Sunderland?! I really get often asked, why Sunderland.
There is a quite simple answer: passion!
When I was about 12 years old, I discovered Sunderland AFC in the “Kicker", a German football magazine. And since that time I've been following this club, for nearly 35 years already now. There were times when I “saw” an encrypted play-off in Wembley (including a penalty shootout, guess who wasn’t winning…), only sound and just grey screen.
Then there was the Internet and it became easier to get regularly information about the club, the players and the fans (depending on how fast you could surf in the internet during that time).
I didn't think I'd be here sometime. When I first stood in front of the Stadium of Light two years ago, it really was an incredible unforgettable moment - not only for me, but also for my wife and my son, whom I had infected with “Sunderland Fever" long ago. For two years now I have been coming regularly, first by ferry, now by plane; often with my wife and my son, but also with friends. Because with our family and friends, there is a lot of excitement with SAFC and the matches are followed.
I've been here now quite a few times, I've seen wins (not so often), draws and defeats, first in the Premier League, then Championship and now League One. The first time here my son started crying, because he thought, the team should have won and fans around us tried to comfort him.
Just two weeks ago he saw his first victory, against Portsmouth, with his new McLaughlin jersey on. As being a goalkeeper too, he was very happy. Jon was the man of the match for him (and in mine opinion too).
And we could see our “Brick in the Wall” the first time: Skorzik Hattingen is now part of the Stadium of Light.
Many more visits will follow, for sure!
Also, the English weather has already given us everything here: snow, rain, lots of wind. But this time the weather was incredible. It was warm and sunny and we enjoyed the beautiful Roker Beach even more than usual. A special highlight this time was our first stadium tour, which will remain unforgettable with a lot of passion and interesting glimpses behind the scenes.
I would also like to mention how great and openly we are received here every time. We've been talking a lot, also hearing that question: “Why Sunderland?" The people up here in the North-East are wonderful, open, honest and hospitable.
A very big thank you goes out to the team from ALS-Fanzine/Roker End Cafe. How warmly we have been welcomed here, it is really great. A very tasty coffee before the game, a fresh hot dog after the game and this incredible passion for the club and the life at Wearside!
Next on our agenda is an away game. Together with the Sunderland supporters, we would like to cheer on the Black Cats not only at home, but also as guests.
There is so much to come!
A Love Supreme, Sunderland till I die.
That's the way it is, no matter where you live in this world!
Ha‘way the lads, see you all, we’re looking forward, till next time.