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Most users ever online was 328 on 2012-09-14, 11:57 am

Footballer’s Progress: The forgotten book of Sunderland legend Raich Carter

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Footballer’s Progress: The forgotten book of Sunderland legend Raich Carter

Post  Silvers on 2017-08-01, 12:19 pm

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First published in March 1950 – Raich Carter’s 'Footballer’s Progress' was edited by Edward Lanchbery and produced by London company, Sporting Handbooks Ltd. The words written by Raich Carter are, for any fanatic Mackem, mesmerising. It is a shame that many are not aware of this finest of publications, I hope to rectify this by sharing some of Carter’s most profound comments.
In his infancy, the young Raich describes feelings we’ve all experienced as junior black cats:
I went regularly every Saturday throughout the season to stand behind the goal and watch and learn as much football as I could from tall, angular, Charlie Buchan and the other heroes of the Sunderland team.
This is a familiar story for Sunderland every fan. It could be Clough, Quinn, Phillips, Defoe, Shackleton or Gurney who captured our imagination, but as infants we’ve all gawped in awe at our heroes at both Roker Park and the Stadium of Light. It’s comforting to know that we are all, deep down, just like Raich Carter.
Raich takes us through Sunderland’s golden era - his all-conquering team of 1935-1937 that won the First Division, FA Cup and Charity Shield. The Hendon born lad describes these triumphs in jaw dropping detail, leaving the reader with regretful that they did not witness this now bygone era of Sunderland dominance.
In emotive fashion, the cup winning captain describes his teams return to Wearside from Wembley:
The crowds at Wembley, the crowds at King’s Cross, the crowds en route – they all paled into insignificance against the tumultuous reception as we drew into SunderlandBy comparison it had been quiet in the station. Stepping outside was like stepping on to an alarm signal.
Suddenly everything went off. The tugs and ships in the river were hooting and blowing their sirens, railway engineers shrilled their whistles, bells rang and rattles crackled, there was shouting and cheering. It was like a thick concrete wall of deafening din. Then the cheering resolved itself into a Sunderland roar: ‘Ha’way The Lads!’ And the cry was taken up and surged round, echoing and re-echoing through the crowd who spread further than the eye could see. ‘Ha’way, ha’way, ha’way!’ cried half a million throats.
I would give my left arm to have witnessed this outpouring of mass Mackem pride and adulation for a Sunderland team that had delivered beyond the fans wildest dreams. Carter’s words, I’m sure, stir deep emotions within every Sunderland fan. A pang of longing for a scene they can never fully view.
Sunderland lad Carter lived the dream of many Mackems by winning the cup in 1937, and he knew it:
This was my home town; these were my own folk. I was the local boy who had led the team to victory and brought home the cup for which they had been waiting for fifty years. What more could any man ask? My happiness could never be more complete. It was worth winning the cup just for this.
Raich also excellently describes the fierce and frantic North-East derby games:
The match was at Middlesbrough, always a proper local ‘derby’ with characteristically keen rivalry, and play more vigorous than stylishAs so often happens in these ‘derby’ feuds, play soon became very rough and feeling began to creep into the game. Tempers grew hot, and the incidents and fouls flowed thick and fast.
Caught up in the emotion of the game, Carter channeled his inner Sunderland lad and ended up getting himself sent off in what he dubbed ‘My Black Saturday’ – he was suspended for seven days.
Carter then strikes a chord with every Sunderland native when describing a cloud of rejection, doubt and pessimism which hung over his early footballing career. The forward describes:
The manager took me on one side and walked me slowly along the edge of the deserted pitch. ‘Son,’ he said kindly ‘you’re too small to play football. You want to go home and build yourself physically get some brawn and weight on you. And gain some more experience of the game. You’ve got quite a bit to learn, you know. There’s a lot of difference between schoolboy football and playing for a living.’ So back I went to Sunderland to my job with an electrical firm during the week. With a heavy heart, I played out the rest of the season with the Works team on Saturday afternoons, and wondered whether my lack of brawn and height were going to rob me of a football career.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.][size=13]Sporting Handbooks LTD[/size]
We’ve all felt that mundane disappointment of a dream unfulfilled, of having to return to an unenjoyable, repetitive and drab workplace. Carter felt that pain too.
These select quotes from Raich’s forgotten publication do not do the book full justice. I implore any Sunderland fan to try and find a copy as it an enjoyable treasure trove of Wearside folk law. In times when the identity and soul of the football club can sometimes prove hard to locate, I firmly believe that both can be found in the words penned by Raich Carter.
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Re: Footballer’s Progress: The forgotten book of Sunderland legend Raich Carter

Post  Silvers on 2017-08-01, 12:23 pm

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Re: Footballer’s Progress: The forgotten book of Sunderland legend Raich Carter

Post  Silvers on 2017-08-01, 12:24 pm

1937 ... we were a HUGE force having won the league, then the cup.

1957 ..... first relegation...


The start of our rollercoaster....

Cool
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