The Salut! Sunderland jury has spoken.
And the verdict in our 2012-2013 “Who are You?” awards – the honours presented each season for the best interviews with opposing supporters before their teams play ours – ended up, by pure coincidence, as a final between Wigan Athletic and Manchester City.
With the same outcome …
So congratulations to Bernard Ramsdale, long a popular figure at this site and always ready to offer his thoughts when Wigan’s other fan lets us down or we couldn’t locate one. If you think that’s unfair, you should have seen what Bernard had to say about the fair weather types who reinvented themselves as passionate followers to celebrate the cup victory.
For the second time in the short history of these awards, then, Bernard wins first prize. He is invited to choose items worth up to $200 from our much-appreciated pals across the Atlantic at soccerpro.com – suppliers of soccer jerseys and soccer shoes.
Let us hope this offers minor consolation for relegation. The comment from one of our judges, Salut! Sunderland‘s chief and chiefly unpaid writer Pete Sixsmith summed it up: “Always a pleasure to read Bernard. He loves his club and he loves his football. I shall miss him next season.”
Only five votes, in the system finally adopted for collating the judges’s assessments (five for first place, three for second, two for third), separated Bernard from his Wembley rival, Simon Curtis, whose interview ahead of Man City vs Sunderland was described by Jeremy Robson as “the finest Who Are You? article which has ever appeared on the pages of Salut – amidst the best series we have ever had the pleasure to read here”.
Simon wins an annual subscription to the superb football magazine When Saturday Comes, our valued co-sponsors.
WSC is also the source of our third prize. Step forward Dom Raynor, editor of ESPNFC.com, whose responses as a Manchester United supporter ahead of SAFC v Man Utd – the last game of Martin O’Neill’s short reign – were rated almost as highly as his Manchester rival’s. Dom chooses any t-shirt from WSC’s current range.
Monsieur Salut promised to consider digging
deep shallow for a consolation prize for fourth place.
That is the position in which we find the Very Rev Christopher Dalliston, Norwich-supporting Anglican Dean of Newcastle. If only – but not only – for this gem of an anecdote from the 1985 SAFC v Norwich Milk Cup Final:
I was a newly ordained curate then working in Essex. I jumped in the car straight after the Sunday service – dog collar and City scarf flying and bombed down the M11 passing all the Norwich coaches – I made praying gestures as I passed which as you can imagine got a laugh. The atmosphere was indeed friendly and though the match wasn’t a classic after two previous league cup Wembley disappointments in the seventies (both of which I was at) no one in green and yellow was complaining.
Chris wins a Salut! Sunderland mug, poor soul. Its design will be modified to reflect his footballing allegiance.
Commiserations to the strong chasing pack, notably – in joint fifth place – Spurs-supporting Dr Will Panduro Vasquez, boyfriend of our own John McCormick’s daughter (John was not a judge) and Everton’s Martin Fricker. They can buy mugs.
Here then, is the list of links to our winning candidates:
* Wigan v SAFC ‘Who are You?’: Bernard Ramsdale returns with ominous news for Newcastle. Ominous didn’t happen …
** Manchester City v SAFC ‘Who Are You?’: yearnings for ‘liddle old Citeh’
*** SAFC v Manchester United Who are You?: ‘feasting at Lord Ferg’s table’
**** Norwich v SAFC ‘Who are You?’: Wembley-bound with dog collar and prayers
See also: our joint fifth-placed candidates …
***** Sunderland v Everton ‘Who are You?’: on ‘Zinedine Kilbane and Reidy my boyhood hero’
The judges were Paul Dobson (Sobs from A Love Supreme) along with four Salut! Sunderland bods: Pete Sixsmith, Malcolm Dawson, Jeremy Robson and Colin Randall.
See all Salut! Sunderland’s articles recalling May 5 1973 and the run that took SAFC to FA Cup glory: https://safc.blog/category/fa-cup/may-5-1973/