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Tales From The Stands: ‘To hear the SOL unite in their hatred for David Moyes was amazing’

Southern-exile Daniel Humphrey talks us through two of his most memorable moments following the lads.

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Ha’way the Lads!

Firstly, I'm a lifelong Sunderland supporter who has - rather unfortunately - lived most of my life miles away from my home city.

I was born in Sunderland but at the age of 10 I moved south with my mother to Borehamwood, a small town 15 minutes or so away from London. It's about five hours, give or take, from Borehamwood to Sunderland.

As a result of this, my match day memories are pretty scarce as I haven't been able to attend many games with me living so far away; 260 miles to be exact.

I have two games in mind that stand out for different reasons, both games show how strong the Sunderland support can be - especially when united and sharing in a common cause.

The first game was December 2016 against Watford - coincidentally our last home win - I went up north with my then girlfriend to her first (and probably only) Sunderland game.

We were sat in the North Stand for this game. It wasn't the most entertaining game, it was freezing, both teams were poor, and the game was decided by a Patrick van Aanholt goal.

The thing that stood out for me was the 'One Bradley Lowery' chant and applause that went up in the 5th minute. This was the game after the Chelsea match where Bradley Lowery won 'Goal of the Month', so his cause was in the spotlight at the time. To hear the whole stadium burst into song chanting 'One Bradley Lowery' was amazing.

Sunderland and the football team gets hit with a lot of stick from the Southern centric media, but we as fans have united under some incredible causes. Bradley Lowery captured our hearts and we rallied around him, offering our love and support in the process.

Sunderland v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The second game was in April 2017 against West Ham, a game which ended 2-2. The result was practically meaningless as we were just about guaranteed relegation.

This particular game stood out for me because as fanbase we united again to vent our frustrations and anger on David Moyes. I sat in the more vocal South Stand for this game, and I felt encapsulated as the whole stand booed Moyes' every move from the touchline (when he actually got up out of his seat).

The general feeling on the terrace was one of anger but valid questions were raised too. How dare he be so incompetent... how has he managed to ruin what Big Sam was building so quickly? Why is he so dour? And finally, why had he not used Wahbi Khazri before this game?

The ironic cheers when Khazri scored after months of neglect on the sub's bench were most amusing. We Sunderland fans have a dark sort of gallows humour when the chips are down, and the West Ham game was a good example of it.

We hadn't won on months, not since we'd beaten Palace I don't think. Moyes had worn us all out with his negative comments and baffling tactical decisions, so I felt really proud that day to actually be there for the game and grateful to have the chance to vent my frustrations at a man who was ruining my club.

As a fanbase we united to display our true feelings towards a man whose poisonously pessimistic demeanour had infected our club to the point of relegation - after months of patience.

These games probably aren't really memorable to other fans, but I don't have a massive amount of games to choose from due to my circumstances.

But these two games prove just how strong the constantly criticised Sunderland fanbase is - especially when we're united. I love being a part of it, despite the distance between my current home and the Stadium of Light.

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