Gus Poyet: building on the team spirit instilled by Bally

Gus Poyet by Owen Lennox
Gus Poyet by Owen Lennox

Opinions are like, shall we say, belly buttons; everyone has one. Salut! Sunderland is a broad church and Daniel Garraghan* is the latest addition to our pastoral team. Here he discusses the subject on many of our lips: has Poyet taken on a team with sufficient quality to fight clear of the bottom three? Owen Lennox has already added to his portfolio of portraits of Sunderland managers and head coaches …

Read moreGus Poyet: building on the team spirit instilled by Bally

The art of managing Sunderland: Quinn to PDC minus one

So who’s next? Will Ellis Short stick with Bally or go for one of the candidates we’ve seen mentioned – for example Gus Poyet, Rene Meulensteen, Gianfranco Zola and Stuart Pearce – or someone else entirely? Whoever it is, we should expect it to mean work for the Sunderland-born, Sunderland-supporting artist Owen Lennox, who now describes his labour of love …

In the 83/84 season when Alan Durban was the manager, Sunderland made an important signing, Chris Stevens. Rarely had Roker Park seen such artisty. Not since the board had commissioned the Hemy painting that now hangs majestically in reception at SoL had the club invested in so much money in art. Chris Stevens was appointed as artist in residence on a year’s contract valued at £7,000.

Read moreThe art of managing Sunderland: Quinn to PDC minus one

Steve Bruce: no oil painting? Quinny and Keano know why

Owen Lennox* is a Sunderland supporter with unusual gifts. He is an author, as recently demonstrated on these pages with the story of his novel touching on Wearside history, he is an art teacher and he is an accomplished painter. Here, he describes how an attempted little sideline – painting SAFC figureheads in the hope they’d fork out to own the resulting masterpieces – slid slowly from the canvas …

As a practising portrait painter, when the commissions are few and far between I need to keep my eye in.

I am also an honorary member of the three little pigs’ society; I need to keep the big bad wolf from the door.

In order to kill two birds with one stone I use a ruse employed by the late John Bratby, he used to make portraits of famous people then contact them, on occasion they would buy their portrait, and this has proved a moderately successful ploy for me until it comes to famous footballers or managers.

Read moreSteve Bruce: no oil painting? Quinny and Keano know why

Peter O’Toole, Joe Roc and a love letter to Sunderland

joe roc

Owen Lennox, the highly respected Sunderland-born artist and author, was moved by the recent piece on Peter O’Toole’s Sunderland links to write about his own researches into Wearside history – and pass on an intriguing thought about the old war cry “Ha`way, Ha`way!” …

Reading at Salut!Sunderland that Peter O’Toole’s father was a Sunderland supporter sparked a reference to, O’Toole the bookie, I’d uncovered while researching a novel I had published in 2007.

There was no reason for me to make the connection between the bookie and the actor in the same way there was no reason for me to make the connection between Dempsey’s rag shop in the Sheepfolds, and Jack of the same name, World Champion Heavyweight Boxer. There is little evidence to suggest that O’Toole senior watched Sunderland but we do know of one famous person who did, the man who painted The Last Minute-Now Or Never.

Read morePeter O’Toole, Joe Roc and a love letter to Sunderland