Sunderland and Everton: more in common than Premier history suggests

Jake: 'heroics please, Lads'
Jake: ‘heroics please, Lads’

There are clubs
we loathe, clubs we quite like and clubs we couldn’t really care less about.

I say “we” but each category necessarily involves a subjective view. Our own Pete Sixsmith has a (deeply negative) thing about Crystal Palace; I have a soft for them even if their ground is a tip and presents a series of spiked logistical hurdles. I quite like Liverpool; Sixer emphatically does not, or at least not post-Shankly and Paisley.

We’re all expected to detest Newcastle and some of us do, while others like to beat them and finish above them but otherwise couldn’t really care less.

But lots of Sunderland supporters feel affection for and affinity with Everton and I often get the feeling these sentiments are mutual.

Certainly, the comments left by Evertonians here over the seasons have done nothing to dissuade me from that view. Of course, there’ll be a few Sunderland fans who remember a rotten day out, for whatever reason, at Goodison and Evertonians who fell snooty about us, given the fairly wide gulf in achievements in recent times.

In my preview of Sunderland vs Everton at ESPN, I offered similar thoughts:

… On recent history, Everton are more of a nut for Sunderland to crack than Man City, who have left Wearside pointless on each of their past four Premier League visits, even while scratching their heads in amazement at how the defeats happened.

Everton have fared better, winning one and drawing two of the last four Premier visits; the one defeat, when Stephane Sessegnon’s winner maintained Di Canio’s own successful battle against relegation in the spring of last year, was the only one since 2001 …

… Sunderland and Everton are clubs with much in common, though some Toffees fans would glance at post-Second World War records and scoff at such a notion.

Goodison is a handsome relic of the sort of stadium — Sunderland’s grand old Roker Park included — that the Rangers-supporting architect Archibald Leitch created or helped to create around the British Isles.

Neither club has won the Premier League, but Everton have nine top-flight titles, Sunderland six. Both resist the impertinent idea that they live in the shadows of bigger clubs Liverpool and Newcastle United, respectively. Peter Reid was a hero at each club, albeit in different roles, and several players — Paul Bracewell, Kevin Kilbane, Alan Stubbs, Don Hutchison and, now, Jack Rodwell among them — have served both with varying success.

As one Evertonian [Bernard Walker in his excellent ‘Who are you?’ interview with John McCormick] put it this week, ‘Sunderland, and the North East, have so much in common with Merseyside, economically, socially and culturally.’

The mutual respect is tangible, at least among older supporters. But the love-in will end abruptly on Sunday afternoon. Everton would expect to win, while Poyet would privately be content with a point. I’m with the manager on that, while desperately hoping for better.

salut sunderland jake

That’s just a flavour of the piece as a whole, which can be seen at

But I’d be interested to hear from fans of both clubs on whether there is anything in the theory that they tend to get along quite well …

** See all our SAFC vs Everton buildup by going to the home page – – and effortlessly navigating from there.

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

3 thoughts on “Sunderland and Everton: more in common than Premier history suggests”

  1. I believe Everton have been involved in our relegation on more than one occasion, the last league match at Roker, but no great infinity.

  2. My favorite article by a Sunderland fan was David “Chalkie” Dawson’s ITHICS piece on his nightmare trip to Everton on the infamous Jimmy Hill relegation night (and did not paint a good picture of the Evertonians I’m afraid).

    With phrases like (if I remember correctly) “My Wrangler jacket covered in piss and police horse slaver….” it was a nostalgic work of genius.

  3. Sunderland also ran out to Z CARS. (JOHNNY TODD) And it’s a shame that has been dropped. It spikes an atmosphere. Makes the hair stand on the back of the neck. The people are similar in their spirit and humour with enormous numbers travelling both home and away. I’m an EVERTONIAN and shared a train journey all the way from London to Newcastle once with a load of Sunderland after a match. I laughed all the way. Brilliant. Long live PETER REID!!!

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