I still have a card my mother once sent me. It showed a long-suffering wife looking daggers at her old man as he hands her the most romantic birthday present he could think of getting: “Here you are, pet. Just what you always wanted. A framed pitcha of the Sunderland football team.”
Well, look at the mug above. Imagine it as a smart framed photograph. It will be yours if you are the first to post a correct prediction of the score for Sunday’s derby at St James’ Park.
And it comes from Personalised Football Gifts, the Weardale-based company that sponsors Guess the Score.
The company is owned by a Sunderland supporter but my regular contact there is Alan Bennison who, despite being a Mag who reckons on 4-1 (ineligible on at least two counts), is a good lad. For this match, he agreed instantly to an upgrade from the mug to what the company’s site describes in these terms:
This is a fabulous present for any Sunderland fan and is approved and fully licensed by Sunderland AFC. The photograph was taken in the actual Sunderland first team dressing room at the Stadium of Light.
Your selected surname will be merged onto the centre shirt to exactly match your team mates. The forename and surname is printed alongside the player’s signatures underneath the photograph leaving a space for the recipient to add their own signature.
Easy to follow instructions are included. You can even select which number you want printed on the shirt making it an ideal birthday or anniversary gift. Printed on high quality gloss photo paper and available in a choice of stylish black presentation folder with embossed club crest or ready to hang in a contemporary black frame. Players and managers names will be modified on this product to reflect any changes.
Newcastle United supporters are, of course, welcome to enter this special seasonal edition of the competition. Rising above temptation to send a NUFC winner the same framed photo, I can say it also comes in a black and white version.
The usual rules apply. Monsieur Salut’s decision shall be final (unless it’s 4-1 and Alan, as sponsor, overrules him and claims his prize).