Along with the first generation exiles, there were people like the industrial plumber Billox, who sounded as if he should really be a West Ham supporter but was as fervent and knowledgeable about the Lads as anyone.
Others, starting at Kings Cross or joining later (as Billox did), spoke with a smattering of different regional lilts, from the Home Counties to Midlands to indefinable. All, or nearly all, had some family or other sentimental reason to support Sunderland, and all – even if they didn’t – were welcome.
All of which would make me feel contrite about my great failure as a father. My girls do not support SAFC. One doesn’t care much for football at all and the other, though sympathetic towards her dad’s team, favours Liverpool.
Read more about this in a piece I have just had posted at the Guardian’s Comment is Free site. If for any reason, the sentiments strike a chord with your own experiences, feel free to respond here, or there, or both.
My picture shows younger daughter Nathalie in her QPR Ladies days. She now plays for Acton Ladies; the name may sound less illustrious but the standard is comparable.
Her formal playing career, which includes a creditable late substitute’s role in an Arsenal pre-season friendly, began in red and white stripes, and she scored. Unfortunately, the stripes belonged to Brentford.
***** And congratulations/thanks to whichever reader took Salut! Sunderland to 10,000 hits. After the premature celebrations – and competition – at 5,000, I felt it right to follow the Quinn/Keane example. In line with their decision after we secured promotion. I resolved that there would not only be no 10,000 competition but no acceptance of any offer from the city council of an open-topped bus through town to a lavish civic reception. As Niall said, we’ve not really achieved anything yet.