NB Guess the Score appeared twice by mistake. One or two entries appeared at the second item before I closed comments. Check below and at https://safc.blog/2018/01/birmingham-city-vs-safc-guess-the-score-two-in-a-row/ to make sure your choice has not already been taken – Ed
Given how rarely Sunderland win, it is worth noting that we have had SAFC-supporting winners of Guess the Score for each of the five Championship games where we’ve ended on top.
One of these was Mike Holligan, with whom I met up (with his brother-in-law Jim Ballantyn, already an acquaintance) during his recent brief visit from the Irish Republic to London.
Mike comes from near Newbridge, Co Kildare and has been a supporter since – echoes of Tim Rice – he scoured the English league tables as a young lad and, as much to be different as anything else, plumped for Sunderland.
That already sets him apart from the significant number of Irish supporters we acquired during the Quinn and then Keane years (some must have been at loggerheads with one another, remembering Niall-Keano conflict of old); so does the fact that the departure of each in turn had no impact on his allegiance. No glory-seeker Mike.
The owner of Duffy’s, the Irish bar close to where Mike, brother-in-law Jim and I met, has told me his own brother “used to be” a Sunderland fan. We don’t get many of those, fans who flit between us and other clubs. But brother of Duffy followed us, sometimes quite actively, until Keane left, then reverted to his previous Man City support.
Bravo, then, Mike, for keeping the faith.
He correctly predicted a 1-0 win for us at Nottingham Forest and you see him with his prize, Tales From The Red and Whites Vol II, in the photo above, taken at the Plough in Ealing. Knowing of my musical tastes from having glanced once or twice at Salut! Live, he nobly brought me in return a copy of the excellent 1970s album by Andy Irvine and Paul Brady (eponymously titled), which includes Arthur McBride, a track I would choose – and the superb actor Sir Mark Rylance already has chosen – if invited on to Desert Island Discs (yours ear are safe; “and today we’re joined by Colin Randall, editor of Salut! Sunderland” won’t happen).
I look forward to another correct Sunderland-winning forecast from Mike or, indeed any other reader, for Tuesday night’s crunch match at Birmingham City.
Blues fans are welcome to enter and the first valid entry is that of our Birmingham City “Who are You?” volunteer James Jenkinson, whose interview will appear in due course. He not surprisingly opts for a home win (2-0).
Usual rules: be first with the correct scoreline, post it before kick-off and have UK delivery address. A book or mug awaits the winner. M Salut’s decision is final.
What’s Ha’way the Lads in Gaelic?