Newcastle 5 Sunderland 1

“Niall Quinn said that the team “owes its people” following the dreadful display at St James’ Park, which saw Sunderland tumble to their heaviest Tyne-Wear reverse for nearly a quarter of a century”  (Newcastle Journal)

Is it me, or is this an over-reaction? Also, is it a quarter of a century, or ‘since 1955’ (BBC Radio Newcastle)?

I decided to spend Mourning Sunday not listening to the game, so I could watch the game on TV later on. I did not look at my brother’s text (surely news of a hat-trick by Sunderland’s Darren Bent?) But you can’t escape. I made the mistake of logging on to look at an email, and found that Steve Bruce (Sunderland’s manager) had already emailed me his profound apologies via the SAFC web-site.

By chance I’d also (rare event) had my hair cut on the Saturday, the first time outside the South-West. But you can’t travel to Devon just because you like the person who cuts your hair. The new trim passed off without tears.

Monday morning at work in Gateshead. There are four Sunderland supporters out of 70 staff at work, one of whom is in denial. There is a handful who don’t go in for football. That left me vulnerable to about 50-55 others. It started on the ground floor (‘I’m only talking to you out of pity’), and continued up through the other two. Suggestions that my hair cut in penance were rife. ‘Wait for the replay: you’ll look like Yul Brynner,’ added another.

But the winning jibe? ‘You support Sunderland? No wonder you’re a creative writer.’

I love it up here.

P.S. But Steve Bruce should be replaced by Martin O’Neill asap.


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