Following Sunderland AFC is easy. Being emotionally attached to them is a bloody nightmare. But then, we don’t need to tell you about that because you get it; you’re one of us. We know you’re one of us because you’re supposed to be doing something else now. Obviously, we don’t know what that something else is – we’re not psychic – but whether it’s working, shopping, cleaning, decorating or reinvigorating that flailing relationship, the point is that you’re not doing it. You’re on here reading stuff about Sunderland, which means you’re all right by us.
The world is littered with people like you and us, people whose day to day lives - the bits that happen in between watching the lads – are only made bearable by devoting as much of them as we can get away with talking about, thinking about, reading about and fantasising about a team that last won a major trophy over thirty years ago. We’re all in it for the ride and not the destination, and we’re all on the same side, however tortuous that journey becomes.
At the back end of the 1980s, football fanzines began to sweep the country and in 1989 we were presented with a new vehicle on which to enjoy some of this ride – A Love Supreme. ALS was a place we could all go to celebrate and commiserate being a Sunderland fan. Win, lose or draw, the pages of the fanzine became solace for many of us as we stumbled our way through our day to day lives, punctuated by the ups and downs of more match days than any of us care to remember.
In the years since its inception, a stupidly ridiculous number of Sunderland fans have expressed their love for God’s own football team in their own way through its pages. Some of it was funny, some of it deadly serious, some of it critical, some of it complimentary, but all of it was heartfelt. Even the most biting, radical, critical stuff, written by fans at the depth of despair comes from the bottom of their heart, no matter how hard it is for many of us to swallow.
Times have changed since 1989, though, and ALS has had to change with them. With the advent of that wonderful, wonderful tinternet thing, printed media has taken a shoeing across the board. People now have the opportunity to share opinions, glean facts and download pornography free and at the touch of a button, an opportunity that many of us Sunderland fans have grasped with both hands.
Helping us to do so have been a plethora of excellent fan web sites like Ready to Go, OneSunderland, Sunderland Mad and, of course, the five previous incarnations of the ALS website. We hope that you will find the sixth version a fitting online presence for a magazine that has been, off and on, home and away, part of our match-going experience for the best part of two decades.
So here it is, then, your site...