In June last year, Salut! Sunderland put out a little appeal for knowledgeable supporters of QPR, Norwich City and Swansea to offer their services as interviewees in our Who are You? series.
The response was magnificent, one supporter or more of each club coming forward to volunteer. I have no doubt the survival of all three teams to fight another Premier season owed more than a little to divine reward for this sense of public service.
I have left it later this summer but now make a similar invitation to willing candidates who follow the newly promoted trio of Reading, Southampton and West Ham. Reading visit the Stadium of Light for the second game of the season so the need for one of their fans is obviously more pressing.
But to the supporters of each club, I offer a hearty welcome back to the top flight. I want Sunderland to take six points from each of your teams, while knowing we almost certainly won’t.
If you have something to say about your club, its Premier hopes and football in general, please let me know by using the e-mail link at the top of this page, trying email@example.com or even leaving a message in the comment field below (making sure to use a genuine e-mail address which will not show on the site but is visible to me).
As I said in 2011, interviewees can plug anything within reason in the knowledge that their words will be seen by supporters of Sunderland and their own clubs alike.
In the past the series has attracted celebrity supporters, fansite editors, church leaders, political figures, exiled supporters and people who just happen to follow their teams week in, week out. We’ve been snubbed by Piers Morgan but managed to get over it.
This is how I put it last summer:
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.
Yes, it feels better if the interviewee is active as a supporter, getting to at least a proportion of games. But as someone who lives half the year abroad, I know geographical location and the ability to attend games regularly are not the only tests of true faith.
One small incentive: at the end of each season, we judge the entries and choose the best of the bunch. Sponsorship has been generous up to now so we can add prizes to the glory of winning.
And if you’d like to see how other supporters have handled the questions put to them, which are broadly the same for each interview, have a look at the Who are You? for last season by clicking here or explore the history of the series by navigating the archives using the drop down list somewhere to the right of these words.