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Fan Letters: Johnny Crossan & Shaun Elliott are two ex-players who get a mention today...

Our recent article on players we’d wished we’d seen has prompted some memories of bygone days, and does the AoL need a spruce up?

Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

You realise how long you have been watching the Lads when some of the players you first saw are among the “veterans” mentioned. I would add Johnny Crossan from that era who harried many a defence from the wing.

Going much further back following a recommendation from yourselves I read the biography of the pre WW1 goalkeeper Leigh Richmond Roose. He was born about five miles away from where I now live near Wrexham and was a character according to accounts. I would inevitably compare his skills with my early hero Monty.

Thanks for the recommendation a great read if any Mackems are looking for Christmas presents!

Andrew Bailey

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for the email, Andrew – glad the piece provoked some happy memories! Pleased you enjoyed the book, too – it’s on my (lengthy!) reading list but it may have gone up a few places after reading your verdict.

Soccer - Football League Division One - Arsenal v Sunderland
Andrew remembers Johnny Crossan fondly
Photo by Barratts/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

As much as anyone, I have enjoyed our season so far, shrewd business, attacking football and minimal draws!

Maybe it’s just me but I drove past the AOL earlier and saw the Sunderland badge on the front sign for it.

Faded and ugly, just like the pink seats issue.

I get that it will not be a priority but first impressions count, would be nice to see this simple issue get fixed sooner rather than later.

John Hannah

Ed’s Note [Martin]: By all accounts there’s been a decent amount of work going on at the AOL, and hopefully those sort of things are given an upgrade, too, John. It’s the players’ and staff’s place of work, and they should feel pride in it when they walk in every day. I’m sure it’ll get sorted, sooner rather than later.

Sunderland Unveil New Signing Dennis Cerkin
The Academy is the lads’ place of work – and while there’s been some upgrades happening over the summer, it still needs a spruce up
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

As a long time Sunderland fan (first game was in 1979) I have been pondering which players excelled for the club in various positions over the years.

When my thoughts turned to central defence only one name sprung to mind - Shaun Elliott.

I saw Shaun a lot during our 1979/80 promotion season and then again for our next 5 seasons in the old first division. He oozed class and, as a converted midfielder, he was quick displayed a great range of passing and chipped in with a few goals. I remember at the time it was a running joke on the Roker terraces that Shaun would have had 50+ caps for England if he played for Spurs or West Ham! Certainly, a paltry 3 England B caps reflects more on the FA than the quality of his performances.

Anyway, maybe this can prompt a discussion amongst fellow fans on the greatest ever SAFC central defender.


Carl Taylor

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I just missed Shaun Elliott at Sunderland – Benno was my first central defensive hero! Charlie Hurley was named our player of the century in 1979, so it’ll be interesting to hear from others how Elliott stacked up to the great man. Let us know your thoughts!

Leicester City v Sunderland
Where does Shaun Elliott rank in the list of our greatest centre half?
Photo by Bob Thomas Sports Photography via Getty Images.

Dear Roker Report,

I totally agree Martin, they are a despicable regime. Ask any of the South Shields Yemeni population what they think about the take over! If you ask me anything, they deserve each other.

Stephen Brewis

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Cheers Stephen, it’s interesting to watch the realisation setting in among some of them now! They’ll be under a boatload of scrutiny... but they actively campaigned for it, so they will hopefully get what they deserve. Nowt.


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