On March 4 1967, having already beat Newcastle United 3-0 at St James’ Park back in October, with goals from George Mulhall, Neil Martin and John O’Hare, we did the same at home, Bobby Kerr grabbing two and Mulhall the other. The team was Montgomery, Irwin, Harvey, Todd, Kinnell, Baxter, Kerr, O’Hare, Martin, Herd, Mulhall. Today, we have – theoretically – one of our best chances of doing the double over the Mags in the 42 years that have passed since then. By the time many Salut! Sunderland readers see Pete Sixsmith‘s preview, we will know which SAFC put in an appearance today: the one that can win an away game 4-1 or sneak a deserved 2-1; the one that scrapes a draw; or the one that inflicts yet more disaapointment on the fans….Ha’way the Lads
Well, here I am lurking behind enemy lines trying to get a fix on the “Big Match” tomorrow. Have spent the afternoon in a strange town called Ashington where the natives speak in incomprehensible accents and make utterances abour “gannin’ doon the toon to see off the Mackems tha kna’s”.
They have failed to realise that I am a Mackem as I have disguised myself as a Mag. My sylph like figure has ballooned up to 18 stone and I am wearing a too tight black and white top. I thought of shaving off my distinctive Cisse style beard, but thought that if I did, I would resemble the not-so-beloved leader, Mike Ashley.
There are mutterings of discontent amongst the “Toon Army” but we must not be over confident. I don’t want to be making the same kind of slip as Dickie Attenborough** in The Great Escape and must use Magspeak until the mission is over.
I can say “ya knaa, aah hate Dennis Wise and the Cockney Mafia” and “Ohnooo, beaten by the Mackems. Where’s the Redheugh Bridge for me to jump off”. But care and secrecy are the watchword.
Tomorrow is the most dangerous part of the mission when I board a bus from Dunston to “The Toon” and try to blend in with the locals. Switch off the mobile in case they hear the ring tone (Wise Men Say), practise drinking a pint in one gulp like their once beloved leader and close down 98 per cent of my brain cells so that I can communicate with them.
I will text reports in order for readers to follow my progress throughout the day. Going undercover now. God Save The King (Charlie Hurley).
We may never have a better chance……..
* Sobs – a.k.a Paul Dobson, a fine Mackem gentleman known in this parish and at A Love Supreme, will pipe up for Sunderland on Setanta Sports News in a transfer deadline special on Monday.
** and apologies to dear Dicky Attenbrough; it was Gordon Jackson who blurted out in English in The Great Escape as any fule no.