You’ll need to scroll down now if you want to know Kevin Ayscough‘s* link to Salut! Sunderland and why he thinks a certain Sunderland fan ought really be supporting Leeds.
Kevin is a down-to-earth United supporter who sees no point in harking back to his club’s glory days, though he says he still cannot work out how we made his trip home to Leeds such a miserable one on May 5 1973. He rates Simon Grayson highly and, even before this week’s results put us 6th and Leeds 7th, saw both clubs finishing in the top six – a re-run of 1963-64 would suit him and most of us, even if we’d want the positions reversed ….
As the FA Cup 3rd round looms, and just for the memories, here are some jottings that have cropped up here in the eight years since Salut! Sunderland was created …
Forty-one years on from our great triumph at Wembley, 77 years after we had last done it and a shorter time, though still too long, since the FA Cup seemed to stop mattering to most, a 3rd round tie would not merit undue attention.
Julian Young is a good friend. The cross he bears is that of being a Leeds United supporter. Not surprisingly, as his club went into steep decline, he put some distance between him and them. For some years, he has been in Paris. It works; as M Salut remembers from his own time there, it can be tough trying to catch live football outside the Premier. But he still cares, and readily agreed to offer his thoughts ahead of the Sunderland vs Leeds cup tie …
No one correctly guessed 3-2 as the score from the Etihad so the latest edition of Guess the Score is a rollover, with two mugs as the prize. READ ON …
Over the years, and perhaps with relatively little else to shout about, Salut! Sunderland has published plenty about the great day in history – social history, too, not just footballing detail – that was May 5 1973.
Many readers are old enough and were lucky enough to be there. Others, Monsiuer Salut among them, have hard-luck stories of broken promises or disappointment in the hunt for tickets. But however we ended up watching the momentous events of that afternoon in north-west London, it was an occasion to be remembered forever.
For the first of two Sunderland vs Leeds United ‘Who are You?’ interviews,, we turn to Susan Gutteridge*, who has always been Salut! Sunderland’s link to the SAFC Ladies Team, for which she is official (voluntary) photographer and the mother of team member Natalie. She happens to support Leeds, despite being a County Durham girl (if only just), and remembers feeling just a little lonely at school in Bishop Auckland in the aftermath of May 5 1973. I am delighted to introduce Susan to this series – she is absolutely committed to the women’s team, proud of their sensational exploits and more than a little fond of Sunderland AFC …
Salut! Sunderland: As a Leeds supporter deeply embedded in the Sunderland football culture, through your links with SAFC Ladies, is the FA Cup 3rd round tie a special occasion for you?
Yes, the game will be a special occasion for me. Although I have been a Leeds supporter for as long as I can remember, I have a soft spot for Sunderland and you could probably say they are my second team. Natalie my daughter, started playing for Sunderland Ladies back in 2006 and I suppose the interest started then. I bet there are not many houses in the North East where a Leeds and Sunderland shirt are drying side by side on the washing line!
You know what May 5 1973 means for Sunderland supporters; what is it like for Leeds fans to be reminded of it every time someone mentions great FA Cup finals?
With an interest in both camps, it does get mentioned quite a bit. But the tables have turned now, so maybe it’s time for Leeds to get their own back!
If this is not indelicate, are you old enough to recall the day, and the sensation of being part of only two groups of football supporters (Leeds and Newcastle) not to be delighted at the outcome?
I was at secondary school in Bishop Auckland at the time of the final and was the only Leeds supporter in the class. Having won the cup the previous year against Arsenal and being favourites, I was quite confident. When Ian Porterfield scored for Sunderland, it was safe to say I was reluctant to go to school that Monday morning. I got some stick that day!
How good do you think Leeds were in those far-off glory days? And how bad has it been in recent times? Do you see a way back or has greatness gone for good?
Leeds were very good in the glory days of Bremner, Hunter, Lorimer, Gray and Clarke (Sniffer my favourite player), but the last 12 years haven’t been good for Leeds. Despite the ups and downs at the Club, they still manage to bring in excellent crowds, especially on away trips.
Looking back, there were all those jibes about “dirty Leeds” and some suspicion about the way Don Revie went about his job. Have you ever felt unloved as a club or do you put it down (historically at least) to jealousy anyway?
Leeds in the past had an aggressive style of play and to this day still get taunted with “dirty Leeds” by most teams. I think most of the fans quite enjoy the banter with oppositions fans over this on match days.
Did the word “revenge” enter your head when our teams came out of the hat together for this season’s FA Cup?
No, revenge didn’t enter my head, I was quite excited at the fixture, I think the last time I saw a Sunderland v Leeds game was Boxing Day 2006. Hope the game isn’t as one sided as it was that day!
You’re deeply involved in the Sunderland women’s football team, as official and mother of Natalie, a team member. Do you feel any affinity with the men’s team? And any particular thoughts on the fans, the city, the region, Poyet?
Although from the North East, born in Middleton in Teesdale which is close to the Yorkshire border, I suppose I do qualify as a Leeds fan and not just a glory supporter back in the day. Having a close link with Sunderland through Natalie playing on the Ladies team, I have become quite attached to SAFC We usually go up to the Stadium of Light when Leeds aren’t playing and if Leeds are playing I will keep checking twitter to see how they are doing. I really like Gus Poyet especially after he did well as assistant manager at Elland Road.
Tell us a little about your association with the women and your thoughts on their remarkable achievements
I joined Sunderland Ladies Committee when Natalie started to play for the team back in 2006. As they had no website I volunteered to build one which led to me being their official photographer, covering both home and away games and travelling with the team.
The girls are a great bunch of lasses, so much so that they are known as the Sunderland Family and I think this is one of the reasons why they have done so well over the years. They reached the FA Cup final in 2009, became National Premier League Champions for three consecutive years and last season were promoted into the top tier of the FA Women’s Super League. A fantastic achievement especially as the girls are mostly students or have full time jobs – their reward being formally integrated into the SAFC structure in 2013.
And your views on the development of the women’s game (a subject close to Monsieur Salut’s heart as the father of a player, also called Nat(h)alie?
The development and interest of the women’s game in the last few years has been great especially with the introduction of the Women’s Super League and games being televised to give more coverage. With SAFC Ladies getting promotion into the top tier of the FA Women’s Super League last season, this is fantastic for the female game in the North East, especially with the amount of Sunderland girls currently in the England Senior Team.
SAFC vs Leeds United: Guess the Score at https://safc.blog/category/fa-cup/may-5-1973/
Back to Leeds: do you feel strongly about the way the club is run – in particular the Massimo Cellino/ Neil Redfearn pairing?
Don’t really have any strong views on the way the club is run, although its good to see Neil Redfearn getting his chance after doing so well with the Academy and bringing the youngsters through to the first team.
Best and worst moments as a Leeds supporter?
Best – Reaching the semi-final of the UEFA Cup (1999/2000) and Champions League (2000/2001)
Worst – being relegated to League One
Best and worst players you’ve seen in Leeds colours?
Best – Clarke, Batty, Radabe, Kewell, Smith
Worst – too many to mention!
Leeds are currently just above the relegation zone, as Sunderland are in the Premier. Where do you expect each club to finish?
Both teams are very inconsistent at the moment, but hopefully if they can put a run together we should see them both safe.
And who will win the FA Cup?
Think I will go for Man City.
Diving: so prevalent we may as well give up and put it in the coaching manuals, or still worth tackling?
Needs to be tackled, spoils the game. Don’t see it much in the women’s game.
I bet you’ll be at the game. Would you hazard a guess at the score?
Yes, hoping to be at the game. I think Sunderland will just clinch it, so going for 2-1.
* Susan Gutteridge on herself: I live in Bishop Auckland, work as an IT Support Officer for the Diocese of Durham. Official photographer for SAFC Ladies on a voluntary basis, covering all home and away games.
Started supporting Leeds about the age of 11. Usually go to all home and some away games when they don’t clash with SAFC Ladies matches. Check out the team’s site at http://sunderland.fawsl.com/index.html
Fancy leaving a comment? Not sure what you have to say fits this post? Go to the made-for-purpose feature – https://safc.blog/2013/07/salut-sunderland-the-way-it-is/ – and say it there
See all Salut! Sunderland’s articles recalling May 5 1973 and the run that took SAFC to FA Cup glory: https://safc.blog/category/fa-cup/may-5-1973/
Bill Taylor could not make the final and watched it instead at his parents’ home in Bishop Auckland. His dad had been at Wembley for the previous Sunderland FA Cup-winning final, against Preston North End in 1937, and was gutted not to be able to repeat the trip 37 years later. He is no longer with us, unfortunately, but must have been quite pleased that his lad, then a Northern Echo reporter, was able to play a bit part in the homecoming parade that brought 500,000 onto the streets of Sunderland on this day 40 years ago. That’s it, the last of Salut! Sunderland‘s series of articles remembering May 5 1973 …
May 5, 1973 was a triumph all around, not only for Sunderland but for me and my friend (and Northern Echo colleague) Steve Wolstencroft, who went on to become sports editor of the Scottish Sun.
The Black Cats scored one and Steve and I scored 11 apiece…
We shared a flat in Darlington and if we had a TV (memory fails) it certainly wasn’t colour so we watched the Cup Final at my parents’ house in Bishop Auckland.
Steve was a Magpies fan (no one in those days had the faintest inkling of what a Barcode might be) but we weren’t quite so rabid about our rivalry back then and he was happy to watch a North-eastern team at Wembley. As I recall, he tried but couldn’t quite bring himself to cheer for Leeds. It was Jimmy Montgomery who finally turned him into a believer.
After the shouting had died down in our front room – my dad had been at the 1937 final and rued not getting to this one – Steve and I headed off to the Top Hat club in Spennymoor. And, for the first time for either of us, got into double figures – a pint for every man on the winning side.
It was ice-packs and short-lived vows of sobriety for the pair of us next day.
But there was more shared glory to come.
As I wrote in the Echo at the time and reiterated here three years ago, I was on the media truck, a large artic, that immediately preceded the team bus as it made its triumphant way through the streets of Sunderland, pummeled by wave upon wave of sound from a crowd on the brink of hysteria.
My story began something like: “The road to Roker Park could have been paved with gold last night and not a soul would have noticed.”
Something like that. What I remember better is the error I made, which went uncorrected for 37 years and finally came to light here at Salut! Sunderland.
Ian Porterfield was hanging over the side of the open-topped double-decker waving a boot at the crowd. I made the very basic journalistic error of not checking. I simply assumed it was the one he’d scored the goal with.
And wrote as much here in late 2009. Paul Dobson – Sobs of A Love Supreme and, often, here too – set me straight: “It was actually my Adidas Scorpion trainer, painted gold, that I’d lobbed up to a very bemused Ian at Belmont as the procession started. It’s the first time I’ve heard anything about it since. I’ve often wondered what happened to the shoe in question – whether it went in the Porterfield loft, or the Porterfield bin, in May ’73!”
Paul wasn’t at the celebration only half-shod. He’d painted the shoe gold for the occasion and was wearing his red-and-white Doc Martens.
This must have set a record for the delay in getting a correction published in a newspaper but on January 26, 2010, Mike Amos in his Backtrack column finally set the record straight.
I felt better. And, coincidentally, was introduced to Paul by Monsieur Salut at Mike’s retirement do the following year.
Time is a funny thing. A week after the Cup Final, I met the woman was to become – and still is – my wife. We’re coming up later this month on our 36th wedding anniversary.
And it was 36 years that separated Sunderland’s two FA Cup wins. So you could say we’re four years overdue for our third. Who knows when next we’ll be in the final?
Whenever it may be and whatever the result, it won’t be the same. Just as the ’73 final and aftermath must have differed considerable from that of 1937.
JL Carr wrote his implausible but wonderful little novel, How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup in 1974. I like to think he might have been at least a little inspired by the previous year’s final.
For me, the last few sentences of the book say it all:
“And it is sad to know that those days, win or lose, can’t return. Nor those remembered faces be gathered into one place again.
“I stood there… in the dusk one Saturday in January and, the next thing I knew, Mr Fangfoss was there as well. ‘Mr Gidner,’ he said, ‘I know what you’re looking for. But it’s gone, and it’ll never come back.’
“Then – and only for an instant – our chairman gave himself away. ‘And more’s the pity, lad,’ he said.”
The latest edition of French Fancies is special and timely, a must for any Sunderland supporter who happens to be studying – or knows a little of – the language of Molière.
Entrez, s’il vous plaît, our new friend Kevin Quigagne, who is French but has been in England for 21 years, lives in the North East and follows the Lads with some enthusiasm when not demonstrating a soft spot for Sheffield Wednesday.
The Leeds fan, “yorxman”, who posted his silly Yah Boo comment to one of our FA Cup Final 40th anniversary pieces, did at least have a point in implying we were sad to have to go back so long for anything to celebrate.
Members of the London and SE branch of the Sunderland AFC Supporters’ Association voted a few years ago to change the name of the newsletter from 5573 for that very reason. Ian Todd has pointed out elsewhere that it was not just younger members who disapproved of such a distant reference point as May 5 1973 (I voted to keep the name but cannot quarrel too much with the opposing view – and the replacement, Wear Down South, is a great alternative).
But our yorxsman’s sneers are not wholly representative of Leeds United supporters. That day was theirs too, or at any rate it was meant to be theirs, so it seemed a good idea to invite them to share their own memories. This is what a quick posting at the Leeds Fans Online site produced – and I am grateful to all those who contributed:
Each matchday, Pete Sixsmith – or a supersub in his absence – summarises the outcome and/or performance with a seven-word verdict, invariably followed by his considered Soapboax report. Today, May 5, though not literally, he’s been up to London to see the … Team of All The Talents, Bob Stokoe’s valiant men in red and white stripes who defied logic and hierarchical wisdom to beat all-conquering Leeds United to the FA Cup. Savour the moment as, on another May 5 four decades ago, Pete did …
Pete Sixsmith***** was there. Monsieur Salut was not, having been repeatedly promised a ticket by a drunken colleague whose work gave him close contact with Wembley. The promises continued right up to May 4 but the ticket did not materialise.. A fabulous day all the same, even if you had to watch it in an upstairs company flat in Uxbridge (upstairs of said colleague who was nowhere to be found) before heading off to sink pints with the Co Durham lads who always ended SAFC awaydays at the Wealdstone ex-Service club. Pete describes the day, as I could describe that night, as if writing for this site on May 6 1973 …