We all agree: name the North Stand after Monty (or do we?)

We’ve chosen one of Jake’s generic Salut! Sunderland images as this is a democratic effort

John McCormick writes: It was Malcolm who sent the e-mail about a poll to decide on names for the stands at the SOL but it was Eric who made the original request, via the comments section, in Colin’s guess the score for the opening game of the season. My contribution was the headline you see above and the construction of the page.

Charlie Hurley, Bob Stokoe, Bradley Lowery, Raich Carter, Stan Anderson, Jimmy Montgomery and Ian Porterfield, in no particular order, were the first names we came up with; I added Cloughie and Shack when setting up the poll.

Read moreWe all agree: name the North Stand after Monty (or do we?)

From The Archives: on this day….

Jake: looking back

John McCormick writes:

A Sunday kick off has left us with a little pause before the final game of the season, so I thought I’d go back five years, when Salut looked back a further 40. There is a whole series of posts about that cup final, which you can access via this link.

Here is one that I did:

Read moreFrom The Archives: on this day….

TFTEISYG – Sixer goes to Reading

Malcolm Dawson writes…….my one and only visit to the Madejski Stadium was on 31st of August 2004. I remember it well – it was a Tuesday and I was able to get away from work in the Midlands in time to drive down to the Royal County of Berkshire for a midweek game. I arrived at the ground with over an hour to go to kick off. The queues were already building up at the away end and there were plenty of red and white shirts patiently in line, waiting to collect their tickets. Fortunately, or so I thought, I had mine. The only problem was it was in the possession of one of my Heart of England compadres, who was travelling down from Coventry with a bunch of others and naturally they stopped off for refreshments on the journey, delaying their arrival until just before kick off. So for an hour I was trapped outside the stadium getting more and more desperate to find the toilet facilities. The turnstile clicked as the referee blew for kick off and by the time I’d emptied my bladder and climbed the stairs to my seat we had already conceded what was to prove the only goal of the game.

Peter Sixsmith has been to both Elm Park and the Madejski and in this the latest of his season long series, recalling his visits to all of our opponents, he remembers both.

Pete Sixsmith


Here’s another fixture where I have seen Sunderland play on two different grounds – this time Elm Park and the Madejski Stadium. I have to say that I did not enjoy either experience mainly because we lost both games but also because I thought that both stadiums were poor.

The Elm Park visit was for an FA Cup Third Round tie on January 6th 1990. We were on the edge of the play offs in Division Two, they were a division below us. There was added spice to the game in that Ian Porterfield was The Biscuitmen’s manager. Some may remember his goal in the final tie of the same competition 17 years earlier…….
It wasn’t the only time that the Hero of The Glorious 5th May managed a team against his old club. He had brought his Sheffield United team to Roker on Boxing Day 1985 and had seen Lawrie McMenemy’s “team” win 2-1 thanks to goals from Eric Gates and Gary Bennett.

Porterfield left United at the end of the season and took the job at Reading, then a club who had rarely been out of the Third and Fourth Divisions. He had been successful at Sheffield United in getting them promoted from Divisions Four to Two before he was sacked and Reading wanted more of the same. Alas, he only lasted eighteen months before he departed for a stint as John Neal’s assistant at Chelsea.

We were managed by the personable and popular Dennis Smith who had dragged us out of the Third Division a couple of years earlier and was endeavouring to get us back into the top flight. He had built a solid side and we were sitting comfortably in third place in the league, although we were to slip away quite badly after this game, finally rallying to win at The Sports Direct in the play offs a few months later.

VW Polo

We drove down to this one in my VW Polo, setting off early and negotiating the M1 and M40 with some ease. When we eventually arrived at the ground it was pouring down and we were made to stand on an uncovered terrace by a distinctly unhelpful bunch of stewards and police. They confiscated brollies from those who had brought them, deeming them to have the potential to be used as “offensive weapons.” Such was the attitude towards people going about their lawful business watching football 30 years ago.

The game attracted 9,344 to a stadium that looked like a relic from the 1930’s with two uncovered ends and two low stands. As the rain teemed down the backs of our necks (no Gore-Tex clothing then) we cheered out the following team:

Tony Norman; John Kay, Tommy Lynch; Paul Bracewell, Reuben Agboola, John MacPhail; Gary Owers, Gordon Armstrong, Eric Gates, Marco Gabbiadini, Colin Pascoe subs; Richard Ord, Thomas Hauser (for Gates 67)

The Hero of The Glorious 5th May selected the following side:

Steve Francis; Linden Jones, Steve Richardson; Mick Gooding, Martin Hicks, Mark Whitlock; Stuart Beavon, Mick Tait, Trevor Senior, Michael Gilks, Steve Moran subs; Mike Conroy, David Leworthy

Tommy Lynch

Gordon Armstrong, he of the curly perm, opened the scoring in the first minute which cheered up a very wet visiting support but we failed to build on it and some catastrophic defending by Tommy Lynch allowed the Reading right back, Linden Jones to score twice in four minutes in the second half to win the game for Reading.

Poor Tommy was shipped out to Shrewsbury Town on loan and signed for them at the end of the season. He went on to make 234 League appearances for The Shrews and became one of their most popular players. Here, he is placed alongside Roly Gregoire, Andreas Dossena and Steve Hetzke as one of the least effective Sunderland players of all time. He could be joined by a few more by the end of this wretched season.

I visited The Madejski Stadium when we played there on the 22nd December 2007 in a Premier League game. Reading (no longer the Biscuitmen but The Royals) had been bought by businessman and magazine publisher John Madejski, a paramour of Cilla Black and his money had transformed them from perpetual lower league occupants to top level dwellers. Crowds were on the rise and cramped, dingy Elm Park had been dumped in favour of a brand new stadium.

It looks like many other new builds. If it wasn’t for the colour of the seats, you could be at Derby or Middlesbrough or Southampton – except that all these grounds are within walking distance of their respective town centres. The Majdeski is the best part of 3.5 miles from the town centre and requires a bus ride to get there. I know because I did it in 2007.

This time I travelled by train, not from Darlington but from Dover Priory. I had been escorting a number of Ferryhill’s finest on a school trip to Lille and hopped off the bus at Dover to get to Reading the next day. The trip had been eventful. There had been problems on the ferry across to France, the weather was cold and wet but I did enjoy Lille and particularly the 3 Brasseurs, a splendid bar near the railway station which had a splendid selection of Belgian and Belgian style beers on show. Unfortunately, my lunch there was ruined as I had to go and rescue a child who had got lost and had been crying to his mam back in County Durham. Huh!

I stayed in Reading the night prior to the game and took a trip to Henley-on-Thames the next morning, where I searched in vain for M Salut’s one time colleague, Boris Johnson, who was the local MP. Alas, he was nowhere to be seen or heard (would that that were the case now) so I legged it back and arrived at The Madejski in time for the kick off.

Dennis Smith and Ian Porterfield were long gone and their replacements were Roy Keane and Steve Coppell. Both were in charge of teams who were struggling and Reading did go down at the end of that season.

We lined up like this:
Craig Gordon: Dean Whitehead, Danny Collins, Paul Mc Shane ( now a Reading regular), Danny Higginbottom; Dwight Yorke, Grant Leadbitter; Darryl Murphy, Michael Chopra; Andy Cole, Kenwyne Jones. Subs; Darren Ward, Ian Harte, Dickson Etuhu (for Cole 62), Ross Wallace (for Murphy 62), Anthony Stokes (for Chopra 87)

Coppell selected this squad:

Marcus Hahnemann; Graham Murty, Nicky Shorey, Brynjar Gunnarsson, Ibrahima Sonko, Ivar Ingimarsson, Stephen Hunt, James Harper, Kevin Doyle, Dave Kitson, Bobby Convey subs; Adam Federici, Andre Bikey, Kalifa Cisse, Shane Long (for Convey 64), Leroy Lita

It was a dull game which livened up in the second half. Ingimarsson opened the scoring in the 69th minute and our response to that was to launch a series of furious attacks. It looked like we had claimed a well-deserved point when Kenwyne Jones was brought down in the box and Michael Chopra converted the penalty in the 82nd minute.

Kenwyne then missed a glorious chance to wrap it up and claim our first away win of the season but he fluffed his lines and even worse was to come in the 90th minute, when Stephen Hunt’s volley was deemed to have crossed the line, despite Craig Gordon making a magnificent save and clawing it out. The ball did not cross the line – the BBC website said so and that’s good enough for me. Roy Keane said so and that is extra good enough for me. We wuz robbed………

Elm Park or more affectionately The Biscuit Tin

So, two visits to Reading and two defeats. I shall not be risking a third one.

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Sixer gets shirty (Sunderland not Stoke) but acclaims one Leeds club

Every so often, others come cap in hand to Salut! Sunderland for help, almost always of the ‘free, reward-in-heaven’ variety. They want our views of this or that. Monsieur Salut reckons he has done his bit for unpaid journalism and usually asks around in case someone else fancies obliging the website, publication or broadcaster concerned.

Pete Sixsmith‘s great fund of knowledge, general as well as football, makes him an easy recipient in this buck-passing exercise. Here he is again, responding heartily to a request from a newly established site, http://thefootballshirtcollective.com/. The approach was from the site’s Michael Maxwell, who said: “We want to tell the stories behind great football shirts.”

Sixer rattled off his answers to three questions as quickly as used to get down low goalbound shots when he was a goalie for the Shildon Sunderland Supporters’ AFC. You may come up with other candidates …

Read moreSixer gets shirty (Sunderland not Stoke) but acclaims one Leeds club

Sunderland’s Twelve Days of Christmas (6): Newcastle United

Pete Sixsmith. Time's a great healer
Pete Sixsmith. Time’s a great healer

John McCormick writes. I must have been at this game but I can’t remember anything about it. Maybe the disappointment at the result has caused me to blot it from my mind, or maybe it’s true that if you can remember the sixties you weren’t there. No, that can’t be right. Pete Sixsmith was there, and he remembers it well:

6. 30/12/67 Newcastle United (h) Drew 3-3

In the 60s the fixture computer (the man with the pencil at Lytham St Annes) would give you relatively local games – as opposed to Cardiff City away. In 1967-68 he gave us a double derby fixture, St James’ on Boxing Day (lost 2-1) and Roker four days later.

Ian McColl was our manager and he had had a decent season the previous year when we had been diddled out of the FA Cup by Leeds United. 1967-68 was approached with enthusiasm but there was little money to spend on new players. Brian Heslop arrived from Carlisle United for £5,000 and Ralph Brand cost about the same from Manchester City.

Brand was a former Rangers player who had formed a strong partnership with Jimmy Millar at Ibrox, so much so that they were known as the M and B Magic by fans who had never had to drink the slop produced by the eponymous Birmingham brewery. He had been a team mate of Jim Baxter and it was hoped that he and the wayward Fifer could work with his fellow Scot to create and finish goals.

By the time the Derby came around, Not So Slim Jim had been packed off to Nottingham Forest to the chagrin of various licensees and club owners on Wearside and a new Scottish playmaker had been brought in by an increasingly desperate McColl. Ian Porterfield had followed in Baxter’s footsteps in that he had also appeared for Raith Rovers. He was an elegant player who moved around the pitch a tad quicker than Baxter, whose movement was reminiscent of an elderly actor who knew what he was supposed to do but couldn’t figure out the way he was going to get from A to B. He was signed the previous day and was plunged into a team that read Montgomery; Irwin, Ashurst; Todd, Hurley, Harvey; Stuckey, Suggett, Martin, Porterfield, Mulhall. Sub; Kinnell.

We were having a poor season, standing 19th after the Boxing Day defeat while the Mags, under chain smoking former skipper Joe Harvey, were in the upper reaches of the table and did indeed qualify for Europe at the end of the year. We set off well and Colin Suggett opened the scoring in what was his best season for Sunderland. Ollie Burton equalised from the spot before Suggett restored the lead and then Bruce Stuckey gave us a two goal lead with a stupendous shot that whizzed past Marshall in the Magpies goal. With ten minutes left, the points looked safe.

One of Roker Park’s peculiarities was that it had two clocks, one in the middle of the Leitch lattice work on the Main Stand and one perched on top of the Clock Stand – which is how it got its name. Good for fans who tried to gauge how much time was left, but it sometimes led to players watching the clock and calculating how much longer there was before the man in the middle blew his whistle sometimes leading to a loss of concentration.

Which is exactly what happened in this game. Two goals ahead with ten minutes to go and a good team should be able to close it out. We didn’t and allowed the Mags to grab a point that they scarcely deserved. Firstly, Burton slotted home another penalty and then John McNamee, a centre half who was to cultured football as Nigella Lawson is to household financial management bundled an equaliser over the line and had the temerity to swing on the Roker End crossbar.

I remember trooping back to the OK bus, parked on the seafront, bitterly disappointed and knowing that, when I returned to school, the black and whites there would give me some stick. My mood was only slightly lightened by the fact that the next day was New Year’s Eve and that there would be a fair few tips from the customers on my Sunday paper round.

But I would have swapped them all for a 3-1 win. So would McColl. A man of some dignity, but out of his depth at Sunderland, he was dismissed a month later after a home defeat to Second Division Norwich City in a Cup replay. In came Alan Brown and out went Ian Porterfield, who despite the song current at the time, was not to play a great part in any conversations with Brown. He almost sold him and had he done so, one wonders if the course of history would have been changed.

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Jake flags the new feature allowing you to have your say on topic or off
Jake flags the new feature allowing you to have your say on topic or off

Fancy leaving a comment? Not sure what you have to say fits this post? Go to the new feature – https://safc.blog/2013/07/salut-sunderland-the-way-it-is/ – and say it there.

Sunderland’s 1973 victory parade: mistaking Sobs’s trainer for Porterfield’s golden boot

1973 May 5See all Salut! Sunderland’s articles recalling May 5 1973 and the run that took SAFC to FA Cup glory: https://safc.blog/category/fa-cup/may-5-1973/

Bill Taylor could not make the final and watched it instead at his parents’ home in Bishop Auckland. His dad had been at Wembley for the previous Sunderland FA Cup-winning final, against Preston North End in 1937, and was gutted not to be able to repeat the trip 37 years later. He is no longer with us, unfortunately, but must have been quite pleased that his lad, then a Northern Echo reporter, was able to play a bit part in the homecoming parade that brought 500,000 onto the streets of Sunderland on this day 40 years ago. That’s it, the last of Salut! Sunderland‘s series of articles remembering May 5 1973 …

May 5, 1973 was a triumph all around,
not only for Sunderland but for me and my friend (and Northern Echo colleague) Steve Wolstencroft, who went on to become sports editor of the Scottish Sun.

The Black Cats scored one and Steve and I scored 11 apiece…

We shared a flat in Darlington and if we had a TV (memory fails) it certainly wasn’t colour so we watched the Cup Final at my parents’ house in Bishop Auckland.

Steve was a Magpies fan (no one in those days had the faintest inkling of what a Barcode might be) but we weren’t quite so rabid about our rivalry back then and he was happy to watch a North-eastern team at Wembley. As I recall, he tried but couldn’t quite bring himself to cheer for Leeds. It was Jimmy Montgomery who finally turned him into a believer.

After the shouting had died down in our front room – my dad had been at the 1937 final and rued not getting to this one – Steve and I headed off to the Top Hat club in Spennymoor. And, for the first time for either of us, got into double figures – a pint for every man on the winning side.

It was ice-packs and short-lived vows of sobriety for the pair of us next day.

But there was more shared glory to come.

As I wrote in the Echo at the time and reiterated here three years ago, I was on the media truck, a large artic, that immediately preceded the team bus as it made its triumphant way through the streets of Sunderland, pummeled by wave upon wave of sound from a crowd on the brink of hysteria.

My story began something like: “The road to Roker Park could have been paved with gold last night and not a soul would have noticed.”

Something like that. What I remember better is the error I made, which went uncorrected for 37 years and finally came to light here at Salut! Sunderland.

Ian Porterfield was hanging over the side of the open-topped double-decker waving a boot at the crowd. I made the very basic journalistic error of not checking. I simply assumed it was the one he’d scored the goal with.

And wrote as much here in late 2009. Paul Dobson – Sobs of A Love Supreme and, often, here too – set me straight: “It was actually my Adidas Scorpion trainer, painted gold, that I’d lobbed up to a very bemused Ian at Belmont as the procession started. It’s the first time I’ve heard anything about it since. I’ve often wondered what happened to the shoe in question – whether it went in the Porterfield loft, or the Porterfield bin, in May ’73!”

Paul wasn’t at the celebration only half-shod. He’d painted the shoe gold for the occasion and was wearing his red-and-white Doc Martens.

This must have set a record for the delay in getting a correction published in a newspaper but on January 26, 2010, Mike Amos in his Backtrack column finally set the record straight.

I felt better. And, coincidentally, was introduced to Paul by Monsieur Salut at Mike’s retirement do the following year.

From an old birthday card sent to Monsieur Salut
From an old birthday card sent to Monsieur Salut

Time is a funny thing. A week after the Cup Final, I met the woman was to become – and still is – my wife. We’re coming up later this month on our 36th wedding anniversary.

And it was 36 years that separated Sunderland’s two FA Cup wins. So you could say we’re four years overdue for our third. Who knows when next we’ll be in the final?

Whenever it may be and whatever the result, it won’t be the same. Just as the ’73 final and aftermath must have differed considerable from that of 1937.

JL Carr wrote his implausible but wonderful little novel, How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup in 1974. I like to think he might have been at least a little inspired by the previous year’s final.

For me, the last few sentences of the book say it all:

“And it is sad to know that those days, win or lose, can’t return. Nor those remembered faces be gathered into one place again.
“I stood there… in the dusk one Saturday in January and, the next thing I knew, Mr Fangfoss was there as well. ‘Mr Gidner,’ he said, ‘I know what you’re looking for. But it’s gone, and it’ll never come back.’
“Then – and only for an instant – our chairman gave himself away. ‘And more’s the pity, lad,’ he said.”

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Sunderland, Leeds and Wembley 1973. Part 2: ‘how I spoke to Rod Stewart and hung my scarf on the FA Cup’

Jake remembers ...
Jake remembers …

In the second part of her reminiscences of 5:5:73 Jeanette Sutton (nee Coyle) recalls the game, the post match celebrations with the team and their wives, her brushes with the celebrities of the glam rock era and how she got to decorate the FA Cup itself with her red and white scarf. (Jeanette was talking to Deputy Editor Malcolm Dawson)

MD – So we left our conversation with the victory at Hillsborough and the whole of the red and white supporting part of the North East excited by the prospect of The Lads running out at Wembley to face the might of Leeds United, who at that time were considered to be one of the top clubs. What do you recall about the build up?

Jeanette – Back in the 1970s there wasn’t the same degree of celebrity culture and saturation coverage of football. There were still only three television channels of course and the only time you got to watch league football on TV was Match of the Day on Saturday night and the ITV regional highlights the following afternoon. But in the context of the times there were plenty of off the field distractions for the team.

They had done some radio interviews, and a few of them bumped into Rod Stewart, who being a football fan and celebrity Scotland supporter took a great interest in the team. Glam rock band The Sweet had presented Billy Hughes with one of their gold discs for their recording of their hit “Little Willy”. Local comedian Bobby Knoxall and a choir of primary school children teamed up with the players to record “Sunderland All the Way” the obligatory F.A. Cup Finalists’ song.

The Sunderland lads were all down to earth people. Second Division players with no pretensions and it was like a dream come true when they were given sponsored cars to drive in the run up to the final. They embraced the limelight and enjoyed the moment for what it was but unlike present day footballers they were always accessible, in tune with the fans. We all felt that we all belonged to one big happy family, players, fans and club officials alike.

The atmosphere was electric in the run up to the big day and the town and surrounding districts were covered in red and white. People were desperate for tickets. Fortunately for us Dad had his season ticket allocation and I was given a chance to buy a ticket as a staff member for the price of £1. But even better, I was invited to travel to Wembley on the League Liner with other officials and members of staff.

MD – That must have been a great feeling. So what about the day itself, 5th May 1973, a date indelibly stamped on the heart of any Sunderland supporter alive at the time?

Jeanette – My two sisters Trish and Fiona had been planning to watch it on television along with my Mam and my Nana when just days before the Final I was able to get hold of another two tickets so they could also make the trip. They travelled with Dad on the train and then met me on Wembley Way as I proudly stepped off the League Liner. Just as it had at Hillsborough it poured with rain but we hardly noticed it. The nation seemed to have taken us to their hearts and people were shouting and wishing us luck as we walked to the stadium. Although we were the underdogs we were on top of the world and really felt it would be our day. The omens were good after all. We had last won the cup in 1937 and this was 1973. The last time Bob Stoke had met Don Revie at Wembley was in their playing days when Stokoe’s Newcastle beat Revie’s Man City 3-1. A team playing in stripes had never lost at Wembley. We couldn’t lose with all of that history behind us.

Jeanette's FA Cup Final Ticket and League Liner seat.
Jeanette’s FA Cup Final Ticket and League Liner seat.

This was the 70s and being a fashionable young lady from County Durham, I was wearing black trousers, a yellow jacket with black lapels and yellow platform shoes. I may have been showing the rest of the world that the North East knew a bit about fashion but my outfit afforded little protection from the rain!!!

Once inside the stadium we watched the ground fill and there seemed to be double the number of Sunderland fans as those sporting the colours of our rivals. As ever we were in fine voice. When Frankie Vaughan appeared on the pitch to lead the community singing we did him proud. The last song in the build up was always “Abide with Me” and for me it was so emotional I found it difficult to get to the end of the song. Somehow though I made it and then I knew it was almost time. A huge roar went up as the teams emerged Stokoe and Revie proudly leading out their respective teams. Don Revie was smartly turned out in suit and tie whilst Bob Stokoe was in his bright red tracksuit which a couple of hours later, combined with his raincoat and trilby, would provide the world with the iconic images we now associate with the full time whistle in that match.

Bobby Kerr won the toss and he chose to play towards our end. It couldn’t have gone any better for Dad, my sisters and me as we got a great view of the goal and Monty’s double save.

From kick-off the lads worked hard for each other, they challenged for every ball and took the game to Leeds who seemed troubled by the heavy pitch. Every single Sunderland player was a hero that day and the all star Leeds United team struggled to make an impact. Some resolute defending by the likes of Richie Pitt, Ron Guthrie and Dick Malone left Mick Jones with no space and the dangerous Lorimer and Gray were marked out of the game.

Billy Hughes got a knock early on which caused us concern but he ran it off and was soon moving much better. It was Hughes who took the corner which the pigeon chested Vic Halom brought down beautifully for Ian Porterfield who rammed it into the net from about 12yards. The whole place erupted. We were amazed ourselves as Porterfield, a left footed player had scored with his wrong foot.

The dream continued as Hughes and Tueart kept running at Leeds, causing them all sorts of problems. Kerr, Horswill and Porterfield were dominating the midfield and Dave Watson marshalled the defence which stood firm, apart from the one chance which fell to Leeds, bringing out the best in Jimmy Montgomery who accomplished what has been described by many as the save of the century. It was certainly at least on a par and maybe even better than Gordon Bank’s effort against Brazil in the 1970 World Cup.

He had already made a couple of good saves but then came the moment when time stood still for those of us behind the goal. First of all Trevor Cherry came in with a diving header which Monty cleared only to see Lorimer get on the end of it. His volley thundered towards goal but somehow Monty miraculously got a hand to it and tipped it onto the crossbar. Dick Malone swooped on the rebound and hoofed it upfield out of the danger area. Lorimer couldn’t believe it and at that moment I think everyone knew it was going to be our day.

But you could still feel the tension in the air and some Sunderland supporters who couldn’t stand to watch the closing moments went below the stands, anxiously pacing up and down, trying to guage what was happening from the noise of the crowd. As it happened in the last ten minutes Sunderland looked the more likely to score but we were all whistling, anxious for the game to end. I remember my Dad shouting “Play on we can score another here!” and he was almost proved right as in the dying seconds Hallom came close to bundling Harvey over the line and into the goal.

Then, to our great relief, the final whistle went and the dream had come true. The man next to us was in tears as “the little general” Bobby Kerr climbed the steps to the Royal Box. And as if ordained from above, the rain stopped, the clouds lifted and the sun shone. We couldn’t contain our joy and we sang all the way to the first empty phone box we could find, so that we could share the special moment with our Mam.

The family were heading back to Sunderland but for me the night was just beginning. I jumped into a taxi to celebrate the victory in London, having arranged to meet Linda and Billy Hughes, as I was to be their guest at the winners’ banquet at the Park Lane Hotel. Once I’d met up with Billy and Linda whilst celebrating with a glass of something fizzy, we rang Rod Stewart, who at that time was one of the biggest stars in rock music. Looking back now it’s hard to believe but it really did happen.

Shortly after I left for my room at The Park Lane Hotel to change for the celebration.
At the time I thought that I was being ultra stylish and never even gave a second thought that my dress would be considered anything other than sophisticated and chic. So much so that I never realised that perhaps a black and white dress was not the best colour scheme to wear at a Sunderland AFC celebration. I have never been allowed to forget my choice that night and have never worn a black and white dress since.

Jeanette in the infamous dress with Billy and Linda Hughes
Jeanette in the infamous dress with Billy and Linda Hughes

The evening passed in a daze with champagne flowing like there was no tomorrow. I remember that Brian Connolly of Sweet was there as were Alan Price and Georgie Fame. Suzi Quattro was one of the artists providing the entertainment and I recall her leaving the stage in a huff because we wouldn’t listen to her. All we wanted to do was dance and enjoy the moment.

Next day, the wives, girlfriends and I got on the coach back to the North East.The team still had a league match to play so were staying in London. The cup was put on the back window of the coach and as I was the only one with a scarf we hung it between the handles. I still have that scarf and wear it to all the matches.
The team homecoming was fantastic, with the sea of red and white starting at Scotch Corner and the parade itself at Carrville. It was red and white all the way to Roker Park and the days ahead were fun filled with parties and celebrations which went on for months.

This young team, many who had come up through the ranks had had a tough road to Wembley. Great team spirit and with a philosophy based on hard work and togetherness they beat the mighty Leeds, every single one of whom was a full international. Whilst Ian Porterfield and Monty were of course heroes on the day it was a team performance that won the Cup for Sunderland.

Dave Watson had been superb throughout the earlier rounds, defending our goal but also scoring important goals that saw us through the earlier ties. And who knows what might have happened if Dick Malone hadn’t been there to boot the ball away after Monty’s second save?

The Wembley victory was especially sweet for Dad and me as we had endured the highly controversial meetings with Leeds in the cup run of 66-67. Having drawn at Roker Park then at Elland Road we journeyed down to Hull for a second replay. Leeds were given a penalty for a foul by Irwin on Greenhoff in an incident which occurred outside the penalty area. To add insult to injury Greenhoff had dived and was also offside.

On May 5th 1973 Reaney, Bremner, Hunter, Lorimer and Giles all took the field for Leeds and as we celebrated we remembered the old saying “EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY!!”

Jeanette on Jeanette.

I have lived in a leafy suburb in Birmingham for more than 30 years with my husband Michael (a Tottenham fan) and our 2 daughters Amy and Gemma. The girls were brought up to follow Sunderland and we have had some wonderful moments together following our team. Sadly my dad passed on a couple of years ago and my mam isn’t able to go to the ground any more but she still listens to the match on the radio every week. I still get to the matches with my sisters and their children who are all part of the red and white army. I am Secretary of the Heart of England branch of the Supporters’ Association.

1973 May 5See all Salut! Sunderland’s articles recalling May 5 1973 and the run that took SAFC to FA Cup glory: https://safc.blog/category/fa-cup/may-5-1973/

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The Chelsea interview: ‘sacrilege, but Kerry Dixon left me cold’

For the latest feature in Salut! Sunderland‘s “Who are You?” series, David Harding, a Chelsea fan who has written books on Gianfranco Zola and, er, A**n She**r, covers a lot of ground: from his club’s Unloved status and Abramovich’s billions to his thoughts on cheating and Sunderland (positive) and Newcastle (not). He sympathises with the late Ian Porterfield (our hero, less successful as the Blues’ manager) but drools over another of those Sunderland lads who never played for his home town team …

Read moreThe Chelsea interview: ‘sacrilege, but Kerry Dixon left me cold’

Ian Porterfield’s magic boot: a footnote to FA Cup history


We remember the late Ian Porterfield for his winning goal in the FA Cup Final of 1973. Two Salut! Sunderland readers have another reason for remembering him (or two versions of the same reason) ..

If ever an exchange of thoughts or memories deserved to leap from the Salut! Sunderland comments field to a posting of its own, this was it.

Read moreIan Porterfield’s magic boot: a footnote to FA Cup history

The greatest FA cup final shock of all time?

Stokoe and Sunderland

Just out: Lance Hardy’s carefully researched story of the 1973 cup final when Sunderland threw off underdog status to defeat Don Revie’s mighty Leeds and win the FA Cup. It needs a great leap of faith to think you’ve much chance of getting the book from Amazon before Christmas. But you can get it, by clicking this link, at the knockdown price of just over £11 (instead of £18.99 and it’s even cheaper if you opt for second hand). Colin Randall wallows in nostalgia …

were you when Sunderland beat Leeds 1-0 in the FA Cup Final of May 5 1973?

Read moreThe greatest FA cup final shock of all time?