ALS Programme Column

Sunderland AFC’s official matchday programme, Red and White, is back for the 2018-19 season and it’s better than ever!


As ever, R&W will be jam-packed with everything you need to know ahead of each game, including columns from chairman Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven and new manager Jack Ross.


A rotating player column will also give you an exclusive look within the camp, with feature-length interviews, quickfire features and a Twitter Q&A providing an unrivalled insight into everything at the club.


But that’s not all.


A Love Supreme and Roker Report will be contributing to every single edition, while Salut! Sunderland will also be penning articles throughout the campaign. The popular fanzines will give supporters a voice within the matchday programme, as ALS provide your perfect away-day guides, Roker Report catch up with former players and Salut! provide their take on the latest Sunderland news on and off the pitch. Meanwhile, Black Cat Academy takes centre stage – literally – with an eight-page pull-out providing a unique matchday accompaniment for young supporters. 


Speaking about the revamped publication, Sunderland AFC executive director, Charlie Methven, reflected: “Matchday programmes can be dreary things – it’s almost as if someone, somewhere, around 1980 decided that they should be a certain way and that’s where they have remained ever since. The rise of the fanzines demonstrated that people wanted more engaging content, so I decided to ask SAFC’s wonderful fanzines to contribute a little to the programme. Hopefully, as a result, we’re going to show that the mould can be broken, and that matchday programmes don’t have to be dull.”


ALS’ Martyn McFadden added: “It’s a pleasure to be involved in the club’s programme. Last year we wrote a column for and I feel this is a continuation of the fan engagement that Charlie and Stewart are bringing to the club. We know the away games inside out, and although there’s some new grounds to visit this season, I know Sunderland fans will sell out all our allocations, back the team to the hilt and drink the bars we visit dry, just as we always have!”


Colin Randall, editor of Salut! Sunderland, said: “Look at any decent fanzine or fansite and you’ll find lots of good, witty, original writing by ´ordinary’ supporters. Bringing more of them onto the pages of the matchday programme is such a great idea that you wonder why it hasn’t been tried more often already!”


Roker Report added: “To borrow an often-used term from former Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill, we’re naturally delighted to have been asked by the club to get involved with the matchday programme. For many years now we have enjoyed interviewing former players from the perspective of the fans, and it’s great that we’ll be able to bring the fine work of our contributors to a new platform alongside our own.”


The first edition of Red & White will be available at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, as the Lads kick-off the 2018-19 campaign at home to Charlton Athletic.

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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.


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