Caribbean delight: find a young winner of the Salut! Sunderland mug

Jake flags our new columnist
Jake flags our new columnist

Anyone who was paying attention will have noticed that the winning title among those suggested by readers for David Moyes’s post-game e-mails, which Salut! Sunderland will get round every matchday or soon afterwards to posting, was “Moyes on the Boys”.

So the author the phrase qualifies for the promised mug …

Snag. The rules are that the recipient of Salut! Sunderland prize mugs must have a UK delivery address. The winner, signed JEL but turning out to be Jennifer Lowery, lives thousands of miles away in the Caribbean and her “UK forwarding address is a houseful of Mags”, implying a high risk of broken crockery never mind the fate of any neighbouring horses that neighed in protest.

Jennifer kindly suggested either a) donating it to a child who might appreciate it or b) recycling it for Guess the Score. Let’s go for the first (a third might have been for Monsieur Salut to stump up the postage but I’m sure that too, would have been contrary to Jennifer’s wishes).

So this is the challenge to our merry band of readers. Nominate any deserving recipient aged 16 or under – the mug will contain the boy or girl’s name as No 12 in the dressing room image – and say in a dozen words or fewer why he or she should receive it. To maintain the usual spirit of prize mug awards, the child need not be a Sunderland supporter, but feel free to stop any pocket money for as long as it takes.

We’ll make an arbitrary decision as to which is the best, most compelling or wittiest reason and the nominee will be sent the mug. To somewhere in the UK!

The winning nominee's name goes on the back of the No 12 shirt
The winning nominee’s name goes on the back of the No 12 shirt

And Jennifer?

Here’s her part of the Mackem Diaspora story, provided at my request:

Jennifer as seafood

I am in the small Caribbean island of Nevis (Neevis) part of the Federation of St Kitts & Nevis, totally anglophone.

I’ve been a supporter for 50+ years, from being a pupil at Houghton Grammar School. I remember winning class sweepstakes on cup matches, but I can’t remember what we bet on (time of goal?, person to score?). I wasn’t a regular at Roker Park, maybe two or three games a season, but I did see Russia v Italy there in the 1966 World Cup (as, of course, did our own Sixer).

All my working life after university has been spent in the West Indies, in five different countries, but I have been settled in Nevis for 35 years. I’m an “ought to be retired but not yet” landscape gardener and to the best of my knowledge the only Sunderland supporter on the island.

I know of one Mag, who I am responsible for bringing here, one supporter each of Liverpool, Spurs, Norwich, a couple of Leeds and Leicester returnees and of course some authentic and manufactured Man Us.

For most of my years out here, supporting Sunderland was limited to maybe hearing Saturday’s results on the World Service or coming across the occasional English Sunday newspaper so I became a cricket enthusiast (West Indies specifically) and what more rewarding team to support during the 70s and 80s?

Then came the internet and I was introduced to the term “Mackem” for the first time (this was never a label in my youth), then broadband, and I was hooked again and now watch almost every game for the season.

Nevis Island: from
Nevis Island: from

Locally, football has become much more popular and much better organised over the past 10 years. The St Kitts Nevis National team has recently reached the heady nosebleed heights of 80th in FIFA rankings, the squad are about 50-50 locally born playing locally or regionally, the captain has had a long career in MLS; and then there are players with Kittitian heritage who play for teams from Brentford through Gainsborough Trinity to Sporting Khalsa.

Joleon Lescott could probably play for the national team through his grandparents if he were so inclined.

I don’t remember how I first came across the Salut Sunderland site, but for the last two or three years I have been a regular visitor. I appreciate its literacy and particularly enjoy Pete Sixsmith’s contributions.

Currently, like a lot of people, I’m a bit disillusioned with SAFC, the Premier League, billionaire owners etc etc. FC United of Sunderland anybody?

* One delicious postcript. I had asked Jennifer for a photograph, which she said she would pass on. I looked forward to one being passed on to me and said so. Oops. “The message re the photo was actually – I’ll pass rather than pass on. But I’ve relented and chosen one from my meagre stock.”

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake
M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

6 thoughts on “Caribbean delight: find a young winner of the Salut! Sunderland mug”

  1. Thank you for the kind words Jennifer; it made an old man very happy.
    Could I nominate Hayley Penman of 37, Clover Way, Blairhall, Dunfermline, Fife KY12 9JY. She travels with more hope than expectation with her dad, John. She has taken to supporting Dunfermline Athletic, a fine club, but they play in black and white stripes. This mug may help her to overcome the nausea of seeing those colours.

    • I was about to post something similar in favour of Hayley with the addition that if funds could stretch to two mugs a second could go to Keir Bradwell, who also contributes to these pages

  2. Hi Jennifer – Congratulations.

    We probably met in a former life as I was at Houghton Grammar from 1965 to 70. It’s all houses now and the old tanning factory, which became the Birds Nest night club for a time (and where I saw Heatwave on the night we lost at Everton and Jimmy Hill got us relegated) has been converted into luxury apartments. Luxury in Houghton terms that is :-).

    And speaking of cricket I trust you have also been following Durham since they became a 1st Class County. Made 20/20 finals day despite Paul Collingwood doing his best to lose the match. Maybe he had joined in a sweepstake too!

    And like you I had never heard the term Mackem until the 1990s.

    • Sorry to reply when the article has almost dropped off the page, I hope you’re still monitoring. I knew that the old Grammar School had been demolished, as have the Infant and Junior Schools I attended (Dubmire) I’m trying not to take it personally.
      I take a distant interest in Durham County Cricket, I’m happy when they’re doing well. I did go to the Riverside ground once to see West Indies play Durham, I realise now that was along time ago as Curtley Ambrose and Keith Arthurton (from Nevis) were playing, I froze.
      I’ve left the selection of the recipient for the mug completely up to those on the spot.

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