The Sunderland v Newcastle United ‘Who are You?’: (1) Geordiedoonsooth unmasked and smarting

Jake demands answers
Jake demands answers

It’s a Sunday match but it is also the Wear-Tyne derby – and we have a Saturday match to try to forget. This may also be the first of two Wear-Tyne derby Who are You? features, so let’s start early. And the first man in the hot seat is none other than Geordiedoonsooth, whose regular visits to Salut! Sunderland provide a fair amount of mild banter. He reveals himself as Ray Mossom, a Geordie of the long-exiled variety (Monsieur Salut, away from the North East since the rather important year of 1973, cannot get too sniffy about that). You will decide what to make of his replies, his views and his predictions -you’ll all be pleased to see he stills feels the pain, very acutely, of last season’s SAFC romp at SJP – but I’m chuffed he agreed to do it …

Jake tries to get excited
Jake tries to get excited

Salut! Sunderland:
Newcastle United are 11th as I write, we are rock bottom. Does that produce a mischievous grin?

I have to say it does bring a wry smile to my face after all the pre-season hype around Di Canio


Both teams seemed likely to struggle as the season started. Are you surprised at NUFC’s reasonably comfortable start or our catastrophic one and is it a case of all is forgiven Mike Ashley?

I am very suprised by the Toon’s start. Apart from the Hull & Everton games I think we have made a very solid start. As for Mr Ashley if he would open up a bit it might be better it’s his’ I don’t give a monkey’s about the fans’ attitude which really annoys us. Am I surprised to see you struggle? Not really. I thought that a lot of the players bought during the summer weren’t good enough.

Right, let’s cut to the chase. Is the Wear-Tyne rivalry mostly harmless banter, has poisonous malice become more prevalent in recent years or has it always been a mix of the two? And should we all just grow up?

Though there has always been bad feelings between the two sets of fans fortunately most is just banter (I have some good friends who are Mackems). I do think that the TV has made things a lot worse over the last few years. Should we grow up? Nah. What we should do is realise that it is banter and have a drink afterwards, not try and punch each others heads in.

How important is Cabaye to you and what impact would it have on the team’s fortunes if he got his way and went?

Cabaye is very important to our team he would be a massive loss and while no one is indispensable he would take a lot of replacing.

What have been your own highs and lows as a Newcastle supporter?

Being an old git I would say my biggest high was being at the match when we won the Fairs Cup in 1969. Other highs when my son was mascot at SJP, Keegan’s entertainers and Sir Bobby’s boys. Lows: lots and lots the numerous relegations, and missing out on two Premier League titles and two FA cup finals. The biggest was losing to you lot last season and watching Di Canio jumping up and down like an idiot.

Who have been the greatest players you’ve seen, or wished you’d seen, in black and white stripes and who should have been allowed nowhere near them?

The greatest players? I have seen lots as I said I’m an old git. Len White was my first hero, along with George Eastham & Ivor Allchurch. A certain Stan Anderson was an outstanding player for both clubs, Supermac, Tony Green, Jim Smith, Keegan, McDermott, Moncur, Beardsley, Gascoigne, Waddle, Asprilla, Ginola, Ferdinand and Shearer. Of today’s lot Ben Arfa on song is a joy to watch. I would have liked to have seen Bobby Charlton & George Best in a NUFC shirt. The worst players? Even more of them. The whole team in 1977. Mike Dinnis’s side were bloody useless. Marcelino was a classic waste of space.

Do you have any powerful memories – good, bad or amusing – of past Wear-Tyne (or Tyne-Wear) games?

First derby I saw was a 1-1 draw at SJP a certain Mr Clough scored for your lot. The 3-3 draw at Roker Park when John McNamee swung on the cross bar after scoring the equalise. I remember one derby (in 1964 I think) at SJP it poured with rain and there were lots of rumours about the game being postponed we went up anyway and the game was on, it was played in torrential rain and we won 1-0, the crowd was one of the smallest for any derby as most people thought the game was off. The 5-0 drubbing a couple of years ago was very enjoyable. Worst ones? Not too many really but last season’s 3-0 home defeat was a very bitter pill to swallow.

Frightfully Tactile, Men (if I may say so) ...
Frightfully Tactile, Men (if I may say so) …

And what is your honest opinion of Sunderland – the club, the fans, the city – and of Salut! Sunderland, to which you are are an occasional visitor?

Being completely honest:

* The Club – Sunderland have like us flattered to deceive for many years in my opinion they will always be second to us but they are definitely a big club in terms of potential.

* The Fans – They are very similar to us though I don’t think they just turn up willy nilly like we do.

* The city – Sorry but Sunderland will never be a city it is just a large town

* Salut! Sunderland – I think it is a very good web site for all Sunderland fans. I like to go on there to have some banter. What I like about it is, being an ex-non league footballer myself, it does have bits sometimes in about the local clubs.

Same question about Shack, Moncur, Stan Anderson, Jeff Clarke, Lee Clark, Chopra, Stokoe among players and officials who have crossed the divide, either from one club to the other, joined the enemy or otherwise served both.

I think what fans have to realise is that playing football is a job to these guys and if a rival employer comes along and offers you more money then you will go. Apart from those mentioned above Steve Howey was a great player for us but was a Mackem and Dennis Tueart was a great player for you but was a Geordie (I went to school with him). I personally have no problem with a player leaving us to join your lot or visa versa.

What will be this season’s top four in order, and the bottom three?

The Premier League is more open than it has been for years but I still think the top four will be the same as last year but in a different order.

My top four:
1 Arsenal
2 Man City
3 Chelsea
4 Man Utd

The bottom three I think it will be:

18 Sunderland (sorry guys but I think Di Canio has f****d you up)
19 Cardiff
20 Crystal Palace

Where will NUFC and SAFC finish (in the unlikely event that one of those teams were not in your second list)?

I think the toon will finish around 10th – could be higher if we buy in January or could be lower if we don’t and get some injuries. As for Sunderland see the previous question


Club versus country. Which means more to you and why?

While I am a big England fan I remember 1966, 1970, 1990 and 1996 I am first and foremost a Geordie so the Toon come first in my book


What most inspires you about the modern game, and what seriously annoys you?

There is not a lot that inspires me about the modern game. It is much faster than years ago but we are losing the dribbling skill. Every team used to have a really skillful player. Now unless they are foreign you don’t see them. And the thing that annoys me is we are over coaching the kids to the point where they can’t dribble. It’s all pass pass pass until it become boring

Will you be at our game? What will be the score?

I moved down south many years ago and don’t get back much but I will be watching on TV. The score before Poyet was appointed I would have said we would win two or three-nil but he has a jinx over us both as a player and manager so I think it will be a draw. Neither defence is up to much so I think it could be 2-2, though I’ll be praying that we win.

Geordiedoonsooth, also known as Ray Mossom
Geordiedoonsooth, also known as Ray Mossom
* Ray Mossom on himself:

I was born in Walker in 1948 moved to Cramlington when I got married. I then moved the family down south due to work on 1981. My first Toon game was as a very little boy in 1955, 1-1 with Man Utd. I’ve been hooked on the Toon ever since. Like most Geordies we have no choice it’s ingrained in to from being little my son & grandson are both Toon supporters. The same with you lot it passes from father to son.

I played local league football on Saturdays so didn’t get to many Saturday games but I went to most midweek games and never missed a Fairs Cup game in the season we won it. In the North East I played mainly for my works side, CA Parson, I got my coaching badges in 1979. I played for Camberley and Sandhurst in the south and coached boys from eight to 18 until six years ago. I now watch local Saturday football (pyramid steps 4 & 5) and follow the Toon every day. As an expat it would be nice if the North East football was the same as Manchester with both sides at the top with the Toon top of course, but I have to say I can’t see that happening in my lifetime.

Interview: Colin Randall


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28 thoughts on “The Sunderland v Newcastle United ‘Who are You?’: (1) Geordiedoonsooth unmasked and smarting”

  1. Eric sorry mate I thought you made some very funny posts but the last one nah running out of ideas

    • Ray, you didn’t give me a thumbs down did you? Shame on you if you did. Dig out the Lemonheads single, you’ll enjoy it.

  2. Drummer that’s because it’s so easy. And admit it your stadium name does lend itself to taking the pee out if it

  3. Kev S yes I have been to the Stadium of Plight (or shite) and it can’t hold a candle to SJP sorry smaller and very plastic looking.

    • Stadium of S###e, there’s that famous geordie wit again, can’t wait for your text book response of ” I just love winding you SMB’s up “. Yawn .

    • Ah bless him Father for he knows not what he says. SoL on every design measure is better than the Sportsdirect stadium or whatever Ashley fancies calling it this week

  4. Eric012 aye man I think we are definitely the same vintage I still think football was better back then, both playing and watching. I agree that neither side will win anything in the foreseeable future. At the least the area has had some success in the FAV with Whitley Bay, Dunston and Spennymoor. As for Durham CCC I support them and of course they have had many Geordies playing for them Harmison and Onions to name 2. Beautiful ground they have in Chester le Street.

    • Hate to disagree with the statement…..’I agree that neither side will win anything in the foreseeable future’….Sunderland will have a good chance of winning the Championship next season if we continue on our current trajectory. FTM

      • If we continue on our current (downward) trajectory, it ‘s the Johnstone Paint or whatever it’s called these days. The only time we were ever in it, under it’s guise of the Sherpa Van Trophy (87-88), the Monkey Hangers turned us over at Roker.

  5. Kevin S I used to work in Washington what I meant is SJP is unique as it is one of the few stadiums that are in the centre of the town whose name it carries. you should really be called Washington town.

    • The SOL is just over the river and as close to the city centre as Sid James’s Park. In fact it’s nearer the centre of town that Roker Park was. Nowhere near Washington. That proposal never got off the ground.

  6. GDS, I presume you’ve never been to the new ground at S’land if you think it’s “miles outside the town centre” (although if you want to take the p**s out of the farcical name of our ground I’d be with you all the way on that one..)

    Also, your memory must be playing tricks if you seriously believe the old SJP was better than the old Roker, although, agreed, the “Popular” Side (standing all down the side of the pitch, no roof…for younger viewers) was a magnificent testimony to 20th century architecture.

    • Kev S – Totally agree about the name [ SOL ] daft and inappropriate to replicate the name of another football club. What would have been wrong with Wearmouth Stadium or similar?

      • Agree, I know it’s a tribute to the miners and their lamps and that’s great but a bit of tradition in the name wouldn’t go amiss.

  7. GDS (or Ray if you prefer). Since you were unmasked (like that ITV wrestler in the ’60s) your comments, in the main, seem to be better thought out and even make some sense. You are the same vintage as myself, M Salut, Pete and have had to put up with much the same as we have over the last 50 years. Let’s face it, neither side is going to win f*** all in what remains of our lifetimes unless we get lucky in one of the Cups. Our only chance of a bit of success is for a local non-league side to do well in the Vase, and of course the mighty Durham CCC who will dominate cricket for years to come.

    • Didn’t mention the cricket in my not exhaustive list of reasons why Durham is superior to Newcastle and the sheep farming land that surrounds it

  8. Peter Ouch you sound like a very hurt Mackem I agree T Dan Smith but he was a crook. Can’t agree about Roker (Joker) Park SJP was a much better and better stadium Roker Park was like a concrete jungle. As for the 1966 world cup we lost out due to the incumbent regime Westwood or McKeeg or some other bandits that have run our (& your) club. While there is a lack of symmetry about the current SJP it is a much more impressive stadium than yours both inside and out & it’s in the town centre not stuck miles outside. But I suppose we can agree to disagree on that and many other things you love Sunderland and Durham I love Newcastle & Northumberland. As for Shildon I hope they get there I was dissapointed last year I saw them against Ascot. Whitley Bay have always been my Non League side used to have mates who played for them back in the late 60’s and early 70’s and then Blyth Spartans again mates who played for them in that great cup 70’s run. I will be following all NE clubs in FAV and wishing them all the best. You can ragg me as much as you like if you beat us Sunday while I really will feel sorry for you ???? on second thoughts no I’ll not 🙂

  9. Always remeber, Ray, that Sunderland taxpayers were ripped off in the Great Tyne and Wear Swindle when that unholy marriage was created by Heath’s Tory government. Most of the money went to Newcastle because of T Dan Smith and his cronies, while Sunderland was left to stew. The Metro system was a prime example.
    Most accept that Newcastle is the regional capital becase of its (relatively) central position but the downgrading of Sunderland in the 70’s and 80’s was an absolute disgrace, similar to that which happened in Bradford at the same time – proud towns swamped by a greedy and voracious neighbour.
    Roker Park, in its heyday, a farsuperior stadium to St James’ staged a World Cup quarter final in 1966 while Newcastle had no games. I still find SJP aesthetically unpleasing because of the lack of symmetry about the place.
    We will do well to avoid defeat and will no doubt face months of ragging by black and whites. But, for better or worse, we are Sunderland fans and we will stick by our club.
    Interesting comments on Cabaye. The message boards were demanding his ritual disembowelling in August.
    Might bump into you at Wembley if Shildon make the Vase final.

  10. Eric012 I like that very funny. Problem is it’s true for both sets of nutters. I think we just have more nutters than you (and fans :-))

    • Yes you did acquire a lot of fans after 1992 , a hell of a lot of them from traditional Sunderland supporting areas or even Sunderland itself , your welcome to them.

  11. Neil get your facts straight the North East as a whole is a fantastic place both Durham & Northumberalnd have stunning scenery. But Newcastle will always be the main focus of the area it always has and always will be the centret of the area. John Mac I agree with your comments though they have done a great job on the Quayside in Newcastle. On Sunday after the Swansea game if the Toon score 1st I think we could run riot I hope so anyway.

    • Not facts…opinions. More to the area than scenery. Hw is Newcastle the main focus? Culture. No….music? No. Industry?…. No! Best Uni….no, oldest church….no, best museums?….no, sculpture?….no, writers? ….no, contributions to science?….no

      Sorry old son, but Durham has always had the edge…IMO

      Newcastle does however have the highest proportion of one eyed people

  12. South of the Tyne or not, IMO Sunderland still has little to offer anyone. It’s a working town (or was, thank you Margaret) and there’s nothing to be ashamed of in that but it’s no place to go for a visit.

    Mind you, I returned home via Newcastle a few weeks ago. I’d say it has hardly improved as a spectacle since I left the NE, whatever people say about Newcastle-Gateshead and culture.

    • Have to disagree. The town is the people. The amount of talent is enormous. Hitachi are about to start making high speed trains in the North East. Their CEO spoke to his peers at Nissan who couldn’t speak highly enough of the region

  13. I don’t blame Geordieinberkshire for visiting this site. Having had the misfortune to visit some Nufc sites there’s only so much knuckle dragging one can put up with.

    Apropos his comments on Sunderland as a city, it’s sad that he won’t realise that the vast majority of what makes the North East great, comes from Durham not Northumberland ie south of the Tyne. He’s more to be pitied than mocked in this respect.

    Still glad he stepped up with his article though.

    My Mystic Meg skills took a hit against Swansea as I fancied a draw. That said we’ll be up for the derby. I think we’ll nick it.

    In January Nufc’s biggest challenges will be holding on to Cabaye and Remy. Should they leave they’ll gravitate towards the bottom 5 again

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