Salut! whimsy: talking tee shirts, cats and magpies

Malcolm Dawson writes…… claims in a recently published book by football agent Jon Smith, only add weight to my belief that not only is Salut! Sunderland monitored by Sunderland AFC to find out just what the thinking fan is thinking, but is also the go to site for the players themselves (though maybe not ex players like Jozy Altidore or Danny Graham). The author claims that last season the Sunderland squad wanted to have special tee shirts printed up showing a black cat mauling a magpie. The club denies the suggestion was ever seriously considered and I can well believe that it was proposed in a light hearted way by one of the more fun loving, combative members of the squad after seeing some of our graphic maestro Jake’s illustrations. Jake’s contributions are most welcome and the site just wouldn’t be the same without him.

Take these examples for instance, following our wins at the ground that we stopped calling Sid James Park and renamed the 03 Arena.

Jake: 'no live Magpies were hurt in the making of this image'
Jake: ‘no live Magpies were hurt in the making of this image’
Jake is the Sunderland fan exiled in Spain who provides the vast majority of illustrations we use on the site. Either of these might have been passed around the Academy of Light and it doesn’t take a great leap of imagination to picture the Lads after training having a laugh and using them as inspiration for their upcoming derby battle last season which we won – by 3-0 for a change.

Jake: black and white bird 0 Black Cat 3
Jake: black and white bird 0 Black Cat 3

Tee shirt controversy is nothing new.

There are still Sunderland fans who can never forgive Lee Clark for wearing one which bore a Geordie phrase seen as insulting by Wearsiders. Personally I couldn’t get worked up about that. As I saw it, at that time he was at Wembley supporting the team he had followed as a lad with a few of his mates and they would have treated it as a laugh to get him to wear it. I know plenty will disagree with me – but he never let us down where it mattered, on the pitch wearing a shirt with the Sunderland badge on it.

Lee Trundle, when playing at Wembley, removed his shirt to reveal a tee shirt with a cartoon image of a semi naked man in a Swansea top taking a leak (note not a leek) on a Cardiff City shirt. Trundle was later arrested for public order offences after his post match celebrations.
Not quite in the same league but both former Sunderland star Kieran Richardson and current squad member Steven Pienaar have demonstrated their faith in Jesus through the medium of underwear.

But just to show that sometimes things are more important than tribal rivalries, Jake came up with this image on the right.

Finally another image that tickled me, though Jake informs me that it isn’t one of his.

Salut! Sunderland commemorates another victory over our friends up the road
Salut! Sunderland commemorates another victory over our friends up the road

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2 thoughts on “Salut! whimsy: talking tee shirts, cats and magpies”

  1. Totally endorse your comments Malcolm. And I also agree with you about Lee Clark. IMO there was a ridiculous over reaction to this incident, which resulted in us losing one of the best players to wear our shirt in recent years. Where on earth did a sense of humour in football go?

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