‘All my fault’: the man behind a golden milestone for Sunderland supporters

From Feb 6 1967: Ian’s letter to fellow SAFC fans announcing plans to establish a formal branch of the Supporters’ Association

Monsieur Salut writes: the London and SE branch of the SAFC Supporters’ Association has just reached 50 years of age. In common with many who leave Sunderland-supporting parts of the North East to ply their trades in and around the Smoke, I eventually got round to joining the branch after seeing numerous mentions in the matchday programmes of various London clubs where I had attended away games. I’d put my membership at around 30 years, but I could and should have joined sooner, since I moved south a few months before the 1973 FA Cup Final. Plenty have done much longer stretches. Step forward Ian Todd, who was largely instrumental in creating the branch 50 years ago and has been a tireless mainstay of its activities.

Special events are planned, with a get-together and buffet at the Stadium of Light on the evening we play West Ham on April 15 – open to members, past members and their guests – and, on the eve of the final game at Chelsea, at the Knights Templar near Chancery Lane, London (all-comers welcome; many will recall the splendid pre-League Cup final gathering there in 2014). Check out details at weardownsouth.com and now read what Ian had to say in a piece headlined ‘It’s all my fault’ in the new edition of the excellent branch newsletter, Wear Down South

Read more‘All my fault’: the man behind a golden milestone for Sunderland supporters

Steve Cram opens his heart: Charlie’s his darling and he means Hurley

Steve
Steve in 1973 with his brother and the treasured – and locked-up – FA Cup

Years ago, when Sixer, Malcolm Dawson, John McCormick and Monsieur Salut were still young, or at least a long way from qualifying for bus passes, Salut! Sunderland reproduced a nice little interview that formed part of a Celebrity Supporters series for the newsletter of the London and SE branch of the SAFC Supporters’ Association.

The interviewee was Steve Cram, then as now president of the branch as well as being “The Jarrow Arrow”, a world record-breaking middle distance runner with impeccable credentials as a Sunderland supporter.

Read moreSteve Cram opens his heart: Charlie’s his darling and he means Hurley

A year in Sunderland’s life: things we may never know

Jake as Tony Roffe's caption writer

Something I had no reason to expect plopped on the doormat during my fleeting visit to London to visit my brother Phil (much, much better; even out of hospital since the weekend). It was a copy of that lesser spotted creature Wear Down South, newsletter of the London and SE branch of the SAFC Supporters’ Association. Ian Todd’s review of events during the many months that had passed since the last edition made the wait worthwhile. Ian, co-founder and mainstay of the branch, tells the story of an important year in SAFC’s recent history with exemplary attention to detail …

Read moreA year in Sunderland’s life: things we may never know

Melanie Hill: flirting on the Fulwell

melanie

When I thank you for the stream of visits to Salut! Sunderland that has sent us rocketing up the Soccerlinks hit parade to the dizzy heights of the mid-40s, “you” includes the away fans attracted by the Who Are You? feature and such controversies as the Ilunga/Jones affair. While I stand by for an invasion by Spurs fans later in the week, ahead of Saturday’s game at White Hart Lane, I will give another airing to an interview from the Celebrity Supporters series that began with 5573 (later renamed Wear Down South), the magazine of the Sunderland supporters’ association London branch, and continued at the old site.

Melanie Hill, whom I described as a “smashing actress known from Bread, Brassed Off and much more” was easily one of the nicest interviewees in the series. She agreed to an interview two days before the fateful Arsenal match in Oct 2002, Peter Reid’s last in charge, and rang again just before kick-off to fix a time. The interview took place the day after Reid’s sacking. As I said at the time, it felt like a whirlwind telephone romance.

Here, for those who missed the interview when it first appeared (and apologies to those for whom it is just a repeat), is one of the stars of our wider support base …

This starts as a tale of two celebrities with strong Sunderland links, of one door opening while the echo of another slamming shut is ringing in the ears.

Read moreMelanie Hill: flirting on the Fulwell