What is the first chant you remember hearing at Roker Park, or which early chant or song has lingered longest in the memory? The Fulwell singing along to the chorus of the Monkees’ I’m a Believer doesn’t count.
There were plenty of football-related chants in the 1960s: Charlie, Charlie, Charlie Hurley … is one I especially recall.
But the one that springs to mind most often is “Peanuts – tanner a bag”, a tanner being sixpence then or just 2.5p in today’s money and the bag being a missile, in case purchases were made from further back, that the seller was able to aim with unfailing accuracy.
Jake’s re-introduction to fatherhood with the birth of Xuana on Sunday has clearly sent his imagination into autodrive.
Is he old enough to have bought a bag of peanuts from tanner-a-bag man at Roker Park. Can he remember how many laps of the ground the seller completed before each game and at half-time? Only Jake can say.
But this man, or memories of him, is a fixture of Sunderland supporters’ collective memory. If they are too young to have seen the great man in action, they often enough know of his work from fathers or grandfathers or uncles.
I am sure I have seen newspaper articles about the man behind the memory. Was it an obituary? Had he gone on to found the Phileas Fogg snacks company in Consett in 1982? Or was he tracked down to luxury retirement, paid for from the profits from all those sixpences Phuket or Marbella?
A couple of years ago, there was a short thread at Ready to Go, which began with “Norm” asking:
Remember the peanut gadgie at Roker Park? Used to wear a white coat (not quite sure why!) and he had the most accurate throw known to man – could hit a single spectator every time up to fifty yards away while the tanner was being passed from fella to fella with scrupulous honesty in the opposite direction. Happy days!
Debate ensure. Was it not a brown coat. The photo – provenance unknown but taken from that same thread – suggests so, but others thing he may got become posh and white later on.
“TheLordRowell” chipped in with:
Everton cup game late 70s for some reason we were in the Roker and it was p****** down I turned around to say summat to my mate and got smacked straight in the eye by a bag of soggy f****** peanuts somebody farther back had hoyed.
To which “Genericus” had the great one-line reply:
plays for Stoke nowadays iirc
Add any knowledge you may have about the man and what became of him. The one thing I am sure of, despite Jake’s apparent thought to the contrary, is that he did not become, or was not all along, Tony Benn …