Another Saturday, another trip to Walsall. After last week’s eventful 2-2 draw in League One, the Lads return to the Bescot for the FA Cup 2nd round.
The Barnsley midweek game produced a Guess the Score winner, the first for a few games. Malcolm Ray, no stranger to prizes from Salut! Sunderland, will soon be the owner of a copy of Managers, Volume III of the Tales From the Red and Whites series, kindly donated by the publishers.
The book features six past SAFC managers “speaking openly and honestly” about their spells at Roker Park or the Stadium of Light. We hear from Ken Knighton, Lawrie McMenemy, Malcolm Crosby, Peter Reid, Gus Poyet and Simon Grayson. And since we were sent two copies, let’s make the second our Guess the Score prize for Saturday’s game.
Many readers will go directly, as I did, to the chapter on McMenemy, an abject failure in the managerial seat.
‘Looking back, I’m sorry for the supporters,’ he tells the co-author, Rob Mason, club historian and formerly programme editor (Graeme Anderson and Lance Hardy are the others responsible for this valuable work).
‘I’m sorry I didn’t bring what people wanted. I’m not making excuses. I had two years and I didn’t succeed. The area is built on football. It’s a release for the working man to go the match on Saturday afternoon and shout his head off. I was brought up on that … that’s why I wanted to succeed at Sunderland more than anywhere, and that’s why it hurts still to this day that I didn’t succeed.’
One reader can succeed at Salut! Sunderland. Get the score right, be first to do so and have a UK delivery address. That second copy will be yours. Monsieur Salut’s decision shall be final and while Walsall fans are very welcome to have a go, the prize will still be Managers.
And if you’d like to reflect on the fine win against Barnsley, take a look at Malcom Dawson’s excellent appraisal of what the matchday programme editor Oscar Chamberlain described to me earlier today as “a cracker”.
Ha’way the Lads.