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Reader’s Corner: View from Blue House Field

RR reader Michael Curry from the Consett Branch takes us on a poetic journey through the history of Sunderland AFC... fancy writing something we can publish on these here pages? Wack something together in an email and we’ll post it! Ping us:

A View from Blue House Field

There is a football club on Wearside called Sunderland AFC
To many that means nothing, but it means everything to me
Some people call them Black Cats, Makems or other fads
But to true believers everywhere they’ll always be THE LADS.

It was 19th century schoolteachers who got things off the ground
We played in blue, defeats were few for the finest team around
Then to the football league we rose to challenge teams anew
Like Everton, Wolves and Villa to mention but a few.

And so to the 1890’s and Sunderland’s years of glory
The records and the history books forever tell our story
In red and white with goals galore, the football league we graced
By taking on all others to the Championship we raced.

At this time the football club laid down another mark
With a move of ground from Newcastle Road to dear old Roker Park
With wooden stands and grandstand seats and room for many more
It soon gave birth and life to that famous Roker Roar

Soccer - Roker Park Stadium - Sunderland Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images

Success was hard to come by in between the wars
Even though great players signed up to join the cause
With Buchan, Gurney and Halliday, we always found the net
But despite the players' best efforts, fans' hopes could not be met

But come the 1930’s with Johnny Cochrane at the fore
We won the title and the cup, we really were top draw
May Day of ’37 was a coronation year
But it was Wembley’s 3-1 scoreline that raised a joyous tear

The league and cup were suspended because of WW2
There was bomb damage to Roker Park as hostilities grew
But worse was to follow, even with our Prince of Clown
Dumped out of the FA Cup by lowly Yeovil Town

The 1950’s came along and bought our darkest hour
Relegation the very first, it tasted oh so sour
It was Alan Brown who oversaw that terrible event
For our once proud record had taken a fateful dent

Soccer - Football League Division One - Sunderland Photocall Photo by PA Images via Getty Images

It took six years for Bomber Brown to plan and bring us back
With Brian Clough scoring goals, for which he had the knack
From six yards out he’d net the ball with a clinical stab
And can we forget that half back line of Harvey, Hurley and McNab

The decade of the seventies brought us highs and low
Cup winners with the messiah, Newcastle’s Bob Stokoe
Ian’s right foot clincher, Monty’s double save
Memories to cherish and take with us to the grave

But failure to command a top flight place
Brought yoyo years for us to face
For many fans this straw was the last
The team failed to compare with our glorious past

But fortune bought a saviour to our side
And fans signed up for Niall’s carpet ride
With his charm and guile our future looked bright
Expectations ran high at the Stadium of Light

Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

In came Keano to give us a lift
Bringing promotion as a welcome gift
Alas his stay was short and sweet
But at least we had joined football’s elite

From here on in it’s highs and lows
Wembley visits and relegation woes
Six in a row against you know who
The great escapes, but wins were few

Changing managers at the drop of a hat
Experience proving what good is that
A club in freefall, hurtling to the drop
Not knowing when the agony will stop

A double relegation was our reward
For total mismanagement and utter discord
Ignominy and ridicule for the world to see
Permanently recorded on Netflix TV

Sunderland v Burton Albion - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Dave Howarth/PA Images via Getty Images

The “Three Amigos” then gave it a try
But within two years it was a case of bye bye
They tried two managers to stop the rot
But still league one was what we got

So if seasons to come are something to dread
What is the point of looking ahead
To maintain sanity and cope with the flack
Perhaps its better to just look back

Our history is littered with great players of the past
Whose fame and heroics will forever last
Like Super Kev, King Gary Rowell and full back Julio
Wee Bobby Kerr, Captain Stan and the sublime Horatio

Many others have served our club so well
And to some of you their names may ring a bell
James Allan for one, lets not forget since he began it all
Craig Russell and Pop Robson, the flying Pig Siddall

Soccer - Football League Division Two - Sunderland Photocall - Roker Park Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images

Ted Doig, Hughie Wilson, Billy Hogg and Len Duns
Patsy the mighty Atom, Dennis Tueart’s mazy runs
Peter Reid, Alex Rae, who were never outfought
Then there’s chairman Bob and Yankee Ellis Short

Lion Lenny, Kevin Ball and Scotsman little Nic
Ferocious Joe, Imperious Todd and bustling Vic
There’s Marco, Benno and battling Johnny Kay
Many more deserve a mention, not forgetting Mickey Gray

Who can explain this passion for Sunderland AFC
The heartache and the joy, the misery and the glee
We look to the future sharing the same dream
And carry Sunderland in our hearts, truly a love supreme

Michael Curry


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