Ha’way this Lad: Eric Keeler runs from sea to shining sea for Spinal Research

Eric on Oct 9: ‘Yesterday I passed through the stunning Rio Grande Canyon”

Put aside thoughts about any other Keeler you may have heard of.

Ours – that is to say, our fellow-Sunderland supporter Eric Keeler – has taken on a mighty but admirable challenge.

He is running coast-to-coast – not west Lancs to East or North Yorks but a more exacting slog across the United States and from corner to corner at that – to raise funds for Spinal Research.

Read moreHa’way this Lad: Eric Keeler runs from sea to shining sea for Spinal Research

Shrewsbury Town vs Sunderland prize Guess the Score. Keep up the momentum

Jake: ‘tame the Shrews, Lads’

There is a hint of discontent at Salut! Sunderland, says Monsieur Salut.

We’re broadly pleased at the process SAFC have made under Jack Ross, aided and abetted by the breath of fresh air introduced by the new owners.

Read moreShrewsbury Town vs Sunderland prize Guess the Score. Keep up the momentum

Branch Lines: keeping the Sunderland faith down the A19

Jack Ross collage by the Nyssan branch chairman Barry Robson
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Salut! Sunderland continues its series on branches of the SAFC Supporters’ Association with a look at Nyssan, writes Monsieur Salut. No, I am not referring to that valued provider of mass employment (come back after March 31 for an update on that description) but to the North Yorkshire Sunderland Supporters’ Association, a branch with not just Nyssa but Nyssan on its registration plate. And its bit of the A19 comes after Teesside, off course when travelling south.

Ken Gambles, also a valued provider (in his case of thought-provoking and sometimes rather witty articles for this site, takes up the story of the branch oƒ which he is secretary (You can e-mail Ken by clicking here

Read moreBranch Lines: keeping the Sunderland faith down the A19

Branch Lines: sharing the ‘ecstasy and misery’ of Sunderland fans down south

Ian Todd

In the second item in our new series of SAFC Supporters’ Association branches, this is an introduction – for those who need it; Monsieur Salut is aware that many readers, himself included, are members – to an essential part of the Sunderland-supporting family that clocked up 50 years of existence last year. It should be read in conjunction with the piece about that anniversary, reproduced below, and written by Ian Todd, co-founder of the branch …

Read moreBranch Lines: sharing the ‘ecstasy and misery’ of Sunderland fans down south

Gillingham Who are You?: the Nyron Nosworthy Appreciation Society

James Morgan: not a man of Kent, but a Gillingham fan all the same

Monsieur Salut writes: games come thick and fast in League One. We’ve hardly had time to celebrate the emphatic home win against Scunthorpe before the long trip to Gillingham beckons. James Morgan*, our Gills fan, is not from Gillingham and has never lived in Kent. A gloryseeker then? No, he inherited his love of the Gills from his dad and that passes my arbitrary test of true support with flying colours (heaven knows, I was born almost as far from Sunderland as it’s possible to be and still be English). James has pals from uni who follow Sunderland and retains a soft spot for our club – and for a certain player who graced both the Priestfield and the Stadium of Light. I wonder what the Gills equivalent of Roy Keane’s assessment of Nyron – Tony Pulis or Peter Taylor maybe – might have been (Keano said ‘the less time Nyron spends on the ball, the better it is for all concerned’). Oops: forgot to ask him about the Gills sending us down to the third tier in the 1980s …

Read moreGillingham Who are You?: the Nyron Nosworthy Appreciation Society

Stewart Donald, Jack Ross and Sunderland’s chance to rise like the Phoenix

Paul Summerside, more upbeat than we’ve seen him in a long while

After the bad news for Sunderland fans – finding themselves in the third tier just two seasons after completing a 10th straight season in the Premier League – comes some good news. According to My Top Sportsbooks, we’re favourites to win League One (10/3) and almost even money to earn promotion back to the Championship (6/5).

All depends on results. But the whingeing about transfers apart, the feeling among supporters seems strong and positive. We hate where we are but we see, in Jack Ross and the new owner, at least a chance to rebuild our club, starting with the recruitment of players who may not be big-money stars but actually want to perform for Sunderland AFC. Paul Summerside shares this surge of goodwill and we can but hope he does not live to regret his new-found optimism …

Read moreStewart Donald, Jack Ross and Sunderland’s chance to rise like the Phoenix

That promotion poll in full. A thumping majority predict a winning Sunderland season

Jake: ‘why not, with so many players with SAFC connections in Russia?’

The original promotion poll, now closed, received 818 votes. Of those, 664 predicted – whether through blind faith or genuine belief – that Sunderland would bounce straight back. It was desperately close but just half of them thought we’d do so as champions.

Only 18 per cent (still a sizeable minority, totalling 148 votes) were pessimistic, though mostly about promotion chances, just four per cent (36 votes) fearing another relegation scrap.

The poll allowed other responses and there were six of these, listed below.

Read moreThat promotion poll in full. A thumping majority predict a winning Sunderland season

Progress seems slow but the signs are encouraging. Vote now in our promotion poll

Take a bow, Jake. And see Salut! Sunderland’s home page by clicking on the image

Stop Press: Jon McLaughlin, the goalkeeper mentioned favourably by Jeremy Robson in his comment below, is reported in Scotland to be due to undergo a medical at SAFC with a view to signing as a free agent. He left Hearts at the end of the season, is 30 and has a full Scottish international cap. Chris Maguire, a striker who has never been hugely prolific but is highly experienced and has also played for Scotland, is also said to be on the point of signing …

The original Salut! Sunderland poll on prospects for next season has probably run its course. It is at the foot of this posting so you can still vote but Monsieur Salut will close it tomorrow (Monday).

Our associate editor John McCormick, in his first piece of statistical analysis on what may transpire in League One, introduced a variation – “who will go up?” as opposed to “will Sunderland?” – and that will take the place of the version relating solely to SAFC.

Read moreProgress seems slow but the signs are encouraging. Vote now in our promotion poll

Stan Anderson RIP: Sunderland to the core but captained all the Big Three clubs

Salut! Sunderland is happy to credit the official site of the SAFC Former Players’ Association, which kindly allows us to reproduce its images: therokerend.com

Salut! Sunderland is deeply saddened by news that Stan Anderson, who will be remembered with special fondness by SAFC supporters of a certain age, has died aged 84.

In a characteristically noble tribute to a great Sunderland captain, the club historian Rob Mason recalls Stan telling him: “I was from a family of dyed in the wool red and whites – playing for the team I supported was always a privilege and a pleasure for me.”

Read moreStan Anderson RIP: Sunderland to the core but captained all the Big Three clubs