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Let’s hope for a change in fortunes soon

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Let’s hope for a change in fortunes soon

Post  Argus on 2018-02-16, 2:32 pm

Our current dilemma and the unrest amongst fans remind me so much of the situation just before Christmas 1972. We were languishing just above a relegation spot in the old 2nd division and crowds were dwindling by the week. So low in fact that on one occasion I vividly recall standing with my pals at the back of the Clock Stand paddock to avoid the rain and Bobby Kerr looking down at us with his arms open, virtually pleading with someone to walk down to the front of the paddock and throw the ball back for a throw-in.

Eventually, after what seemed an eternity, the ball was returned and the game continued, but I often wonder what would have happened had we stubbornly refused to move,  would little Bobby have jumped the rails to recover the ball?

We’ll never know the answer, but that incident was symptomatic of the fans attitude at that time because the club was in rapid decline with attendances fractionally over the 10,000 mark and looking like going down even further, given the team poor performances.

Just a few weeks later the Stokoe revival started and we all know the outcome, cup fever grabbed the town (as it was then) and 5 months down the road we were celebrating at Wembley.

What has always made me chuckle though, is that in those days I think the club was allocated about 30,000 Cup Final tickets which should have been more than enough given our abysmal support, but suddenly out of nowhere 50,000 fans emerged who claimed to have  ‘… never missed a match for years…’

Such is the hypocrisy of some football supporters.

I’ve never criticised fans that give up - that’s every supporter’s right - but that cup run taught me a very valuable lesson. I was one of the privileged fans who obtained a Cup Final ticket as a reward for my unstinting (some may say foolish) support during those dark days but I could so easily have been one of the thousands who had to pay well over the odds for a Wembley ticket because they gave up on the club when it needed them most.

The fear of losing out on another trip to the capital kept me in the fold for a further 35 years and reignited the passion for many lapsed fans.

The expression ‘..no pain no gain..’ encapsulates everything about being a SAFC supporter, it’s just so unfair that the scales have been long weighed down on the wrong side for so long. Let’s hope the balance swings in our favour soon so Coleman can see for himself what 40,000 happy fans sounds like.

I think he would enjoy that.

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Re: Let’s hope for a change in fortunes soon

Post  cyprussyd on 2018-02-16, 2:44 pm

Excellent post and yes Coleman would love and IMO deserves at least one loud full house.

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Re: Let’s hope for a change in fortunes soon

Post  lesmac on 2018-02-16, 4:52 pm

Argus wrote:Our current dilemma and the unrest amongst fans remind me so much of the situation just before Christmas 1972. We were languishing just above a relegation spot in the old 2nd division and crowds were dwindling by the week. So low in fact that on one occasion I vividly recall standing with my pals at the back of the Clock Stand paddock to avoid the rain and Bobby Kerr looking down at us with his arms open, virtually pleading with someone to walk down to the front of the paddock and throw the ball back for a throw-in.

Eventually, after what seemed an eternity, the ball was returned and the game continued, but I often wonder what would have happened had we stubbornly refused to move,  would little Bobby have jumped the rails to recover the ball?

We’ll never know the answer, but that incident was symptomatic of the fans attitude at that time because the club was in rapid decline with attendances fractionally over the 10,000 mark and looking like going down even further, given the team poor performances.

Just a few weeks later the Stokoe revival started and we all know the outcome, cup fever grabbed the town (as it was then) and 5 months down the road we were celebrating at Wembley.

What has always made me chuckle though, is that in those days I think the club was allocated about 30,000 Cup Final tickets which should have been more than enough given our abysmal support, but suddenly out of nowhere 50,000 fans emerged who claimed to have  ‘… never missed a match for years…’

Such is the hypocrisy of some football supporters.

I’ve never criticised fans that give up - that’s every supporter’s right - but that cup run taught me a very valuable lesson. I was one of the privileged fans who obtained a Cup Final ticket as a reward for my unstinting (some may say foolish) support during those dark days but I could so easily have been one of the thousands who had to pay well over the odds for a Wembley ticket because they gave up on the club when it needed them most.

The fear of losing out on another trip to the capital kept me in the fold for a further 35 years and reignited the passion for many lapsed fans.

The expression ‘..no pain no gain..’ encapsulates everything about being a SAFC supporter, it’s just so unfair that the scales have been long weighed down on the wrong side for so long. Let’s hope the balance swings in our favour soon so Coleman can see for himself what 40,000 happy fans sounds like.

I think he would enjoy that.
I remember those days well Argus. I lived in Cramlington in those days and never missed a home game and saw a few away games. I was not a season ticket holder so I had to rely on the voucher system introduced when we reached the later rounds. I got a semi-final ticket but not a final ticket so I had to pay over the odds for a ticket. No doubt many of the stay away supporters who suddenly turned up for the games when vouchers were issued did get final tickets.
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Re: Let’s hope for a change in fortunes soon

Post  Mackemneil on 2018-02-16, 5:12 pm

Yes, remember those depressing days, but we never gave in! Not long before that when power cuts and strikes were to the fore I think a mid week match was played during the day before darkness prevailed. Am I dreaming or did this really happen? I am sure we knicked out of school early to go!!!!
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Re: Let’s hope for a change in fortunes soon

Post  Mackemneil on 2018-02-16, 5:18 pm

Mackemneil wrote:Yes, remember those depressing days, but we never gave in! Not long before that when power cuts and strikes were to the fore I think a mid week match was played during the day before darkness prevailed. Am I dreaming or did this really happen? I am sure we knicked out of school early to go!!!!
Just looked it up, 1st March 1972 Portsmouth at home , won 3-2 with a hat-trick from Latham, after being 3-0 up. A crowd of only 8,273 !!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Let’s hope for a change in fortunes soon

Post  oldblackcat on 2018-02-16, 6:41 pm

I remember those dark days....standing on those terraces you could swing a black cat and not hit anyone.... things changed in a matter of weeks and fans packed in...the same thing could happen now if the team could string a few results together...hopefully last weeks fight back is the catalyst we need
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Re: Let’s hope for a change in fortunes soon

Post  Nostalgic on 2018-02-16, 6:57 pm

No one can argue with that post Argus and they were the dire times that shapes supporters who stay with the club through thin and thinner. A quarter full Roker Park was an odd place to be.

About the cup final ticket, I got mine via a Met Police football coach who were touring the bases in Germany. I felt a bit guilty at the time as my Dad who was a long term supporter didn't get one but consoled myself that it made up for standing on terraces at the likes of Shrewsbury, Wrexham or Walsall to mention just about the worst places to go to.  There was an added bonus that I was in the Leeds end and our end of the ground was a sight to see and stays with me yet. Te colour and noise has been copied but never matched.

It has just hit me though, it was the only one out of four trips to Wembley where we have got anything, but nonetheless the trips were worth it for the "I was there" memories.

This has cheered me up a bit and I just cannot think why! like

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Re: Let’s hope for a change in fortunes soon

Post  Hieronymus on 2018-02-16, 7:16 pm

Great stories lads maybe not such great memories for you though eh?  I was 15 back in March 1972 and not even a Sunderland supporter at all back then. In fact my team of choice in those days was Everton due to a school cruise in 1970 and a brief 'dalliance' with some lads from Liverpool! Funny how life turns out isn't it?

I also recall being rather enamoured of a certain Geroge Best (shush don't tell MCFC Sid Wink ) Gawd the memories of those days Laughing

But coming back to today's situation I was ALMOST tempted to go tomorrow but have had a hard week and decided a walk at Howick Hall to see the snowdrops and lunch out is on the cards, before coming home to listen on radio. But the fact I was even tempted shows that I think we have reached the turning point. Who knows I might be giving Syd and Sunders a big hug in the next few weeks  Laughing
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Re: Let’s hope for a change in fortunes soon

Post  lesmac on 2018-02-16, 10:12 pm

Hieronymus wrote:Great stories lads maybe not such great memories for you though eh?  I was 15 back in March 1972 and not even a Sunderland supporter at all back then. In fact my team of choice in those days was Everton due to a school cruise in 1970 and a brief 'dalliance' with some lads from Liverpool! Funny how life turns out isn't it?

I also recall being rather enamoured of a certain Geroge Best (shush don't tell MCFC Sid Wink ) Gawd the memories of those days Laughing

But coming back to today's situation I was ALMOST tempted to go tomorrow but have had a hard week and decided a walk at Howick Hall to see the snowdrops and lunch out is on the cards, before coming home to listen on radio. But the fact I was even tempted shows that I think we have reached the turning point. Who knows I might be giving Syd and Sunders a big hug in the next few weeks  Laughing
I think that the state of things at SOL together with the emotional turmoil that you have faced these past weeks makes your choice of a Saturday walk to Howick Hall the best option. Enjoy the snowdrops, the lunch, and hopefully Benno's rants and the joyous celebration at the final whistle.
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Re: Let’s hope for a change in fortunes soon

Post  Hieronymus on 2018-02-17, 2:56 pm

lesmac wrote:
Hieronymus wrote:Great stories lads maybe not such great memories for you though eh?  I was 15 back in March 1972 and not even a Sunderland supporter at all back then. In fact my team of choice in those days was Everton due to a school cruise in 1970 and a brief 'dalliance' with some lads from Liverpool! Funny how life turns out isn't it?

I also recall being rather enamoured of a certain Geroge Best (shush don't tell MCFC Sid Wink ) Gawd the memories of those days Laughing

But coming back to today's situation I was ALMOST tempted to go tomorrow but have had a hard week and decided a walk at Howick Hall to see the snowdrops and lunch out is on the cards, before coming home to listen on radio. But the fact I was even tempted shows that I think we have reached the turning point. Who knows I might be giving Syd and Sunders a big hug in the next few weeks  Laughing
I think that the state of things at SOL together with the emotional turmoil that you have faced these past weeks makes your choice of a Saturday walk to Howick Hall the best option. Enjoy the snowdrops, the lunch, and hopefully Benno's rants and the joyous celebration at the final whistle.
Thank you Les. You will also get a hug next time I see you at the SOL Smile

Just got back and it was lovely! Am about to open Chatbox and turn on radio Very Happy
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