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Sing Your Hearts Out For The Lads: Forget about the mags and former players, let’s cheer our own

This current crop of Sunderland players deserve to have their names sung loud and proud at games - let’s start getting our heads together to create some new, iconic terrace chants!

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Our fans are, in the main, excellent. They turn up in numbers, home and away, and sing and cheer for the players at grounds up and down the country. They give it their all, and importantly, they back the team when it matters.

There are a minority of idiots - idiots who were sadly present at Monday’s U23s game, chanting about sex offenders and booing their own players - that give us a bad name, but I’m not daft enough to suggest that they represent the majority. They don’t, and never will.

I won’t go into that particular episode in any great detail, because I’ve already done so on social media, but one of the most disappointing aspects of what I heard and have heard at games all season was the amount of chanting about former players, and about our rivals down the road.

I’ve been to most games this season, and it’s fairly common to hear songs about Newcastle and former players (Charlie Wyke the main one), but not so many chants about our new players, or our excellent youngsters that are emerging in the first team this season.

I’m not having a pop - and I too enjoy joining in with some of the songs that get sung about the mags - but it can’t be just me that has noticed it’s more frequent than it used to be?

Sunderland v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

I dunno - I guess that having had so long away from games due to the pandemic, we’ve lost out on being able to create chants for the new players, and we’re playing catch up.

It would be great if we could focus less on some of that other stuff, and focus on backing the players that we do have out there on the pitch.

Look at how much Luke O’Nien loves it when the fans sing his name at the end of games. Aiden McGeady too. And Lee Johnson, who always makes sure he gives the fans some love back after we win an important three points.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could move forward, and give the likes of Ron-Thorben Hoffmann, Ross Stewart, Leon Dajaku, Dennis Cirkin, Dan Neil, Carl Winchester and all the rest of the lads the same adulation, when deserved?

It feels like we need some new chants.

I’m no song-writing expert, but I’ve tried my bit on social media to drum up interest in creating new chants. Practice what you preach, after all.

There are fans who go to more games than me and fans who are more talented than me at inventing new chants - it would be great if we could get our heads together to create some new terrace anthems that will be sung for years to come.

I remember, around the time that Steve Bruce was manager, that we had a group formed out of the South West Corner that specifically tried to get new songs going at games. I believe that they were called the Sunderland Football Group - they had taken inspiration from ultra groups across Europe and South America, groups that back their teams vociferously at games. They were identifiable by their scarves, and were present at all games, in the concourses and in the stands, attempting to get songs going.

I think we need a movement like that again.

I’ve written this in the hope that someone reading it might be inspired to take this upon themselves, and get a new crop of Sunderland ‘ultras’ (I know, I know, that term is a bit cringe, but I can’t think of owt better) going that can give this manager and these players the support they deserve, whilst diverting the attention away from singing about Newcastle, Charlie Wyke and whoever else all the time.

Just look even now, years and years later, at the fans singing songs about Gary Rowell, Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn - iconic players deserve iconic chants that will be remembered and sung at games by future generations.

If you’re passionate and go to most of the games, you can help shape the terrace culture of our fanbase - and all it could take is making up a fun song or chant about a player that catches on, and is sung for years to come.

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