An invitation to supporters of the three teams promoted to the Premier League …
First of all, welcome to the Premier.
Don’t be intimidated by our 10th top finishing place. It was a decent achievement in itself but we went through a phase, as we tend to do most seasons in the top flight, when it was by no means certain we’d be playing you next season.
Now that we are all in it together, welcome also to Salut! Sunderland. Before each Sunderland game, we include in the build-up here an interview with a supporter of the opposing side.
The search for candidates is a mixture of aiming high for celebs and settling for whoever we can get as the day of the match approaches with no one yet on board (or someone on board but fast asleep on the deck, having forgotten all about the promise to answer our questions).
Somehow we get there in the end. One match against Stoke City a couple of years ago was a notorious exception.
During the 2010-2011 campaign, other volunteers included the editor of The Daily Telegraph (a West Ham supporter, so he won’t be back for at least a year unless we draw them again in one of the cups); the Arsenal-daft writer and broadcaster Tom Watt, the actress Pauline McLynn (a Villa fan), the BBC tennis commentator David Law (WBA), the football treasure that is Jimmy Armfield (Blackpool), the former Newcastle United striker Mick Quinn (Liverpool), a host of writers and fan site owners and a Birmingham Bluenose by the splendid name of Kevin Ball.
So if you support one of the newly promoted teams, or indeed anyone else we are liable to play, and feel like putting yourself or someone you know up for the Salut! Sunderland questionnaire, use the e-mail link near the top of the page on the right, try firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message in the comment field below (making sure to use a genuine e-mail address which will not be seen publicly but is visible to me).
And it is not even as if I am asking for something for nothing. You can plug anything within reason that you wish in the knowledge that your words will be seen by supporters of Sunderland and your own club alike – and you may even win a prize in the end-of-sason Who are You? awards.
Prizes should be heading soon towards our three 2010-2011 winners. Click on any name to see what they made of our questions:
1 Tom Watt (Arsenal) wins a year’s subscription to When Saturday Comes, which claims only to be half-decent but is better.
2 Peter Kelly (Man City) wins vouchers to spend in the WSC online shop
3 Andy Nicholls (Wolves) wins a copy of the excellent book of black and white photographs, Football: the golden age