The cover speaks for itself.
Issue 13 of It’s the Hope I Can’t Stand, way back in April 1999, and Bob – now Sir Bob – Murray was presiding over a club romping to promotion, scoring goals for amusement and drawing huge crowds to the Stadium of Light. The same SoL that some in the media had suggested could prove a white elephant.
The idea for reproducing the cover here – there was no obvious article inside to which it referred – arose during an e-mail exchange with Dave “Chalkie” Dawson. You may have seen his memorable descriptions of travelling away with Sunderland in earlier parts of the Ithics Files series.
Chalkie’s role at ITHICS involved layout, ideas, selling copies outside stadiums home and away and, as we have seen, contributing articles. And I bet the pay wasn’t great.
“The White Elephant cover is particularly interesting because we heard Bob Murray wanted it to hang in the boardroom. I sent him a good quality copy (and) still have the original,” he recalls.
I wonder it it is still there (Stop Press: I now hear it’s not).
And if any menton of Sir Bob stirs memories or strong opinions, here’s another chance to read a recent Salut! Sunderland posting about his legacy: Chairman Bob and the star of British cinema who eulogised him .
Nic Wiseman, co-editor of Ithics, draws attention to his own favourite cover, editon No 7 “published after yet another summer of promises of star purchases ultimately resulted in nothing”.
The Ithics Files series – see it here – may now be taking a rest but the aim is that it should continue for at least two more instalments, to appear once we have located and scanned relevant extracts from the final edition, No 17.