SAFC-supporting Corrie baddie booed by 47,000 Mackems (and 370 Ipswich fans)

Joe, born John
Joe, born John

If you came here for hard-hitting analysis, fanciful transfer speculation or earth-shattering news, you may have been led astray. There’s no football as we know it for another nine days or so and there hasn’t been a word from Salut! Sunderland’s huge army of pundits, essayists and wits. So we’re plundering the past (and, if you’re into the North East’s tragi-glorious history of coalmining and the music it inspired, take a peek at

Salut! Sunderland‘s unashamed dip into the deep reservoir of past work has taken on a life of its own.

The lads at BBC Newcastle seem to have liked it, a number of readers have given thumbs-up approval (here and on social media) and, after yesterday’s reappearance of an affectionate look at Darren Williams’s Sunderland career, Darren has today “favourited” and retweeted it), electronic contact was renewed with its author, the Peterlee-born actor Joe Simpson, who famously adopted his hero Joe Bolton’s Christian name when told by Equity they couldn’t have two John Simpsons on their books.

I tweeted Joe with news that his piece had been re-posted:


But Joe first came to Monsieur Salut’s attention when Joan Dawson, then co-ordinator of 5573, later Wear Down South, newsletter of the London and SE branch of the SAFC Supporters’ Association, asked for a series of celebrity supporter interviews. he was one of those I tracked down. Read an account of this series, its hits and misses, at

But here is the interview, now 13 years on from original publication but one of the best the series produced, with Joe:

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Never mind Hurley and Clough, Monty and SuperKev: acclaim Darren Handclap

Jake: 'let the nostalgia roll'
Jake: ‘let the nostalgia roll’

This nostalgia drug is addictive. Take away football for a fortnight, replace it with international yawns and the mind starts wandering back through the years.

Joe Simpson, Sunderland fan and actor (Coronation Street, the Syndicate, Emmerdale, OverBlood, Blood Warriors and much more), was born John. When the time came to join Equity, they already had one John Simpson. So he partly renamed himself in honour of one of his favourite players, Joe Bolton*. Another Sunderland man who caught the eye of John/Joe was Darren Williams.

This is a piece he wrote for us back in our earlier days, 2007 …

Joe Simpson

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Sunderland, Coronation Street and a plea from Flaming Nora

Tram Terror! (Day 52 of 365)Image: Gene Hunt. No known Wearside casualties

What are the links between the world’s longest running, still running soap Coronation Street and Sunderland?

The question itself, which has been posed by the Wearside woman behind a massively successful Corrie blog, will have some expat readers of Salut! Sunderland weeping nostalgic teardrops into the yellow fizz they make do with in place of real beer, and others reaching for the sick bucket.

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