From the ashes

…..and for anyone who likes news of our old boys, Lilian Laslandes scored two goals for Nice in a 3-0 win over Troyes, giving his club hope of avoiding relegation from the French top flight.

The Journal du Dimanche said he was like a Phoenix rising from his own ashes, grabbing the 122nd and 123rd goals of his career.

What a shame not many of those came while he was wearing red and white stripes and, to be fair, playing with teammates who kept hoofing high balls to him thinking he was the same size as Niall Quinn.

Irish grass: greener than the SoL’s?

Ian Todd, commenting on an earlier post, raises the interesting – and alarming – prospect that the Republic of Ireland might be looking enviously at our manager after the dismal showing against San Marino.

There was, I hope, a tongue-in-cheek element to Ian’s remark. Roy Keane wouldn’t dream of abandoning us now, would he?

Read moreIrish grass: greener than the SoL’s?

Horrible history of author’s Mackem passion

Are you sitting comfortably?Terry3
Then I will begin the story of TERRY DEARY, star writer of children’s books that sell – and disappear from library shelves – faster than Enid Blyton. Guess who he supports. Even when things are grim – as they quickly became after this interview at the start of the 2002-2003 season.
But read also what he thinks of the Keano revolution
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Read moreHorrible history of author’s Mackem passion

A thousand up

No cause to brag, but as I was adding Kate Adie to the Celebrity Supporters Revisited file, the little counter showing how many people have passed through my turnstiles clocked up its first 1,000.

Thanks to the wonders of technology, I can retrace some of the steps taken by people who have reached these shores. So far, they have come from the North East, elsewhere in the UK, Ireland, France, America, Canada, Australia, Africa and the Middle East.

A few came from my French blog Salut! as a result of a slight misrouting problem when A Love Supreme set up a link from its site to here. Sorry for the roundabout journey – at least it gave me an excuse to post another SAFC picture there.

Read moreA thousand up

Streaking at St James’ Park? All in the mind

A fisftful of awards bears witness to the achievements of KATE ADIE, forever associated with trademark war zone accessories of pearl earrings and flak jacket. When we last met back in 2002, she had been BBC TV’s chief news correspondent since 1989. More importantly, she was – and is – a Sunderland supporter.

Read moreStreaking at St James’ Park? All in the mind

Quinn wants more bums on seats

When you’re sitting by the Med, far from the snow that has hit much of France in recent days, you are really in no position to lecture stayaway Sunderland fans.

So I will let Niall Quinn do the talking for me. He wants supporters to “stand up and be counted” – who was that steward who retorted “sit down and be counted or you’re out”? – and turn up in force at the Stadium of Light.

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Read moreQuinn wants more bums on seats

Presenting Sixer’s Sevens

Just to show Salut! Sunderland can also be brief: Sixer’s Sevens will be one-line match verdicts from my great friend and Sunderland supporter par excellence Pete Sixsmith.

Each will stretch to seven words or fewer. My technical adviser – a Man City fan who studied in Sunderland – will improve the presentation once he gets a chance to look under the bonnet, as he likes to describe it. We’ll even get round to finding a better mugshot of Pete.

One of his better if more depressing summaries from recent history condensed Sunderland vs Everton last season to this: "0-1. Cahill. 92 mins."

I quoted it in a piece I wrote for The Daily Telegraph sports pages when we later played Chelsea.

His first for Salut! Sunderland: SAFC 1 Ipswich 0, Jan 13 2007: Spoiled by wind. New boys all impressed.

Look out for the new posting.