunderland
was launched at the beginning of 2007 as a one-man blog, an offshoot of my Salut! site on “France, current affairs, travel, the media – and more besides”.

Almost immediately, my friend from County Durham childhood Peter Sixsmith offered the first of what would grow into hundreds, perhaps thousands, of contributions on all things concerning our shared passion for Sunderland AFC. We’d been following the club since the early 1960s, Pete more actively since he never permanently left the North East, let alone the UK.

The site of 2014 bears no comparison with the results of those early efforts. I am now assisted by three other editors – Malcolm Dawson (whose sister, Joan, had been a huge help in the early stages), John McCormick and Nic Wiseman – and a dozen or more regular contributors. Pete’s magnificent accounts of games home and away still serve as the lifeblood of the site but other individuals have been generous with their own time, application and skills. Jake, out in Spain, tirelessly conjures up the striking images you see day after day.

There are many of those days when I am mightily proud of Salut! Sunderland. An exceptional piece of writing, by Pete or one of the others, still sends a warm shiver down the spine. A incisive slice of polemic, or some kind words in times of unhappiness for a player or manager or supporter, may draw in thousands of people, including fans of other clubs, who would not ordinarily think of coming here. The Statcounter measure of readership levels may reach a new milestone (a million, then a second million much more quickly than the first and the total now stands at more than 2,523,000).

There are gloomier days, too. The site may suddenly freeze or become painfully slow to navigate; it happens to much bigger sites but they are necessarily better equipped to put things right. An outstanding article may inexplicably attract a paltry readership. An advertiser might decide to end the modest support that helped keep us afloat – no one gets paid, except very rarely when beer money is somehow available, but there are running costs that won’t go away.

But what amounts to a labour of love always seems worth pursuing. Kind words from readers, or people met at games, mean a lot. The recognition of opposing fans that we do a decent job can be heartening, too.

That was a long way of saying Vote for Us.

Anthony Cooper, the founder of Football Blogging Awards Ltd, reminds us that the process has begun to “recognise and award the best football blogs around the world”.

Anthony goes on: “There are hundreds of thousands of football websites, of which the majority are managed purely for the love of the game. The Football Blogging Awards are designed to reward these unsung heroes.”

His partners in this noble enterprise our old friends at Campo Retro, until recently a valued advertiser at Salut Sunderland and sponsor of the odd competition.

The awards scheme also does its bit for good causes. Its current nominated charity is the Sporting Memories Network, following in the footsteps of Football Unites, Racism Divides, The Justin Campaign and perhaps others.
Now your turn. There are 11 categories.

– Best Established Football Blog
– Best New Football Blog
– Best Football Podcast
– Best Video Football Blog
– Best Football Forum
– Best Female Football Blog
– Best Club Football Blog
– Best Young Football Blog
– Best Social Football Account
– Best Gambling Football Blog
– Best FPL Football Blog

If you think Salut! Sunderland deserves it, please vote for us in one, two, three or even four categories: Best Established Football Blog, best Football Forum and/or best Club Football blog. And the fourth is Young Football Blog; if voting for us there, you should answer Keir Bradwell of Salut! Sunderland (14 at the end of September and regularly contributing many-by-man player ratings).

If you prefer another site, or have suitable candidates in other categories, please exercise your voting rights accordingly. Anthony Cooper is proud of a voting process that relies 100 per cent of the views of supporters. The awards ceremony takes places on November 13 at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

Go to for easy instructions on how to castt your votes.

M Salut, drawn by Matt, adapted by jake
M Salut, drawn by Matt, adapted by jake


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Jake flags the new feature allowing you to have your say on topic or off
Jake flags the new feature allowing you to have your say on topic or off

Fancy leaving a comment? Not sure what you have to say fits this post? Go to the made-for-purpose feature – – and say it there.

1 thought on “Football Blogging Awards: even Dylan and Darwin couldn’t save us”

  1. If there was a category for “Best fan site for a club you don’t support” I’m sure we’d walk it.

    As it is I’m proud to be associated with M Salut, Malcolm, Pete Sixsmith et al. It is always a pleasure to have a pint with them at Goodison and Sunderland, not to mention Wembley, and to read their posts.

    Roll on the 3 millionth reader and their mug.

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