Match off as Britain closes for January

4snow

Sunderland v Bolton is off, the only consolation that it was postponed early enough to stop people travelling. But in times of dire shortages of grit for the roads, are we losing ours as a country? …


The answer
is probably not, at least not on the basis of a football match being called off. We haven’t necessarily become a nation of wannies.

But I cannot help thinking how we managed in the past.

The news came not long after I had written this at the Blackcats list:

But when it was the 60s and I had my paper round in Shildon, it snowed heavily every year and life just went on. I don’t recall schools closing, buses not running, people not getting to work. There were postponements, yes, but games were played on layers of snow.

To which Mick replied:

I remember The Big One in 1963, when the snow lasted for 2 months. I also did a paper round in all weathers (including New Year’s Day, which wasn’t a Bank Holiday until the mid-70’s).

And I also remember seeing games played on snow. It couldn’t have been deep, but they scratched out the markings and played on a white pitch. I’ve seen this at both Roker Park and St. James. I also have a vivid memory of seeing it on telly for a European Cup game between Spurs and (I think) Dukla Prague, which would make it 61-62 season (Spurs were champs in 61). Like with your first memories of games under floodlights, there’s something magic about watching a game on a snow covered pitch. It loooks great in white


But I suppose we cannot challenge the judgement of those who had to make the decision.

After a second meeting of the “safety advisory group” today, the club said severe concern had been expressed for the safety of supporters, staff and essential personnel travelling to the Stadium of Light, adding: “Many roads across the region are in a dangerous condition and there are major difficulties with the general transport infrastructure.”

Sunderland AFC’s chief executive Steve Walton said: “Whilst the Stadium of Light pitch is playable at present and the Stadium itself is also safe we must defer to the expertise of the Safety Advisory Group regarding other factors such as travel conditions.

“The consensus of the group is that it would present a significant safety risk to go ahead with the game and we are in full support of that judgement. There can be no compromise when the safety of supporters, staff and other personnel is at stake.”

Just forgive me for remaining ever so slightly sceptical.

So poor Chris Mann wasted his time previewing the game for us from a Bolton perspective. It was a good read, so apologies to him, but we hope he’ll understand that we trust the rearranged game means three points waiting for us later in the season.


Colin Randall

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4 thoughts on “Match off as Britain closes for January”

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  2. NB I am a cretinous web parasite

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  3. Well, perhaps it’ll mean the “Owen Coyle effect” will have dissipated by we play the game and we won’t get clobbered by a team playing above itself. Of course, that sort of thinking calls to mind an old line of Bobby Thompson’s about doing well, for once, on the horses: “I had a double up, today — two non-runners.”

  4. Can anyone explain how this week I have been forced to drive 70 mile a day into work on the most horrendos roads, my wife will be shopping in Town and probably the metro centre and I cannot at my own free will go to a football match and suffer whatever cold consequences the weather wants to throw at me.

    Ken B

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