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FAN LETTERS: Youngsters Bali Mumba & Jack Diamond are a credit to Sunderland (and Hebburn Town!)

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Promising Sunderland pair Bali Mumba and Jack Diamond come from humble beginnings and have been showing that they’ve not forgotten where they came from. Email us: RokerReport@yahoo.co.uk - we’ll include your message in a future edition!

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images
Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Both Bali Mumba and Jack Diamond started their football careers at Hebburn Town.

A few weeks ago they came along to present the end of season awards. Hebburn has had something of a renaissance the last few years and now boasts over 50 junior teams covering all ages including a number of girls teams. Bali and Jack not only spent two hours presenting trophies and posing for photos, they stayed around for the rest of the day talking and playing an impromptu game of football with a load of the young kids.

I had the good fortune to have a chat with them and their enthusiasm and modesty was a joy to behold. These are the sort of players who can become the backbone of the club for years to come.

It’s so good that Bali already is making such good progress and hopefully Jack who missed a year with a very serious injury follows in his footsteps in the near future.

Gerard Hiscock

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Great to hear all of this Gerard. I know the club think incredibly highly of Bali and that there are going to be bigger clubs monitoring his situation, but as of right now he’s ours and there’s a real chance for him to play his part in the first team if his development continues in the manner that it is.

Jack Diamond is technically very good and is another that the club really like. I had no idea they had both came through at Hebburn! It just shows the value of a well-ran boys club to the likes of Sunderland and Newcastle.

Bali Mumba and Jack Diamond handing out trophies at the presentation evening

Dear Roker Report,

I have to agree with those who do not like the new strip. The plain back is not our style and never has been, when paired with red shorts we look like any one of a lot of teams in the leagues.

I remember when Alan Brown changed the shorts to white - only the presence of Brian Clough and co. made the team watchable.

And as for the black shorts being unlucky.... it didn’t stop us being the best team in England late 1930’s!

Conclusion.... the dark hand of the previous regime getting a final dig in.

Derek Lambert

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I dunno about that last comment but it’s certainly a much better kit than any that we’ve had from Adidas in recent years. I was down at Hartlepool yesterday and thought the black shorts looked good too.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Having seen the new strip at Darlington, I didn’t like the red shorts but the black ones will be much better.

As for the plain red back, at least you’ll be able to see the player’s number and therefore know who he is - which might be useful with all the new players and youngsters.

Dave Seaburn

Ed’s Note [Gav]: The plain back thing really doesn’t bother me much - I think it looks smart. Traditionalists won’t agree mind but I reckon these are probably the tidiest looking home strips that Sunderland have had in many years - probably since we had Hummel as our supplier.