1. John Davison racially abuses Darren Bent’s mother who sees “a group of men laughing
and giving each other high fives”. When Davison finds out who he’s abused, he sends her a bunch of flowers and no doubt they’re all laughing about it 30 minutes later.
2. SAFC fan, Peter Copeland, receives a suspended 4 month prison sentence for racism on Twitter. Copeland defends his actions by explaining that his labelling NUFC “Coon Army” and making reference to Demba Ba’s “exploding lips” was just “banter”. Unemployed Copeland’s comment on arrest was “All this because I called Demba Ba a black bastard?”. Tsssccchhh. We’re just way too sensitive here man.
3. History is littered with accused criminals using the most ludicrous defences to explain
their actions. However Hendon lad, Liam Jones, takes this to a whole new level. When captured in the national press doing monkey gestures following a Romelu Kukaku goal at the Stadium of Light, he proclaims that he was in fact, wait for it, doing a “chicken dance”. Jones maintains this laughable defence to the ridicule of the rest of the country before he finally earns himself a conditional discharge when he pleads guilty. Presumably at the request of his suitably embarrassed solicitor.
4. Sunderland issue a public apology after their supporters disrupt a minute’s silence for the late Welsh legend John Charles. A spokesman for their fans later defends their actions by explaining that they thought it was for Ray Charles.
5. Budding Ron Jeremy’s, Ben Alnwick, Liam Lawrence and Chris Brown are filmed ‘roasting’ a barely legal young girl in a hotel room. Rather pleased with their off-the field stamina, style and performance, they release their exploits on the internet. Later featured at the Cannes film festival.
6. Sunderland’s supporting catchment area contains four of the UK’s top ten obesity black
spots. It therefore came as little surprise that an NHS survey officially declares them the fattest supporters in the Premier League. Such is the body mass at the SoL on match-days that scientists fear they’re creating their own gravity which is interfering with the alignment of the planets in the solar system. Thankfully [insert name of any manager in the last 30 years] ‘s brand of football has helped scientists mitigate the risk by ensuring as many people stayed away as possible.
7. You’d have thought that being officially the fattest supporters in the Premier, would also make them rather jolly. Well not according to Onepoll.com. In a survey of 3,000 premier league fans, Sunderland are perceived as being amongst the most unfriendly fans in England. The absence of a sense of humour must make supporting Sunderland particularly tough. However whilst they’re unable to laugh at themselves, the rest of the country more than make up the shortfall.
8. Talk to any SAFC supporter and they’ll assertively claim that their club is universally adored by the rest of the country. NUFC, on the other hand, they’ll tell you, are as popular with their fellow supporters as diets in Palllion. This dubious assertion was put to the test this summer when the Trinity Mirror Group surveyed over 6,000 premier league supporters. The results are somewhat surprising. Whilst Newcastle appear to be as popular as pasties in the Bridges, Sunderland languish near the bottom of this popularity league table. Whilst the dislike of other teams at the bottom (Chelsea, Man Utd, Spurs and Liverpool) can be explained away by envy, it seems that Sunderland are loathed for, well, just being Sunderland.
9. Sunderland legend, messiah and all round saint, Niall Quinn describes in his autobiography how he was thanked by SAFC fans for his sterling missionary work in Chicken Town. Whilst leaving Roker Park, Quinn and his wife are spat at by a SAFC fan. Possibly why he later joins the rest of the civilised world in announcing that he “despises” them. Meanwhile Niall temporarily let’s his halo slip and is caught drink driving. Niall speaks candidly to the press about his shame and regret at the incident. Which is unfortunate as the local Garda mysteriously lose the evidence before the case is heard.
10. With Sunderland numbering legendary lyricist Tim Rice and the Mackem Folk Singer amongst their support, it’s no surprise they’re world renowned for the wit of their chants ranging from “If you hate Newcastle, clap your hands” to “Newcastle United ….. Fuck off”. Are they resting on their laurels? Not a bit of it. Their song book now includes “Where’s your Jackie gone?” (Milburn), “There’s only one senile bastard” (Robson) and “We wish you were dead” (Steven Taylor). Ah, those lovable Mackems.
11. Sir Bob Murray rescued Sunderland, built them a new 48,000 stadium and twice took them to their highest finishes in the top flight since the 50s. Whilst he and his wife were enjoying a quiet meal with Mick McCarthy in the delightful Vujon Indian restaurant on Newcastle’s quayside, he’s attacked with a glass by a Sunderland supporter who yells “why don’t you put your hand in your pocket for McCarthy?”. Amidst the blood and screaming, Murray manages to stutter that he’d paid for McCarthy’s dessert.
12. Three figure IQs are as rare as teeth and 32 inch waistlines at the SoL so why are we highlighting SAFC fan Georgia Ford? Well she took the Sunderland stupidity brand and made it truly global. Asking the question on Twitter “Is Wimbledon always held in London?”, she attracts ridicule from thousands of Twitters including the likes of Piers Morgan and is eventually forced to delete her account. The story hits all the national papers and even goes as far as the Australian press. Is anyone as embarrassed as us that they hail from the same region?
13. Sunderland fail to run a CRB check when signing Jamie Lawrence. Unfortunately, he had rather more success in his previous vocation as an armed robber than he did as a footballer. To be fair, the first team coach at Eltham YOI speaks very highly of him. Not wanting to be trumped by armed robbers at the club, Chris Byrne somehow manages to raise the criminal bar by harbouring a murder suspect in his hotel room whilst at Sunderland. The murder suspect isn’t named but unconfirmed rumours (started here) are that it was Harold Shipman.
14. They love a replica top in Sunderland. Weddings, funerals, court appearances, trips to the Metro Centre, parading around Newcastle airport – it doesn’t matter what the social occasion, you can be sure that they’re sporting their ill-fitting colours. In 2001/2, the FA census of supporters highlighted that a higher percentage of SAFC supporters bought a replica top than any other club’s supporters. Unfortunately, many appear to be wearing the same one in 2013. Except of course dedicated fans, Lee Crabtree and David Jackson, who camp out ceremonially each year for the new one. “I’ve heard no one does this at Newcastle for their home strip, so it shows Sunderland has the most loyal fans. Even if we can’t beat them on points, this shows we can beat them on loyalty.” Well quite.
15. Putting to shame the paltry efforts of Newcastle fans in vandalising a solitary phone box, Sunderland fans show how it should be done and smash up their own city centre after yet another home derby defeat. The Sunderland Echo takes up the story of “smashed shop windows and glass advertising display units” with “overturned flower barrels” causing “thousands of pounds worth of improvements”. The Council blame the disturbances for their doomed Britain in Bloom entry.
16. After 3 years of sanctimonious pontificating from Wearside about Scouse pugilist Joey Barton, it’s perhaps somewhat of a surprise that he reveals that Sunderland tried to sign him. Naturally, having actually visited the place before, it’s somewhat less of a surprise that he told them to fuck off. Joe ‘Frazier’ Barton later unkindly compares Sunderland to the banjo-pluckers from Deliverance to his millions of Twitter followers. We understand the Georgian hillbillies have complained in the strongest possible terms.
17. Whilst their team has managed a paltry one win in 33 years on Wearside, we understand their football hooligans have an even worse record against their similarly minded brethren from Newcastle. Disillusioned after humiliations at Roker Park, Shields Ferry Landing, The Ivy, The Wheatsheaf, England-Turkey etc, the Seaburn Casualties decide that police canines in the Central Station would be a less troublesome opponent. Unfortunately, it’s business as usual and they come off second best again. Banning Orders, suspended sentences and tetanus jabs are their reward. We hear the police dogs, Earl, Floyd, Cleo and Diesel, are in negotiations to release their exclusive story to the national press .
18. Historic, aesthetically pleasing, full of character and soul. The Stadium of Light ticks none of those boxes. A plastic, flat pack monstrosity built on an industrial park, it was Sir Bob Murray’s parting gift to Sunderland. Built for buttons (and morons) it’s beginning to show signs of decay already. Famous for their staunch loyalty, Niall Quinn reveals that SAFC fans have written to him that they wouldn’t return until the concourse gets a new lick of paint. Perhaps more worrying however was the sewage system exploding showering Man Utd’s designer suits in shit. Embarrassing to Sunderland. Nauseating to the Manc players. Hilarious to the rest of us.
19. I bet you all think that Sunderland were relegated in 1977 because they were garbage over 42 games? Well let us put that myth to bed. It was in fact as a result of a conspiracy of grassy knoll proportions led by Coventry City. 36 years later, SAFC fans continue to fight for truth and justice over this establishment cover-up. Others just wish cancer on Jimmy Hill. Seriously, is there any club out there who we can call our rivals who are less embarrassing than these deluded twats?
20. The visit of Sunderland to St James’ Park to St James’ Park is always an eagerlyanticipated fixture, particularly for SAFC supporters. They marvel at the shops, the latest fashions and the architecture on Tyneside. Once in the ground, they smear shite on the toilet walls (presumably in some sort of dirty protest at their woeful derby record) and then proceed to good naturedly fling coins and bottles of piss at the men, women and children below. Using the Louis Suarez defence, Sunderland fans cite cultural differences for this ‘misunderstood’ behaviour.
21. Sunderland’s support is not known to be the most forgiving set around. Whilst Steve Bruce famously labelled them “brutal” for hounding him out, he should seek solace that it was nothing personal. For there’s not a single manager in living memory who’s not received the same treatment. Take Peter Reid. Leading the club to their highest finishes in 50 years did not prevent him from incurring the Mackem wrath. Eventually the club are forced to install CCTV and a protective cage around the dugout as Reid fails to deliver the success their expectant fans undoubtedly deserve. Deluded? Nah!
22. Sunderland’s commendable long standing strategy of giving free tickets to local schools receives a blow when a spotty 16 year old in a replica top runs on the pitch and attacks Steve Harper from behind. Ross Miller’s proud father later takes him to Newcastle’s training ground where he apologises for his actions. He’s given three weeks detention by magistrates.
23. Statistics reveal that Sunderland are the dirtiest side in premier league history with the most combined yellow /red cards on average per season since 1992. Known as the new Leeds Utd, Sunderland have obviously deployed a ‘win at all costs’ strategy to ensure their phenomenal success during this period.
24. How can we get so far in highlighting Sunderland’s undoubted class without mentioning Titus Bramble? Testifying at his brother’s rape trial during his stint at Sunderland he states ‘I assume that when a girl’s coming back to a hotel after the club, it’s for sex”. His brother agrees even if the unfortunate victim doesn’t. Titus next is accused of repeatedly fondling a woman’s bottom in a nightclub before sexually assaulting a second woman in a taxi on the way home. The cab driver was so alarmed that he drives to a police station to report him. Giving evidence behind a screen, the victim states that she locked herself in a toilet until Bramble was taken away by police officers. In the meantime Bramble had relieved himself on the police station wall. Staggeringly, despite the weight of evidence against him, the jury find him not guilty. As a result, women all over the country now fear walking through woods in case there might be Brambles in there.
25. From Titus Bramble to Lee Cattermole, the class just keeps on oozing. Lee’s banned from every pub and club in Yarm after he was arrested for disorder in 2008. He next takes his trail of destruction to Newcastle’s Stowell Street where he admits to vandalising cars causing over £4,000 worth of damage with his partner in crime Nicklaus “do you know who I am” Bendtner. In towns up and down England, there’s not a car that doesn’t shit itself when SAFC roll into town. Sunderland make Cattermole club captain.
26. John Oster continues the age old tradition of harmless, dressing room pranks whilst playing for Sunderland. Cutting up suits, rubbing deep heat into underpants and er, …… shooting a team mate in the eye with an air gun.
27. Sunderland do a thorough background check on El-Hadji Diouf and decide that he ticks all the boxes to become an SAFC player. Spitting at opposing fans is a mere warm up for the likeable Senegalese striker in his efforts to be considered the most unpleasant footballer ever to grace these shores. In a dressing room fight at Sunderland, he reaches his nadir and threatens to stab Anton Ferdinand with a knife in front of shocked team-mates. Shocked, that is, that Diouf hasn’t threatened to use his Uzi.
28. After conning the gullible yank that Sunderland will take off, Niall Quinn desperately tries to drum up support through the turnstiles with a series of talk-ins at Wearside social clubs. Niall brings along Chief Executive Officer, Steve Walton, to add a bit of much needed professionalism and diplomacy to the proceedings. Steve decides the witterings of the genial Irishman are a little dull and decides to liven up proceedings – by making a gag about the Munich air disaster. Not content with this slur on the world’s best supported club, their zany supporters risk further ire when doing the ‘poznan’ to celebrate Man Utd’s failure to win the title. And this was the club that loaned them Welbeck, Evans et al.
29. No-where in the Premier is the Americanisation of our beautiful game so evident than at Sunderland. Giant TV screens showing instant replays, a sanitised atmosphere and overweight supporters sporting moustaches. So there’s no surprise that they’re owned by an American with no affinity to the game or the area. He has been the subject of an international arrest warrant and his former sponsorship partners, Tullow Oil, have been accused of corruption in Uganda. Short and the McDonaldsisation of Sunderland represents everything that we, at TF, as well as supporters up and down the country hate about the modern game. Vile.
Note to Mackems – we won’t be publishing anonymous replies from ghost e-mail accounts. Cheers. Aye, we know your not bothered and that.
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Derby Day Memories #1