It was a treat to re-read Tasmin Archer’s interview, now seven years old and therefore from the infancy of Salut! Sunderland. But Tasmin was quick to point out, when asked to update anything that needed updating, that her commitment to Sunderland AFC, far from wavering, has taken on a new dimension.
Back in 2007, when Salut! Sunderland was a long way from its first million hits, we reproduced a series of Celebrity Supporters interviews originally written a few years earlier for Wear Down South, the newsletter of London branch of the SAFCSA.
It had been the idea of Joan Dawson, whose brother Malcolm is these days Salut!’s deputy editor. What was intended as the final piece – https://safc.blog/2007/06/the-celebs-we-cornered-and-the-ones-we-didnt/, wrapping up all the successes and failures of the series – appeared on June 6. On the same day, wondering if there might be scope for a new batch of interviews, I wrote to Tasmin Archer, the soul singer who’d had a No 1 hit with Sleeping Satellite in 1992. I’d heard she supported Sunderland; she replied the next day and an interview was set up.
So Lorik Cana – get the T-shirt from ALS – has brains as well as brawn. Perhaps that is one of the attractions for a certain refined Alcasien, now reported – to the dismay of all Sunderland fans, not just those who fancy Cana (for his mind, doubtless) – to have him back in his sights …
The least surprising news of the week, as far as English football was concerned, was that Arsène Wenger remains interested in Lorik Cana.
It would be wonderful if Lorik were to say: “Desolé, mon brave, mais je préfère rester à Sunderland.” Or even: “You had your chance when I was a kid and messed it up , chum, so buzz off”.
But never underestimate the pull that Arsenal has over players who have grown up in a Francophone environment, as Lorik did after his family’s flight from Kosovo. Long after Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira, French people I know still talk of the Gunners as the nearest they have to a Premier side.
Colin Randall has only himself to blame for being lumbered with a search for celeb supporters of Sunderland. He accepted the task cheerfully. He should have known better, having previously done a Famous on the Fulwell piece for A Love Supreme. But he persevered …
It was probably the most crushing condemnation of all the work we put into making Salut! Sunderland a half-decent site.
In one of those periodic threads at Ready to Go about celeb supporters of Sunderland, I yet again pointed out that the most comprehensive and reliable list, with interviews, had appeared here. And someone came back like a rocket to say he hadn’t even heard of half my candidates.