Another one from the archives: Ken Gambles and some childhood heroes

John McCormick writes: With a traveller like Pete Sixsmith on our books we’re always going to be able to tell a tale or two to enthrall our readers, and it’s no surprise that Pete’s home and away¬† “First Time” series have gone down great guns. But Pete’s not the only one with long memories and we’ve all come up with tales of trips, wins and losses which have gone down in legend. So too with players. Cloughie (I never saw him) Charlie Hurley, Quinn and SuperKev, perhaps, or lesser heroes like Danny bloody Graham – whom I actually did see score a goal. But it’s not always Sunderland players, our writers and readers are renowned for their fairness and am
n ability to recognise class. So we’re taking a little trip away from the Stadium of Light to revisit some of Ken Gambles’ early heroes.

Here’s how M Salut introduced Ken’s piece in March, 2015, not long after the death of one of them, double winning Dave McKay, with the title:

The Tottenham, Chelsea, Everton, WBA and QPR giants who fired my youth

Ken Gambles is Sunderland through and through. But the recent death of Dave Mackay got him thinking back to some of the giants of English football seen in his student days. Let Ken reacquaint older readers with – and introduce younger ones to – some of the players who gave him such pleasure without ever pulling on the red and white stripes of Sunderland …

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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) …

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