Sunderland out west: the Taylor report from Toronto

TT's Landlord - just what you need before watching a Sunderland game.
TT’s Landlord – just what you need before watching a Sunderland game.
Malcolm Dawson writes….as kick off approached I was enjoying a few excellent pints of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord and taking part in a pub quiz less than three miles from Toronto. Meanwhile Bill Taylor, who I don’t think is related to the founder of the Keighley based brewing company (though he might inform me otherwise) was making his way to the BMO Field for last night’s final game of the three match pre-season tour of North America. I went home and watched it on TV via my laptop, as the Toronto I was near to is the one just outside of Bishop Auckland whereas Bill, County Durham born and bred, now lives over there. I could see, even over a dodgy internet connection, the influence that Jozy Altidore has had on his team mates, if Osorio’s glaring miss just before half time is anything to go by! We will be getting a more detailed version of events later from Martin Bates, the latest of our new found correspondents courtesy of SAFC NASA, but we’ll start with some of Bill’s pics and his explanation as to why he has been much missed on the pages of Salut! Sunderland in recent times.



I know what you’re thinking! “Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water… there’s that bugger Bill Taylor again, doing his celebrated impersonation of a bad penny.” Okay, that’s a shark metaphor gone wrong and, don’t worry, I’m not back to stay.

Some of you may remember I took my leave of this site when the appalling (but much-admired at the time, as I recall) neo-fascist Paolo di Canio took over at the SoL. Somehow, even after his departure, my cynicism — mainly at the club’s management structure remained and I stayed away.

Read Bill’s letter of resignation here. (These are his pictures that follow.)

As an aside, I’m by no means convinced that Dick Advocaat is the answer to our prayers but I’m still a Mackem through and through. I still follow the team closely, though often despairingly, and I still read Salut! Sunderland. And there was no way I wasn’t going to be front and centre (literally — a TFC season ticket-holder got me seats in the first row right next to the tunnel and close to the visitors’ bench) when the Lads came to Toronto.

Dick in the stand.
Dick in the stand. Bill’s not convinced

Other, more expert, eyes were also at the game and will deliver a longer and more considered verdict.

Me? Apart from Defoe’s two goals and a nice solo effort by Fletcher that didn’t come off, Sunderland were not impressive. Toronto played better football all-round, positionally, controlling the ball, setting up chances. Especially in the first half, they constantly forced Sunderland onto the back foot and confined them to their own half. At times, our lot seemed genuinely surprised to find they had an attack starting and had to scramble to catch up. TFC were unlucky not to win. They scored first and came close to scoring three or four times more. They made a lot of substitutions, perhaps to allow as many of the team as possible to say they’d played against a Premiership side.

The home team score as the internet stream disappears
The home team score as the internet stream disappears

I hate to say it, but unless Sunderland really pull their collective socks up, this time next year they really will be a Championship side. There’s a LOT of work to be done.

And come on, lads, two yellow cards in a friendly? Really? Seb Larsson’s, which I saw close up, could easily have turned into a red, the way he argued with the ref.

Here endeth the sermon.

JD scores in front of the Red and White masses.
JD scores in front of the Red and White masses.


Kept us in the game - again!
Kept us in the game – again!
Spreading the word
Spreading the word
Ha'way Seb man - get a grip!
Ha’way Seb man – get a grip!
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13 thoughts on “Sunderland out west: the Taylor report from Toronto”

  1. There were still a few with hand pumps when I was first getting into pubs. I used to like Fed Best (“Guaranteed gravity” was the slogan) in the workies clubs. Youngers Tartan was another good pint. I was never a big fan of Camerons. When Colin and his brother and another guy were running a folk club at the Aclet in Bishop, I used to drink bottled Strongarm rather the draught variation. There’s a pub I get into in Toronto occasionally that serves a very nice pint of Old Speckled Hen.

  2. I’m far ower young for that big lads beer. Silver Tankard? Gold Tankard? Where’s the Double Maxim?

      • You lot must be years older than me. It was always Lorimers Best Scotch for me in my teenage years in a Vaux house.

      • Can’t remember exactly which pubs I would have had it in. Defnitely The Shepherds in Hetton and maybe the Argus Butterfly or Black Bull in Peterlee where I went to Tech between 70 and 72. Possibly the Brewery Tap in Sunderland in the mid 70s. Always half and half in the Workies and Exhibition in an S&N house. Castle Eden Ale at Castle Eden – my first legal pint before Whitbread’s took them over.

        Nostalgic as it is looking back, there is a much better selection of real ales around now. Back then it was all tank beer. The Seaton Arms on the way from Houghton to Seaham is the only place I can remember with hand pumps in my teenage years.

  3. I hopes that Billl Tailor duzzn’t cum bak. He is rubbbish and dose not know wot he is on about. Vaux Gold Tankard indeed; he is just a posh boy as all of us working class lads had to make do with Vaux Silver Tankard.
    Pete Sixsmith
    Head of English
    Eton and Harrow College.

    • I swear, my dears, the vulgarians have quite taken over… I remember the first time I entered an hostelry that offered Silver Tankard; I had to be revived with copious draughts of creme-de-menthe.
      Eatin’ an arrow is a very silly thing to do.

  4. H’way Bill. There’s always an element of dissent in anything that I can contribute on here and many others besides. You clearly haven’t been on here that much in recent times 🙂

  5. Seconded here as well Malcolm. It’s not been the same without you Bill. Many of us share some of the same reservations about how the club is being run, but at the end of the day it’s still our club. Come on back mate?

  6. No relationship to the brewer, alas, Malcolm, Wouldn’t be a bad family to belong to, though. I was always a Vaux Gold Tankard man when I lived in Bishop Auckland but that was in the days before the fancy stuff…

    • Shame you’re not back to stay Bill. I for one miss your incisive comments and well thought out articles.

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