Salut Sunderland’s 13 years and 13 managers: The little general and big Sam

John McCormick writes: for me, this piece by Pete  Sixsmith brings back many memories. I was at Goodison when we lost, and at Spurs when Kirchhoff came on and a young keeper who would go on to play for England couldn’t hold back the tide.  I saw us come back to snatch that point at Anfield as well. But the game that sticks out, of all the ones below, is one I never got to. The  1-0 win against the Mags. I was intending to go but stayed in Liverpool. My daughter gave birth that day, two weeks late. I have a print of Defoe’s goal ready to give to my granddaughter  when she’s old enough to appreciate what she made me miss…

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Billy Hughes RIP: ‘with his passing, a bit of me has gone too’

Pete Sixsmith produced this masterpiece of an appreciation on hearing news of the death of Billy Hughes, aged just 70. He was one of . Pete’s all-time favourite players and one of Monsieur Salut’s, too. Many poeople saw the tribute. Sadly, the piece was blocked from wider public view because of the prudishness of an ‘aggregator’ site on which Salut! Sunderland relies for a lot of its traffic. Why? A relatively minor wear word which Sixer even disguised by using asterisks after the first letter. Let;’s have another try …

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Salut! Sunderland’s 13 years and 13 managers: The Poyet Period

Sixer: ‘oh well, back to the day job’

As Sunderland settle in the lowest position of our 140-year history, 13th in the third tier,  Pete Sixsmith continues his ramblings through the snow in his daytime job and his rambling through his memory in his spare time. But when it comes to his writing does he ramble? No, most certainly not. He does, however, have a fondness for a ’conspicuous repetition of identical initial consonant sounds in successive or closely associated syllables within a group of words, even those spelled differently´ (thank you, Wikipedia). So be prepared for a stirring story, a heartwarming helping, an intelligent interlude, a… … let’s just let the man himself do the business.

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Sixer’s appreciation of Billy Hughes

Pete Sixsmith’s outstanding tribute to Billy Hughes originally appeared here. For technical reasons this post now appears at

Salut! Sunderland’s 13 years and 13 managers. The PDC era – mudslides and mayonnaise

Ho ho ho(a)’way the lads

John McCormick writes. Pete Sixsmith is still on Santa duty and mad busy. Even so he found the time to compose another epic piece. It’s better than the Labour manifesto or the Queen’s speech and more honest and compelling than anything from Boris.

And we aren’t even half way through Pete’s series, recalling the men in charge at SAFC during the time Salut! Sunderland has been on the interweb!

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In praise of Sir Bob Murray: Sunderland’s helping hand to Wearhead United recalled

From Sir Bob Murray’s own website, reproduced with his consent

The ownership of Sunderland AFC has been the subject of much debate and handwringing in recent times. Owners always attract controversy at some stage during their stewardship of football clubs and Sir Bob Murray was no exception. But as someone writing about him at Wikipedia put it, the second half of his 20-year reign was noticeably more successful than the first (‘never finished below third place in the league’s second tier’) and we’d settle for something like that now. He still chairs the award-winning club charity, the Foundation of Light.

Here, Andrew Curry, an occasional contributor to Salut! Sunderland, recalls a small but admirable gesture from Sir Bob’s era …

A while back I drove west out of Durham into Weardale, whose villages field their teams in the Durham League.

During the foot and mouth outbreak, in 2001, with much of the countryside closed off, even under military supervision, it looked as if Wearhead United would be unable to fulfil their fixture against their local rivals, Stanhope.

So the chairman of Wearhead did what any other chairman of a Durham League football club might have done in the circumstances. He wrote to the then chairman of Sunderland AFC, Bob Murray, to ask if Sunderland would host the game at the Stadium of Light.

And Murray said yes.

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Salut! Sunderland’s Mark Twain moment. Not dying but in reanimation as the site lives on

Jake: ‘It’s what we’re about’

Out with the old, in with the new, says Monsieur Salut as he prepares to hand on the Salut! Sunderland baton to the next runner …

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Whatever Mark Twain really wrote and later said, Salut! Sunderland can adopt the spirit of his much-quoted sentiments. Reports of our death – including our own report – have been grossly exaggerated.

My announcement here, on Nov 8, was headlined: The end of an era. Salut! Sunderland’s journey will soon be over.

I explained that after 13 years, often turbulent but never boring, a mirror image of the club we all support, Salut! Sunderland would cease to function from the end of this year. Visible, yes, for a while, but not animate. And I gave the reasons why.

This is how I described what would happen:

Salut! Sunderland will not be regularly updated after Dec 31 2019 and may not be updated at all. Some time is left in the hosting agreement with GoDaddy and the site will still be visible until that ends. A sleeping but doomed beauty is my fanciful description …

That was precisely our position on Nov 8. Today, I am pleased to report that there has been a development. The site is not dying after all but going into reanimation – and the prognosis is good.

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Sixer’s Sevens: Blackpool prove a rock too hard to crack for 10-man SAFC

Monsieur Salut writes: Pete Sixsmith was doubtless relieved to be on Santa duty and not at the Stadium of Light when, minutes after Barnes and Benno had talked of the first goal being crucial to Sunderland, the mood of the crowd and Phil Parkinson’s future, Blackpool duly took a fourth-minute lead.

Wyke got the equaliser after 37 minutes (Barnes wasn’t sure he knew much about how it went in) and the play, generally, appears to have been less dire than in recent weeks. As most will realise, that is not saying a great deal and there is little to suggest Parky is about to lead SAFC on a charge up the table.

George Dobson managed to get himself sent off, making the search for a winner more challenging. And it didn’t come, though at least we did not succumb at the other end against such mighty opposition. The asterisk preceding the seven-word verdict shows it to be a contingency offering, from me, and not from the absent Sixer Santa …



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Salut Sunderland’s 13 years, 13 managers (4) Martin O’Neill and hopes unfulfilled

With thanks to Jake for adapting Kartun Malaysia’s caricature

John McCormick writes: Jer posted this comment in response to Colin’s piece on Charlie Methven’s resignation as a director: ‘Stopped reading after the left wing diatribe. Keep your views on Brexit and politics out of football. Last I heard you don’t have to be a Remainer Labour lefty to follow Sunderland I live in a safe Labour seat’

Well, I live in a safe Labour seat in a pro-Remain city and I’m making what I think will be my 23rd hospital visit of the year on election day. I can’t think of anything worse than Boris returning to government. Perhaps people would like me not to say so, and perhaps they would like all of us to be, as Andy posted in  in response to Bob Chapman’s report from Gillingham:

Very mellow and passionless at a critical time ..

Andy did continue … for the football club and its supporters. Why even bother? Hope you have a great holiday and the cat gets to keep the mouse next time.

If we were mellow and passionless we’d never have kept Salut! Sunderland going for 13 years and Pete Sixsmith would never haver formed opinions on the 13 managers we’ve had in that time, the fourth of which is Martin O’Neill.

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The Chapman Report from Gillingham: We just can’t carry on like this!

John McCormick writes: when the fixtures came out this one was on my list, though as things turned out I never had a chance of making it. From this report, by the much-travelled and ever-present Bob Chapman, I don’t appear to have missed anything. Would that the team could play as well as Bob can write.

I have no doubt many of our readers will have something to say after reading Bob’s report. Alas, our site seems to be as unfixable as our team. If you do wish to leave a comment of your own please visit the bottom of the page

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