John McCormick writes: It was Malcolm who sent the e-mail about a poll to decide on names for the stands at the SOL but it was Eric who made the original request, via the comments section, in Colin’s guess the score for the opening game of the season. My contribution was the headline you see above and the construction of the page.
Charlie Hurley, Bob Stokoe, Bradley Lowery, Raich Carter, Stan Anderson, Jimmy Montgomery and Ian Porterfield, in no particular order, were the first names we came up with; I added Cloughie and Shack when setting up the poll.
The latest edition of French Fancies is special and timely, a must for any Sunderland supporter who happens to be studying – or knows a little of – the language of Molière.
Entrez, s’il vous plaît, our new friend Kevin Quigagne, who is French but has been in England for 21 years, lives in the North East and follows the Lads with some enthusiasm when not demonstrating a soft spot for Sheffield Wednesday.
Each matchday, Pete Sixsmith – or a supersub in his absence – summarises the outcome and/or performance with a seven-word verdict, invariably followed by his considered Soapboax report. Today, May 5, though not literally, he’s been up to London to see the … Team of All The Talents, Bob Stokoe’s valiant men in red and white stripes who defied logic and hierarchical wisdom to beat all-conquering Leeds United to the FA Cup. Savour the moment as, on another May 5 four decades ago, Pete did …
Pete Sixsmith***** was there. Monsieur Salut was not, having been repeatedly promised a ticket by a drunken colleague whose work gave him close contact with Wembley. The promises continued right up to May 4 but the ticket did not materialise.. A fabulous day all the same, even if you had to watch it in an upstairs company flat in Uxbridge (upstairs of said colleague who was nowhere to be found) before heading off to sink pints with the Co Durham lads who always ended SAFC awaydays at the Wealdstone ex-Service club. Pete describes the day, as I could describe that night, as if writing for this site on May 6 1973 …
John Mac writes: Man City breezed past second division Leeds on Sunday, extending to 41 years the length of time that has elapsed since United last won the FA Cup (they have won the league twice since then but that all seems a long time ago, too).
Forty years ago this fixture could have been the final had City not come up against a different second division side in the fifth round, one that was much, much better than the Leeds of today.
Following the weekend Sixer’s Sevens summing up that Man City-SAFC game, and better 40 years late than never, here is Pete Sixsmith‘s account of his trip to Maine Road, when the first of three teams from the top division succumbed to the Stokoe magic. The general plan is pursue our 1973 cup run in similar fashion until May 5. It beats getting upset again about our lamentably early exit this season …
When Salut! Sunderland‘s mini-series on the Mackem Diaspora* reached instalment number four, that seemed to be about that. But it would be criminal not to offer this priceless late account of a life that began in London and moved to Australia, Singapore and South Africa before family roots on Wearside were re-established. Andy Nichol gets instalment number five all to himself ….
Andy Nichol is a man of many wise words and has inhabited a very wide world.
He provides cogent analysis of most of the footballing issues important to Sunderland supporters but seen only by those sensible enough to have signed up to the Blackcats e-mail list.
He has chaired the London supporters’ club branch, edited its magazine and devoted so much of his life to following Sunderland AFC that Niall Quinn should seriously consider putting up his statue alongside Bob Stokoe’s. Especially since, as you shall see, the Stokoe heritage is in serious debt to the Nichol one.
Health warning: to be avoided by persons of a sensitive disposition who also support Leeds United.
But think back to the first Saturday of May, 37 years ago. Every street deserted, people glued to their TV sets if not actually at Wembley. All the devotion, fervour and pride captured in the selection of photos we have reproduced with kind permission of the Sunderland Echo – and the renowned Tyne Tees documentary, clips of which appear here from YouTube (complete with the Mackem lass showing off those knickers). Leeds fans who stray into these parts will be pleased to hear this is our last look at the fascinating new book by a Sunderland-supporting BBC journalist, Lance Hardy, on the epic 1973 FA Cup Final. Interview by
There were no neutrals. Everyone outside Leeds wanted Sunderland to win the 1973 FA Cup Final. Continuing our coverage of Lance Hardy’s new book** on the sensational upset our Lads caused at Wembley, Pete Sixsmith wallows in the memory of a quite different world …
Photos from 1973 by kind permission of the Sunderland Echo
Patrick Vieira on £150,000 a week; Kenwyne Jones valued at £40m; Manchester United with debts of £750m and tickets for Saturday at Chelsea at a tad under £50.
Money, money, money. I don’t think the game has ever been so wrapped up in finance and it somewhat dissipates the pleasure of watching a simple football match.
There were days when football, and everything around it, was much more innocent. I was reminded of this as I read Lance Hardy’s excellent book, Stokoe, Sunderland and ’73.
The title tells you everything you need to know; it’s a book about the greatest FA Cup victory in living memory, the manager who engineerd it, the players who delivered it and the fans who witnessed it and who have never quite got over it.