Sunderland and Playoffs. Part 4: Newcastle and a memory to savour

What are your best memories as a Sunderland supporter? As an exile I haven’t been to the SOL many times but I did see us win three and six times in a row, and though I was at Wembley in 1973 the semifinal is more lodged in my memory. That’s four games, to which I can add a win against the odds at Goodison when Danny bloody Graham scored.

Pete Sixsmith has been to so many more games he must have so many more good memories. Today he focuses on one game that really mattered:

Read more

Test Matches and Sunderland playoffs. Part one: Gillingham and Newcastle United

Jake prepares for the play offs

John McCormick writes: I had a taxi booked for this morning. It arrived late. Apparently, there were fewer on the road than usual and those that were there were being driven by Evertonians. It would have been a fine night in the city centre.

All this season and last, Pete Sixsmith has brought us his twin series of reminiscences recalling the first time he visited the homes of upcoming opponents or the first time he saw them on be that on Wearside at Roker Park or the Stadium of Light, or occasionally at places like Darlington or Hartlepool.

Before he started on this epistle from the past he had this to say on last night’s game at Anfield.

My seven-word verdict on last night’s Champions League turnaround would have been: Bottled it and beaten by Farringdon’s finest.

I rarely watch games on television – and never when Robbie Savage is “summarising”- but I did watch this one and revelled in a wonderful team performance by Liverpool. At the head of it was our former player, Jordan Henderson, who never stopped running and tackling, who set up the opening goal for Origi and who was a fine captain deserving of all the success that is coming his way. I’m not a great lover of the club or some of its self-satisfied fans, but I do like Jurgen Klopp.

Read more

Who Sixer met in Cornwall: likeable Newcastle fans, Cardiff minus Lee Camp

Sixer keeping cool

Yes, if you were thinking this has already appeared, you were right. Monsieur Salut identified a technical issue with the original and decided to republish … this therefore supersedes the first one, and any Comments should be posted here

Pete Sixsmith missed a Sunderland game. Not an important one, and he does have more than one valid reason. So he compares very favourably to some of SAFC’s players, and I bet they haven’t taken in as many games as Pete while they have been skiving off.

And I bet they won’t tell us what they were up too, either. But Pete, being Pete, is more than willing to share his experiences – of decent pubs and beer, trains, art, eye candy and of course football. Plus something a little more exotic that you’re not likely to find near Roker beach

Read more

Defoe vs Newcastle: a moment to remember

Jermain Defoe’s superstrike vs the Mags: see Art of Football’s Sunderland range at

Monsieur Salut writes:
masquerading, until it’s corrected, as one Pete Smith, our own Pete Sixsmith was invited by our friends at Art of Football (OK I told them to sign him up) to write about the Jermain Defoe goal captured in that splendid print of theirs, the one you see above. Check it out at Art of Football’s own site

Read more

Past glories: priceless American description of Tommy’s penalty save versus Newcastle’s Shearer

Ye olde days, even before Tommy secured our 2-1 win at SJP

Monsieur Salut writes: people sometimes tell me, whoever they support, that they like Salut! Sunderland because it tries to bring smiles to people’s faces. No matter what! There is no football, apart from Sunderland’s Ladies Team in their SSE Women’s FA Cup semi-final cup game against Chelsea on Sunday, between now and Watford away.

So, hardly Ten Years After, rather 17, but will this cheer us up a little?

Between Facebook chats about good and bad referees and other things, an old Newcastle-supporting journalistic acquaintance, Terry Pattinson, and I found ourselves briefly discussing the Tyne-Wear derby of 2000. The context was my assertion that players make many more mistakes at work than refs. I couldn’t resist mention of the Alan Shearer penalty saved by Tommy Sorensen to ensure our three points. And nor could I ever forget the way an American friend, who attended the match with me, later explained the key moment to his equally American girlfriend.

Since we won’t be playing Newcastle next season – and feel free to interpret that as us somehow staying up, them somehow missing out – it seems worth another outing. It originally appeared at ESPN in 2013, just ahead of the Di Canio 3-0 win at St James’ Park in April 2013. Please bear in mind it was written for a largely neutral readership …

If there are sufficient responses to this article, on any related topic, the best – chosen arbitrarily will get a mini-version of the Nick Barnes Matchbook, whose publishers will pay £5 of the price into the Bradley Lowery fund. A winning Newcastle-supporting contributor will be offered a NUFC-themed mug instead, with Salut! Sunderland paying the fiver into Bradley’s fund)

Read more

Barnes and Benno: eloquence meets passion, football inspires art

All roads lead to the Nick Barnes Matchbook
Nick Barnes and his Matchbook

We have been wanting a chat with Nick Barnes and Gary Bennett for a while. In some ways an unlikely pair, the tweed-loving culture vulture with a passion for the countryside and a former player and manager, fondly remembered for the sheer commitment he gave in red and white, who eschews tweeds in favour of the heart he wears on his sleeve …

Read more