Sunderland’s 10 relegations: cheers McMenemy, wouldn’t have known Division Three but for you

Pete Sixsmith: ‘a life of ups and downs’

On days such as this, it would be wrong for Salut! Sunderland to detach itself from events in a cruel world away from football. Our sympathies and solidarity go out to all those affected or bereaved by the tragic fire in a tower block in north Kensington, London overnight

Pete Sixsmith is in the midst of a truly engaging series on all the Sunderland relegations – which means all but one – he has known. He even managed to write about the one, our first from the top flight, that occurred before he was supporting SAFC.

The series can be seen in its entirety at

Here is the fifth instalment, For those of a squeamish disposition, prepare to have to put up with a lot of Lawrie McMenemy and a very angry, all these years on, Sixer. As we’ve come to expect from the lad – much slimmed down these days thanks to a paper round and healthy eating – it’s a great read combining vast footballing knowledge, a grasp of historical detail and the fallout of a lifetime spent following Sunderland through thick, thin and thinner …

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Remembering when Liverpool and Leyton Orient were forces in the division below

Mick Goulding and son

Monsieur Salut writes: Pete Sixsmith won’t mind Michael Goulding, a more occasional contributor, intruding on his new series about Sunderland’s 10 relegations. After Sixer’s priceless if detached reminiscences of the time our club lost its proud record of having played only in the top flight, Mick posted this as a comment. It cried out to be elevated to a proper part of the series even though he, like Sixer, has no direct memories of that first experience of dropping a division.In fact, Mick’s story is about supporting the club rather than seeing it suffer the humiliation of relegation …



Sixer’s was a good piece full of engaging memories (even if they aren’t all mine). I was too young, aged five, to remember that first relegation.

Five-year-olds then were very different from five-year-olds now. We lived in blissful ignorance. Nothing was on the telly, which was just as well cos we didn’t have one, and the only other media outlet that I engaged with was in comic form (Dandy, Beano, Topper etc).

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