Salut! Sunderland’s HAWAY awards: the 10 Championship clubs with fans battling for honours

Jake: ‘thanks to all who participate’. Click this image to see all of this seaon’s interviews
With nominations about to close in Salut! Sunderland’s annual HAWAY awards – the prizes offered for best interviews with opposing fans over the season just ended – there is a clear front runner.

Since judging is not quite complete, and readers may still take part as previously invited simply by adding their choices in order of first-second-third in the Comments below, it would be premature to give away more.

Nominations close at midnight UK time so there is not much time left for stragglers, and we do have a quorum with votes already cast by several contributors.

Read moreSalut! Sunderland’s HAWAY awards: the 10 Championship clubs with fans battling for honours

Will Cardiff or Fulham join Wolves, and will Derby join Villa and Middlesbrough?

no slide rule needed

This will be my final dodgy numbers post of the season. (If you haven’t seen the previous ones you can follow the link above, and/or those below). There is still a game to go, and two questions remain unanswered, but we can now look at the league table and judge how well our start of season pundits did. Their choices for the top six spots, in order of popularity were: Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Fulham, Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland.

Three out of six, and wrong about the top two. Is that a “not bad” verdict or something worse? 

Read moreWill Cardiff or Fulham join Wolves, and will Derby join Villa and Middlesbrough?

Wolves and Cardiff, then Fulham and Villa. Then pick two from three (or four?) (or five?)

now it’s very dodgy

Yesterday you might have seen how I – or rather our readers – came to select a number of clubs to follow over the course of the season. They were originally Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Fulham, Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland; Wolves, Bristol City, Cardiff, Derby and Sheffield United joined them at the end of the January transfer window.

Read moreWolves and Cardiff, then Fulham and Villa. Then pick two from three (or four?) (or five?)

Wolves, Cardiff, Bristol, Derby and Sheffield United join Middlesbrough, Villa and Fulham as our ones to watch

no slide rule needed

Let’s go back to the start of the season (and don’t we wish we could).

I polled our readers as to who would make the top six. These clubs came up favourite ( in the order given) and I began tracking them and reporting on their progress from time to time:

Middlesbrough

Aston Villa

Fulham

Sheffield Wednesday

Leeds

and Sunderland

By Christmas, if not earlier, it was obvious some changes were needed.

Read moreWolves, Cardiff, Bristol, Derby and Sheffield United join Middlesbrough, Villa and Fulham as our ones to watch

A champion Championship series: the first time Sixer saw your ground or your team

Sixer tastes the tropical flavour of a County Durham winter as he delivers the papers

Most weeks, readers of Salut! Sunderland drop by on Friday morning to catch the latest instalment in Pete Sixsmith’s twin series, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground (if the game in question is away), Team (if it’s at the Stadium of Light).

This week, the Millwall edition was posted earlier than usual – namely at this link.

Read moreA champion Championship series: the first time Sixer saw your ground or your team

The Lars Word from Bristol City 3-3 SAFC. From disgust to euphoria

Lars Knutsen: ‘still mired in a relegation dogfight but at last showing signs of gelling’

Lars Knutsen knows how to choose them. Back from his USA exile (correcting the earlier reference, he still travels there a lot but family needs prompted him to relocate), he made it to the Bristol City game. Pete Sixsmith has already woven his familiar magic; here is an outstanding account from Lars of his own extraordinary afternoon …

Read moreThe Lars Word from Bristol City 3-3 SAFC. From disgust to euphoria

Sixers’ Bristol City soapbox – and it’s worth waiting for

The half-time chorus

John McCormick writes: There have been few “…and I was there…” games in the last couple of years, after a slew which included Wembley; four, five and six in a row; a win at Chelsea and coming back from 2-0 down at Anfield. But this match, where we played so badly for 45 minutes and returned home with a point after being 3-0 down, must be one of those games.

However, I wasn’t there.

Pete Sixsmith was. Here’s his report:

Read moreSixers’ Bristol City soapbox – and it’s worth waiting for

After Bristanbul, where’s Sixer when you need him?

Pete Sixsmith then (not so long ago) … he’s a lot trimmer now
We know who was at Ashton Gate for the great return from the dead.

Olivia Hutchison was there and her shortest of video clips, capturing the exhilaration of the away end after a composite known as OG scored his second, our third, has been repeated over and again at Twitter.

Read moreAfter Bristanbul, where’s Sixer when you need him?

Hutch’s one-worders from Bristol City 3-3 SAFC. How equaliser made a daughter’s day

Olivia

Usually, if he’s there, Rob Hutchison dictates one-word player-by-player verdicts and his daughter Olivia passes them on to us. Today, he was absent. She was there – and how she enjoyed the last few minutes of a game we once seems destined to lose by a cricket score. ‘The worst 45 minutes of football followed by the best 45 minutes of football – That’s Sunderland for you,’ she says while hardly preparing top-of-the-form marks for the players …

Read moreHutch’s one-worders from Bristol City 3-3 SAFC. How equaliser made a daughter’s day

Sixer’s Sevens: Bristol City 3-3 Sunderland. Suddenly fit to wear the shirt

Jake: ‘it’s not always pretty’

Monsieur Salut writes: John McCormick, setting up this week’s Sixer’s Sevens, wrote: ‘We might not be expecting a result at Ashton Gate but we should expect something from our team.  Commitment, pride, maybe even a modicum of skill. And hopefully a structure that works and which will provide a framework for a climb out of the depths’

At half time, the words seemed hollow. Three down, with Sixer’s increasingly disgusted, anguished texts piling up and our poor fans singing ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’. Some left at the whistle for the interval. They missed an astonishing comeback, not quite to 4-3 but to 3-3. Thanks heavens for McGeady and whoever scored the own goals (sign them up, too). Nowhere near out of the wood but a point we barely expected before the game and thought an absurd proposition after 37 minutes …

Read moreSixer’s Sevens: Bristol City 3-3 Sunderland. Suddenly fit to wear the shirt