Put it this way. Pete Sixsmith gives a lot more to the football-supporting public than he gets back.
He collects bits and bobs of beer money, the odd mug or print or match ticket paid for, but nothing that remotely reflects all he does, mostly for Salut! Sunderlandbut also in unpaid appearances on radio, in books and on other people’s websites. And he’s Father Christmas to boot – look out for him ho-ho-hoing his way through County Durham and Tyne and Wear in December.
We’re accustomed to the analysis, the seven-word instant verdict (Sixer’s Sevens) and the post-match Soapbox reports. But have you noticed how he also comes up with great ideas for series? “Sunderland’s 10 relegations”, “Sunderland’s Twelve Days of Christmas” and now “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground” (or team if a home game).
This is the story so far for those who have missed it:
John McCormick writes: I’ve been unwilling to criticise Ellis Short in the past. I’ve held back where others haven’t. But now I am firmly of the opinion that the sooner he divests himself of our club the better it will be be.
I came to that conclusion before I read Pete Sixsmith’s match report. Having read it, I see no reason to change my mind
Pete Sixmsith is back on duty after a midweek break, during which time he put together his thoughts about his visits to Ipswich.
They will be with us shortly, but first we have his match report to come and, by way of a warm-up, his instant seven word verdict, sent from the Stadium of Light before the echoes of the final whistle, and perhaps some boos as well, have faded into the night.
The first post-war season saw Cardiff become champions of the Third Division (South) and they continued to climb as we began to struggle. They achieved Division One as the 195os began and they played us during most seasons of that decade, with a gap year when they were relegated 12 months before us.
Then came the Sixties and fortunes appeared to reverse, but only for a while, which brings us to the Seventies and Pete Sixsmith‘s chance to remember some inauspicious meetings and one great day:
Colin Randall writes: The last time Mike Morris* shared his thoughts with Salut! Sunderland, it was mid-season (2013-14) and he was expecting a 14th top finish for City, bottom place and relegation for us. We drew at their place and then hammered them at home during the marvellous escape act orchestrated by Gus Poyet. They went down.
Mike, editor of the CardiffCity.com fan site, returns now with his team riding with along with Leeds and Wolves at the top of the Championship. He’s made his peace, emotionally, with the owner previously known as Public Enemy Number One, has a sharp dig at Sunderland fans who desert the stadium when things go wrong (music to Wrinkly Pete‘s ears, though his main gripe is with people leaving before the end of any home game) and offers an unwelcome view of the Wear-Tyne pecking order …
Salut! Sunderland: I honestly didn’t expect this to a top-bottom clash but it’s close. Despite the setback at Preston, you must be relishing change to join the Stadium of Light scalp-hunters
Mike Morris: As an eternal pessimist my gut feeling is that we will be come the first side not to get a result at the SoL this year. But my head says that we should be good enough not to lose the game.
Monsieur Salut writes: sincere apologies if you tried to come here last night and could see only a message saying the database could not be reached. Our contract is with GoDaddy – as I was reminded yesterday when the bill for another two years landed with a painful thud yesterday – and proudly announced this morning that maintenance work had been carried out. If this was the cause of the unannounced interruption in our service, they’ll be on the receiving end of a choice rebuke later on (update: it probably was, but GoDaddy says WordPress does the work and therefore causes the disruption …
Still no win at home this year (and still no mugs for the winners of previous Guess the Score competitions). I am working on the latter and can but hope Mr Grayson has a viable plan to correct the former.
As things stand, Cardidd fans have every right to be licking their lips at the distinct prospect of yet another smash-and-grab job for visitors to the Stadium of Light. OK, it is not quite bottom vs top but we start just one place above the drop zone whereas City are up there on the same points as the leaders, Leeds and Wolves.