Heroes

September 14, 2019

1973 Cup Winner Jimmy Montgomery was down the training ground this week, working with the goalkeepers and his presence was not lost on Jack Ross: “We had opportunity to be the first team since 1973 to win at the national stadium and if anything it (Montgomery’s appearance) reminds those players that it’s an opportunity to make themselves part of the folklore of this club, not just by winning at Wembley but being successful this season. Jim watched the goalkeepers, spoke with goalkeeper coach Craig Samson, I think it is important you strike a balance between acknowledging the history and not harking back to it all the time because you need to keep moving forward. You have to acknowledge the past though. It is nice Jim knows he can come and spend the day here with us.”

 

Ross is fully aware that SAFC’s past glories weigh heavy on him as manager when we must first depart League One. “I think the history is difficult to escape here because within the stadium and the training ground there are constant reminders of the past,” he said. “The depth of individual players’ knowledge of the history will probably vary but I think most of them will have a general awareness of who people are, especially those around the club on a regular basis. Most of the time you will find players do have a healthy respect for those who have achieved success in their careers because they recognise it’s not an easy thing to do. Winning silverware at any level is tough going and I think people who’ve played such a big part in the club’s folklore deserve to have that level of respect. When we pitch to bring players to the club there’s a lot about how we think we can make them better as players and how they can play a part in the progression we’re trying to make here as a club but there’s also the facilities we have here to help back that up, the fanbase and the history. You’re coming to a proper football club. Hopefully all these things come together in a perfect storm in terms of your ability to recruit players. It doesn’t always work but I would hope if there’s not a lot to differentiate between clubs from a financial point of view, you would hope that element helps attract players to the club.”

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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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