There’s a whole host of interesting-looking Sunderland reads out in time for Christmas 2023, and hopefully ‘SAFC 365’ will be high on people’s lists to Santa.
The profits from Roker Report’s first book will go towards the Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen (SCSK). The work they do is both heartwarming and desperately needed, and to help in some way by putting the book together, those involved in the anthology project are extremely honoured.
Our website’s ‘On This Day’ articles have proven extremely popular, and in turning the idea into a print version with a story for each day of the year, editors Chris Wynn and Martin Wanless, the team at A Love Supreme and illustrator Dave Wright have produced a wonderful item.
As one of the regular article writers, anyone who knows me will be well aware how much I enjoy looking back through the annals of time and focusing on Sunderland AFC’s history.
My own Sunderland bookshelves are already well stocked ahead of this year’s new additions and delving into my resources is a constant joy. The team has enjoyed glory days and memorable events going back generations, and people are always going to enjoy them being brought back to life.
There always seems to be something going on at the club, and even the most mundane-sounding fixtures or stories will feature a bit of intrigue, or for many readers, a level of personal significance.
The book includes a bit of everything, from finals and titles to some of the lows we’ve endured.
Enthusiasts may well know the facts and figures anyway, but this book adds colour to the stories for those of us not in attendance or who wish to jog their memories – particularly for games or eras before TV coverage or where footage is no longer available.
We’ll all have our own preferences of course, but my favourite time to relive is the 1990s, a period with extra resonance for me, having grown up then and first fallen in love with Sunderland.
The decade brought about immense change at the club and throughout the wider game, something that’s still felt now.
As a child and then a teenager, I was often oblivious to some aspects (particularly transfer links in a pre-rolling news age) whilst still being able to remember others in minute detail. Going back over that time reminds me how I identified with local lads and signings who moved to and settled on Wearside.
Growing up seconds away from Roker Park and going to schools that were close to the Charlie Hurley Centre, it wasn’t uncommon to see these players out and about and being part of the community.
I didn’t realise it at the time, but that was one of the main attractions of the club.
It might sound twee perhaps, but Sunderland the place and Sunderland the team are two of the biggest parts of my life and ‘SAFC 365’ means a lot, too. The names on the pitch get the glamour and the headlines, but behind that, this city and its surroundings is full of love and warmth.
Not every resident is blessed however, yet buying copies of the book and supporting the folk at SCSK in any way you can certainly bundles all the good things together.
Besides, it’s another gift easily ticked off the list!
The book costs £10 and features an epilogue by the one and only Peter Reid: SAFC: 365 | alovesupreme (a-love-supreme.com)
For more information about the work being carried out and the support on offer by SCSK’s vital volunteers, please visit www.soupscsk.com