‘As a Newcastle United fan – Well done to Sunderland for their promotion (let me explain…)’
Well Sunderland have eventually done it.
It wasn’t going to last forever and we all knew it…but we have had four great years (on top of their year in the Third Division in the 1980s) thoroughly enjoying Sunderland squirming in the EFL League One.
I had a feeling they had probably been down there long enough prior to the match and so had reserved my quality bottle of Shackleton’s fine malt, for a little thank you to SAFC for the pleasure and enjoyment they have given me since my retirement (*I thought Shackleton’s was more than appropriate as the great Len Shackleton had graced both St James’ and Roker Park).
There have been many exceptional highlights, so obviously it would be impossible to name them all in this article.
My personal favourites have been Sunderland being knocked out of the FA Cup in the First Round in successive seasons by Mansfield Town, the 6-0 thrashing at Bolton earlier this season, plus of course the defeat to Charlton in the last few seconds of the 2019 play-off final.
(*The Newcastle United under 21s also had the privilege of playing the mighty mackems’ first team at the SOL in the Checkatrade Trophy).
I don’t begrudge the mackems their celebrations after the final whistle yesterday and can imagine the relief of having those Third Tier monkeys lifted from their backs.
Alex Neil has done a good job in galvanising a mediocre side in such a small period of time and the Championship will feel like the ‘promised land’ this morning as the Wearsiders nurse their hangovers.
They turned out in force in London at the weekend to show that they are still around and this was probably a good thing for the people up and down the country who had forgotten about them.
The footballing landscape in the North East has changed so much in the last few years both on and off the pitch.
Newcastle United and Sunderland may have been two leagues apart from each other but we have also both had changes in ownership.
Now that Sunderland have had a little bit of joy and success, maybe it will now be a bit easier for them to accept that Newcastle United won the biggest football lottery of all time, when we became the richest club in the World in October 2021.
Our fortunes have immediately been turned around on the pitch by Eddie Howe and we are once again looking forward to star players arriving on Tyneside and challenging in the top half of the Premier League.
As I believe in being magnanimous I want to take this opportunity to sincerely congratulate the mackems.
It was I who re-named Sunderland ‘Humbletown’ on here this season and it has certainly caught on.
Sometimes it is a good trait to stay humble they say and with the obvious gulf between our clubs, the mackems are going to have to knuckle down and quietly get on with it.
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