Tomorrow Everton. Today, probably the best article you’ll ever read about Sunderland

Jonathan Wilson
Jonathan Wilson

Salut! Sunderland settled back for another quietly inactive Saturday, the lull before tomorrow’s Goodison storm. So why, suddenly, were people coming to the site? We have ‘HarrogateMackem’ to thank, for drawing renewed attention at Ready To Go’s Pure Football forum.

SAFC fans who are otherwise rarely seen here flocked to the link and have posted some rightly admiring comments at RTG. So it seems fitting to bring back to a life at Salut! Sunderland one of the finest pieces of writing* to grace these pages. Apologies to those who have seen it all before (unless, like Monsieur Salut and quite a few others, they feel it lends itself to re-reading at least once a year: see the comments posted by our own readers in 2011 at, when the article was headline ‘Jonathan Wilson: the candystripe passions of grandfather, father and son’. But Jonathan Wilson is a wonderful writer as well as supporting Sunderland and he proves both parts of that statement here …

Jonathan Wilson’s book on a Sunderland great

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Salut!’s Week: Liverpool greed, Crossan gold, Arsenal groans

The second week of a non-football fortnight, as it has been for those who care little for internationals, has been a busy old time at Salut! Sunderland. Here is a resume for readers who do not visit the site every day, starting with something that isn’t in the headline but should be …

Jonathan Wilson is widely acclaimed as one of the best football writers around. You can read him in The Guardian, in his own books (his Brian Clough biography is due out soon) and, as of this week, Salut! Sunderland.

A truly magical piece of writing, about an unbreakable attachment to Sunderland AFC passed down from one generation to the next, appeared first at the SB Info Plus website but was reproduced here with the permission both the writer and the site. Several people who read it were, like me, deeply moved by Jonathan’s words.

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Jonathan Wilson: the candystripe passions of grandfather, father and son

Jonathan Wilson''s book on a Sunderland great

NB: A tweet by the author, coinciding with World Alzheimer’s Month, has brought this poignant and outstandingly written article a deserved new burst of interest, causing Salut! Sunderland to promote it back to the front page of the site nearly a year after it first appeared. It will stay prominently displayed for the rest of September …

I am proud to say that permission has been received for the reproduction of this quite exceptional and moving account by Jonathan Wilson*, the Sunderland-supporting Guardian sportswriter, of memories of his dad, and an exchange as death approached, that summed up the passion handed down through generations …

Last year, after my dad had died, I stayed holding his hand for about quarter of an hour and then left the nurses to it. In the hospital waiting room I made three calls. The first was to Sunderland Civic Centre to register the death. The second was to the undertakers. And the third was to The Independent to tell them that I was, after all, free to cover Sunderland v Burnley the next day.

I know a lot of people found that odd. To be honest, looking back, it seems odd to me. At the time, though, it seemed perfectly natural.

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