Colin Randall has only himself to blame for being lumbered with a search for celeb supporters of Sunderland. He accepted the task cheerfully. He should have known better, having previously done a Famous on the Fulwell piece for A Love Supreme. But he persevered …
It was probably the most crushing condemnation of all the work we put into making Salut! Sunderland a half-decent site.
In one of those periodic threads at Ready to Go about celeb supporters of Sunderland, I yet again pointed out that the most comprehensive and reliable list, with interviews, had appeared here. And someone came back like a rocket to say he hadn’t even heard of half my candidates.
Fair cop. There’s a folk singer, a career criminal turned football club chairman turned Back to Jail, a North African athlete, the umpteenth lead singer of a 70s band … you get the drift.
But these are life’s Mrs Richards moments. That wonderful curmudgeonly old guest at Fawlty Towers who demanded a better view from her window. The view of Torquay is the view of Torquay. If my interviewees are Z-listers but the nearest things to famous people who support the Lads, so be it.
But then I look back on some of the others. Kate Adie. Alan Price. Sir Tim Rice. David (Lord) Puttnam, Haven’t you got to be some sort of recluse not to know who they are? And the one I’ve added since the end of the initial series, which was based on interviews I’d done for the London supporters’ branch newsletter Wear Down South (previously 5573), actually had a Number One hit. Step forward the lovely Tasmin Archer, pictured above and seen at home and away games galore.
Some got away, though in some cases the depth of their allegiance – I am thinking of Dave Stewart, Peter O’Toole, Olga Korbut and Gina McKee – was, to put it mildly, in doubt. In other cases, I was able to debunk notions of any allegiance at all. Neil Tennant, one half of the Pet Shop Boys? No chance. Bryan Ferry? Nonsense. Patrick Stewart? Not unless Sunderland starts with an H and is followed by ‘uddersfield.
And of course I know there are (Paul Collingwood) and will be (Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos?) others I should add. All I will say is that our search is not over. Moreover, if you get anything like the pleasure, when pursuing the following links, that I got from interviewing the subjects, you’ll be happy you made the effort (each item contains onward links and, as I rebuild Salut! Sunderland here at its new home, a clear list will appear in the sidebar) :