A strange feeling, from a stalwart supporter

Ian Todd (source: www.weardownsouth.com)

John McCormick writes: many of you will know at first glance that the photo on the left is of Ian Todd. Others may not and, perhaps, would appreciate some kind of introduction.

I’m not sure I’m equipped to provide one, other than to say this man is the kind of Sunderland supporter I’d like to think  I am, and I’ve been to daft and distant places like Norwich, Bristol, Oxford and Leyton Orient, not to mention those most hostile of venues, Old Trafford and Millwall’s old Den.

Ian has been much further, much more often, and done so much more wherever he went. And he still keeps going.

Over to Ian:

This morning booked my Norwich match and rail tickets. Prompted, rather than inspired, by this initiative I then got out my Season Card and rail tickets to Sunderland for the Derby game and put them together in my Railcard wallet. What has come over me?

Jake: He’ll be there

Am I in danger of being categorised as enthusiastic, excited even, for the coming season? No! I prefer to classify it as curiosity! I openly boycotted many away games last season plus, for the first time in my recent memory a home game – the final one against Swansea. So is this a change of heart, a surge in that inbred devotion? Not yet! My emotions are to be put on trial.

Yes, I allowed the club to start deducting my season card payments and will often take up my usual SoL seat. But I certainly can’t guarantee 23 visits, or for Cup games when I may well have to sit elsewhere. Midweek and other silly televised kick-off times and dates will probably provide sufficient incentive to accept a Barnes and Benno commentary in the comfort of my armchair as the more pragmatic decision.

So why 100% attendance at our first three Championship games? As I’ve said curiosity! I clearly ought to familiarise myself with these new players and to assess whether Simon Grayson can provide me with genuine hope that a more durable foundation for progress has been laid. I can then set that against my growing despair in the last few PremierLeague seasons and plan the degree with which I’m prepared to be a part of the team’s support throughout the coming winter.

It’s not a mental state I’ve experienced before nor one for which there is any medical treatment. The remedy lies on 24 Championship football grounds!

Ian Todd.

(Footnote – again for those who don’t know Ian. He was responsible for the foundation of the London branch of the SAFCSA 50 years ago. Just the other day I was looking at an old programme (SAFC v Everton March 25th 1967) when I got distracted supposedly looking for something else, and he got a mention there. He is also an elected member of the Football Supporters’ Federation, was awarded the MBE and is a frequent visitor to the Colliery Welfare ground in Hetton watching SAFC Ladies. MD)

The Mackem diaspora (4): home and away

To find out more about Ian follow these links:


‘All my fault’: the man behind a golden milestone for Sunderland supporters
Why one lifelong SAFC supporter stays away. Not the reason you’d expect At Huddersfield/Hull as at West Brom/SAFC, police score same own goals


3 thoughts on “A strange feeling, from a stalwart supporter”

  1. We are on our 16th manager since Peter Reid. If Sunderland were a bride some might suggest that the loyalty of the fans, as the congregation at each new wedding, is a triumph of hope over experience.

    In reality despite the endless years of disappointed hopes we remain a bunch of unashamed masochists.

    It must be love!

  2. And yet an interesting insight into a mindset shared by many season ticket holders one suspects. What did Chaplin say about life being a comedy in close up but a tragedy in long shots….SAFC is a tragicomedy so not sure where that fits. Like the Author my interest in SAFC seems to be returning even though we will not be walking amongst the Gods of Olympus…..Halls of Valhalla…..other polytheistic religions are available

  3. Hardly a classic anecdote! ( A quiz question for the lads – that is a quote from which film?)

Comments are closed.

Next Post