Wrinkly Pete: home is where the heart is but our away days arouse the passion

Peter Lynn, aka Wrinkly Pete

Peter Lynn, aka the wrinkly one, gets to a lot of games home and away. He’s noticed, even when things are going badly, how much more vocal the travelling support is than Stadium of Light crowds, where he feels something special has to happen on the field to inspire a real buzz in the stands …

Can we play you (away) every week?

Every fan of every club will be aware of the taunting lyrics “can we play you every week?” sung to Bread of Heaven when a thumping takes place. Sometimes you’re on the receiving end and sometimes giving it out.

My spin on it is that we would be better off playing away from home. I imagine many saying/thinking “How dare you say that?” Well read on……..

I have (the past) 10 years’ experience of getting to see many of our games (around 220) home and away and wish that I could say otherwise but the reality is that our away support, in terms of noise, commitment and generosity is far better than that at home.

The vocal support is immediate and almost always sustained. It does not require something outstanding to happen to get it started, as at home games, and often is at its loudest when we have conceded.

An example that also illustrates generosity occurred at White Hart Lane on December 18 2011.

We had played well throughout, only to concede a late goal. Our fans immediately burst into a rousing rendition of We love you Sunderland, we do. We lost by that solitary goal but I felt privileged to have been there.

My viewpoint has been aired with my regular, Sunderland supporting, travelling companions and I have listened to the argument: “Well, look what the home fans have had to put up with.”

My response: I was there at Southampton on October 18 2014, when we lost 8-0.I was there at Swansea on October 19 2013 for Gus Poyet’s first game in charge when we lost 4-0,

I was there at Hull on November 2 2013 when we were reduced to nine men before half time.

And it is this game that provides the best example of my opinion. I sat by Ian Todd of London and SE SAFCSA branch fame and listened with both amazement and pride as our fans started singing during half time and did not stop until well after the final whistle. I am convinced that their support that day not only prevented a rout but almost got us a 1-1 draw.

I have a motive behind what many may consider to be an unkind view. For I genuinely believe that our home support can be the 12th man that we could hugely benefit from.

I have been at the Stadium of Light when it has absolutely rocked. This current group of players – and the manager – deserve the utter, unequivocal commitment of every single Sunderland fan that enters the stadium.

Ha’way the Lads.

3 thoughts on “Wrinkly Pete: home is where the heart is but our away days arouse the passion”

  1. Good points.

    Anyone remember Don Goodman’s debut away at the half-demolished Molineux “stadium” in 1992? They had turned the main stand round but not the pitch, which was 30 yards away from the main stand.

    Linesman gives an absurd goal kick decision in the 8th minute and John Byrne complains and gets sent off. Armstrong queries the same about a minute later, cue linesman wetting himself and we are down to 9 men in the first 10 minutes.

    They got a jammy very late goal.

    Our fans were superb that day and, as you say, provided amazing support to keep Wolves at bay for almost 80 minutes.

    I bumped into Andy Gray in a pub in Stratford on Avon that night, he noted my displeasure……….

  2. It is probably the same for most clubs, Pete. Away, you’re all gathered in one area and the sense of community and solidarity is heightened. Like you, I was at those Swansea and Southampton games. There was a fair bit of anger at both but the second was such a freak – we had bizarrely been the better side until that stonewall penalty (which would also have seen their keeper sent off) was refused at 2-0 – that there was more gallows humour than malice. One bloke in the toilets was saying he seen all our eight-goal hammerings.

    • I understand and totally accept the point about area. I also think that what is partly behind the sometimes bland atmosphere at SoL is the lack of a fervent “home” end. Originally, the North Stand was such but that is no longer the case, given the siting of away fans in the Upper North. The move to create a “singing section” in the South (Roker) stand, hoping to cash in on the permanent presence of the wonderfully vociferous fans in the South-West corner, has worked to an extent. What I would LOVE to see is the occupants of the West and East stands just let themselves “go for it”. I doubt however that any of them are in your readership. I will be sat amongst them on Saturday so woe betide any that are quiet!

Comments are closed.

Next Post