Sixer’s Sentiments: Pete meets a Sunderland legend – again!

After swapping the chalk face for a school reunion just off Junction 13 of the M1, Pete Sixsmith battled the floods and took in a Northern League game which gave him the opportunity to renew acquaintances with one of his boyhood (and adulthood) heroes. Frankly, after the amount of rain that hit the North East, cutting off the village of West Auckland, carrying off cars in the city of Durham and washing away the foundations of a whole apartment block in the suburbs of Newcastle, it was amazing that any games took place at all. The rain that fell over the previous two days certainly rivalled that which had caused the Reading game’s cancellation. We must hope there’ll be no repeat on Saturday and we can witness a first league victory since March.

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Soapbox: old heroes at Ryhope, new faces at Chesterfield

The international break usually means a week off for most SoL regulars. But for obsessives like Pete Sixsmith, it’s an opportunity to visit new grounds, drink in unfamiliar pubs and catch up on news of old players and their offspring.

As regular readers will know, this writer has a peculiar obsession with ticking off football grounds and/or watching copious amounts of non-league football. Like the groups of men gathered on the platform ends at Doncaster station, it’s an enthusiasm that causes most sane people to glaze over after 30 seconds of discussing the merits or otherwise of the Pyramid system.

However, it does throw up unexpected opportunities to bump into famous names. A couple of Fridays ago, I was at Sunderland Ryhope CA’s home game with Tow Law, and I was able to renew my acquaintance with George Herd.

George is 74 years old and looks as fit and sprightly as a man 20 years younger. He has been involved on the coaching side with RCA for a number of years and is a well known figure around the Northern League Second Division grounds.

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