James McClean: the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and a festering row

Jake adapts Tony Roffe's photographic magic to humour Salut! Sunderland

There is a good little debate in progress at this site on the rights, as I see it, and wrongs, as supporters of the Northern Ireland team have argued, of James McClean choosing to play senior international football for the Republic of Ireland.

The original article can be seen at this link: https://safc.blog/2012/06/shades-of-green-northern-ireland-should-respect-mccleans-republic-of-ireland-choice/

Read moreJames McClean: the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and a festering row

James McClean, pride of Sunderland (and Derry), secures Euro 2012 place

James McClean by Jake

No doubt James McClean will excuse Salut! Sunderland for its earlier spot of fun at his and the rest of the Lads’ expense, suggesting the double-winning Sunderland Women’s Football Club squad might be sent on to face Man United on Sunday …

Read moreJames McClean, pride of Sunderland (and Derry), secures Euro 2012 place

Luke’s World: hailing James McClean, Sunderland, Irish Republic, signing of the season

James McClean by Jake

On Saturday, as we stuttered unconvincingly to 2-2 draw against relegation-haunted Bolton Wanderers, important eyes were focused on one man. The Irish team manager Giovanni Trapattoni is preparing to name his squad for Euro 2012 and was again having James McClean closely watched ahead of his final decision on whether to include him. Reports from Dublin quote the boss as saying our man’s chances are 90 to 99 per cent. And he scored a cracker against Bolton. Luke Harvey continues his personal reflection on the season just ending with an assessment of McClean’s impact at the SoL …

Read moreLuke’s World: hailing James McClean, Sunderland, Irish Republic, signing of the season

James McClean: Derry City, Sunderland and ‘a language we all understand’

The quote is adapted from Phil Coulter’s song about Derry and the Troubles, The Town I Love So Well (he also co-wrote Puppet on a String but we bear no grudges). The language supporters of SAFC and Derry City understand is football, played in red and white stripes …

When Steve Bruce brought James McClean from Derry City for the the amount of money top players earn in a fortnight, our own Pete Sixsmith posed the question in an article at Salut! Sunderland: “Is he our new Johnny Crossan?”

Read moreJames McClean: Derry City, Sunderland and ‘a language we all understand’

The Johnny Crossan Story (1): Manchester City 0 SAFC 1

With thanks to www.therokerend.com

To Sunderland supporters of a certain vintage, Johnny Crossan – who scored 39 times for us in 82 games between 1962 and 1965 – is something of a legend.

“Before him, all my heroes were those of my dad,” one fan, Keith Scott, was telling Pete Sixsmith at a recent (Reserves) match. “Johnny Crossan was the first who was my own.”

Salut! Sunderland‘s mission to obtain an interview with the former Northern Ireland inside forward, 46 years after he last kicked a ball at Roker Park, is a legacy of another long-in-the-tooth SAFC follower’s trip to Johnny’s home town, Stroke City (as in Derry-stroke-Londonderry, according to where you fit in the nationalist/loyalust divide).

Pete Horan had been sent to work with people at the local tax office. In his luggage on departure was a book on Crossan that Pete Sixsmith asked him to take to his sports shop and have autographed. Raising the question at work, Pete was told: “You’re in luck: come along for a spot of five-a-side tonight and you’ll meet him.”

Read moreThe Johnny Crossan Story (1): Manchester City 0 SAFC 1

Soapbox: is James McClean our new Johnny Crossan?


The signing of a promising prospect from Derry City inspires Pete Sixsmith to reminisce about another Sunderland product of that club, the charismatic Johnny Crossan. There’s also a brilliant anecdote recalling the day another SAFC supporter was invited to play with the great man …


At a time when the opening day of the Premier League season is in doubt because of the large scale disorder that is sweeping parts of the country, it may well be no bad thing to look back to the calm and peaceful days of the 1960s when most people had an awareness of where they stood in society.

The catalyst for this piece of nostalgia is the arrival of James McClean from Derry City for the relatively modest sum of £350,000. He’s a left winger, highly regarded by both FAs on that divided island, who will with luck turn out to be as successful at Sunderland as another Derry boy, one John Albert Crossan was between 1962 and 1965.

Read moreSoapbox: is James McClean our new Johnny Crossan?