Wayne Rooney, the Queen, Bobby Charlton? No, Duncan Edwards gets my vote

John McCormick:
John McCormick: reading history

Apparently, by the time you get to read this, the Queen will have become our longest reigning monarch. Her great-great grandma ascended to the throne when the then king, William IV, died. This was 1837, a long long time ago, which might explain some of the food on sale in the William IV Hotel in Birtley the last time I visited it. However, the William’s now under new management and I’m assured things are much improved.

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Salut!s week: Man City moans, Gooner whines, Argyle anguish, Baggie bravado

It was the week that started badly, with a thumping at Eastlands, and could therefore hardly get worse. Salut! Sunderland got its hand-wringing out of the way as early and as best it could before moving on to other things …

One day soon, a mug like that could be yours. Well, we’ll still designing it but the idea is to make a modest start to Salut! Sunderland merchandising.

The text sizes obviously need adjustment. You might even suggest a better slogan: “Salut! Sunderland – not as bad as you thought” springs to mind. “Buy a mug? You’re having a laugh”? “M Salut! & Sixer; two prize mugs”? There could even be a Newcastle version with the handle inside the mug.

So what, if you haven’t been paying proper attention has been going on here this week? Click on any sub-heading to see the full item …

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Soapbox: season tickets, semi-finals and Nicky Sharkey

Season ticket renewal time has Pete Sixsmith momentarily undecided as he contrasts the snarling faces of Premier League football and honest-to-goodness non-league fare …

The season ticket forms dropped through the letterbox this week, closely followed by an email from the club telling me that I didn’t have to do anything and they would instruct my bank to carry on with the Direct Debits.

Of course, I can always cancel the DDs and the season ticket and I have had one or two little doubts creeping into the far corners of what passes for my mind. Some of it is to do with Sunderland AFC but most of it is about the general state of the Premier League and its “leading” clubs.

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Wayne Rooney and the snarling face of Manchester United

The Wayne Rooney saga has elements of farce, suspicion of greed and clear evidence of breathtaking arrogance. The Grand Central train towards Sunderland v Aston Villa seemed a good place for some thoughts on another, more disturbing aspect …

If Brian Clough, Charlie Hurley, Jimmy Montgomery or Kevin Phillips had moved from Sunderland to Newcastle United, I would have been angry and annoyed, more so than if the transfer had been to any other club.

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