A challenge to the boo boys who sully SAFC’s name

albufeiraImage; Bill Lapp

So the season’s a third over, we’ve struggled at home and failed to win away. Steve Bruce’s new signings have proved deeply disappointing and the quality of play is generally abysmal.

Then, you might argue, would be the time for the boo boys to vent their anger at the manager and his team. If they thought it would do the least bit of good.

But what, for heaven’s sake, inspires people who purport to live and breathe Sunderland AFC to get the retaliation in as early as the third pre-season friendly?

Pete Sixsmith heard from a friend present at last night’s (apparently) unimpressive 1-1 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion in Albufeira that Bruce and Titus Bramble, seated next to each other, were subjected to “dog’s abuse from some so-called Sland supporters”.

As Rob Hutchison put it in a comment to the piece about Bramble’s imminent signing: “Now is not the time to judge Bruce. Booing last night in Portugal and chucking out abuse was a disgrace. Once the transfer window has closed then it will be time to judge on players wearing the shirt on (a) Saturday, and performances.”

And Bob Stokoe’s Hat, at the Ready To Go, Pure Football message board, adds: “A group of a***holes who were p***** and made a complete feckin shambles of themselves and brought disrepute to genuine Sunderland fans who were there. Through out the first half they bombarded Steve Bruce and Titus Bramble with disgusting bordering on racists obscenities, an absolute embarrassment! I spoke to certain members of the Sunderland staff at half time and apologised … (it was) confirmed to me that Steve Bruce and Titus and all the other players could hear what was being said.”

Fans have a point when they say that in view of all the money and effort they put into supporting their club, they are fully entitled to voice their opinions, however strongly, when things go wrong. But it’s July, not mid-October. These people chose to follow SAFC on the friendly trail because it was going to a good place to be at the height of summer. Can’t they just get a grip and enjoy being in the Algarve?

Peter Reid could have written this article, having been in the receiving end of similarly ill-tempered, and I would say mindless, abuse on an overseas pre-season trip several seasons ago.

But I don’t know what he – or Bruce – would make of the way I intend to conclude these thoughts: Salut! Sunderland is willing to publish a reasoned riposte by anyone willing to come forward, take responsibility for and justify giving such grief to the manager and a likely new recruit who must have been left wondering what he’s letting himself in for.

The e-mail address is towards the top of the lefthand column. I don’t expect to be knocked down in the rush.


Colin Randall

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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.

16 Responses to “A challenge to the boo boys who sully SAFC’s name” Subscribe

  1. Paul July 22, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    I think the comment from the message board best sums it up…..p!$$3d ar$0l3$. These people need to get real about a) the reality of the quality of player we are as yet able to attract to the SoL – Bramble had an outstanding season or two under Bruce and will be fine for us on that form – to think we are going to attract players who are currently playing in or wanted by Champions League teams is plain stupid, and b) be honest with themselves that they’re not really SAFC fans, cos true fans wouldn’t behave like that.

  2. DaveyB July 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    Having been to the last 2 pre-season trips , Amsterdam last year and Portugal the previous year , I thought the Sunderland fans behaved exremely well . Saying that – anyone who still had any energy left for abuse , after climbing 5,000 steps in the Ajax Stadium , is a fitter guy than me , but een then they were too far away from the benches to be heard .
    It’s always the same – a small minority – too much drink – acting like total p**cks – ; they are best left ignored .

  3. Keith Hutton africa July 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Bramble could end up being the bargin of the season, great passer of the ball with either foot, struggled at N’cstle when facing his own goal and that caused an endless stream of ricketts but Bruce put that right at Wigan, Bruce knows the player and wants him isn’t that enough. If he is being abused before he kicks a ball, I hope he has a great start and wins the crowd over, or we will once again be disgraced by our so called loyal fans

  4. Tony July 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    Why even let drunks into the ground. We all know the old maxim, ” instant a–hole just add alcohol.”

  5. David July 22, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    I’ve never been one to use the excuse ‘they pay their money…’ for loutish behaviour; I hate to hear managers and players say it and would much rather have them condemn it outright.
    If I feel embarrassed by our own players being abused, how must those closest to the player feel (team mates and SB).
    The new lads must be wondering what they have walked into.

    This incident and others like it would be so disheartening if it weren’t for the fact that there’s so much to be positive about at our club now – more than for many years – we’ve made so much progress in a very short time, SB is an excellent man and Titus might well prove to be a brilliant buy.
    Glass half full.

  6. malcolm July 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    I am proud of my North East roots and Sunderland fans in general – especially at away games. I have been on pre season trips to Denmark, France and Holland and had great times. But it has to be said that are a few ****holes who latch on to any team and their bigoted, small minded, aggressive and totally negative approach to life in general, never mind the club, can fill me with despair. Not at the club or its supporters but that, in the 21st century, we still produce adults who are filled with bile and loathing and who take a positive pride in aggressively and overtly demonstrating their hatred. One thing is certain – these are not Sunderland supporters. They are sad shallow people with sad shallow lives for whom SAFC is just a convenient vehicle they can use to give some focus to their existence.

    Bramble may not have been top of my wish list (neither is David James come to that) but let’s see what he can do first. To the pond life not only is he an ex Mag but he is black as well giving them twice the reason to spew their vitriol. I can’t agree that the best thing to do is ignore them. I would hope in the UK at least fans could rely on a quick word to stewards and/or police to implement club policy and eject or arrest the perpetrators. Unfortunately, there is always the fear that standing up to them individually could result in assault and injury and although that may be wimping out, that’s why there are stewards and police inside grounds. If the majority of fans made it clear that these attitudes are unacceptable, backed up by effective policing and stewarding, then maybe we could rid the game of these idiots. Unfortunately we will never rid humankind of them.

  7. Tom Lynn July 22, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    At an exciting, positive time when so many people are trying to take SAFC forward, not least Messrs Quinn, Short and Bruce, the morons in Portugal who have allegedly handed out crude, hurtful and inane abuse to the manager, Titus Bramble and whoever else their immature wrath was directed at, should hold their thick heads in shame for a long, long time. They should ask themselves what they hope to achieve, who they think they are impressing with their guttersniping and how the recipients feel. Most of all they should ask “Am I contributing to SAFC’s future success?” [answers on a postage stamp]. We all have our moments at games, the emotion is part of the experience but what has apparently gone on in Portugal needs stamping out now and if that involves strong-minded fans out there ‘policing’ their own, then so be it. We are Sunderland, not scum.

  8. Shuan Rider July 22, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    Allowed in the interests of care in the community, and encouragement to the hard of thinking – however, charity has its limits and subsequent posts (equally illiterate, charmless and moronic) have been deleted

    JUST SHOWS WHAT RETARED BUNCH BUNCH OF PEOPLE YOU stupid ****ING SUNDERLAND FANS HOPE YOUS GET RELGTION NEXT SEASON THEN WE aLL LAUGH AT YOU **** YOUS ALL SUNDERLAND BASTARDS

  9. Tony July 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    I wonder if alcohol was part of that last post? If not it should be treated with the childish contempt it deserves.

  10. Terry McLoughlin July 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    Poor Shuan, must be difficult typing with your big toe on a broken keyboard but I get the message.

    We’ve all been round the buoy enough times to know exactly what type of cretin follows every football team. Can’t handle the drink, strength in numbers, and sadly, usually blokes old enough to know better. Great role models for their kids. I’d get a thick lug from the people that took me to my first games for that behaviour.

    I don’t know what the clubs can do about it. Take a stance? Damned if they do. Damned if they don’t.

    Individuals? Who’s going to risk aggro from someone, so pissed he doesn’t know where he is, or his mates.

    You only have to stand at the urinals of any pre-match pub and listen to the conversations behind you to realise the sort of fans we have.

    The players and staff have my every sympathy because I couldn’t take abuse at the level delivered by fans who think buying a ticket gives them the right to act as arseholes. I’d like to do a Cantona on the biggest one.

    We’ve got players at the top of the game accused of treating fans with contempt, and jobbing players getting dog’s abuse from fans. I’d like to think there is middle ground where we all live, here in the real world, but the players say nothing, so we don’t know.

    If I was a delicate soul I’d feel ripped off by the PL, tolerated by the players, treat with contempt by FIFA and its lickspittles UEFA and the FA, treat as a cash cow by the club (premium phone lines for tickets etc. and crap merchandise). But I’m not delicate.

    Not much 🙂

  11. Bill Taylor July 22, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    I imagine Bruce and Bramble — perhaps especially Bramble — have heard this kind of mindless abuse so often, it just rolls off them. I hope so. It’s not worth their losing a moment’s sleep over. The mindless minority, typified on-line by the barely literate “Shuan,” are best ignored and, wherever possible, avoided. We are, as Tom Lynn so rightly says, Sunderland not scum. It doesn’t make them any more palatable but we can congratulate ourselves that we have far fewer of them than many clubs.

  12. Luke Harvey July 23, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    That’s a shame from our so called fans. Totally uncalled for off a player whose reputation exceededs his (admittedly) limited ability.

    But then with Newcastle fans, who I’m going to imagine ‘Shuan’ is one of have no room to wiggle. Having come to my hometown city and sang chants such as; “Raoul Moat is our friend he shoots coppers” and “Who the f*ck is Derrick Bird?” well… I struggle to think of lower forms of life.

  13. Bill Taylor July 23, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    In other boo news: Blanc blanks Les Bleus
    Laurent Blanc, it seems, has told France’s 23-man World Cup squad that none of them will be chosen to play in an international friendly against Norway on August 11.
    Blanc will announce his team the week before the game.
    France’s first unfriendly international match is Sept. 3, a Euro 2012 qualifier against Belarus. It’ll be fascinating to see how rigidly Blanc sticks to his guns. I have a cynical feeling he’ll decide the Cup squad have been punished enough and are fit to play for their country once more.
    Une claque sur le poignet, you might say. Or a pointless farce.

  14. Tony July 23, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    I agree do you think these overpaid professionals give a shit about missing a game?

  15. Luke Harvey July 24, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    I feel sorry for those who did not make appearance in any matchers, and did no wrong off the pitch. They’ve been caught by a blanket punishment and it’s like being back in school.

    “If anyone misbehaves, you will all be punished..”

    ..Because that’s fair.

  16. Bill Taylor July 24, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    The beatings will continue until morale improves…

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