Sunderland and relegation: been there, done that, collected too many T-shirts

Sixer by Jake

Pete Sixsmith doesn’t intend to spend the summer moping about our most recent relegation.

He intends to spend the summer moping about all of our relegations.

As he puts it: ‘Relegation Number 10 so lots of memories to ramble on about as our season rambles to an end. So depressing……’

Read moreSunderland and relegation: been there, done that, collected too many T-shirts

‘All my fault’: the man behind a golden milestone for Sunderland supporters

From Feb 6 1967: Ian’s letter to fellow SAFC fans announcing plans to establish a formal branch of the Supporters’ Association

Monsieur Salut writes: the London and SE branch of the SAFC Supporters’ Association has just reached 50 years of age. In common with many who leave Sunderland-supporting parts of the North East to ply their trades in and around the Smoke, I eventually got round to joining the branch after seeing numerous mentions in the matchday programmes of various London clubs where I had attended away games. I’d put my membership at around 30 years, but I could and should have joined sooner, since I moved south a few months before the 1973 FA Cup Final. Plenty have done much longer stretches. Step forward Ian Todd, who was largely instrumental in creating the branch 50 years ago and has been a tireless mainstay of its activities.

Special events are planned, with a get-together and buffet at the Stadium of Light on the evening we play West Ham on April 15 – open to members, past members and their guests – and, on the eve of the final game at Chelsea, at the Knights Templar near Chancery Lane, London (all-comers welcome; many will recall the splendid pre-League Cup final gathering there in 2014). Check out details at weardownsouth.com and now read what Ian had to say in a piece headlined ‘It’s all my fault’ in the new edition of the excellent branch newsletter, Wear Down South

Read more‘All my fault’: the man behind a golden milestone for Sunderland supporters

The Things We Do For Love (of Sunderland). D-day nears …

Ask Jeremy 'Clock Stand Paddock' Robson where Sunderland play and he'll say 'Roker Park'
Ask Jeremy ‘Clock Stand Paddock’ Robson where Sunderland play and he’ll say ‘Roker Park’

Time to give readers a tap on the shoulder and remind them to come up with an entry in our Things We Do For Love contest.

You see the prize above – a magnificent print of Roker Park – and we have already had some excellent entries which can be seen at the earlier posts: https://safc.blog/category/salut-competition/ – and Monsieur Salut’s work will have his work cut out when he gets round to choosing a winner.

Read moreThe Things We Do For Love (of Sunderland). D-day nears …

The things we do for love: you tell Salut! Sunderland

Ask Jeremy 'Clock Stand Paddock' Robson where Sunderland play and he'll say 'Roker Park'
Ask Jeremy ‘Clock Stand Paddock’ Robson where Sunderland play and he’ll say ‘Roker Park’

To enter our competition and have a chance of winning the above print, please note this post has been superseded.

Please go instead to https://safc.blog/2016/11/tell-us-about-the-things-you-do-for-love-of-sunderland-afc/

THIS POST WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT COMMENTS – PLEASE ADD YOURS AT THE UPDATED VERSION

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Does Lawrie McMenemy really think blaming Roker Park cockroaches can sway us?

Our Lawrie
Our Lawrie: some used copies for under a tenner at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lawrie-McMenemy-Lifetimes-Obsession-Autobiography/dp/1910335282?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&tag=salusund-21

Our cherished former manager Lawrie McMenemy may have apologised before for all I know for his part in dumping Sunderland AFC into the Third Division. He’s at it again (or should that be for the first time?). Who can remember those relegation playoffs against Gillingham without wincing, whether they were present or following from afar? And who can forget the nasty taste left in the mouth by McMenenemy’s rotten reign? …

Read moreDoes Lawrie McMenemy really think blaming Roker Park cockroaches can sway us?

Anorak or hero? Mission accomplished from Leeds and Roker Park to Colchester

Sixer, right in Irish green. with the more conventionally attired Sobs
Sixer, right in Irish green. with the more conventionally attired Sobs

There are games that leave some of us wondering whether we’ve gone completely mad just by attending. But there are fans who cannot get enough. Pete Sixsmith was in that latter category until he finally joined the Club of 92. Now he’s done it all. Where does he go from there? …

Read moreAnorak or hero? Mission accomplished from Leeds and Roker Park to Colchester

Everton: what’s this about a bogey team?

There’s no football this weekend after our recent debacle at home to Bolton so, just to keep things ticking over before the Swansea “who are you”, here’s a quick trip down memory lane, or as it’s me, down fuzzy memory lane.

John McCormick: going back in time
John McCormick: going back in time

The starting point was actually the vast number of posters (i.e. more than three ) on this site who said that at least we wouldn’t get beaten by Everton, our bogey team, and M. Salut himself, who may not have mentioned Everton but who did say his dreams of a 40th anniversary trip to Wembley had crumbled into dust, or words to that effect.

Combining these two took me back to 1963-64, nine years before I went to Wembley and God knows how many years before Everton became bogeymen. At that time we were a second division team achieving crowds of 35-40,000 as we battled with the likes of Man City, Northampton, Rotherham and, of course, Leeds United to get into the first division.

As 1964 started we embarked upon as good a winning streak as I can remember. We beat Northampton in the Cup in our first game of the year and then had league wins over Bury, 4-1 at home, and their close neighbours and rivals Man City, whom we beat 3-0 away. The next two games were at home and resulted in a 6-1 4th round cup win over Bristol City, where 46,000 turned up, and a 6-0 win over Swindon Town a week later. An away game at Cardiff almost ended the run as we only managed a 2-0 win but it set us up for the next week, when we had the mighty Everton at home in the cup.

The powers that be decided the game would not be all-ticket and 62,851 people turned up, the season’s biggest official attendance. The place was heaving. I must have been 12 years old and probably went with my cousin who was about a year older yet I never felt in danger.

And that’s about it. I remember sitting in the straw at the edge of the pitch at the Fulwell end as we roared our team to a magnificent 3-1 victory but little else. We were knocked out in the next round after drawing away at Man Utd, where only 61,000 attended, and replaying at Roker and then Huddersfield, but we made amends by winning promotion.

The next season we played Everton by right. We beat them 4-0 at home and drew 1-1 away.
Bogey team? What Bogey team?

Tony Benn and an early Sunderland chant: ‘peanuts, tanner a bag’

A hero of of Jake's boyhood?


What is
the first chant you remember hearing at Roker Park, or which early chant or song has lingered longest in the memory? The Fulwell singing along to the chorus of the Monkees’ I’m a Believer doesn’t count.

Read moreTony Benn and an early Sunderland chant: ‘peanuts, tanner a bag’

Martin O’Neill on rediscovering Roker Park: Niall on moving on

Two great pieces in today’s newspapers retrace Martin O’Neill’s steps as he follows a boyhood dream and goes in search of the Roker Park of the club he supported from the other side of the Irish Sea. Both are riveting reads.

Read moreMartin O’Neill on rediscovering Roker Park: Niall on moving on

Pies, passion and when Martin O’Neill played for Nottingham Forest at Roker

Pete Sixsmith looks back on our new manager’s solitary appearance as a player at Roker Park – and wonders whether his teacher’s pension would run to buying the famous Roker Pie Shop …

Martin O’Neill’s inaugural press conference and his mention of King Charlie Hurley, gave Tyne Tees Television the opportunity to dust off the old Shoot files and run a couple of clips of Hurley scoring goals in front of a packed Roker End. It made me all rheumy-eyed and weak at the knees for Roker Park and all that it represented.

Read morePies, passion and when Martin O’Neill played for Nottingham Forest at Roker