If there was ever a prize for the club that most deserved to be relegated in the Premier League, Sunderland would win it with ease.

A board with zero ambition, no discernible style of football, zero continuity, and fans who have been conditioned into accepting it, there is a lot wrong with Sunderland at the moment. Rivalry aside, the only good thing about the club is the passion of the fans who probably deserve better from the club, no matter what some may think of their other antics.

Antics, such as when the same aforementioned fans flew a Sunderland plane banner over St. James Park last season for “banter”, celebrating the relegation of Newcastle United.

They even had the audacity to do it near the 17th minute of the game, even knowing what the minute was for.

It appears a group of Newcastle fans have now decided to fly a banner over the Stadium of Light, seeing that the shoe is truly on the other foot, with us going up and them going down.

So far, no real issue, even though we’ve usually ignored their rivalry as they were the smaller club, and this is giving them importance they truly don’t deserve.

Personally, I think completely ignoring their relegation would have annoyed them a hell of a lot more than this banner ever will, because it is the fact that Newcastle is a bigger club that can ignore them which truly enrages Mackems. But then comes the main issue with the Sunderland plane banner.

The chosen message is:

“UNITED BY CANCER, DIVIDED BY LEAGUES.”

I do not personally know any of the people responsible for the message which was voted on, but bringing cancer in for a banner like this is tasteless, and shows a lack of judgement.

Hardly offensive, but still something that will probably cause some grief to those who have cancer, including potentially the young Sunderland fan, Bradley. There was zero reason to reference cancer in the banner.

It is not some amazingly witty message, as some seem to think it is, but a completely ridiculous one.

There are two things the banner supposedly sets out to do. One, mock Sunderland, two, spread awareness of cancer. It manages to do neither.

We are all aware of cancer and the banner is hardly encouraging or even spreading information on how to donate. As for mocking Sunderland, this is possibly the least offensive combination of words for most Sunderland fans. It’s ridiculous in how much it does not mock Sunderland, and how much it does not take the mick out of them.

It’s schoolboy stuff and the only Sunderland fans that will be potentially upset by this are the ones with cancer, or with relatives who have cancer. I do not buy that the banner is offensive to people with cancer but I do think it is juvenile and completely fails at what it sets out to do.

Cancer is a serious disease, to trivialise it on a banner intended to mock your local rivals does not spread awareness.

On a more joyous note, Rafa Benitez won the Championship, over managers who Newcastle should supposedly have hired because they have “experience”, according to some pundits.

Some of these pundits, even now, don’t believe that Benitez winning the Championship is a sign that they are wrong, and now are maintaining that he should have won it much earlier. It’s bitterness, which makes zero sense, as it is a continuation of a general theme of English “pundits” believing English football is in someway different.

It’s not, the English leagues are more exciting because of the similar quality of teams. One of the main reasons for this is because there is no standout great team in the English Leagues, like Bayern, Real Madrid or Barcelona. No surprise English teams don’t do well in Europe. Benitez and Marcos Silva, two managers of vastly different experience who have made the pundits look a bit silly this season.

This weird desire to mark the English League as different is particularly weird, as there is no need for it.

As for Newcastle, the future is bright, the future is Benitez.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • Jimblag23

    I agree, I absolutely hate the message.
    It’s such a bad sentence and a clumsy attempt at banter/philanthropy.
    The message sounds like both clubs have cancer.
    The only thing I don’t mind is the donating to charity.

  • FatherOfaChildWithCancer

    I’m a proud geordie, but you mention “It’s schoolboy stuff ” in your blog post. Unfortunately I personally feel your article above is ‘schoolboy’ stuff, as it seems what you are trying to imply with your article is that the banner should of been more about mocking sunderland than anything else. Getting one back on the arch rivals.

    What is schoolboy stuff these days is the seriousness of the Newcastle vs Sunderland rivalry. Yes have some friendly banter, but let’s be honest, what do you really get out of someone flying a banner above a game of football. Let me tell you. Nothing.

    What do you get from flying a banner about cancer and mentioning unity? We all know who it is about meaning it does generate exposure and awareness, and as a fellow child cancer parent, and someone who knows of Bradley, knows Frankie, Knows Hope, knows Kian, and other on the childrends cancer ward, all I can say is very well done to those who have prepared the banner. It’s a nice sentiment with friendly banter. What’s wrong with that?

    I’m not one to troll, but I think people in the North East need to grow up these days. There is one thing this banner proves –

    There are much bigger and important things in life than football rivalry!

    • Mel Ives

      I cant believe the amount of animosity that this banner has generated – In my view it will bring awareness about kids cancer and it demonstrates that in spite of all the historical rivalry the majority of supporters are decent human beings with their priorities being right. Nothing wrong with a gentle dig at the Mackems as part of it as well as aknowledging they are decent humans too – just misguided about the Football Club they support. Didnt I read somewhere that Sunderland supporters raised quite a lot of money for the families of our two supporters who were killed in the plane crash caused by Russian/Ukranian terrorists – which I think is a case in point.

    • GToon

      Well said.

  • TOPLAD189

    It’s crass and should be stopped. Simple as that

  • Bigredcat

    I completely agree with these comments. I work in the NHS with patients suffering from cancer and while I do encounter a lot of humour from those people, I can’t see how anyone could consider linking their disease with something as inconsequential as Sunderland being relegated. Give all the money to a cancer charity and forget about the banner.

  • Rob Jewitt

    It’s a bad sign. If anything, a positive message about the regions support for cancer victims – without any mention of the rivalry – would have been the best thing to do. Rise above. Literally.

    • TOPLAD189

      there is no justification in tying a dig about our rivals to a message about cancer It should be stopped, and will embarrass us a fanbase

  • Wor Monga

    I agree…it means nothing to either the traditional club rivaly or a message of support for those unfortunately dealing with the disease…quite frankly, it’s just a waste of time and money, and IMO won’t mean anything to the obviously educationally challenged mackems who still support that club..

    …it would have been better to make a donation to one of the local hospitals, and just let Scumberland fade away into the division that they should have gone to, years ago!!!

  • Taz

    That sign is bollox

  • Vince Humble

    It’s horrible bad taste, have some class for God’s sake

  • Gary Linney

    I agree with this article. This banner is a poor response simply to retaliate to the mackems ‘cheap’-shop banner… BIG deal – leave them to it!
    I’d like to see us being better than that. By all means retaliate… but let’s donate to a cancer charity for the bairns and get that in the local/national press rather that schoolboy prank banners!
    Now THAT would be a worthwhile response!
    HTL!!!

    • Porciestreet

      Why not designate just one match per season (once the fixtures are out so as to guarentee a full house) and have the whole crowd donate 1Pound each to the cancer unit at the RVI. And whenever you see a mackem, just smile at them and they will know that you know your’e really p!55!ng them off. Revenge is best served Ice Cold.

  • Mark Davies

    I think the whole idea of a banner lowers us to their level to start with and the message on it is tripe.

    Id love to think the organisers will pull it at the last moment but I suspect not, especially now that the seemingly attention seeking Mr Curry got his pic in the chron and was even described as “Mega Fan”.

    Im all one for banter and even more so for supportig charity and cancer awareness. This is a crass attempt at both.

  • Toonbadger

    Hear Hear

  • Wheez keys

    I totally agree. This banner is ridiculous. Either mock the mackems OR fly a message of support for young Bradley and all cancer sufferers. The mackems will be as bemused as i am regards this

  • benton mag

    its a bit of fun I would put a hell of lot worse on hate sunlund

    • Jimblag23

      Eh?

  • BinTanG

    This article is a bit too much to be fair. Just pure negativity. This banner will bring awareness to cancer and it has raised alot of money for cancer… which is fantastic as it will be going for good cause.

    We all know someone or someone that knows someone that has experienced cancer. The banner is not mocking people with cancer.. all it is saying is.. regardless of who we are… we are united! Joined together for a common purpose or by common feelings. Togetherness!

    Whats wrong with that? Bad? Distasteful? Arragant? Intimidating? Provocative?

    Yes we are indeed united by cancer. And indeed we are divided by leagues.

    Seriously get a grip. No need to be so miserable and make a big deal out of nothing.

    • TOPLAD189

      It’s not a b”big deal out of nothing” it’s a pathetic banner that is in one breath mentioning cancer and the next having a dig at SAFC. It’s absolutely moronic.

      • BinTanG

        You have a point.. everyone has an opinion and i respect that.

      • Contisertoli

        The butthurt over this banner is incredible.

        • TOPLAD189

          lol “butthurt” grow up

  • texfitz

    We should’ve shown more restraint and donated the entire amount to charity. A grand totally wasted in my opinion!

    • Tynewalker

      Spot on.

  • shellington

    Absolute waste of time, money and energy. The response to Sunderland AFC being relegated should be exactly what it deserves “nothing”, not the slightest recognition of it’s importance to Newcastle United because it has none.

    That lot down the road have got some serious problems, there is a very real possibility of them tumbling down the divisions and into bankruptcy.

    Show some class, sit back and let them fester.

    • jarra

      It pistes me off that someone thinks we should pay attention to stuff like this, or even thinks they will accumulate social ‘cred’ by stoking ‘banter’ like this up. I honestly don’t even think about Sunderland.

    • owensje

      While i am not for the Message itself,it is never a waste of money if it helps children battling a horrible disease

  • TOPLAD189

    If the person flying it has read the comments, surely they can see the negative reaction. Just pull it and dontate the money to the kids. FFS

    • Jezza

      I agree entirely. I fully support donating money to such a worthy cause but there should be no banner whatsoever. The whole idea of the banner came about from certain Newcastle fans choosing to lower themselves to the level of the more idiotic element of the Sunderland support. Donations are great but as for the banner all I can say is not in my name.

  • Brian Standen

    Everyone to their own, but anything that raises funds for charity is fine by me, people say that the whole amount could have gone to the charities if no banner was made, however without the banner that would not have happened.
    And oh yeah I have had first hand experience ( as have a lot of folk) of the dreaded ‘Big C’ and I welcome anything that raises funds ( awareness is already well documented).

  • Steve Smith

    Maybe the people who see this in the media and get outraged can put their hands in their own pockets and donate.

    Though I personally don’t agree with the flyover or the message, without either there wouldn’t have been money in the first place. And if this draws attention, good it bad, at least there’s visibility to raising money for a worthwhile cause.

    • TOPLAD189

      donate to what? how do you know people don’t donate to cancer charities? I’m sure plenty do.

      • Steve Smith

        They’re hardly going to be donating money to this collection if they’re moaning about it.

        • TOPLAD189

          what? so the only avenue to donate money is to a crass plane banner. Rubbish. What are you on about? There’s absolutely loads of cancer charities.

          • Steve Smith

            Good straw man argument.

  • Leicester Mag

    Stupid idea start to finish. Repeating a joke is crass and this banner is cringable. A class act would be to just donate the money.

  • Ryan Nd Gemma Keedy

    Agreed we should have showed our class and not done anything.

  • Mayor Vaughn

    Wholeheartedly agree, i don’t doubt the lads that are doing this have the best of intentions but i find the whole thing very distasteful.

  • HappyToons

    It might have been better to scrap the banner altogether and just bomb them with cheesey chips, it would be easy to parachute a packet down and watch the riot over who gets to keep the packet. There’s a place for attention drawn to Cancer and a whole host of other worthy and serious issues, but it doesn’t have to be done like this as it has already been done throughout the national media FIRST and via SAFC and NUFC. We could clap our hands permanently for 90 minutes if we wanted to remember all those who are deemed worthy, but it probably shouldn’t have found its way into St James’ Park as there are better ways to remember, and my hands hurt. Like writing RIP on message boards, it is usually a meaningless activity for the majority and clapping doesn’t make it more meaningful. Either scrap the banner or go back to what local rivalry is all about and do something that brings a smile to the face. If we want to support worthy causes then let not your left hand know what your right hand doeth and give 10% annually of your annual wage! NUFC can still publicise worthy causes and we can sill support them, the real ignorance is that people think such a Cancer banner is needful!!!! The killjoys wrecked the effort at a bit if fun, now we have some politically correct ‘spin’ that just seems to be like a party political broadcast …just doing the right thing in the eyes of the people.

  • Grahame Johnson

    I go to 2 matches a season at sos with very good Friend’s spurs and Liverpool it ain’t fun, alas like most game attending mags they tend not to bother about us as we do them, as the game in January proved as I was asking how the toon got on and hadn’t celebrated any goals a few Liverpool fans did though. The bloke said to me your not a mag are you, it has caused me grief many a time in the past (1980s) as I said yeah and a cracking chat happened. His gripe about the toon was McNamee swinging on the bar at roker park, let the trolls and key board warriors spout their bile. The walk over the bridge past tacky tat sellers, sweet and pop stalls and dodgy food vans, sort of makes me miss Keegan’s hot dog stands and the silk scarf sellers at the toon in the 70s

  • Alice3146

    As a Mackem season-ticket holder we deserve almost everything the Mags want to throw at us. It was our turn last year. ‘Almost everything.’ This banner doesn’t demean Sunderland club or fans – it demeans Newcastle fans who subscribe to it. Unbelievably sad and unnecessary.

    • BinTanG

      Why are you checking our forum/News/posts?
      Just being a little nosey?
      No problem.. do enjoy :)

      • Alice3146

        It came up on Google Alert. Thought it was an Evening Chronicle article tbh. D’oh.
        Haway, give us a break. We aren’t as clever as you lot.

        • BinTanG

          yeh no problem. With good heart I hope sunderland make it back. The Darby’s are always special. And for “give us a break” no problem. We enjoyed the championship. Hope you enjoy it too :)

      • TOPLAD189

        why, he’s absolutely right

  • Lee173

    Stuff the mackems not interested in them one bit, we should have flown the plane over our own ground, showing how we appreciate the hard work our players and manager have done.

    • Paul Busby

      That would have been much better!

  • jarra

    So sad. They have no esteem for the club.. I personally don’t even think about Sunderland. Can they not see that the elephant cant see the ant, but the ant can see the elephant? They have to be one sandwich short of a picnic IMO.

  • GToon

    People go sky diving, jump off bridges, bike across countries, run for miles and all in the hope of raising money for people with cancer. They do it with a smile on their face and with the best of intentions. I personally couldn’t care less if somebody flew a plane over our ground every week saying we will never win anything again if it raised money to combat a disease that ruins countless people’s lives. I’m sure the people receiving the cheque won’t mind one bit how the money was earned as nobody got hurt and I very much doubt if anybody really got offended either. Just like the flag currently on top of Mt Snowdon that has Everton and Sunderland badges together the banner is suggesting that our two clubs are united against cancer. Is that a bad thing? The final comment makes a mildly humourous reference to their current plight and responds, if you like, to their plane banner. So who’s really offended? And as for all of these comments saying how we don’t care about them. What?! After our result theirs is the first I look for. I hope they lose every week. The two games against them are the most important of the year. Lets not be silly about this. They are our biggest rival and to say otherwise is daft. Likewise we are for them, hence the banners, the celebrations, the songs etc etc. Anybody who has been to a derby game will know just how much it means to both sets of fans. So fly banners, hang up posters, do whatever…..nobody gets hurt and a worthwhile charity gets a contribution.

  • Fatherofchildwithcancer

    Look, everyone is getting so worked up about this banner and what it should of said, how it doesnt do this or that.
    The real message behind it is to show a bit of unity between the clubs for a group of children battling something they should never of been given at the beginning of their lives nevermind reaching the end of their lives. Some of which havent had good news of late and should be shown some respect as that is exactly what this is – a mark of respect. The banner isnt asking for donations, just demonstrating two rival clubs coming together to show respect for that group of kids as they all know each other and support both teams.
    Thats where it should end. you have no idea what they have been through. Its not about the message or the rivalry.
    Bradley/frankie/hope/kian and other deserve that respect. It was a nice idea for them and now seems very negative which i know will upset them.

    Oh and The Mag knew what they were doing writing this article to cause controversy and get maximum exposure through traffic to the page. Why dont they donate their advertising revenue for all the traffic generated to those kids???

    • benton mag

      Here here totally agree with everything you say end of all the nonsense below good luck o you and your family

  • Mrkgw

    The whole banner thing is pathetic. It makes us no better than they were in originally flying the thing which at the time, summed that lot to a tee. Perhaps the bunch of idiots behind the idea this time might wish to change allegiances and wear the red and white shirt next season as for me, they do not represent the good name of NUFC.

  • owensje

    I don’t get offended easily,at first misinformation got me offended,as someone who had had cancer steal all of my grandparents,I helped my dad and uncle care for my Grandpa and Grandma Owens who both had cancer,Grandpa trying to reach his gun to kill himself,going from his lungs to his Bones both he and my Grandma were in a coma the last week of their lives,It was horrible to see them waste away from the strong people they were,it’s still hard.But today i feel like it helped raise money for Cancer,hopefully helping those children,I think we Newcastle Supporters have more class than taking a swipe at a club(which i hate) at the same time trying to raise awareness for cancer,not together,do them seperate,But hey,I may be in the minority here.

  • gallowgate26

    I agree that it’s a really poor banner. It is not witty at all and gives the impression that we think we are morally superior. Everyone knows that money has been raised for charity through it, including Sunderland fans. They should have just gone the whole hog with a witty message. It’s just a bit of fun at the end of the day and they would do exactly the same (and have).

  • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

    Tasteless….. & easy excuse for a dig at the Mackems. We’re better than that?!

    • Anni Selby

      I have no complaints,we did in the sky last season about your relegation last term,we deserve what got this season,like you did last term.These are the same answers you mags are doing right now,putting statements up in the air is not surisping you reponding back to us,Is a example you did not like itas we do this time,get over it,move on,It,s not the end of the world by all means for SAFC.