Memo to Ellis Short: how it feels – thank heavens for the Lasses

Photo courtesy of the Sunderland Women's Football Club*
Photo courtesy of the Sunderland Women’s Football Club*

If you want to re-inject into your lives a little pride in being a Sunderland supporter, consider this:
P W D L GD PTS
1 Sunderland 12 9 3 0 27 30
2 Watford 12 7 4 1 12 25
3 Leeds United 11 7 1 3 8 22
Yes, the Lasses won yet again, at Barnet, and are now five points clear at the top of the FA Women’s Premier League. Back to them shortly. Mick Goulding, meanwhile, had his weekend football a few miles away in west London. This, from the Blackcats list, is his account of heroic efforts at QPR to prevent a rare London excursion being completely ruined by the Sunderland team running out …

Read moreMemo to Ellis Short: how it feels – thank heavens for the Lasses

Grand Central’s pledge to messed-about travellers

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Sunderland and Fulham fans, students and all others caught up in the events of last night, when services came to a standstill on the Home Counties stretch of the east coast main line: take note.

Our report of the delay has attracted a full response from Grand Central, the operator used – generally with great satisfaction – by London-based SAFC supporters. Passengers are invited to return the relevant part of their tickets for refunds for the affected journey.

Read moreGrand Central’s pledge to messed-about travellers

Melanie Hill: flirting on the Fulwell

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When I thank you for the stream of visits to Salut! Sunderland that has sent us rocketing up the Soccerlinks hit parade to the dizzy heights of the mid-40s, “you” includes the away fans attracted by the Who Are You? feature and such controversies as the Ilunga/Jones affair. While I stand by for an invasion by Spurs fans later in the week, ahead of Saturday’s game at White Hart Lane, I will give another airing to an interview from the Celebrity Supporters series that began with 5573 (later renamed Wear Down South), the magazine of the Sunderland supporters’ association London branch, and continued at the old site.

Melanie Hill, whom I described as a “smashing actress known from Bread, Brassed Off and much more” was easily one of the nicest interviewees in the series. She agreed to an interview two days before the fateful Arsenal match in Oct 2002, Peter Reid’s last in charge, and rang again just before kick-off to fix a time. The interview took place the day after Reid’s sacking. As I said at the time, it felt like a whirlwind telephone romance.

Here, for those who missed the interview when it first appeared (and apologies to those for whom it is just a repeat), is one of the stars of our wider support base …

This starts as a tale of two celebrities with strong Sunderland links, of one door opening while the echo of another slamming shut is ringing in the ears.

Read moreMelanie Hill: flirting on the Fulwell