My First Game

October 18, 2018

My Grandfather, from Whitburn, saw the 1913 team of Charlie Buchan which won the League and lost in the Cup Final. My father saw the 1936 League and 1937 Cup winning team of Raich Carter. My cousin saw the Bank of England team of Shackleton and Trevor Ford. There was never any doubt that I would become a Sunderland supporter.

 

My first match, accompanied by my parents, was on 26 September 1959, a goal less draw with Huddersfield, which we watched from the Fulwell End along with a crowd of 31,000. We had been relegated for the first time in our history in 1958, something my family never forgave the club for. Little did they know what was going to happen in the subsequent seasons.

 

I next went in 1962 to watch another goal less draw this time against Scunthorpe in a season which would end with a last match heartbreak home defeat to Chelsea robbing us of promotion. Since then I've never missed a season without seeing them, although I never went to a home game during McMenemy tenure.

 

On 26 September 2009, 50 years to the day since my first visit, I took my place in the Premier Concourse to watch an eventful and entertaining 5-2 victory over Wolves, during which in addition to the five we scored we managed to gift Wolves their two goals too. That is the only time I have been present to see us score five in the top division. Today a home win over Wolves and a draw with Huddersfield would be regarded as decent results.

 

In those 50 years plus the nine subsequent seasons I have witnessed nine promotions, ten relegations, one FA Cup final victory, five other Wembley defeats, and more miracles and disappointments than I can count. Who would be a Sunderland Supporter? All of us of course

 

In August 1988 we took my son for the first time and in May 2013 we took his son, my Grandson, for the first time the three of us were at Bradford for the recent away game, it was the first time the three of us together had seen us win. Five generations, over a century of support ,the story continues...

 

I wonder who will we will playing on 26 September 2019, for my Diamond Anniversary and which division it will be?

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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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