Who do you support: what gives you the right?

Malcolm Dawson writes….Summer Madness is the retrospective spot where we republish articles from days gone by. Well it helps to fill in time whilst we wait for the start of the new season. Pete Sixsmith and I are off to Tow Law this afternoon where the Development squad take on the Lawyers in a pre-season friendly. Chris Waddle of course has played for both clubs but I doubt he’ll be there shouting “pelanty” every time a player goes down in or near the box! A match report will follow.

Meanwhile we go back half a decade to 2010 when M Salut asked the question “What gives you the right to support a team.” I have included the comments which were made at the time. Please feel free to add to those.

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake
M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

Like the look of Chelsea? Gasp in admiration at Man United’s trophy cupboard? Fine, then let’s become a supporter. We can always find out where the place is later. Colin Randall, conscious of his own origins as far due south of Wearside as is possible without falling into the sea, takes a whimsical look at the hoops we should expect to go through before being regarded as genuine supporters of our chosen clubs …

What are the tests a supporter should pass to qualify as a real fan of the team he or she follows, as opposed to a bandwagon jumper?

I have my own set of rules.

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SAFC-supporting Corrie baddie booed by 47,000 Mackems (and 370 Ipswich fans)

Joe, born John
Joe, born John

If you came here for hard-hitting analysis, fanciful transfer speculation or earth-shattering news, you may have been led astray. There’s no football as we know it for another nine days or so and there hasn’t been a word from Salut! Sunderland’s huge army of pundits, essayists and wits. So we’re plundering the past (and, if you’re into the North East’s tragi-glorious history of coalmining and the music it inspired, take a peek at http://www.salutlive.com/2014/10/men-of-the-north-johnny-handle-and-a-classic-song-from-ed-pickford.html

Salut! Sunderland‘s unashamed dip into the deep reservoir of past work has taken on a life of its own.

The lads at BBC Newcastle seem to have liked it, a number of readers have given thumbs-up approval (here and on social media) and, after yesterday’s reappearance of an affectionate look at Darren Williams’s Sunderland career, Darren has today “favourited” and retweeted it), electronic contact was renewed with its author, the Peterlee-born actor Joe Simpson, who famously adopted his hero Joe Bolton’s Christian name when told by Equity they couldn’t have two John Simpsons on their books.

I tweeted Joe with news that his piece had been re-posted:


But Joe first came to Monsieur Salut’s attention when Joan Dawson, then co-ordinator of 5573, later Wear Down South, newsletter of the London and SE branch of the SAFC Supporters’ Association, asked for a series of celebrity supporter interviews. he was one of those I tracked down. Read an account of this series, its hits and misses, at https://safc.blog/2009/09/a-list-or-z-list-the-celebs-who-support-sunderland/

But here is the interview, now 13 years on from original publication but one of the best the series produced, with Joe:

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Summer Gold: (3) Tasmin Archer, No 1 star among Sunderland’s celebrity supporters

ta 2

Back in 2007, when Salut! Sunderland was a long way from its first million hits, we reproduced a series of Celebrity Supporters interviews originally written a few years earlier for Wear Down South, the newsletter of London branch of the SAFCSA.

It had been the idea of Joan Dawson, whose brother Malcolm is these days Salut!’s deputy editor. What was intended as the final piece – https://safc.blog/2007/06/the-celebs-we-cornered-and-the-ones-we-didnt/, wrapping up all the successes and failures of the series – appeared on June 6. On the same day, wondering if there might be scope for a new batch of interviews, I wrote to Tasmin Archer, the soul singer who’d had a No 1 hit with Sleeping Satellite in 1992. I’d heard she supported Sunderland; she replied the next day and an interview was set up.

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Sir Tim Rice: passions for American music, lacrosse and the Lads

There is unlikely to be appetite for dwelling much longer on the disappointment of three successive defeats in games we led from the early stages and ought, in two cases out of three, to have gone on and won.

So let us delve instead into the Salut! Sunderland archive for another blast of nostalgia.

Sir Tim Rice was the first celebrity follower of Sunderland to be interviewed in my series for what was then 5573 – think of the date of our last FA Cup Final win – and soon afterwards became Wear Down South, newsletter of the London & SE branch of the SAFC Supporters’ Association.

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The celebs who support Sunderland: A-list or Z-list?


Colin Randall has only himself to blame for being lumbered with a search for celeb supporters of Sunderland. He accepted the task cheerfully. He should have known better, having previously done a Famous on the Fulwell piece for A Love Supreme. But he persevered …

It was probably the most crushing condemnation of all the work we put into making Salut! Sunderland a half-decent site.

In one of those periodic threads at Ready to Go about celeb supporters of Sunderland, I yet again pointed out that the most comprehensive and reliable list, with interviews, had appeared here. And someone came back like a rocket to say he hadn’t even heard of half my candidates.

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