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RRP: On Days Like These - An Interview with Sunderland fan (and footballing icon) Martin O’Neill!

You may have seen Martin around of late chatting to people about his brilliant new book - On Days Like These - so our Chris Wynn managed to wrangle an interview with a man who has had his heart both broken and buoyed in pretty equal measure by Sunderland AFC; talking about his love of the club, his time as a player under Cloughie, his many achievements in the game - and his failures as he sees them - as well as a fair few thoughts on his time in charge of his boyhood club! 

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What’s the crack?

  • Where do we begin? A ridiculous number of trophies and cups across decades in the game as a player and a manager - how did Martin come to support the Lads, and how much did Charlie Hurley have to do with it all?
  • What are his earliest and fondest memories of following the Lads, and when Sunderland were knocked out of the Cup in ‘64, who was in more pain? A young Martin O’Neill or a gutted Sunlun captain?
  • His first memories of visiting Roker Park as a player for Nottingham Forest;
  • Martin’s relationship with the legendary Brian Clough; did they ever talk about their shared fondness for Sunderland? What was he like to play for when things weren’t going so well?
  • When writing his book, Martin tried to approach each era by examining how he thought at the time - so naturally has it resulted in changing his thoughts on any particular part of his life and career?
  • Breaking into management; Martin talks about his belief that trying to prove yourself at a side lower down the pyramid - say in the National League for example - isn’t always the best idea;
  • His successes at Leicester, facing Peter Reid’s Sunderland in the cup and getting closer to the job he’d always wanted;
  • It’s your time; The call for help from Niall Quinn, the discussions with the club and making the decision to sign - was that the right decision looking back? Did he make it with his head or his heart?
  • His struggles with the Sunderland ownership over players, trying to earn enough brownie points to be able to sign lads who hadn’t already retired and looking at the way the club was running behind the scenes and on the pitch;
  • The moments of magic he experienced; though by his own admission things didn’t work out the way he imagined they would, how did it feel to finally walk out as Sunderland manager, and what are his favourite memories of his time at the club?
  • The next chapter; what does the future hold for Martin O’Neill now?
  • All this and so much more! An absolute privilege and an absolute gent, enjoy!

While you’re here, we are again calling on #SAFC fans and our friends to help raise money for Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen, who are in need of our help so they can help the most vulnerable people on Wearside. If you can donate to or even share the appeal, it would mean a great deal to many people. For more information visit the fundraiser page here and thank you!


How Can I Listen?

Apple podcasts

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Spotify

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Youtube

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