Sixer Says: solve my dilemma – SAFC v QPR or Shildon at Guiseley

Sleek Sixer now …


What a pleasure to read John McCormick’s eloquent account of his day out at Deepdale and a refreshing change to have some positivity about Sunderland.

With any luck, that can continue after the international break, always assuming that Queens Park Rangers are willing sacrificial victims at the Stadium of Light.

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Sixer’s Travels: Shildon and Kidderminster, Oswestry and Airbus, thanks to international break

Pete Sixsmith: 'sir, you look just like a real author!'
Pete Sixsmith: ‘sir, you look just like a real author!’

Monsieur Salut writes: I almost disallowed the first line of Pete Sixsmith‘s latest piece. Turgid? Drivel? Snap out of it Sixer, a man I introduce to others as Salut! Sunderland‘s star writer: self-deprecation will get you nowhere though international breaks seem to get you to a lot of places (not necessarily including all the places mentioned above) …

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Bravo Leicester, keep faith with Sunderland and this season’s real champions, Shildon

Shildon Tunnel
Shildon Tunnel

We can take our hats off to Leicester City, fully deserving Premier champs. We can pray those of us with a God, that Sunderland somehow manage for the last three games what the Foxes did in nine a season ago. And, to lighten heavy spirits, we can share Pete Sixsmith (and Monsieur Salut)’s joy at a great achievement for a home town we both share by adoption …

Amid the feelings of doom that pervade the thoughts of Sunderland supporters, a ray, nay beam, nay blast of sunshine hits some Red and Whites. For those like Monsieur Salut and me who cut our footballing teeth at Dean Street, Shildon there is a title win to celebrate.

Shildon AFC: Northern League Champions 2015-16.

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Sixer’s non-league Soapbox: Shildon’s celebrations cancelled by dogged Terriers

Malcolm Dawson writes….the day started off OK for Pete Sixsmith. He sat and shivered at the Riverside whilst the rain stayed away long enough for Durham to win their second County Championship match against a Sussex side who probably hold out title hopes of their own. He then made his tortuous way up the A1 into Northumberland in the hope of seeing a title winning performance from the other SAFC. It wasn’t to be. A healthy crowd which included most of the Northern League Irregulars turned up to see if The Railwaymen would clinch the title. I’m not sure whose nerves would have suffered more – the Shildon supporters or the Officials and followers of Marske United who could only stand back and watch heart in mouth, knowing any sort of result for Bedlington would see them crowned Champions. It wasn’t a classic game. Shildon had chances but ultimately a sloppy piece of defending and an understandable nervousness in front of goal sent the title across the Tees to North Yorkshire. What follows is Pete’s take on the proceedings with the added bits in italics my own.

With thanks to @mtscally
With thanks to @mtscally

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Before Sunderland there was Shildon. Tonight, at Bedlington Terriers, there’s Shildon again

Ernie and Sadie Randall on holiday in the Isle of Man (Sadie's sister, Jean, to dad's right. My sister Sandra to her left)
M Salut’s parents, Ernie and Sadie Randall, on holiday in Scarborough. Sadie’s sister, Jean, to Dad’s right. My sister, Sandra, to their left

Rather fancifully, I had hoped to interest my old newspaper, The Northern Echo, in this slice of nostalgia brought bang up to date by Shildon’s night of potential glory. A win at Bedlington Terriers tomorrow evening (Wednesday) is all that stands between them and a first championship since 1940 in the Northern League, 126 years old and the world’s longest surviving league after the Football League.

The Echo declined, alternatively offering a little space for a retrospective that I fear I may have no time to provide. So I must keep my Echoes of the past, at greater length than I would have sent to the newspaper, for Salut! Sunderland (and Salut! readers at a couple of other places: and ) …

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Sunderland not at the races at QPR; Sixer sees an Ascot canter

Jake's wrong: Sixer was grinning at Ascot (with the odd grimace whenever he checked his texts)
Jake’s wrong: Sixer was grinning at Ascot (with the odd grimace whenever he checked his texts)

You couldn’t actually escape from Sunderland-induced misery at QPR; L’Equipe’s TV channel kept annoying Monsieur Salut by highlighting the game for no better reason than the former Marseille striker Loic Remy’s goal. Earlier Pete Sixsmith, gratefully playing truant to watch a rampant Shildon in the FA Vase replay at Ascot United, had been bombarded with texts on the grim proceedings to his east. He reckons M Salut’s late dad, the Shildon club secretary for several years, would have been as proud of the Railwaymen as we were aghast at SAFC’s labours …

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