The Salut! Sunderland Haway awards: Peterborough, Wycombe, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers in the running

Jake: ‘thanks to all who participate’. Click this image to see all of this season’s interviews

It has become
a bit of a stuck old gramophone record, Salut! Sunderland‘s pride in a tremendous season of Who are You? interviews with opposing supporters.

Judging is at an advanced stage for our HAWAYs – annual awards for Highly Articulate Who are You?s – and with only a couple of sets of votes still awaited, front-runners are emerging.

League One has been a goldmine for the series (not forgetting our cup-game interviewees from other divisions)

As Monsieur Salut put it when writing to the judges: “I could have put them all in a hat and drawn three at random, so good have so many of the interviews been.”

Read more

Rate the Ref: Sunderland v Bradford City

Our biggest gate of the season (so far). Will  it produce more votes on the Ken-meter than the 42 we got between the poll going live after Portsmouth and the site crashing?

Some of those 42 may have been Portsmouth fans, judging by the range of ratings. It was the first time the full scale was used, which means some people thought the ref was absolute perfection while others thought he was, in Ken’s words, Coote-like  (or in plain English, abysmal)

Read more

Sixer’s Sevens: dodgy line call helps SAFC beat Bradford City

Jake (mopping brow): ‘phew.’

Pete Sixsmith, Santa duties over for another year, was among the bumper Boxing Day crowd of 46,039 for the important match against Bradford City. Portsmouth losing at Gillingham in the early game provided a great opportunity to make up lost ground – and we did it, if only just.

Monsieur Salut could not be among those packed inside the SoL – a quite extraordinary statistic for the third tier of English football – and could only listen to Barnes and Benno and will the Lads to victory. Sixer saw it all, including the Bradford ‘goal’ – McLaughlin fumbling and appearing to recover only after the ball had crossed the line. We often enough find themselves on the wrong end of bad decisions but seem to have got away with this one.

This is just his instant, seven-word verdict. His fuller report will make interesting reading …

Read more

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Team: Bradford City

The man himself

John McCormick writes: This is the second time I’ve set up this post. I spent hours working round the site problems and embedding files from a remote server so I could do Pete Sixsmith’s effort justice and then it disappeared, presumably never to return.  But as my  granny may have said, if a thing’s worth doing it’s worth doing well, and Pete’s stuff is certainly worth the effort.  So here we go again.

I’ve scheduled this to launch a bit earlier than normal for the series so if there are more issues – the site’s still undergoing rebuilding – I’ll have a chance to put up a third copy before Boxing Day.

Read more

Sixer’s Bradford Sevens: 10-man Sunderland hang on as promotion rivals lose

If we fail to win promotion at the first attempt this season, it may not be because of our inability to keep a clean sheet or hold onto a lead but through a lack of discipline. For the third time this season we had a player sent off and for the second time our keeper has to save a penalty. Listening to Barnes and Benno, the closing minutes of this game was real heart in the mouth stuff. Would we hang on? The final minutes were made just that little bit easier when the hosts also had a player shown the red card. 

Pete Sixsmith was there and as always will bring us his detailed report of what was a nail biting game tomorrow. But for now make do with his instant seven match summary of a game in a league which is anything but boring.

Read more

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground: Bradford City and Valley Parade

 John McCormick writes: some 15 years ago, perhaps a few more, I almost went to see Bradford play. It was a Valentine’s weekend and the family had decamped to a hotel in the region, 10 of us altogether, mostly from my wife’s side, for a reunion of some sort. We arrived on the Friday and going to the match was one of the possibilities raised while having  a few drinks on the Friday night. Come the Saturday, no one felt like going. Perhaps that’s not surprising, given that my share of the bar bill alone was in three figures when we checked out on the Sunday.

Pete Sixsmith appears to have had no such problems in getting there:

Read more

Bradford City ‘Who Are You?’: it’s grim up north

Jake wants answers

John McCormick, associate editor, writes…. a century ago Bradford was both a new city and an industrial power, able to compete with anywhere in the world. As befitted its status it had two professional football clubs, one of which had won the FA Cup in 1911 by beating Newcastle United, who had won it the previous year.

Then came decline, of the city and of its football clubs. While close neighbours Leeds United became mighty and cross-Pennine rivals in Manchester achieved great things,  Bradford Park Avenue – Len Shackleton’s first club – went from playing in an Archibald Leitch stadium to Sunday league football before returning as far as the Vanarama League (North).

The other club, cup-winning Bradford City, were relegated in the 1920s and never regained their pre-war glory. But, despite trials and tribulations that make our recent troubles seem trivial, they remained in the Football League.

Jason Mckeown* continues their story:

Read more