John McCormick writes: 1985, Liverpool. Someone in a taxi had kindly left a redundancy notice with my name on it at the door of my workplace. I had two very young kids. I’d just moved house, only to be clobbered by a series of mortgage rate rises – 13.5 per cent springs to mind – and I had no spare cash. Going to the League Cup final hardly entered my mind and I never tried to get myself a ticket. It was one of those things.
So was the game, as Pete Sixsmith recounts:
John McCormick writes:
Pete Sixsmith wrote about Sheffield Wednesday last season, as you no doubt remember. Today he makes a brief return to that fine old club and the only time we’ve played them in the League Cup. There’s not much more for me to say, given the circumstances of that meeting, as I’m sure you’ll agree when you read Pete’s account of what is, after all, only a game:
Put it this way. Pete Sixsmith gives a lot more to the football-supporting public than he gets back.
He collects bits and bobs of beer money, the odd mug or print or match ticket paid for, but nothing that remotely reflects all he does, mostly for Salut! Sunderland but also in unpaid appearances on radio, in books and on other people’s websites. And he’s Father Christmas to boot – look out for him ho-ho-hoing his way through County Durham and Tyne and Wear in December.
We’re accustomed to the analysis, the seven-word instant verdict (Sixer’s Sevens) and the post-match Soapbox reports. But have you noticed how he also comes up with great ideas for series? “Sunderland’s 10 relegations”, “Sunderland’s Twelve Days of Christmas” and now “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground” (or team if a home game).
This is the story so far for those who have missed it:
- PNE (ground) … https://safc.blog/2017/09/the-first-time-ever-i-saw-your-ground-preston-north-ends-deepdale/
- Ipswich (ground) … https://safc.blog/2017/09/the-first-time-ever-i-saw-your-ground-ipswichs-portman-road/
- Cardiff City (team) … https://safc.blog/2017/09/the-first-time-ever-i-saw-your-team-cardiff-city/
- Everton (ground) … https://safc.blog/2017/09/the-first-time-ever-i-saw-your-ground-goodison-park-my-favourite-ground-after-roker/
- Hull City (ground) … https://safc.blog/2017/09/the-first-time-ever-i-saw-your-ground-hull-city/
- Nottingham Forest (team) … https://safc.blog/2017/09/the-first-time-ever-i-saw-your-team-nottingham-forest/
- Sheffield United (team) … https://safc.blog/2017/09/sixer-recalls-the-first-time-he-ever-saw-sheffield-united/
- Barnsley (ground) … https://safc.blog/2017/08/the-first-time-ever-i-saw-your-ground-barnsley/
- Carlisle United (ground) … https://safc.blog/2017/08/the-first-time-ever-i-saw-your-ground-with-or-without-sunderland-carlisle-united/
- Leeds United (team) … https://safc.blog/2017/08/the-first-time-ever-i-saw-your-team-leeds-united/
- Sheffield Wednesday (ground) … https://safc.blog/2017/08/the-first-time-ever-i-saw-your-team-leeds-united/
- Norwich City (ground) … https://safc.blog/2017/08/the-first-time-ever-i-saw-your-team-3-norwich-city/
- Bury (ground) … https://safc.blog/2017/08/the-first-time-ever-i-saw-your-ground-2-bury/
- Derby County (team) … https://safc.blog/2017/08/the-first-time-ever-i-saw-your-team-derby-county/
Please have a look. Next stop – a good sports publishers who may see the merit in this series, if only Sixer can keep it up.
Beating Carlisle in the league cup, or what is now correctly called the Caraboa Cup (what, you may ask but I looked it up and they produce ‘energy drinks’), has a sting in the tail. We did our bit, winning 2-1. But you have to get up at some idiotic hour on Thursday morning to find out who Sunderland will play in the third round.
The second round took us to Brunton Park, where supporters of both sides joined in one minute of applause for Bill Green, the Newcastle-born former captain of Carlisle United and scorer of their first goal in the 2-0 win at Chelsea that was followed by two more victories putting them briefly top of the First Division (sad to relate, they went down in bottom place!).
Pete Sixsmith drove west for this one. He was not greatly impressed, spotting more missed chances for Carlisle than us and feeling Lynden Gooch’s winner – a finish he described as ‘classy’, to Gooch’s delight (he ‘liked’ the relevant tweet) – effectively ‘got us out of the s***’.
Monsieur Salut confesses: thank heavens no one went for Sunderland 0-2 Leeds. There are quite enough people who could tell you I already owe them mugs. They will come, I promise.
Pete Sixsmith, Leeds-born but SAFC through and through though he also loves the Rhinos, has written superbly, and without partisan bile, about the disappointing defeat on Saturday evening. See https://safc.blog/2017/08/sixers-leeds-united-soapbox-finish-above-this-lot-and-were-up/ if you have not already.
Like Mel, commenting in the Bury vs Sunderland Guess the Score competition (have a go whoever you support), I was at Roker Park on Boxing Day 1962 when an accidental collision with Bury’s keeper Chris Harker effectively ended Brian Clough’s career. King Charlie missed a penalty, we lost 1-0 and a fluke winner for Chelsea in the final game of the season cost us promotion. I was not there when a 5-2 win won us promotion many years later. Neil Davis is too young to have been there in the 1960s but remembers the other game as the best defeat he’s experienced … read of for some great thoughts from a solid fan of a proper club …
Pete Sixsmith has added another superb instalment to his self-inflicted First Time Ever I Saw Your Team series.
Whoever who support, it’s a great read, taking in Sixer’s experiences of seeing SAFC play Bury.
Monsieur Salut thought he had missed a rather important shared experience of the more distant past – that awful Boxing Day in 1962 when Brian Clough collided with the blameless Bury keeper Chris Harker. But Sixer wasn’t there that day to share the agony of the Fulwell end (compounded by Charlie Hurley’s missed penalty and a 1-0 defeat).
Torn medial and cruciate ligaments were a lot harder to repair back then and although Cloughie came back, it was not for another season and a half and the injury effectively ended his playing career. Was it a blessing in disguise given how distinguished a manager he became?
Monsieur Salut introduces our annual HAWAY awards, with thanks to the supporters of all clubs played by Sunderland in league and cup this season who contributed to the series …
Cinema does it with Oscars, BAFTAs, Cannes and the rest. Pop has the Brits and Grammys. Salut! Sunderland brings you the HAWAYS, honouring the best interviews with opposing fans – the Highly Articulate Who are You? awards.
We are delighted once again to have a trio of generous sponsors. The rough-and-ready shortlist is with judges but I shall extend the process this year to allow a popular vote, using the same criteria including the fact that my suggestions are intended as no more than a guide.
There has been very little anguish over DeAndre Yedlin’s move to Newcastle. Some of us believe he was worth bringing back, based on his significant improvement towards the end of last season. Others do not rate him, yet, as being of Premier League standard. But with talk of Atletico Madrid’s Javier Manquillo being on the point of signing – that fountain of truth, the Daily Star, says it will cost us £13.6m if he plays 25 times this season – perhaps we do not need (yet) to panic.
Tonight? Truly awful first half against mighty Shrewsbury, despite having what passes these days for a strong side. Second half not much better, said our Pete Sixsmith – ‘slowly losing the will to live’ – until the late winner from Adnan Januzaj. ‘A corker’ was Sixer’s verdict. He’s off to the south coast now in readiness for the much bigger test of Southampton on Saturday. We will know by the morning whether he felt able to delay his departure sufficiently to write more than these seven words on tonight’s game ..
Malcolm Dawson writes….we’ve already a great preview of tomorrow’s League Cup from Shrewsbury fan Carl Jones (read it here). How much we should read into the result, whatever it is, is a moot point, as is how much time David Moyes is allocating to the preparations with the transfer window nearing closure. Now Pete Sixsmith finds time in between his forays into non league football and his trip to Salisbury, prior to our clash with Southampton, to bring us a Sunderland perspective on the match. He may or may not have time to file a report for us on Thursday but rest assured he will be there.
BRING ON THE SHREWS.