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Fan Letters: ‘Bring back the old badge - it celebrates what the city’s world-famous for’

Would you like to see a return for the old ship badge? Email us: rokerreport@yahoo.co.uk

Marco Gabbiadini Sunderland AFC Photo by Mark Leech/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Just want to say that I’d have the old badge back in a heartbeat, for a few reasons.

  1. The new/current badge is just so unremarkable and totally unmemorable... hardly anyone can tell you everything that's on it, even many SAFC fans, and it’s only SAFC fans that have a chance of ever describing it – meaning everyone else the world over has to read the name on the bottom to know who it is.
  2. It’s far, far too similar to Newcastle's badge, just looks like we’ve copied theirs, for the most part, having the two animals either side and the stripes in the small windows...

People say that the ship and shipbuilding are no longer relevant but we were world beaters, world-famous for something. Why can’t we remember that without it being ‘old’?

If we don’t want to remember our history everyone will forget it and we’ll become like every other non-famous town/city.

Anyway, a ship is relevant because it shows we’re a seaside city...the Wearmouth Bridge and Penshaw Monument in our current badge aren’t exactly new are they?

I hate our current badge, it’s just so boring... it doesn’t say anything about us, except we have a bridge and a monument. Bring back the old badge – it’s been ok for Man City.

Lee Seymour

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I know we’ll get accused of living in the past Lee, but I’d be totally on board with bringing the old badge back. To me, it has far more character than the current one, and you’re right – it represents a history we should be proud of. I do think it’s a generational thing as well though. I started going to games in the 80s and the ship badge was Sunderland to me. It was something I drew on the covers of all my school books, so it’s got a special place in my heart.

Sunderland v Portsmouth - Sky Bet League One Play-Off: First Leg Photo by Sunderland AFC/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I was surprised and disappointed to see the team refuse to take a knee before the Burton game. Not only was it disrespectful to an opponent with many black players and a black manager, but it was also quite stupid. What kind of motivation do you think it gave Burton to see an all-white team do that?

I’ve been a Sunderland fan-from-afar for many years, ever since my son fell in love with Asamoah Gyan during the World Cup. But many Americans, particularly those of us from New York, have found it increasingly more uncomfortable to support the whitest team in British football. One might say it’s a coincidence, or logistics, finances, etc... but the Sandersons, Asoros, Majas etc. never seem to stick.

Do they not like the town – or the town not like them? I’m a reader of the Fan Forum, and I know there is racist sentiment in Sunderland. Happily, it is almost always shouted down by the overwhelming majority of Mackems who are decent, soulful people. So it saddens me to see the feelings of a dark few filter through to what now seems to be the official team policy.

Reluctantly done with Sunderland—at least for now.

John Jiler, New York City

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I’ve been surprised and disappointed to see them not take the knee, John (I’m not 100% sure whether it’s the whole team or not – some people have said a few players did at Burton). The whole team was doing it last season, so why aren’t they this season? We haven’t been told. It would probably be smart for SAFC to address it as it’s noticeable by its absence. I’m surprised none of the local media have asked them about it. I do hope it’s not because the club have decided it’s more trouble than it’s worth, as that’s sending the wrong message on so many levels. There was a very small minority of people booing the Wimbledon players taking the knee on Saturday and that’s incredibly poor. I do have to say, though, I think any sweeping generalisations about the entire club and town are way, way off the mark and quite insulting to be honest. The vast majority of people here are part of the solution, not the problem. Racism is an issue throughout the UK, and throughout the world in all reality – as we saw with the disgusting response to the England players who missed penalities in the Euros – and Sunderland should be leading by example by helping to educate and raising awareness. My colleague Rich has written a piece on this very topic after the weekend – it’s not something to run away from and hope to return if it changes, it’s something to take an active role in changing.

Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light
SAFC took the knee last season, but this season have decided not to
Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Just seen a historic post re the best Sunderland 11 from the past.

Here’s mine.

Monty, Bolton, Elliott, Elliott, Bolton, Elliott, Elliott, Elliott, Elliott, Rowell, Phillips. SUBS Elliott, Elliott, Elliott, Elliott, Elliott

How come I never became a manager?

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I can’t imagine...!

Soccer - Football League Division Two - Sunderland Photocall
Joe Bolton gets in!
Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Will Denver be receiving a bill for all the treatment he has been getting since his contract ran out?

Gerald Kearney

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I wouldn’t have thought so – it’s in our interests to get him fit so he can either play for us, or move on elsewhere and we get a transfer fee for him.