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Sunderland supporters - meet our BRAND NEW Roker Rapport Podcast studio team members!

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You might have heard that, this season, we’ve expanded and have added some new voices to the Roker Rapport Podcast team. Here, we introduce you to the latest additions - say hello!

Sean Brown

Meet... Dan Fitch!

Twitter: @mewrestlinguk

Hello! I’m Dan, 39 years old (when did that happen?) and I’m delighted to join the podcast! I’ve been going to football for 35 years - I was a fair weather Liverpool fan back in my youth, but my first taste of Sunderland was a game against Crystal Palace when Dickie Ord scored from the half way line (who needs Beckham?) and I’ve been going ever since.

I grew up in central Newcastle as the only Sunderland fan in school, and now live in the more accepting Durham.

My main passion outside of Sunderland is professional wrestling (you could say I never grew up). I run the North East’s longest running company since 2005, MEW Wrestling, as well as dabbling in wearing the owld spandex myself.

Dan is the voice and owner of MEW Wrestling... our very own Vince McMahon
Dan Gair

Meet... Craig Davies!

Twitter: @CraigIanDavies7

Hi. I’m Craig. My father and his family were born and raised in the Monkwearmouth, a mere stone’s throw from Roker Park and it was inevitable that supporting Sunderland would be a significant part in my life. I was raised in the Beverly Hills of Sunderland, or Grangetown as many may know it.

Southmoor School was the fine and distinguished institution of higher learning I attended in my formative years. I’m an educator these days living in beautiful Durham with my amazing wife and lovely - but occasionally exhausting - three kids. I’ve worked in Adult Education before moving into the Independent Education sector, where I’ve been teaching for nearly 10 years.

I’m an emotional guy who needs balance in his life.... so supporting Sunderland does not help me find my place of Zen very often! But, you can’t change a footballing DNA and I wouldn’t. My favourite player is Super Kev, followed closely by Marco and Gary Bennett.

Craig at Wembley
Craig Ian Davies

Meet.... Tom Albrighton!

Twitter: @tmalbrghtn

Hi all - I’m Tom, 26, from South Shields.

I’ve been supporting the lads since I can begin to remember, all the way back to the Roker Park days when my Dad would take me alongside my uncle and cousins, sit us on the bar and leave me as I showcased my impressive ability to fall asleep almost anywhere (an ability I haven't lost, either).

I’m a season ticket holder and have been for a couple of years after taking a break for a while. For those who want to hurl abuse, you’ll usually find me in the South Stand with a pint in one hand and a betting slip in the other, a true indication of my addictive personality if ever there was one.

My first real footballing memories that a vivid was growing up with the Stadium of Light as my playground and Reidy’s Kings as my heroes - though it’s safe to say that since then its all gone a bit south.

My dad is from Wales so I've also been lumped with the unenviable task of supporting both them too, hence my eternal pessimism sprinkled with sarcasm throughout.

I’ll be joining the Podcast team to waffle nonsense - don’t hate me!

Yes.
Tom Albrighton

Meet... Anthony Gair!

Twitter: @GairGNE

Everyone! Gather around and listen!

I’m Anthony, 34, a lads fan born and bred in God’s country - Penshaw.

I’ve supported Sunderland since I was a small boy, although my first match memory was attending Sunderland vs Birmingham City in ’96 with my Uncle in a game we won 3-0 - a match which resonates with me because of my fascination with the sheer size of Kevin Francis, who appeared to be about 8 foot tall. I’d been to games before that, but this is the first one I remember from start to finish.

Although I used to get to every home game, current commitments stop me from getting to as many as I used too – however I’m actively trying to free up the time to start taking my twin boys (7) to the home games, at least. This has proven to be difficult so far as they’re both Autistic and can struggle with crowds. I’m definitely cruel enough to force-feed them our wonderful club though, and it will happen!

“I’ve only got a face for the radio” says Anthony...
Anthony Gair

Meet... Sam Blakey!

Twitter: @samblakey_

I’m Sam, a 20 year old local Sunderland fan.

I can’t quite remember how many years exactly I’ve been following the lads; however, one of my earliest memories is Thierry Henry curling a free kick around the wall, into the bottom corner, and past a helpless Kelvin Davies to make it 0-3 to Arsenal in the first half at the SOL, if that helps to jog your memory.

I’ve been a season ticket holder for as long as I can remember as well as going to a number of away games each season, with last year’s away day highlight being Honeyman’s winner at Rochdale – a solid 7 out of 10 from me! I love match days and spend my midweek looking forward to going to the game, as well as the crack that the day brings (and the beer, of course).

I can’t wait to get started on the podcast, giving my opinion on the matches and getting involved with all the debates and discussions that come with it. I do it in the pub after the game so why not chance my arm in the studio – eh?

Sam (right) on Wembley Way
Sam Blakey

Meet... Ant Waterson!

Twitter: @antony_waterson

Hiya - I’m Ant. and I’m from Durham.

I’ve supported Sunderland all my life - cheers, dad - and have being going since I was six.

I started off in the Fulwell End with my dad and my cousin, and then the Stadium of Light. I still sit next to my dad, the poor sod. I often go to away games as well - I really enjoy going to new grounds, whether it be old Trafford or the Wham Arena. Old Trafford’s not all its cracked up to be, anyway...

Away from Sunderland I love my cricket. I go to Durham Cricket a lot when I can. I also love my music festivals.

I really love talking about Sunderland - I used to call up radio shows and have a vent, so to have a chance to talk to fellow Sunderland fans is an absolute honour. I look forward to getting started. Haway the lads!

Ant knocking around with dodgy characters on the streets
Ant Waterson

Meet... Neil Graney!

Twitter: @Neil_Graney

Hi, I’m Neil, originally from Durham, but lived in Sunderland most my life. I grew up supporting from the Main Stand Paddock and the Fulwell End.

For the past 11 years I have worked as an academic. I teach Sport Business Management so I hope to bring more theoretical based conversation to Roker Report. I am currently a Teaching Professor at Durham University Business School - my research interests focus on the effect of organisational culture and leadership on the mental health and wellbeing of football academy scholars in the UK.

There are many stand out moments but that Defoe volley against the Mags tops it for me. I was also at the 1990 play off semi final at St James’, at 10 year old, I was probably too young to appreciate just how good it was!

In recent times, I attend the match with my little boy, Jude. He’s 7, so knows nothing more than abject failure from SAFC, although he’s fully aware of the recent record against the Mags. I have also recruited my girlfriend, sister and nephew as season ticket holders for 2019-20.

The grey filter makes Neil look more serious.
Neil Graney