John McCormick writes: It’s only 70-80 miles from home to the New Meadow but three trains meant for a time-consuming journey. I left home about 9.30 in the morning and got back about 9.30 that evening. In between I had some long waits, a bus ride, a long walk, some excellent beer in excellent company, a very decent pork pie and a mediocre burger that did not live up to its billing.
And, let’s not forget, a football game that lived up to the cliché of having two halves. Pete Sixsmith takes up the story:
Monsieur Salut writes: this is where Pete Sixsmith offers his customary seven-word verdict on each Sunderland game he attends. He wasn’t impressed by a goal-free first half – ‘poor stuff’ – but found the second half much more enjoyable. It ended with the 2-0 scoreline in our favour that our excellent Shrewsbury Town Who are You? interviewee Glyn Price had predicted. A happy return to Salop for Sixer, in the company of 1,600+ other Sunderland fans including our associate editor John McCormick. And we’re back up to third with a game in hand. There’ll be more from this win to come …
John McCormick writes: I’ve walked past the Gay Meadow ground once or twice and I’ve driven past the New Meadow, though probably before there was a football ground there, but I’ve never been inside either ground and I don’t think I’ve ever seen Shrewsbury play at all.
That’s something I’m hoping to rectify this weekend, which would add another name to my grounds visited list and leave me only a hundred or so behind Pete Sixsmith who, as you might expect, has been to both.
In the first part of a long interview with Glyn Price*, co-presenter of the Shrewsbury Town podcast Salopcast, we heard about what he calls the ‘massive’ community pride in the club and the highs and lows of supporting a lower league side (don’t expect a Salop fan to thank you for a ticket to see the team at Wembley – they always lose there). Now on to Glyn’s thoughts on Sunderland and his scoreline prediction for Saturday…
Monsieur Salut writes: League One is proving a goldmine for Who are You? interviews. Glyn Price* maintains the standards set by several others. He’s the co-presenter of the Shrewsbury Town podcast Salopcast and assists the club’s Supporters’ Parliament. Some great responses await you, but it’s a long interview so has been divided into two. The second instalment – in which Glyn jokes that Jack Ross should be strung up or worse if he fails to win us automatic promotion – will appear tomorrow (and can now be seen here) …
UPDATE: we saw the poll had grown, improbably, to 11,000+ votes with Coventry way out in front on 26 per cent. Couldn’t blame Jimmy Hill this time but something was clearly up. For the culprits, go to the Coventry site Sky Blues Talk … but don’t get too cross as our lot would gladly have done the same to them. The poll, unsurprisingly, is suspended …
After Colin reposted our “who’s going up?” poll (on the left, below) in one of the Question and Answer sessions with our owners there was brief flurry of voting, as you might have expected given the number of visitors we had. And then things slowed down until, by the weekend, things were at a trickle, although votes were and are still coming in. Again, this was to be expected as the eyes of the football world were on Russia, where eight or nine ex-Sunderland players were taking part in the World’s most prestigious competition outside the Third Division. We now have over 800 votes cast, which is enough to be going on with, although Colin in his gut feeling poll, had almost as many when only one vote was allowed per person.
“this is predominantly a Sunderland site and we aren’t claiming results are totally unbiased… …Nevertheless, I think it’s fair to say that SAFC fans have not been blindly optimistic.”
After only a week I would not able to add a lot to this statement, were it not for two things. The first is that the poll was tagged to promote it to all League One fans for over 24 hours before it was promoted on our facebook page and then on Colin’s subsequent posts on this site. This gave us a small (very small, as it happens) hint of what the whole of the League One fanbase might think. The second was that Colin’s own poll closed, with some findings we can bring to bear on this one.
The deed is done. Another series of Who are You? interviews with opposing supporters has produced winners. Read on to see who the judges chose, and why ….
The judges have spoken. This year’s winners of the HAWAYs – awards for the Highly Articulate Who are You? interviews conducted through each season with fans of Sunderland’s opposing clubs – are announced today.
And in clear top place is Watford-supporting Del Day, followed by Chelsea’s Ray Knight and Bournemouth’s Tom Latchem.
Salut! Sunderland is, as ever, enormously grateful to the prize sponsors – Classic Football Shirts, When Saturday Comeshttps://shop.wsc.co.uk and Art of Football, and the gallery shows appropriate products each offers – and will simply offer Del his choice of the three. Ray gets second choice, leaving Tom with the remaining prize.
If the mood holds until the end of this article, there will be a special award from Salut! Sunderland funds for another deserving contender. But the truth is, as Jake’s caption makes clear, that the strength of the Who are You? series – see the full season’s entries here – is the quality of the responses we receive from the supporters who agree to participate.