As Salut! Sunderland wishes everyone – or nearly everyone – a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy new year, it seems right to mark the festive occasion with not one, nor even two but three competitions.
Which one shall we mention first first: Guess the Score, a guide to the popularity of our own Sixer – aka Pete Sixsmith, Santa and Sunderland support par excellence – among all he has befriended or taught, or a tale of three strikers? Sixer wins the toss of this three-sided coin.
The little Salut! empire is marking Christmas Day by publishing seasonal greetings on each of the four sites: Salut! Sunderland as you can see, the folk/folk-rock site Salut! Live; the somewhat neglected North-eastern nostalgia site Salut! North and the one where it all started, Salut!, which sporadically covers “France, current affairs, travel, the media – and more besides”.
And this image of our hero relaxing after another day entertaining the children of the region is being repeated at each of them.
Pete is not only the heart and soul of this site. He has made appearances of one kind or another at each of the other three. He’s also a great friend and I wish him – along with the rest of the editorial team (Malcolm Dawson, John McCormick and Jake) plus all Salut! Sunderland contributors, readers, sponsors and advertisers – an especially warm Happy Christmas.
When the photograph appeared at Facebook, the “likes” started pouring in. Now, Sixer has an astonishing 2,600 Facebook friends. There are football pals, friends from childhood or of more recent acquaintance, relatives, fellow teachers and – as a testament to his abilities in the classroom – an army of admiring former pupils.
At 3.38pm on Thursday, Monsieur Salut took a quick photo of the page and recorded the number of “likes” which had by then been posted.
The reader who is closest to the actual figure (which has, of course, risen since then) will win
the terrific read that is Tales From the Red and Whites Vol II. Salut! Sunderland is offering two copies as prizes today.
The competition will run until Monsieur Salut feels it right to pull up the drawbridge, the timing of which may depend on the level of interest readers show.
The same applies to Christmas Competition No 2, also based on a Facebook photo, the one you see immediately below.
Entering is simple. Just name as many of the three men you see pictured. Each is a former striker and each has strong Sunderland connections.
Click the photo for a better view. Can you name any least two of them?
Your chances will be higher if you can identify all three, but some may find that tricky. If no one gets all three, all those with two correct names will go into the that and a winner will be chosen at random. If one or more offers all three, only he/she/they will be eligible to win, again by random poll if necessary,
No one known to be related to any of the three strikers of Christmas Past should enter.
And Ha’way the Lads at Bramall Lane tomorrow. The third competition, of course, is Guess the Score and you can enter it at this link.