The clamour for a stand to be named after Niall Quinn grows. The plaudits roll in. And amid much speculation, in our comments field as elsewhere, on the thought process leading to yesterday’s announcement that our saviour’s link to SAFC was over, the gratitude lingers. Pete Sixsmith lists his own favourite memories …
Photo credit: Russell Watkins/DFID
He scored the first goal at The Stadium of Light: fittingly enough, it was against Manchester City! He took advantage of a poor back pass and stroked it past the keeper. A sign of things to come.
He went in goal at Bradford City after Sorensen was injured and made a number of very good saves, Of course, he had saved a penalty while playing for Manchester City, so he had experience. I gather Mick McCarthy almost signed him up to replace Calamity Kelvin Davies in 2005.
Taxis all round: he showed his true class when he called for and paid for taxis to take
Sunderland fans from Bristol to home when EasyJet refused to allow them
to board a flight because they were “boisterous” after a crucial victory at
Cardiff.. “These are our people,” he said and coughed up the fare. Can you
imagine the Glaizers, Mike Ashley, the West Ham pornographers doing that?
Goals at The Sports Direct Arena:
Take your pick, because he scored a couple of beauties. One in the pouring rain on the night that Gullit dropped Mary Poppins , followed by the winner a year later when aforementioned Miss Poppins fluffed a penalty. Two stunning goals – a subtle flick and a towering header. Mmm, did we love those two!!!
First heard at QPR, it is a particular favourite of mine. However, I have never seen the disco pants mentioned in the song – are they real or mythical? Whatever, they are forever associated with the Big Man.
Goal at QPR
A late one that earned us a point in the promotion season when we walked away with the Championship. Brought the house down and introduced me to the song, which I sang all the way back along Shepherds Bush High Street.
The Testimonial Money: did he but a house with it? Did he give all those playing a Rolex? Did he give it all to hospitals in Dublin and Sunderland? What do you think? Shamed a generation of wealthy footballers to do the same.
Making Craig Short look a clown: he did this at Ewood Park, Christmas 2001. He had scored two goals and had been bounced all over by Short. As he was replaced by Kevin Kyle with a few minutes left, he had a word with the young Scotsman and told him that Short was so worked up that he was close to being sent off. Two minutes later, he clattered into Kyle and got the red that he so richly deserved. Quinny was laughing as he stomped down the tunnel.
Drumaville: Where would we be without his efforts to put together a consortium to buy out Bob Murray? He combined the business acumen of John Hays with the love of a gamble enjoyed by Charlie Chawke and company and bought the club. The economic disaster in Ireland meant that he had to find alternative funding and in came Ellis Short. Are we happy? Yes we are!!
Being Niall Quinn:
What more can we say. One of the best people in the history of the world. He could solve problems in Syria, Greece and anywhere else with that earnest voice and that belief that people are intrinsically good. He was the the best thing to happen to Sunderland AFC since Charlie Hurley. There will always be a special place for Quinny in the heart of every Sunderland supporter and I hope that whatever he does is a huge success for him and his family. Top man!!!!!
* Ireland and Sunderland: the link that brings sadness and joy on the same day