Salut! Sunderland’s HAWAY awards: the 10 Championship clubs with fans battling for honours

Jake: ‘thanks to all who participate’. Click this image to see all of this seaon’s interviews
With nominations about to close in Salut! Sunderland’s annual HAWAY awards – the prizes offered for best interviews with opposing fans over the season just ended – there is a clear front runner.

Since judging is not quite complete, and readers may still take part as previously invited simply by adding their choices in order of first-second-third in the Comments below, it would be premature to give away more.

Nominations close at midnight UK time so there is not much time left for stragglers, and we do have a quorum with votes already cast by several contributors.

Read more

Sixer’s Sevens: QPR get one against 10 men as we unbolt the trapdoor ourselves

Jake: ‘it’s not always pretty’

Could we have got something from this game? I thought so, but Bob Chapman’s report will give a more accurate picture than the SAFC website and that won’t arrive until tomorrow.

Bob will be reporting in the Place of  Pete Sixsmith, who decided against a trip to Loftus Road. Even so, it was Pete who forwarded the seven-word text that summed up a dismal day.

Read more

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground: QPR and Loftus Road

 Cool then, Cooler now

John McCormick writes: I had to check with the Statcat when this one came up – why did I not see us play at QPR when I lived in London? It transpires they were promoted in 1973. I was busy that year and didn’t notice them going up, just before I moved to London, and by the time we joined them in Division One I was on my way to Liverpool.

Did I miss something special by not going to see QPR when  I had the chance? In the early 1970s they were quite a team, with the likes of Stan Bowles, Gerry Francis and Rodney Marsh exciting the crowds. However, Rodney Marsh moved on in 1972 and there are those who argue QPR were never the same without him so I probably didn’t.

What about Pete Sixsmith?  I rather get the feeling he visited Loftus Road too early and missed QPR at their peak, even though they had recently lifted neutral hearts. It’s possible, though, that more pressing things required attention at the time and the wider world of football had to take a back seat for a while:

Read more

QPR vs SAFC Who are You?: ‘money wasted on wrong players and managers’

Ian McCullough, with his little hooped ones

Monsieur Salut writes: Ian McCullough* is a seasoned sportswriter and a friend of a friend (John Crowley, who has also occupied this hot seat). He supports QPR but has a soft spot for Sunderland and will be at Saturday’s match with a Mackem pal. His assessment of QPR’s decline could as easily apply to us.

Ian’s team has hardly had a great season but, on 40 points against our rock-bottom 28, can be fairly sure they will not finish last. Our relegation rivals are doing their best to give us a chance but it is not, so far, a chance our team seems able to grasp. Can Saturday provide enough respite from the unfortunate atmosphere when home games go wrong to enable them to play with rare assurance and pick up three points? John O’Shea talks of there still being 30 points to play for but the supporters desperately need some encouragement from Chris Coleman and whoever he can turn out.

Welcome Ian (@IanMac08 at Twitter), even it feels like intruding into private grief …

Read more

QPR vs Sunderland prize Guess the Score: rising above the gloom

Have a go. There’s nothing much to lose

In the depths of our despair, it seems beyond belief that interest in one small corner of Sunderland AFC’s world should suddenly perk up.

But in the wake of Tuesday night’s surrender to Aston Villa, Salut! Sunderland’s Facebook group gained three new members. Not spammers, hookers or chancers – we get applictaions from them, too – but from self-evidently genuine Sunderland supporters. We’re now nudging 750 and none, as far as we know, are hookers.

Maybe Chris Coleman should print this out, fold it with something harder curled inside and rap it over the heads of our players and, if he happens to be passing in the corridor, Martin Bain.

Read more

‘The wreckage of Sunderland’. QPR site’s questions, our responses

Jake: ‘the first to tell us which match this old SAFC v QPR image refers to gets a mug’

Monsieur Salut writes: Clive Whittingham, the editor of the QPR fan site Loft For Words, did the honours in our Who are You? hot seat. He asked for a reciprocal gesture which we were naturally happy to make. He also asked Roker Report and we are fine with that, too (I have to cast the net wide in my search for Who are You? interviewees and sometimes end up with more than one and use both).

The result? Salut! Sunderland had another superb Who are You? – and Clive was able to run replies to his own questions put to our Pete Sixsmith and Roker Report’s Rory Fallow.

And by the by, Sixer’s latest edition of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Team is once again a must-read joy in which he recalls seeing QPR for the first time, not at Roker Park but Feethams. The Rodney Marsh story – a chance meeting with a bruising opponent in a Darlington night club after that match – is worth a visit in itself. And here is what Loft For Words (please note the clickable link, Clive!) made of the Salut! and RR interviews (but also check the caption above if you want to win a mug) …

Read more

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Team: QPR cup glory, Rodney Marsh’s Darlington night out

Rodney Marsh: ‘you kick me about all afternoon and then follow me to the night club’ (see footnote*)

Pete Sixsmith‘s first encounter with QPR was not against Sunderland but Darlington shortly after Rodney Marsh had scored one of the three goals that won a side then in the Third Division the league cup final against top flight opponents, WBA, despite having been two down at half time. The game at Feethams is largely forgettable, but Sixer recalls with a grumpy harrumph the din made by Hoops fans with a drum and shares a delightful anecdote about Marsh’s post-match evening out.

This is the latest instalment in our Memory Man’s entertaining and rightly acclaimed twin series on Sunderland opponents: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Team (for SAFC home games)/The First Time Ever I saw Your Ground (when we’re away) …

Read more

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.

Read more

Sixer’s Sevens: QPR 1-2 Sunderland. McNair the killer striker

A win? Jake is lost for words
A win? Jake is lost for words

A win’s a win, as Pete Sixsmith might put it. A 2-1 victory away to QPR has a competent ring to it, but Sixer wasn’t there and Monsieur Salut was unable to follow it except on his mobile, being on a gruelling French naval press trip and, as the match was played, eating and drinking on board a frigate with Exocets pointing towards the centre of Toulon. So we can but stick to the facts as conveyed by scoreline and scorers and then rely on others to fill in details of a win that brings us the dubious reward of Southampton away in the next round of the league cup … the asterisk denotes an emergency seven-word verdict not of Sixer’s making…


Read more

QPR v Sunderland: Guess the score

Jake: 'the doubt has currently been removed - defo no prize'
Jake: this time you definitely won’t. Unless…..

John McCormick writes: Rodney Marsh had moved from QPR by the time I went to live in London but they were still a club to admire.

Panache, perhaps, would be the word that best fitted them as they came close, oh, so close, to winning the League, and how we neutrals wanted them to.

Read more