Sunderland vs Charlton and the return of the prize Guess the Score

Guess the Score is back, and so is our illustrator Jake

Monsieur Salut writes: roll up, roll up to place your predicted scoreline for the opening game of our return to the third tier – or to claim old prizes I somehow overlooked (one Evertonian, Bernard Walker, is in that category and will receive his I-won’t-let-this-change-me award, a mug, for correctly forecasting the dismal result of last season’s League Cup game, as soon a possible.

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Michael Gray and the grey area of when a ban isn’t a ban

Jake: 'sometimes you just have to meddle in other people's business'
Jake: ‘sometimes you just have to meddle in other people’s business’

How does anyone get the impression they have been banned from a football stadium when they haven’t? Monsieur Salut remembers being told he was banned from a folk club in Newton Aycliffe, after comments in his folk column for the now-defunct Evening Despatch, and having to attend a hearing by the club’s committee to get the ban lifted.

With Micky Gray and Sunderland AFC, it’s a little more mystifying.

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Peter Reid and Micky Gray: footie banter and Shields spice

Credit for image: What Culture*
Reidy in his playing days?*

Sometimes people asking for plugs make Monsieur Salut cross. Sometimes he doesn’t mind a bit.

In fact, the Sunderland-supporting events host Phil Hourigan did not strictly speaking ask for one, but included M Salut as a recipient of a direct message at Twitter – @salutsunderland in case you’d like to follow – about his latest function, featuring Peter Reid and Mick(e)y Gray at Hedworth Hall, South Shields on February 6.

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Michael Gray: that penalty miss, those drinks and other priceless Charlton recollections

A Love Supreme

Michael Gray has found that when one door opens – allowing him to embark on a promising new career as a TV and radio pundit – another he wishes had closed years ago stays open, wider than ever.

As he puts it in a terrific interview in The Guardian:

“Nobody’s interested in my England caps, in me finishing seventh in the Premier League with Sunderland or Blackburn … none of the good stuff. All they want to hear about is that bloody penalty. I don’t mind that now but at the start it was one of those stories I didn’t want to talk about. But looking back, I think it marked a point where I became a stronger person and it helped get me to where I got in my career.”

So he wouldn’t necessarily thank Salut! Sunderland for repeating Stephen Worthy‘s account from the Blackcats list – except that it does add wonderfully to the folkore surrounding those momentous few seconds of a momentous day …

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