I’ve ripped this from NUFC.COM, though to be fair, they nicked it from Monday’s Telegraph:
From the Telegraph Newspaper on Monday in response to an FA Cup crowd at the Stadium of Plight on Saturday of 24,966:
Sixty seconds of silence for the late Bob Stokoe provided oodles of time to consider The Great North-East Football Tradition. Er . . . what tradition? Dear old Bob was the last guy to collect any domestic silverware on behalf of either Sunderland or Newcastle. At Wembley in 1955 as a player with United and again in 1973 when he famously ran on to the pitch to mob Jim Montgomery after Sunderland had pulled off the biggest FA Cup final upset of all times.
“What’s that shiny thing?” queried supporters as Montgomery paraded the trophy around the Stadium of Light before Saturday’s fifth-round tie with Birmingham City. It should remind Wearsiders how insubstantial their pedigree really is. What they do have here when you boil it down is a great tradition of watching football and waiting for something to happen. I would never say it to their faces because life is cruel enough when a citizenry once world-renowned for building battleships is now forced to assemble Japanese cars.
The fans are fickle. Whereas the Toon Army would happily watch 11 donkeys dressed in black and white, these folk want blood. Live television coverage would not have reduced a Newcastle Cup crowd to 25,000 as it did at the Stadium of Light on Saturday. The truth is that despite an apparent metropolitan yearning for football, most of Sunderland’s support comes from the old mining areas of County Durham. The city fails to pull its weight. I think I know why. Red and white stripes. Sporting and sartorial death. It has finally dawned on a population of 280,000 that there’s no future in the outfit. It’s seaside rock. Signal toothpaste. Passe.
You could get away with it in the Thirties when Sunderland last looked menacing but you could get away with canvas bathing tents on Seaburn beach then. History shows us that no team in this unfortunate livery are likely to graduate beyond the also-rans’ enclosure. Lincoln City, Sheffield United, Atletico Madrid – you name ’em, they’ve made up the numbers. Why do you think Gordon Strachan is leaving Southampton?
A painstaking dossier produced by Sunderland’s under-cover historian, Rob Mason, reveals that with the exception of Red Star Belgrade, PSV Eindhoven and River Plate of Buenos Aires, red and white stripes have been a recipe for mediocrity. To make matters worse, Sunderland have been indirectly responsible for exporting the virus to Spain. Like many of his colleagues, a 19th Century stevedore called Arthur Pentland did a shipbuilding stint in Bilbao. In between thumping home rivets, Arthur co-founded Athletic Bilbao and ordered their costumes. The Basques not only played in a replica red-and-white-striped kit, but loaned a spare set of vests to the emerging Atletico Madrid, who have laboured in Real’s shadow ever since.
Civic leaders on Wearside take note. Bilbao only built the Guggenheim to divert attention from its failings in La Liga. If you go for the red-and-white sympathy vote, fellas, you might get a museum out of this.