Salut Sunderland’s 13 years and Sunderland’s 13 managers: Jack Ross

John McCormick writes: I started to put this up not long after Pete Sixsmith sent it, then had to switch off and do other stuff before I could add an introduction. In between I put some music on, courtesy of a USB stick I think my brother-in-law Ed must have left behind.

First up came The Small Faces and “Sha La La La Lala Lee”, which was released in 1966 and echoed round our World Cup venue in honour of the goalkeeper who had helped us gain promotion and who would go on to help us win the cup. Ed, currently a season-ticket holder in the North Stand, Pete, Jake, Malcolm and Colin will no doubt fondly remember those days, as do I and probably many of our readers.

Second up on Ed’s playlist came something from 1982. We were still a first division club then, and would shortly revisit Wembley before enduring a single season in the Third Division. But endure we did.

Now, perhaps, that song is more appropriate. The name of the group -The Jam. The title of the song – “The bitterest pill (I ever had to swallow)”. Step forward one last time, Pete.

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The Last Post: after the Bolton shocker, Sixer bids farewell

Pete Sixsmith: as long suffering as it gets

Monsieur Salut writes: even in these grim times for Sunderland AFC,  it is always a pleasure to be able to present the writing of Pete Sixsmith to a wider audience.  In the dying days of Salut! Sunderland in its present form, we have lost our newsnow link, severely curtailing our reach and readership. That appears to be an unintended by-product of the transition to so this piece from Sixer may attract a smaller audiece than in the past. It deserves better, as do all SAFC fans..

For however many still see it, here are Pete’s gloomy thoughts from the last home game he will cover for our site …



Well, that’s it. Twelve years of writing about Sunderland AFC [nearer 13 – Ed] which have included ups, downs and okays and, for my last game, I get an absolute shocker.

This was a game between two clubs that have had far, far better days and that both seem in permanent decline, never to reach the top echelon of the game while I am still on this mortal coil.

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Sixer’s appreciation of Billy Hughes

Pete Sixsmith’s outstanding tribute to Billy Hughes originally appeared here. For technical reasons this post now appears at

Salut! Sunderland’s 13 years and 13 managers. The PDC era – mudslides and mayonnaise

Ho ho ho(a)’way the lads

John McCormick writes. Pete Sixsmith is still on Santa duty and mad busy. Even so he found the time to compose another epic piece. It’s better than the Labour manifesto or the Queen’s speech and more honest and compelling than anything from Boris.

And we aren’t even half way through Pete’s series, recalling the men in charge at SAFC during the time Salut! Sunderland has been on the interweb!

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Salut! Sunderland’s 13 years, 13 SAFC managers: (3) Steve Bruce

Our former boss: another great portrait by Owen Lennox, Sunderland artist and friend of Salut! Sunderland

Monsieur Salut writes: the other day, Wrinkly Pete – Peter Lynn – wrote, in a message our wretched technical issues prevent from being published as a comment, that Pete Sixsmith‘s outstanding appreciation of Martin Harvey reminded him ‘how I will miss this website and articles like this’.

It is typical of Sixer’s commitment to Salut! Sunderland throughout its 13 years of life that even as he breathed a sigh of relief that we should now be winding down, he was devising one last series: the 13 managers who have accompanied this site on its sometimes bumpy ride. It’s been bumpy for them, too, as Steve Bruce would attest.

Bruce was hugely divisive figure. The highly successful author Terry Deary (Horrible Histories, anyone?) told us: ‘I gave up my season ticket when Steve Bruce was appointed manager. I will renew it as soon as he leaves’. I would sometimes point out that he was the only manager since Peter Reid – and remains the only manager – to deliver a top 10 Premier League finish. But he had faults and forfeited a lot of respect with post-dismissal remarks about our club and its fans.

Here is how Pete remembers him …

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Wrinkly Pete on Sunderland’s crisis: ‘an element of fans could drive me away’

Wrinkly Pete: ‘the attitude of some worries me’

Monsieur Salut writes: there are views that are unpopular to hold in Sunderland and the SAFC-supporting catchment area that stretches throughout County Durham and beyond. One such view, as a mostly disappointing start to the season under Jack Ross is followed by a mostly woeful spell in new hands, is that we must be patient, maintain our loyal support and avoid the sort of collective negativity that unsettles the very players we want to perform better.

After the alarming defeat to Burton Albion, prolonging a calamitous opening (5-0 vs Tranmere apart) for Phil Parkinson, Peter Lynn, aka Wrinkly Pete, wanted to get this off his chest …

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Salut! Sunderland’s 13 years, SAFC’s 13 managers. A Sixer series: (2) the Sbragia interlude

Ricky Sbragia

Monsieur Salut writes: no fairy godmother has appeared – though one did briefly hover – and the site is still in winding down mode. Pete Sixsmith, undeterred, presses on with one last series. He is tracing the 13 Sunderland managers who coincide with Salut! Sunderland’s 13-year history.

After a rousing start with the Roy Keane era, Sixer moves on to his successor …

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Sixer’s Gillingham Soapbox: ‘I worry about the state of the club’

Sixer as an unwanted replay looms: ‘The way we are playing at the moment, we could do without any kind of game’

AS YOU ALL KNOW, WE ARE CURRENTLY UNABLE TO PUBLISH COMMENTS. BUT THANKS TO JEFF BELL, WHO TRIED TO POST THIS: ‘A fabulous report from this fabulous site. We will miss you more than you know.’

Monsieur Salut writes: after our announcement of imminent demise, Salut! Sunderland has the look of the undead. There are a few weeks to go before we cease to function as an active site (Dec 31) and much will continue as before until then.

For Pete Sixsmith, suffering at the Stadium of Light as Sunderland failed to overcome Gillingham and advance in the FA Cup, much continued as before on the pitch. He describes an afternoon he would sooner have spent elsewhere and frets about the state of our club.

M Salut would like to thank the many readers who have left kind messages on social media; these will be collated and reproduced in due course …

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Sunderland vs Leicester Under 21s and Gillingham: welcome cup excitement or just more distraction?

A third season for Sunderland in League One seems unthinkable. If failure to win promotion last season was a failure, as the owners and then manager Jack Ross admitted would be the case, another stumble would be hard to bear.

Phil Parkinson, working with his inherited squad, has had a patchy start as Ross’s successor, three away defeats mitigated by three home wins, cup ties included. The league part of that short record – two wins, two defeats – is not the stuff of automatic promotion. Without significant improvement, we will remain playoff contenders.

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What Sixer made of Southend United: a repeat of last season’s 3-0 would do nicely

                               Sixer by Jake

Monsieur Salut writes:
it is now fairly well known that Pete Sixsmith‘s wonderful twin series at Salut! Sunderland – the First Time Ever I Saw Your Team (or Ground when  Sunderland were the away team) – ran its sublime course at the end of last season. From time to time while we are still in League One, and maybe beyond, we will reproduce the pieces he wrote about our next opponents.

As ever, bear in mind that this was written a year ago, just before we recorded a fourth win a row, beating Southend United 3-0 to keep up pressure on the top place. This time, we nee a similarly emphatic scoreline to restore a fair amount of diminishing faith. Let Pete’s restored gem from October last year set the scene …

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