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Fan Letters: Boris Johnson’s visit shows “the huge potential this city has to offer,” readers argue

Today, our readers have responded to Wednesday’s edition of Fan Letters where reader Benjamin noted his issue with the current Prime Minister visiting Sunderland AFC’s Stadium of Light. Email:!


Dear Roker Report,

I’d like to respond to the letter over Boris Johnson visiting the club recently. Firstly, the gentleman is entitled to and not wrong to have that view. I won’t share my political views, anyone who knows me and reads will know them and whoever reads this can can come away with whatever conclusion they want. I stand by them and encourage anyone else to stand by theirs.

I fully understand the history and background of our club and our area and its subsequent political links. But as the gentlemen said, the club and stadium belongs to US ALL. Many Sunderland fans will have voted for Johnson’s party, because they see it as in their best interests and they’re entitled in a democracy to that view. Therefore, some people will welcome Johnson’s visit and others will not. I‘d like to think as a club we are tolerant and welcoming of different faiths, occupations, views and class groups. If Johnson is not welcome, are we suddenly saying that links to that political side are not welcome at the Stadium of Light? That’s surely not what Sunderland Football Club is about? We all know deep down it’s not and that has to continue. It comes down to tolerance. We have had an ownership try to be divisive amongst the fan base, come on, let’s not let politics rip apart people who all share the common passion for our club.

In relation to the club. I feel the publicity on the political map is fantastic for our city and our club. Both have so much potential and all politicians have neglected us too long. Thus, I think the leader of the country raising the profile of our city and club is necessary and a good thing and MUST not be a brief flash in the pan. Even if you don’t agree with him or even hate him, he’s a powerful figure and things like this can be used positively for us as a club. The profile of our city and club are intertwined and it’s about time senior politicians, whichever party they belong to, brought us in from the cold to drive them forwards.

Louis Dinsdale

Ed’s Note [Tom]: Hi Louis, as always it’s worth noting that fan letters allows an array of people the chance to air their views. As such, it’s great to engage in healthy debate. I tried to offer a balanced view in my reply to the original letter, but your response is also a good way of putting it. There are always going to be differing opinions, and it’s okay to have a belief that is different to someone else.

The Prime Minister Holds Cabinet Meeting In The North East On Brexit Day Photo by Paul Ellis - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

This letter is in direct response to the previous letter regarding Boris Johnson’s visit to the Stadium of Light. His visit to the city was symbolic due to the Brexit decision. The SoL was his last visit before leaving for London, and he chose to come to see our stadium and the people. Everyone from afar are coming to realise the huge potential this city has to offer.

Our club is at the heartbeat of Sunderland, it’s on the tongues of everyone who lives here. Regardless of political affiliation, surely we can all agree on that. He will have known this and chose to visit the heart of the city. Without this letter becoming too political for readers to bear. It should be remembered that without our club, the city would be a lonelier place. And realistically, any interest of our club from outside this city, should be seen as valuable.

Ryan Brindley

Ed’s Note [Tom]: Hi Ryan, I can understand why some people might react with anger to Johnson’s arrival, but alternatively, I can also understand the other point of view, too. The best way to approach this, in my opinion, is to engage in healthy debate. I would like to think that the Government’s decision to come to Sunderland was down to the fact we are showing our ‘huge potential’ as you noted - a lot of which should be credited to the local government - but you’re right in that this choice of location was largely due to the fact that Sunderland was the first city to announce it’s decision to vote leave. As such, we’re symbolic of Brexit - something Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party have worked towards.

The Prime Minister Holds Cabinet Meeting In The North East On Brexit Day Photo by Paul Ellis - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

When are people going to grow up l used to work at wearmouth I think we need to stop living in the past what as labour done in the last 30 years for Sunderland let’s hope we do get put on the map more become more prosperous it may rub off on the team a bit god knows we need it

Keith Jenkinson

Ed’s Note [Damian]: I could list the actual work done by the Labour Party in Sunderland over the last 30 years but not only is it beyond my pay grade to fight such a good fight on this platform, it’s all freely available information that I would encourage you to discover for yourself.

The Prime Minister Holds Cabinet Meeting In The North East On Brexit Day Photo by Paul Ellis - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

With regard to Benjamin Eckford and his letter regarding the PM’s visit to the SoL , whilst I completely agree that personal opinions have a right to be aired and in fairness he’s not the only one with similar views. I feel I have to present an alternative view, I did not vote for The Labour Party and would not welcome Jeremy Corbin to Sunderland or the SoL based upon the following facts:

Jeremy Corbin (Diane Abbott as well) is an historical supporters of The IRA . Supporter of the terrorist organisation Hamas, a supporter of the murderous dictatorship in Venezuela and failed to call Russia and Putin to account for the Salisbury attack.

I feel that the outrage felt by Ben is a little over the top , after all the PM can go , see and meet whoever he wishes. It’s a free country and lets all agree that’s a good thing.

Mark Pearson

Ed’s Note [Damian]: Sadly, Mark, I’m obligated to avoid pointing out the grievous flaws that exist in your argument, because really the only remit of Roker Report in this scenario is to discuss the letting of club space for the purposes of one event or another. If this were a political forum I’d happily debate the fallacy that is our so-called democracy, but it’s not. That being said, I’ve still got to edit this bit or it won’t be fit to publish, and they’ll give me the hose again.

NOTE: Fan Letters is a recurring feature that allows Sunderland fans to voice their thoughts and feelings. The opinions of our readers do not necessarily reflect those of Roker Report and our team of writers.

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