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FAN LETTERS: “Sunderland AFC are ready to roar again - Haway the Lads!”

Roker Report reader Bill has a message for his fellow fans about the season ahead. Is it time to let go of the past and help ensure we make this club successful again? Email us: - we’ll include your message in a future edition!

Sunderland v Liverpool - Premier League
Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

The England team have set the template for the coming season - and I can’t believe that I am saying that after years of misery.

They’re a new, young team, not weighed down by high expectations or fan negativity, and have given all of us so much pleasure. Can we have some of that please? We have all the ingredients to achieve it.

1. We are a community club, it is ours!

2. We do recognise and love ‘one of our own’: Jordan Henderson, Jordan Pickford, Monty, Colin Todd, Bradley Lowery, and so many more.

3. We do adopt and take to our hearts those who ‘get’ and respect us: Kevin Ball, Kevin Phillips, Jermain Defoe, Niall Quinn, Gary Bennett, Bob Stokoe, Charlie Hurley, and so many more.

4. We now recognise the futility of chasing the ‘fool’s gold’ of Premier League money; sacrificing our footballing enjoyment on the altar of pragmatism, in the vain hope that we can ‘survive’ at the ‘highest level’.

5. We now have a new vision, new ownership, a new manager, new players with more to come, and a decent academy.

It is time for the team and all fans to forge a strong bond together.

So, what is to stop us as fans enjoying ourselves as we stroll to the ground, enjoy our pint and pie rubbing our hands in anticipation of an enjoyable experience? Let’s park high expectations and negativity, at least until the early part of 2019, and see where that takes us.

Let’s get distracted by Gav’s fun idea of picking a tune for the team to enter the field of play to - ‘Get it On’ by T.Rex does it for me!

Let’s get behind whoever has to wear the number 9 shirt and help them believe they are Brian Clough, Nicky Sharkey, Marco Gabbiadini and Jermain Defoe all rolled into one.

Finally, let the visiting team know that they are privileged to play in front of the most passionate and appreciative set of fans in the country, and that when they walk out at the Stadium of Light they are in for a hell of a game because they have to play all of us.

We are ready to roar again. Haway the Lads!

Bill, the Dreamer

Ed’s Note [Tom]: Bill, you’ve given me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside! I totally agree with what you have to say, and I do think we need to keep in mind just how enormous this revamp of the club truly is.

Hopefully, everything will come together just like you note, but if it isn’t as Utopian as we hope then you’re right, we have to do our utmost to back the team. It’s a fresh start and I think fans need to let go frustrations of the past. Here’s to a fantastic season!

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Some kits are always better than others, and whatever fans may want, clubs will change their kits all the time.

I see all the negative feedback, but I have this simple thought/question: Sunderland are about to play in the third tier for only the second - and hopefully last - time. Is this a season we will want to remember, wearing the shirt down the years? Or, is this a season we work through, and celebrate when (please, God) we win promotion at the first attempt?

And will you want to be reminded by the shirt?

In other words, clubs do come up with poor designs. Let’s get one out the way in League One, and keep the classic and popular for when we are back in the top flight, where we belong.

Ian Johnston

Ed’s Note [Gav]: You know, the more I talk about these bloody kits the more I realise it just doesn’t matter. The people who are prepared to buy the new shirts will probably do so regardless of how it looks, and like you say if we get promoted we’ll look back on everything associated with this season fondly and it probably won’t matter much!

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