The deed is done. Another series of Who are You? interviews with opposing supporters has produced winners. Read on to see who the judges chose, and why ….
The judges have spoken. This year’s winners of the HAWAYs – awards for the Highly Articulate Who are You? interviews conducted through each season with fans of Sunderland’s opposing clubs – are announced today.
And in clear top place is Watford-supporting Del Day, followed by Chelsea’s Ray Knight and Bournemouth’s Tom Latchem.
Salut! Sunderland is, as ever, enormously grateful to the prize sponsors – Classic Football Shirts, When Saturday Comeshttps://shop.wsc.co.uk and Art of Football, and the gallery shows appropriate products each offers – and will simply offer Del his choice of the three. Ray gets second choice, leaving Tom with the remaining prize.
If the mood holds until the end of this article, there will be a special award from Salut! Sunderland funds for another deserving contender. But the truth is, as Jake’s caption makes clear, that the strength of the Who are You? series – see the full season’s entries here – is the quality of the responses we receive from the supporters who agree to participate.
What is remarkable is that Del’s interview, which shall be reproduced tomorrow, was not even included in Monsieur Salut’s guidance-only shortlist of articles judges might consider. The memory was jolted by David Miller, the one reader to offer thoughts on who should win the award.
David wrote: “My favourite was Watford’s Del Day, knew his stuff about how our season may pan out, cool name, into music, and lovely heartfelt words about Graham Taylor … and I played against Wilf Rostron at school, stopped him scoring the 10th goal against us. Man marked him out of the game. Stronach got nine I think.”
He was right and appropriate guilt was felt at the initial omission of Del’s interview.
Paul “Sobs” Dobson, who writes compellingly on matters Sunderland for A Love Supreme as well as popping up regularly on the radio when TalkSport need an expert SAFC fan’s views, also had Del in first place, praising his “realistic appraisal of their situation and historical nods in the right direction. I liked Del’s style. And his hat.”
M Salut ultimately placed Del – “I run an independent music PR company, Ark PR, a small boutique booking agency, Big City Lights, and a record label, Maiden Voyage Recording Company” – second behind the Chelsea interview (also chosen by our deputy editor Malcolm Dawson as the best of the lot).
There are people who dislike Chelsea so much that to see anyone connected with the Premier League champions win a prize from Salut! Sunderland may seem a step too far.
But as Malcolm wrote: “[I] liked the humour in this one – though I’m not sure if the Hartlepool offshore tax haven quip is tongue in cheek or a touch of South London arrogance. The former, I hope.”
We’ll leave Ray – a solid railwayman and trade union man – to resolve that issue. He took M Salut’s vote, not least, for his wonderful description of Sunderland’s annual brush with relegation, though sadly his optimism on our behalf was not matched by events.
Interviewed just before the home game (Chelsea beat us 1-0) but after our only decent run of the season, Ray was asked whether he was surprised more by our wretched start or the mini-revival?
“I hate to break this to you,” he replied. “But I see Sunderland’s wretched start and miraculous escape from relegation as part of the fabric of British society – they always happen every year, like the State Opening of Parliament, and judging by your pink away kit, both events are commemorated by people dressing up in ludicrous costumes.”
Tom Latchem – a TalkSPORT presenter (the Extra Time show) and self-proclaimed “journo, republican, electoral reformist and old school raver” – and his brother both took part in the series. And both provided excellent responses.
But Tom thoroughly deserved to be among the award-winners
https://safc.blog/2016/11/bournemouth-who-are-you-doomed-safc-know-nothing-lord-sugar-cherries-delight/ for an interview we said at the time (it was before our first win of the season, at their place) suggested a bloke you’d happily have a pint with. Sobs said
“he doesn’t like Alan Sugar, which makes him all right in my book” while Wrinkly Pete, namely Peter Lynn, liked the “in depth analysis of his club and the game itself”.
Salut! Sunderland: Any thoughts on the club (SAFC), fans, city and region, David Moyes?
With such a huge, passionate fanbase, you deserve better than the clowns running your club. David Moyes is clearly a decent manager with a strong track record. But under the current regime there, not even Jesus could make a success of Sunderland.
As a quick reminder, these are the prizes on offer:
* a year’s subscription to the ever-brilliant magazine When Saturday Comes
* a voucher for £50 to spend with Classic Football Shirts
* a print from Art of Football. You’ll recall their highly individual depictions of Jermain Defoe’s winning volley against Newcastle United, Kevin Phillips and the heroes of 1973. A winner choosing this prize would naturally look more widely around Art of football’s range
Out of interest, votes were also cast for Hull City’s Ian Wilson (“he wrote knowledgeably and fairly about a club that nearly died,” said Pete Sixsmith), Everton’s Graeme Holmes (“Honest, forthright and with a feel for his club,” said Sixer again), Swansea’s Peter Thomas (“true fan who knows his club” – Malcolm Dawson), Burnley’s Duncan Sutcliffe (“ditto” – Malcolm/”pragmatic” – Wrinkly Pete) and a lady Smoggie, Catherine Wilson, (nice feel to the article” – Wrinkly).
Did I say one special award? Let’s make it two.
Sixer raved about Shrewsbury’s Carl Jones:
Carl personifies the strength of the English game. I can’t see many other countries where so many people watch clubs below the top two levels. He wrote eloquently and affectionately and without any side or sarcasm. Refreshing. And we won. And Adnan Januzaj scored……
And Malcolm paid tribute to Neil Baldwin, variously a lay preacher, circus clown and Stoke City’s celebrated kit man. “The man is a legend and deserves a mention,” said Malcolm.
We’ll come up with something for the pair of them.
And thanks once again to all who took part in the series, forked out for prizes and joined the judging process.