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Post  cyprussyd on 2012-08-03, 6:43 am

The place the love affair started for most of us..



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Post  Guest on 2012-08-03, 7:45 am

Now it looks like this, shame really but it was in totally the wrong place, now replaced by houses and flats, and i wanted to buy one before....glad sense kicked in.

Roker Park 2011_06_16_0129
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Post  cyprussyd on 2012-08-03, 8:08 am

not sure what is going on with your vids commo

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Post  Guest on 2012-08-03, 8:14 am

cyprussyd wrote:not sure what is going on with your vids commo

Nowt mate, i havn't posted any yet.

Just at the bottom of some of the admins posts i see a message, only admin can see this, and then loads of numbers and writing.....
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Post  cyprussyd on 2012-08-03, 8:16 am

will look at it

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Post  Admin on 2012-08-03, 10:58 am

commachio wrote:
cyprussyd wrote:not sure what is going on with your vids commo

Nowt mate, i havn't posted any yet.

Just at the bottom of some of the admins posts i see a message, only admin can see this, and then loads of numbers and writing.....


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Post  Guest on 2012-08-04, 8:10 am

Just as an aside is there a Dissappointment Close on this estate cos we certainly suffered enough of them over the tears at Roker.
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Post  cyprussyd on 2012-08-04, 9:52 am

Or let down avenue

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Post  Siddall on 2012-08-05, 12:11 pm

Tried Our Best and Ended Up In Cul-de-sac
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Post  Guest on 2012-08-10, 8:28 pm

No matter what people call Roker Park nowadays, It will always be inside me, met so many people, a lot of them being life long friends. Can still smell and taste the Bovril and Smiths mince and onion pies, God Im dribbling at the thought. A class education, that a school can never teach. I honestly believe that without our team and our legendary ground, the town, now a city , would have been the poorer for it. Its helped shape the lives of so many people, and thats something that the SOL, can never do due to the high cost of being a supporter nowadays. In the Roker park era, it was the working mans sport, now its cheaper to drink petrol, than support your team. Not that folks dont want to. just the costs are driving them away.
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Post  Silvers on 2012-08-11, 12:16 am

Good post....

Sunderland AFC is integral to the 'Town'.


I too was brought up at Roker Park!
Taught me a lot about life.... ups AND downs ... LOL...

A magic era....

Very Happy Very Happy
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Post  Guest on 2012-08-13, 11:36 am

I can remember Charlie Cannonball Fleming having a stinker of a game and at half time the Tannoy played Charlie is my Darling to accompanying boos
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Post  Silvers on 2012-08-13, 9:22 pm

I think he went off to Bath City ...
There was no max wage for non league teams !

Very Happy
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Post  Guest on 2012-08-29, 10:46 am

SUNDAY SUN, 11 May 1997


By JEREMY ROBINSON Roker Park is arguably the last of Britain’s great traditional football arenas . For although she now looks shabby and worn alongside most of her Premiership counterparts, Roker Park was once one of the game’s leading ladies and, today, is a monument to an era when football truly was the working man’s game

. For the majority of her 99-year history, Roker Park was a community focal point, not just for Sunderland’s shipyard workers, but for the sprawling South East Durham coalfield too. Roker is an arena that the majority were always meant to stand up in – the Roker End alone once held more than 20,000 people. ESCAPE And for many generations of pitmen and shipbuilders, she offered the only avenue of escape from the hum-drum of the working week – and the release of all that pent-up emotion gave birth to the famous Roker Roar.

The majority of Sunderland’s home crowds have always stood on the terraces, and this has been crucial to the special atmosphere that big games traditionally generated. Crowds of more than 70,000 have filled Roker Park with a crescendo of noise, perhaps best described by Tottenham Hotspur and Northern Ireland legend Danny Blanchflower, who said: “Nothing I have ever heard equalled the intensity of that wild roar at Roker Park.” While other grounds up and down the country have changed almost beyond recognition, the story of Roker is more a tale of continuity. NOISE The Clock stand has bordered the west side of the ground since the day Roker Park was opened by the Marquis of Londonderry in 1898, as has the distinctive latticework that decorates the front of the Main Stand, designed by the renowned architect Archibald Leech

. Though the Fulwell End was temporarily seated for the 1966 World Cup finals, neither of the ends have been anything else but terraced . . . and the noise has always been legendary,.

Of all the great occasions the ground has witnessed, there are two nights in particular that are remembered time and time again. The 1973 FA Cup fifth round replay against Manchester City on February 24, 1973, is now part of Wearside folklore. If all those who today claim they were there really had been, the gate would have broken all records! Legend has it that the roar from the 51,872 crowd that jammed into Roker Park that night could be heard six miles away when Billy Hughes opened the scoring. Francis Lee, who played for City that night, said: “You couldn’t hear yourself think out there – I’d never experienced anything like it.” Dick Malone, one of the heroes of the Cup-winning side of 1973, says: “No-one who was playing that night will ever forget it. It was a magical atmosphere – you could almost reach out and touch the excitement.

“The sheer passion and the noise of the crowd definitely unnerved some of their players. “Once we were in front I never felt we could lose, and I think the supporters sensed the same thing. “Vic Halom scored one of the best goals I’ve ever seen at Roker Park that night, and you could feel the roar vibrating up through your legs as it hit the net.” The other great Roker night that keeps cropping up is part of the club’s more recent history.

When Sunderland beat Chelsea in a quarter-final reply at Roker in 1992, the crowd inside the ground was virtually half that of the City game –- but that didn’t affect the atmosphere. Sunderland led 1-0 with time ticking away – but up popped Dennis Wise to equalise for Chelsea - and a win for the Londoners in extra time looked the most likely outcome. Sunderland manager Malcolm Crosby takes up the story . . .

“I’ll never forget the last few minutes of that game – when Gordon Armstrong headed our winner, the atmosphere was just fantastic. PRIDE “Gordon and Brian Atkinson were always trying that corner where the ball was swung out to the edge of the box – it’s a good job I couldn’t make myself heard over the noise, because I was yelling at them not to try it, and then we scored! “As a Sunderland supporter from South Shields, it gives me great pride to have been involved in one of Roker Park’s truly great nights.” Goalscorer Gordon Armstrong said: “People still come up and talk to me about that goal wherever I go – even Stan Ternent, my gaffer at Bury, is always on about it

“It really was one of the great Roker Park nights.” Richard Ord came on as a second half sub that night and says: “The atmosphere was always better for night games – and that night it was the best I’ve ever experienced.” Perhaps the last word should be left to Peter Reid – the man entrusted with the task of leading Sunderland to the promised land that is their new stadium

. He said simply: “Roker Park played an important part in my career – one of my great early memories in football is when I played at there as a teenager for Bolton in front of nearly 60,000 roaring fans. “That was the day I really began to understand what is meant by a passion for football.

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Post  Guest on 2012-12-18, 3:58 am

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Post  Guest on 2012-12-18, 4:08 am

Roker Park Kevinarnott19

Roker Park Image-22-sunderland-afc-when-football-was-football-468162374

Roker Park Sunderland_0562_uw

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Post  Silvers on 2012-12-18, 12:21 pm

Excellent pics.

The one of Roker Park with the towering Roker End and Fulwell End evokes happy memories.
Those were the days of 50,000 crowds.
Both ends were reduced size for 'safety' reasons, hence the drop in capacity.

The pic of Charlie Hurley standing over a prostrate opponent brings a smile.
Charlie used to dish out vengeance on anyone who dared rough up the goalkeeper (Jimmy Monty)
The number '5' would be George Kinnell I think. Signed to replace Hurley (or so we thought).

Also in that pic, Gordon Harris , ex Burnley and England winger.
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Post  Guest on 2012-12-19, 10:03 am

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Italians training at rp 66
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Post  Guest on 2013-02-22, 2:44 am

On of the best games i can remember.

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Post  Guest on 2013-03-05, 6:20 am

silvers wrote:I think he went off to Bath City ...
There was no max wage for non league teams !

Very Happy

Charlie did go to Bath City as player-manager in 1958. In 1959, he signed former strike partner at Sunderland, Ted Purdon, who had preferred to go to Third Division (North) Workington Town to staying with the universally hated Alan Brown here. In 1960, Charlie and Ted spearheaded a Southern League championship title for Bath.

I will always remember Charlie 'Cannonball' Flaming for the awesome power of his shots. He was a tall, gangly, awkward player but, my god, if a goalie had ever got in the way of one of his piledrivers, he would have ended up in hospital - if not the morgue! I've never seen anyone kick a leather caseball like that. Phenomenal. Incidentally, we signed him from East Fife, with Tommy Wright going there as part of the deal.
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Post  Nostalgic on 2013-03-05, 6:37 am

Taking all into account I have mixed feelings about Brown now because he inherited a player-run dressing room. He screwed the training schedule down but the old stagers would have none of it. We were in good shape up to about Jan/Feb of '58 then as the older players went down with "injuries" he was forced to intorduce youngsters who were too green to cope. From Feb to Apr we dropped like a stone and under the old goal average system we went down by .032 of a goal. Hard to take at the time but Brown took the blame and never went into kind of criticism of the players who could maybe have responded better.

Without doubt Brown was a hard man but he had built a tiny club like Burnley into a championship winning team based on a youth policy and they were considered better than the double winning Spurs of '61. I suppose our relegation was a mixture of tough management and player power. For me, it was the supporters who got the thin of the wedge - as usual.

He walked out in '64 when he got us back up but no explanation was ever given to my knowledge. Taking it a step further,a good few of the '73 players came through the ranks of the scouting system he established throughout Britain. So maybe his legacy was not so rancid as it felt at the time.
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Post  cyprussyd on 2013-03-05, 6:53 am

This is turning into the best thread on the forum, really good read.

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Post  Guest on 2013-03-05, 8:25 am

cyprussyd wrote:The place the love affair started for most of us..



Syd, that film and song will say different things to every different viewer, I'm sure. So I can only speak for myself. It has engrossed me for the last 20 minutes - I honestly don't recognize the place.

My Fulwell End had wooden railway sleepers stood on end as the outside fence. And what are those pylons - are they the "revolutionary" floodlights? I remember getting those, shortly after Hillsborough got theirs (I think Wednesday were the first league club in England to get floodlights). Y'see, for many of us, the 1950s saw two Sunderlands - pre-Brown and post-Brown. Whereas I'd never have thought of missing a game pre-Brown, going to a match post-Brown became an occasional thing. Crowds dropped like a stone then. And then, for some years, the break became unavoidable - at 19, I was recruited as a civilian by the War Office, and off I went to London and, after training, to places farther afield. I rarely saw Roker Park - or Sunderland - again for the best part of ten years.

Honestly, the Roker Park in that film is beyond recognition to me. There's one clip with flat caps - I remember lots of those. And guys in mackintoshes with bait-bags over their shoulders who'd come straight from the shipyards (Saturday morning was still part of the working week then. They'd leave work, have a pie and a pint in The Pineapple, and then come on to Roker Park). But apart from that and the corner shop, there was little in the film that I knew. Having said that, at 1.04, there is an image which can never be forgotten. At ten years-old, I'd once asked that man for his autograph. He took my book and pen and I stared and stared and stared as he signed his name. It was like Poolie must have felt in the presence of the Pope. Len Shackleton was truly a memory for a lifetime. Well, mine anyway.

Ha! Thanks for the film, mate. It may invoke precious memories for some, but, for me, it was a revelation.
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Post  Guest on 2013-03-05, 11:36 am

Sunderland 2 Newcastle United 2 1950



JACK Stelling saved the day as Sunderland stopped mid-table Newcastle from snatching derby-day glory at Roker Park.

But the Wearsiders’ First Division title ambitions suffered a second successive home setback, following on from a 2-2 draw in the previous Roker clash with leaders Manchester United.

Sunderland had the chance to move within a point of United and Liverpool, but blew it as the Magpies capitalised on a below-par defensive display.

Argus was angry with the home back line when he reflected on the draw in the Echo, writing: “Whatever we may think of certain parts of the Roker team, it certainly has not got a championship defence – against Newcastle it was more a wide open gap than a defence.

“I don’t know what happened to Billy Walsh, but never in my recollection have I seen such a weak display at centre-half in Sunderland’s colours.”

There was plenty of excitement for the record league Roker crowd of 68,004 – indeed Argus wrote immediately after the game that “this was the greatest derby for quite a few years. Certainly, there has been nothing to equal it since the war.”

Newcastle were ahead after just 12 minutes when Walsh blundered with a short pass (Argus commented: “There can be no excuse for Walsh making a short pass when the ball could have been kicked downfield”) and Frank Houghton collected the ball with ease and raced clear on goal before pushing his shot just out of keeper Johnny Mapson’s reach.

Newcastle could have increased their lead, but Sunderland hauled themselves back into the game on 25 minutes.

Joe Harvey conceded an indirect free-kick on the six-yard line and there was a virtual scrimmage as Newcastle lined up to defend it, but Len Shackleton found a way through the crowd of players, shooting in off the bar after the ball was laid off to him.

Sunderland did not stay on level terms for long, though.

Harvey launched the ball into the danger area from the wing and Mapson, covering the ball as Bobby Mitchell cut in, tried to gather it in the air. But the keeper dropped it under pressure and then fell down, leaving Ernie Taylor with the simplest task to tap the loose ball home.

Mapson made amends with a double fisted punch to clear the next attack, then Arthur Hudgell produced a superb tackle to stop Houghton breaking through.

Sunderland had the wind at their backs in the second half and needed just seven minutes to level again, with Ivor Broadis eluding tackles and, cutting in from the flank, driving his cross-cum-shot past keeper Fairbrother.

Houghton almost restored Newcastle’s lead a minute later, shooting narrowly wide, but Sunderland came more into the game and Dickie Davis headed a Tommy Wright cross just over. Stelling then cleared off the line to defy Houghton after he beat Walsh and Hudgell and got his shot past Mapson.

The visitors, though, were denied a last-gasp winner when full-back Stelling came to the rescue, heading away from under the bar after Mapson could not get a hand on Houghton’s header from a Taylor cross.

Argus commented: “Though Mapson made some really good saves, it was actually Stelling who ‘saved his bacon’ twice.

“Derby games seldom pan out according to form. This one did not. Sunderland should have lost 5-3 on the chances of the game.

“With the exception that Newcastle’s two goals came from defensive errors, which should not arise in a first-class defence, Sunderland played just as well as they were allowed to play.

“Billy Watson had more on his plate than any wing-half should have, owing to the deficiencies in the centre of the defence. It affected his distribution, but he was still much better, on the day, than left-half Arthur Wright.

“Dick Davis had a thankless task against the strong man of the Newcastle side – Frank Brennan. The Scot dominated the penalty area – a very great contrast to what happened at the other end of the field.

“Although Wearside supporters may have been disappointed with the result, and some aspects of the team’s play, no one could grumble that they did not get value for money – it was hard from start to finish, with plenty of variety in it.”
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Post  Guest on 2013-03-05, 9:01 pm

[quote="commachio"] Sunderland 2 Newcastle United 2 1950

Jack Stelling was a local lad signed from Usworth Colliery after the war. He played over 250 times for us. Appearances slackened off a bit after 1951 or '52 when we signed the more accomplished Jack Hedley. Sadly, Jack Stelling died just a few months after retiring in 1956, aged just 32.

Arthur Hudgell was signed from Crystal Palace for around £10,000 after the war. His career slackened off around 1953, and Billy Elliott dropped back to cover his full-back position. Then in 1954, we signed the classy Joe McDonald from Falkirk.

Billy (or Willie) Watson was one of only three men in the twentieth century to play for England at both football and cricket. (I think there's twelve, all told, but nine of them were in the nineteenth century. Willie was a classy half-back for us, and an equally classy left-handed batsman for Yorkshire. Emigrated to South Africa in 1968 and died there around 2004. See

http://s1084.beta.photobucket.com/user/cuteybuns/media/WillieWatson02.jpg.html?sort=6&o=5

We lost that title in March or April when Dickie Davis was out with injury or illness, and we had no reserve striker. We tried playing Ivor Broadis there, and it didn't work. We lost three straight games, including one at home to relegation candidates Man. City. That killed us. Pompey and Wolves ended up a point ahead of us, Pompey taking the title on goal average.

The saddest thing about that article is that the same year, Hibernian broke their crowd record - with 68,000 and a few hundred more than us (against Hearts)! Today, Easter Rd. holds 22,000 and is the third or fourth biggest ground in Scotland.
Where did it all go so wrong for Scotland? Very sad.
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