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Reader’s Corner: ‘This is Sunderland’s year!’

RR reader Gerard McAlroy reckons a Mowbray statue would look pretty good alongside Bob Stokoe’s! Fancy writing? - send us an email!

Photo by Ben Whitley/PA Images via Getty Images

It’s 50 years since Sunderland won the FA Cup.

Who would have thought that would be the only trophy we would remember so fondly after 50 years?

Well, the honest answer is, me and my mates.

I remember us walking into Wembley for the FA Cup final versus Liverpool in 1992, my mate turned to me and he could see I had tears in my eyes, as he laughingly asked, “What’s wrong with you?”

“I’m a bit emotional.” Was my honest reply, “This is something special, just think, probably never again in our lifetime will we be walking into Wembley to watch Sunderland play in a major final.”

No offence to play-off finals or League Cup Final attendees, but to my generation, the FA Cup is “the” thing to win after the league. Even people who had to work on Cup Final day would find a way to sneak a watch of the game or keep up with the day’s events. Ha-ha, I can even remember a TV audience show on the Friday night before the 73 Cup Final, when a Sunderland lass in the audience was given the microphone, Jack Charlton was a pundit on the show, who obviously as a huge Leeds pundit was knocking any chance Sunderland may have had and she said to him,

“Come home Jackie, Bob (Stokoe) needs a butler.”

Leeds Supporters
Jack Charlton (left) with Leeds players and supporters before the cup final
Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

For about the only time I can remember seeing, big Jackie was stumped into silence and the whole audience laughed.

Those shows around the game and the build-up were great. There was still a little of that in 92, but walking in on the great day (and I must thank a Newcastle supporter for our tickets), that was something special, and as a supporter, one of the best feelings I ever had, with tears of joy and emotion on that day. The result wasn’t going to matter, we were going into Wembley for the FA Cup to watch Sunderland play in the type of final we should be in every other year at least, but this was probably the only time in the remainder of my life that I would see it.

Well, I was wrong, this year is our year!

“Oh gawd!” I hear the groans, but someone has to stick their neck out and say it.

There are many comparisons to the 73 Stokoe team, not least of all, a lot of flair players in the team who might not dominate every game collectively in the league week to week, but certainly in a one-off cup game can give any team in the country a game.

Plus, we have a manager who I suspect is of the ilk to tell them to enjoy the cup games, and have a much more relaxed dressing room than at any other club or even any other time in our recent history, I mean Haway “Revels, anyone?”

Then there is the absolute nailed-on certainty that we are just bound to win a major trophy with a legend from a rival local team at the helm rather than any big-name manager, or Sunderland fan in charge.

Not only does he “get it” but can you imagine if you could go back in time and went to say 1990, met Mr. Mowbray and caught him between Revels were able to ask him,

“Hey Tone, can you imagine in 30-odd years’ time you’re gonna be the manager of the Mackems and tek them ter a Wembley FA Cup final?”

“Whoa ho-ha-ha!” As the dressing room erupts into laughter.

This leaves us with the prospect of a Mowbray statue to complement our Stokoe statue, quite the thing really, two statues outside our ground with over 600 games between them for our two local rivals.

Oh, and while you might think all of this rubbish, if you do one thing before we play Fulham, at least have one little daydream of the Mogga running across the Wembley turf to hug Patterson and give him his last Revel.

Haway the lads!

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How d’ya fancy winning the FA Cup with Sunderland Tone?
Photo by Dave Munden - PA Images via Getty Images

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