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A "Die Hard" (Sunderland Fan) With A Vengeance


The subject of moving the away fans from the South Stand to the North Stand Upper has been a big topic of conversation in and around Wearside. Of course though, there's the people who currently sit in the North Stand Upper having to be moved on. How do they feel? Are they happy about this? In the main, I'd imagine they're fine with it as it's for the benefit of the club in the long-run.

Unless of course your name is "die hard" fan Stuart Donald, who recently went whinging and crying to the Sunderland Echo about all of this. (read the article here).

It's the latest in a line of super-fans or should I say self-serving idiots, who are prepared to nit-pick at the club over any minor detail. The Cisse "ball-in-face" case, the kid with Gyan's number on his shirt and so on. Just what are they getting out of this?

The whole thing kind of started in April this year, when another so called "fan" was, according to Niall Quinn, suing the club over being hit in the face with a ball. A stray shot alleged to have come from the boot of Djibril Cisse. The whole thing seems to have gone quiet, so I'd assume from the all-round condemning of this idiot it's been swept under the carpet and the fella has realised what a numpty he is.

Djibril was a decent striker, but not particularly known for his accuracy. I hope to God that that fan doesn't pop into McDonalds on the retail park near the ground, the Big Mac's rarely match the picture.

That however, was the start of things, and possibly a trigger for the likes of Mr Donald.

Then in late September came the case of little Billy Ellison, who upon getting the name and number of Asamoah Gyan on his shirt was devastated (according to his father, who lead this crusade) to find out just three days later the Ghanaian striker was off to the UAE in search of fame and fortune, weighted more towards the latter.

Boo. Hoo.

Players come and go, it's a fact of football and an inherent risk that your favourite player could at some stage leave. There's really no case to answer from the clubs perspective on this one. Only days prior to Gyan leaving they were under the impression he was staying too, and I'll tell you what, they were no doubt even more 'devastated' than little Billy that we were left without a leading striker.

The upshot of this, however was that Ellison Senior picked on exactly the right player to pander to his attention-seeking antics. Gyan loves being the nice guy and a bit of a media-lovey. Gyan invited Billy (and fame-hungry father) to watch him play for Ghana, and a meet and greet. No more was said. The Ellison's must have got what they wanted.

So we've had two cases, with mixed results of the attention-seeking supporter crying over spilled milk with nothing but a self-serving appetite to get something for nothing. It's funny both of these stories came out in the midst of poor play on the field. Call me a cynic, but I can't help but feel had we been flying at either point, little to nothing would have been said.

Now enter the latest contributor to Numpty's Row, "die hard fan" Stuart Donald. So die hard that upon being asked (politely) to move seats, he's thinking of not bothering to ever come back. Don't let the turnstile gate hit your arse on the way out Mr Donald.

It's not like the letter came out of the blue. Any "die hard" fan will have been aware of these plans for months. It's been talked about on forums, and even mentioned on the official site that the relocation of away fans was both wanted, and possible. Get with it Captain Die Hard, why not raise a fuss when it was first mentioned? Why wait until now, post morale-sapping draw with Fulham to complain?

The article is full of fantastic quotes and thoughts from Mr Donald, who was questioned by the reporter over the fact that the aim is to improve the atmosphere.

Although one of the reasons cited for the move is a way of improving the atmosphere, Mr Donald says there is no guarantee of that.

He added: "The atmosphere within any stadium depends on more than the positioning of supporters.

"All you are going to end up with is a fragmented ground with disgruntled supporters."

Stuart Donald everyone, full-time diehard, part-time psychic. He goes as far as to say there's no guarantee that it will improve atmosphere, yet goes on to guarantee a fragmented ground full of disgruntled punters. Strange that the so called 'die hard' hasn't noticed the overwhelming support for the idea. The notion that the ground will be fragmented and disgruntled couldn't be further from the truth, or at least the popular opinion.

It's abundantly clear in the article that he's after nothing but attention, and given the precedent set already by Gyan, the potential for a free or reduced season ticket. I don't believe for one second that he actually gives one about being moved.

He even cites the North Stand Upper at the best seat in the house. Of course it is, that's why Niall, Ellis and those they hob-nob with all sit there... oh wait, they don't, they sit in better seats. I've sat in all corners of the ground, and without wanting to be-little those who sit in "The Uppers" it's not my cup of tea.

If Mr Donald was offered one of those nice padded seats half-way up the west Stand in primo position, I can't for one second imagine this so called fan would say "Nah, I prefer my other seat, I'm not using it and never coming back"... He's here for one thing.

The club have said in response to Stuart that... "Any correspondence between supporters and the club is private and confidential. The club will respond to the supporter directly." ...If it were me in charge of the club, and God willing one day I will be, that correspondence would consist of little more than two words starting with F and O.

I'd even go so far as to save it as a template, as no doubt this isn't the last of the attention seeking 'fans' determined to whinge about absolutely everything. If you were to complain do it about the pre-poured pints, or the fact the standard of Balti pie has (in my mind) slipped.

The only fans who should be in the paper are those who suffer the team on a weekly basis all over the country, the ones that make this club tick (I'm not for one second suggesting that's me, because it isn't). Mr Donald, as die hard as you like to think you are, you won't be missed in the slightest.

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