Beauty and the beast: Sunderland’s Wembley montage and a wriggling Tory MP

The photos above are, in the main, of passionate people who made March 2 a special day in the history of Sunderland AFC.

They are not “scumbag football hooligans”, the elegant turn of phrase chosen by Robert Halfon, Conservative MP for Harlow and a supporter of Chelsea and Harlow Town, to describe the thousands of supporters who painted Covent Garden and other parts of central London red and white on the eve of the final.

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SAFC supporters: not-so-great expectations vs ‘Messi would be rubbish here’

The Brains Trust, by Jake
The Brains Trust, by Jake

A fascinating debate has developed at the Blackcats e-mail forum about Sunderland fans, their expectations and their demeanour. Some readers are also in that loop and will have seen the thread. For others, I present – with their consent – the exchanges of two leading participants, NZ-based Geoff Bethell and, from much closer to home (Chester-le-Street), Mick Goulding, both occasional Salut! Sunderland contributors. Since Monsieur Salut once managed nought out of 100 for general science – very unfair as they marked it out of 45, doubled the resulting figure and added on five for the percentage; I was denied my five – he is the last person to advise on this particular application of the Oort Cloud

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