Another one from the archives: Ken Gambles and some childhood heroes

John McCormick writes: With a traveller like Pete Sixsmith on our books we’re always going to be able to tell a tale or two to enthrall our readers, and it’s no surprise that Pete’s home and away  “First Time” series have gone down great guns. But Pete’s not the only one with long memories and we’ve all come up with tales of trips, wins and losses which have gone down in legend. So too with players. Cloughie (I never saw him) Charlie Hurley, Quinn and SuperKev, perhaps, or lesser heroes like Danny bloody Graham – whom I actually did see score a goal. But it’s not always Sunderland players, our writers and readers are renowned for their fairness and am
n ability to recognise class. So we’re taking a little trip away from the Stadium of Light to revisit some of Ken Gambles’ early heroes.

Here’s how M Salut introduced Ken’s piece in March, 2015, not long after the death of one of them, double winning Dave McKay, with the title:

The Tottenham, Chelsea, Everton, WBA and QPR giants who fired my youth

Ken Gambles is Sunderland through and through. But the recent death of Dave Mackay got him thinking back to some of the giants of English football seen in his student days. Let Ken reacquaint older readers with – and introduce younger ones to – some of the players who gave him such pleasure without ever pulling on the red and white stripes of Sunderland …

Read moreAnother one from the archives: Ken Gambles and some childhood heroes

The Tottenham, Chelsea, Everton, WBA and QPR giants who fired my youth

Ken Gambles is Sunderland through and through. But the recent death of Dave Mackay got him thinking back to some of the giants of English football seen in his student days. Let Ken reacquaint older readers with – and introduce younger ones to – some of the players who gave him such pleasure without ever pulling on the red and white stripes of Sunderland …

Read moreThe Tottenham, Chelsea, Everton, WBA and QPR giants who fired my youth

Who are you? We’re Tottenham (2) – and don’t need Bent back

sappers

Salut! Sunderland has experienced some technical problems today, and this is a repeat of a post that appeared earlier. Our thanks to the many Spurs fans who came here for Part One of this week’s Who Are You? feature. Now for part two, in which we briefly discuss Tottenham greats: Jimmy Greaves, John White, Danny Blanchflower … Jurgen Klinsmann … Chris Waddle, Glenn Hoddle, Gary Lineker … and Thomas Andrew Huddlestone. We won’t suggest that inclusion of the last name might raise eyebrows away from White Hart Lane because he’d only go and break out hearts at the Stadium of Light on Saturday if we did. David Sapsted*, pictured at a Fleet Street “function”, and Bernie Kingsley**, who chairs the Tottenham Supporters’ Trust, don’t agree on everything but can be found purring in harmony on how good Tom Huddlestone is. They also talk about the White Lane Lane “reserves” now earning a crust on Wearside – and the view is dismissive in Bernie’s case – and offer differing verdicts on Steve Bruce (he’s either a “good manager” or a “bottom half manager”) …

Salut! Sunderland: What do you make of the Spurs old boys who are now at the Stadium of Light: Reid, Malbranque, Hutton and, of course, Bent?

Bernie: You’ve forgotten Fraizer Campbell and Marton Fulop. You are welcome to most of them. Malbranque was probably the one we were most disappointed to lose, but with more moves rumoured you are in danger of replacing Portsmouth as our reserve team in the EPL.


David:
I never thought Bent got a fair crack of whip when he was with us. Like any striker, he needed a decent run in the side to prove his worth and he never got it. Since his move, he’s more than proved his point. You could say much the same this season about Pavlyuchenko, whom I have always rated and who, at long last, is getting the chance to show his mettle. I’m a fan of Hutton’s, too. I love the way he bombs forward, though I’ve always harboured doubts about his defensive capabilities. As for Steed….I’d have him on the pitch for any game, though probably not for more than 60 minutes these days.

Read moreWho are you? We’re Tottenham (2) – and don’t need Bent back

Soapbox: Barrow boys pushed away

soapboxSurely we couldn’t mess this one up – or could we?  Would it be a repeat of Northwich Victoria in 2006 – or a reprise of that sad day in Somerset 61 years ago when The Bank of England Club were rolled over by Yeovil.  Pete Sixsmith had an awful premonition at 2.20 ……. but it was not to be.

As we entered a cold and rather empty Stadium of Light on Saturday, I noticed the bucket collection was for the Samaritans. Dropping my pound coin into it, I wondered if I would be calling them on Saturday evening.

No need to worry, as we completed a routine, if rather uninspiring win over the plucky part-timers from the Furness Peninsula. Playing at a level way above their normal one, the collection of plasterers, bus drivers, nuclear physicists and opera singers thrilled their magnificent fans and caused the Premier League big boys an afternoon of potential banana skins.

Right, that’s all the patronising drivel out of the way, so let’s deal with the game, which was an entertaining and enjoyable one, for a change.

Read moreSoapbox: Barrow boys pushed away