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.
Here’s a brief chance to give your view now that the transfer window has closed. The site will be busy soon, we’ll have views from Lars and Pete, plus Pete looking forward to Ipswich tomorrow, so this will only be around for the rest of today.
Pete Sixsmith has already produced a “first time” post for ‘Boro away so I’m using his usual spot to bring you an update on the progress of the clubs our pre-season poll predicted would be the top six. (Over 8,000 votes were cast. If you’re new to the series or wish to catch up you might try some of the links at the bottom of the page).
The clubs were:
Abigail Emmerson is a special girl. How many other nine-year-olds – OK, only a few days to go before she hits 10 – willingly turn up to watch SAFC home and often enough away, make videos about it and write for Salut! Sunderland? You met her here after the Burton away win, she was mentioned again in Monsieur Salut’s account of his winning trip to the SoL and now she offers her own thoughts on that breakthrough …
I can’t believe I have eventually seen my first home win. I thought it would never happen. But then again I picked the worst time to start watching them last season. We had been doing OK before I turned up, but then to go a year without a win? Wow.
Monsieur Salut, only an occasional presence at games, offers some thoughts on a satisfying first pilgrimage to the Stadium of Light since, well, we were a Premier League side ….
With apologies to all the people I would also have liked to meet but couldn’t, let it be recorded that even a punishing drive south in rotten conditions failed to dampen the spirits after a weekend back in the north, capped by that heartening first home win for a horrifying period, just one day short of a year.
“I must have aged 10 years in the last five minutes,” someone said in the concourse as people left the Stadium of Light with rare smiles on their faces.
One of the most exuberant of those smiles belonged to nine-year-old Abigail Emmerson, who recently wrote a charming account of her early experiences as a Sunderland supporter.
Malcolm Dawson is occupying Pete’s seat and I believe he’ll be doing the match report tomorrow, as befits someone in such an elevated position. Malcolm sent his seven word summary to M Salut at the final whistle. M Salut, somewhere else in the ground – and possibly in a better seat – forwarded it to me (John Mc, that is), and here it is:
John McCormick writes: I can only remember one game against Fulham, and that was at Craven Cottage, where, like Pete Sixsmith, I enjoyed a walk through the park and a stand that overlooked the river.
Other than that, my mind is its usual blank. Was I at this match (indeed, any home games v Fulham between 1964 and 1974?) I really don’t know, possibly because it was a totally forgettable game. No matter, Saturday’s visit allows Pete and his prodigious memory to provide yet another trip to Roker, where some memorable players graced the sacred turf.
Monsieur Salut writes: I had a dream; Sunderland beat Fulham 2-0 before my eyes to end the home hoodoo. A likely outcome? Russ Goldman*, a USA-based Fulham fan who hosts the Cottage Talk podcast (as well as a New England Patriots podcast, disagrees as you would expect. He is not too downbeat about his club’s failure to live up to expectations so far and believes they will end up in the top six. He also expects them to beat us on Saturday …
The Last Time Ever I Looked, the star of Salut! Sunderland’s gripping series, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Team/Ground, had attracted 101 “likes” with this image posted at Facebook.
Steadfast dieting has whittled away Pete Sixsmith, for it is again he in the guise of County Durham’s busiest descendant of Saint Nicholas. But he still looks the part, as he describes it, as “Santa in his grotto at As You Like It in Jesmond”.
Out with the mugs and in with the print or t-shirt. For the next two games, Guess the Score has the ear of those excellent people at Art of Football, occasional sponsors of Salut! Sunderland competitions and run by Nottingham Forest fans among whom we found a Who are You? candidate earlier in the season.
So guess the score in Sunderland vs Fulham, be first with the right scoreline and you will win one of the two Niall Quinn/Kevin Phillips items shown: a fine print or a t-shirt depicting two heroes of Sunderland’s relatively recent past.