The Burton Albion Who are You? ‘Pieman’s highlight of the season – losing 9-0 at Man City!’

Dave the Burton Pieman and broadcaster with one of his celebrity interviewees

Monsieur Salut writes:
Burton Albion are a club with lots of virtues but the size of the fanbase is not among them, unless small is beautiful. Finding a Who are You? interview volunteer who isn’t the one we had before, and also the one before that, is not easy. Hence, our latest cap-in-hand approach to the admirable Dave Child*, who combines home-and-away support with a mini-career as a radio pundit on all things Burton Albion and also the quality of football ground pies.

It is no hardship to turn to Dave once more for a look at the season our two clubs have had in the third tier after going down together a year ago. And he will collect a Salut! Sunderland mug in honour of of his services to this series …

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A Wembley a Day. When Man City did what Man United couldn’t

Courtesy of

John McCormick writes: should I be surprised or not that Lee Cattermole is the only survivor of our last trip to Wembley? After all, it was five years – or six managers, not including two caretakers – ago? We fans are much more constant aren’t we, which brings me to Pete Sixsmith, who before he departed County Durham on yet another foray south, left the final chapter from an excellent series that we trust you’ve all enjoyed:

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Sixer’s Manchester City Seven: one step from Wembley

Jake: ‘not so silly a cup after all’

As Salut! Sunderland‘s tweet put it, this was game that would take us one step from Wembley if we won, but didn’t really matter if we lost since it’s a Mickey Mouse competition anyway. In the event, Pete Sixsmith and our deputy editor Malcolm Dawson were there to witness a good win. So the Checkatrade is important after all. Watmore could you want than one goal? Another, from Gooch. One of the Salut team will be writing about the match at greater length. This is the place for the instant verdict, preceded by an asterisk if someone other than Sixer proves the seven-word summing-up …

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Sunderland vs Manchester City. Checkatrade Guess the Score and Wembley memories

Jake: ‘the Silly Cup – or a great chance to return to Wembley?’

GUESS THE SCORE: The Checktrade rules are simple – no extra time but penalties if scores are level at 90 minutes. For the prize mug – whoever you support – you must correctly predict the score at full time and, if the teams are drawing, the winner on penalties (don’t worry about the shoot-out score). And you must have a UK delivery address …

Sunderland have had some great moments against Man City in cup games. The 3-1 win in a fifth round FA Cup replay, on our way to Wembley glory in 1973, was one. Wembley again, for the League Cup final in 2014, was another.

We invaded London, steamed ahead thanks to Fabio Borini’s tremendous goal and should have seen him double the lead before half time. Steven Fletcher missed a good chance at 1-2 but by the end, three classy City goals had seen us off.

In that Cinderella of trophies, the Checkatrade, we face City boys not men in the quarterfinals but – as that implies – find ourselves two steps away from a Wembley return. Read again how Pete Sixsmith saw the 2014 League Cup final …

Pete didn’t quite qualify for Mr Robert Halfon MP’s tribute to “scumbag football hooligans”, missing out on the Covent Garden riot (implies Mr H) or good-natured gathering (said the cops) and travelling down on the Durham SAFCSA branch charabanc. This is his wonderful account of a great occasion we wouldn’t let defeat spoil (and the MP did have the grace to apologise, and to Salut! Sunderland no less:…

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A Daughter Speaks: how Wigan and Rochdale restored the FA Cup’s shine

Nathalie, left, and team-mates in women’s football. They get exasperated watching us play

Amid all Sunderland’s more pressing problems, it seems almost incidental to reflect on how old you now have to be to have any dependable first-hand memory of May 5 1973: Porterfield’s goal, Monty’s double save, Stokoe’s sprint and our cup.

Never forget that the London branch of the SAFC Supporters’ Association voted years ago to change the name of its newsletter from 5573 to Wear Down South, an excellent title but the choice reflecting younger – and also some older – members’ reluctance to be reminded quite so regularly of how long had passed since the arrival of serious silverware at Roker Park or the Stadium of Light.

And we all know what has happened to the status and allure of the FA Cup in more recent times. It was different in 1973. And if Monsieur Salut’s younger daughter, Nathalie Randall, were somewhat older, enough to have seen that win against lofty, dirty Leeds, it’s a fair bet that the emotion and glory of that day – and her father’s celebrations – might have have steered her into lifelong support of Sunderland, not Liverpool.

But let Nathalie explain how her own feelings about the competition have been affected by two unexpected results, Wigan’s heartening act of giant-killing and Rochdale’s draw against Spurs to ensure at least one day out at Wembley …

From an old birthday card sent to M Salut

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Recalling Sunderland’s most memorable games in history

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A just-for-fun poll introduces this look at some of the greatest games in Sunderland AFC’s history. Many readers will approve of the choices made by Ben Jones, a sportswriter and ‘massive Sunderland fan’. Others might add the 4-1 defeat of Chelsea in the first of our seventh-top Premier seasons under Peter Reid. Or the first FA Cup 6th Round replay against Manchester United at Roker Park in 1964. Back in 2013, a Roker Report piece on great games over the festive period threw others into the mix: the last-second win against Man City on New Year’s Day, 2012; a 4-1 Boxing Day romp at Bradford in 2000 and two Old Trafford classics (a 5-3 win on Boxing Day 1950 and a 2-1 defeat on New Year’s Day 2003. You decide …

Since Sunderland became the first new team to join the Football League in 1890 and from the earliest seasons, their name has been embroidered prominently in the tapestry of English football history.

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Haway! It’s awards time again with Bournemouth, Middlesbrough, Swansea making early running

Jake: ‘with thanks to all opposing fans who participate’

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.

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Forget Oscars: the HAWAY awards are what matters to fans of Everton, Stoke, Chelsea … and Shrewsbury

Jake: ‘with thanks to all opposing fans who participate’

Salut! Sunderland gets big hits for “Who are You?” interviews, the Q and A sessions with opposing fans that we publish before every game, writes Monsieur Salut.

And at the end of each season, we present the Haways – Highly Articulate Who Are You? awards – to those our judges deem to have been the best.

It is entirely subjective but a spot of fun. If any reader who follows the series wishes to have a say, please just leave a comment (using your correct e-mail address, which is not shown but I can see) and you will be contacted.

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