Those Man City, Hull and Wolves victories: coincidence or conspiracy?

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Lord Triesman’s capacity for suspecting foul play has spread. Was our competition result fixed to ensure some reflected Mackem glory? Where’s Melissa Jacobs, and the transcript of her text messages, when you need her? Writs may follow …

The first stone has been thrown.

From one Dewsburywolf, at the Molineux Mix site, comes the first challenge to the integrity of the four wise men who judged Salut! Sunderland’s glittering Who Are You? competition and, on an aggregate of their votes, awarded the prizes to 1) Manchester City 2) Hull City and 3) Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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“Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I smell a rat,” declares Mr D/wolf, “man with Sunderland supporting wife wins compeition on Sunderland website.”

If only he knew the full, squalid truth. Yes, our Wolves winner, Andy Nicholls, lived in Sunderland for a few years, married a Sunderland girl and made it to 10 games or so at Roker Park each season. “I have great memories of Roker Park,” Andy told us. “I used to love the pies from Roker Pie Shop.”

It gets worse. In second place was Alan Fulcher, whose thoughts on the descent of his beloved Hull City back into the Championship so touched one of our judges. And where has Alan lived since 1992? Washington – “I certainly look upon Sunderland as my ‘second’ team as all of my best mates over the years have been avid Mackems”.

So can we turn to Salut!’s Number One, Martin Haworth, to restore geographical credibility? Not a bit of it – “I ended up in the North East, initially at college in Sunderland”, mitigated by the fact that he lives and works in Mag territory.

Mr Dewsburywolf, and other scenting ratlike creatures at work, may be reassured, however. It will make for a very long posting, but I promised it so will deliver: the judges’ “marking papers” – the comments they atached to each shortlisted candidate – will appear here very soon.

My thanks to every supporter, from each of the other 19 clubs that competed with Sunderland in the Premier, and from Barrow and Norwich City in the cups, for keeping the pages of Salut! Sunderland so full in the season just ending.

Who Are You? is frequently our most popular feature, drawing in readers who support all those other teams, and that response justifies the slog of finding, cajoling and interrogating interviewees.

The prize sponsors – soccerpro.com and When Saturday Comes magazine, have been notified of the results and the winners should be hearing from them soon.

Colin Randall

See also:

* And the winners are ….

* The full shortlist

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

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