John McCormick writes: I never saw Marton Fulop play for us. I’m not qualified to make any statement about him. Yet, I feel a loss. Maybe it’s because he was the age of my kids, and my extended family’s next generation – one of whom had his first child two days ago. Maybe it’s just too f***ing young. Maybe it’s because as the SAFC website says “It is desperately sad when we lose a member of our Sunderland family but to lose one so young and in such circumstances is simply heart-breaking.” Whatever it is, I feel for him and my heart goes out to his family.
No doubt were the Salut site fully manned there would be tributes from those who have seen him play, but M salut is on duties overseas, Malcolm is away, and Pete Sixsmith’s recent e-mails have gone astray. So the best I can do is to take a quick look through our archive and recall some Salut moments that pay heed to, in the words of Margaret Byrne, “a genuinely lovely man, liked and respected by everyone at the club during his four years with us.”
It’s a short but not so difficult trawl.
Malcolm remembered Marton in July of this year in a summer series, “The good, the bad and the ugly”, but only in passing. Marton wasn’t bad, nor was he ugly in Malcolm’s recollection. Was he good? Statcat says he made fifty league appearances for us, playing in 15 wins and 22 draws. We’d take that any day, wouldn’t we?
Pete Sixsmith, in 2009, recalls him doing well enough against Wigan, although it was one of 13 games we lost when he was in goal. Perhaps in saying “well enough” Pete makes the defining statement. We’ll remember strikers for bugger all, but we’ll only remember a keeper for great saves – Monty in ’73 springs to mind, but after that who, and for what? – or we’ll remember them for massive errors – I won’t mention any here. A good solid performance goes unremarked, a good solid performance in a lost game becomes even less memorable, but that does not mean the performance should be diminished.
And sometimes, sometimes, doing well enough, doing the normal saves, it makes a difference:
2009 and Pete Sixsmith again. This time it’s the opening day of the season and an away win. Our first opening day away win in ten years:
At the end we were hanging on for the win and Marton Fulop’s reflex saves denied the Trotters a point.
That’ll do for me.
Born 1983, died 2015
Played for Sunderland 2006-2009
Fifty first team appearances
Did well enough
May he rest in peace