A couple of days ago I thought I’d got it wrong, writes John McCormick, and should be looking at trains to Manchester, or at least asking the boss if I could have the car, in order to get to Rochdale. I had got it wrong as Rochdale head north over the weekend and I have no chance of getting up for that game. This means I’ll be relying on Pete Sixsmith for mid-game texts and a final report.
And what does Mr Sixsmith rely on himself? Nothing more than his memory, which luckily goes back a long way, although sometimes it’s a struggle:
Monsieur Salut writes: we are honoured to have some lovely Who are You? interviews with opposing fans. This is up there with the best in my view. John Beckett*, a former Manchester police emergency dispatcher and now a driving instructor, has been hooked on his local team – not United, not City but good old Rochdale – since early childhood. He’ll be among the away fans on Saturday …
Salut! Sunderland: small club in the shadow of giants but you have a strong community identity and probably feel superior to them on that basis alone! Explain Rochdale AFC for those who remember only that you beat us on penalties in a Checkatrade game.
John Beckett: Rochdale AFC (or The Dale) were formed in 1907. We were accepted into the Football League in 1921 and have remained in the 3rd and 4th tiers ever since.
Thankfully after 36 consecutive seasons in the old Division 4/League 2 we finally won promotion in 2010.
This alone is one of the main reasons we have a great support. No one can ever say we are gloryhunters but we are true die hard fans!
Pete Sixsmith was looking forward to the weekend, not just because of the prospect of a decent game but also because of the prospect of a visit to one or two well-liked pubs.
I’m not sure if those pubs were all pre-match or if he was expecting to take one in afterwards. And I’m not sure if he’d want to do that now because, from the seven word text he sent immediately on the whistle, it wasn’t just the result that wrecked his weekend, it was the whole game:
Monsieur Salut writes: Dave Child*, an expert on football stadium pies as well as doing his bit for local radio, is a fine ambassador for his club, Burton Albion, the town itself and its celebrated beer. Last season, he rose twice to the ‘Who are You?’ occasion, attending both games (we won there; they sent us down by taking revenge at the Stadium of Light) but also giving seriously good pre-match interviews to Salut! Sunderland. So it felt no hardship to return to Dave after he was proved right in his prediction that we’d go down together …
UPDATE: the good news for readers waiting for prize mugs is that all those known to Monsieur Salut, and having provided delivery addresses and the names of players they wish to appear on the dressing room image, have had theirs ordered today. They should arrive soon. Anyone feeling left out, having been promised a mug and not received it, should let me know, using the contact form or simply by leaving a comment.
First things first, says Monsieur Salut. I have a backlog of mugs to send out to winning Guess the Score entrants and am struggling to persuade a wretched advertiser to pay for a sponsored post published almost two months ago. He faces a significant risk of being “outed” on these pages, as a warning to others, if the money does not show up sharpish.
We get the odd proper advertisement, and businesses from the North East, like the one you see to the right of the page, are warmly welcome.
Some of the content supplied by way of sponsored posts is of a reasonable quality and I do my best to make the others at least presentable. Out and out stinkers are rejected.
But it’s a process that may be seen as a necessary evil that helps such a site as Salut! Sunderland pay its way. And that includes the cost of competition prizes, for which we no longer have a sponsor.
So for this week at least, we revert to a just-for-fun edition of Guess the Score for the first time this season.
John McCormick writes: Regular visitors will be used to Paul Summerside’s thoughts popping up on the site. He’s here often enough to have his own tag – A view from the Avenue – and he always has something interesting to say. Today is no exception as he takes the opportunity to look back over the summer and the season to date.
This being a short piece, Paul posted it on our facebook page first but it’s good enough to go up here and it’s important enough to be read twice. So thanks, Paul, for letting us move it across.
John McCormick writes: I don’t know what Pete Sixsmith’s on about in his opening paragraph.
I can’t disagree with his comment about the average Rugby League prop forward but saying Maths sums are hard is a bit much, and surely he knows that some metals are soft. Perhaps his phrase “ very hard” covers both wood and metal. That kind of ambiguity is one of the niceties of the English language. Another nicety is the way it allows the construction of beautiful prose, words which flow and transport the reader to another world, place or time, but I suppose all languages have that power and it’s up to the writer to wield it.
Which Pete does once again, as he transports you to the coast of Lancashire via the Northern Premier League:
John McCormick writes: Ben Knapman writes a fan column for the Fleetwood Weekly News and Blackpool Gazette. He did a two hour run earlier this year to raise funds for the Bradley Lowery Foundation. If that’s not enough he produces a You tube blog about Fleetwood Town. And he does it all on top of his studies, which I reckon are just about to begin once again.
Yet, when M Salut was about to give up the search for a Cod Army volunteer for this week’s “Who are You?”, Ben found the time, stepped into the breach and did an excellent job of giving us an introduction to a club few of us would have expected to be meeting in the football league.