Jermain Defoe’s superstrike vs the Mags: see Art of Football’s Sunderland range at https://art-of-football.com/collections/sunderland


Monsieur Salut writes:
masquerading, until it’s corrected, as one Pete Smith, our own Pete Sixsmith was invited by our friends at Art of Football (OK I told them to sign him up) to write about the Jermain Defoe goal captured in that splendid print of theirs, the one you see above. Check it out at Art of Football’s own site

This season it looks as if the annual Great Escape (cue film music) is not going to take place. The Championship beckons and the absence of the six points that we usually get from Newcastle could well scupper us.

Two years ago we were in a similar position. Gus Poyet had been dismissed to move on to better things in Greece and Spain (he is currently unemployed) and experienced coach Dick Advocaat had been brought in. He had lost his first game at West Ham thanks to a late goal and things did not look good.

Enter Newcastle United.

The Wear-Tyne Derby is, without doubt, the most intense in the United Kingdom. It’s a game that is played out in front of 100,000 Mackems and Geordies – no visiting Scandinavians, Koreans or Americans, just real supporters who follow their clubs in live action and not through the medium of television. It is intense, high octane and occasionally violent and they are the first games that every Sunderland and Newcastle United supporter looks for when the fixtures come out.

Ye olde days, even before Jermain’s super strike

Both sides were struggling two years ago. Poyet had left in March and Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew had departed earlier to be replaced by John Carver. Carver was a former head coach who played on his Geordie roots but who had supervised an alarming slide down the league, putting the Mags in a possible relegation fight.

So this particular derby took on a greater significance than many others in the past. It was eagerly anticipated but there was a great deal of worry in both camps as the day dawned – Easter Sunday, April 5th 2015.

I drove to this one myself. My usual travelling companion was at his daughter’s in Bedfordshire so nobody to talk to on the way there. As I was driving, I didn’t go for a drink and sat in the car waiting for the teams to appear on BBC Newcastle. Then a brisk walk to the ground, following the route of the Northumbria Police helicopter as it supervised the arrival of the visiting fans and their placement upstairs in the North Stand.

The game was a poor one. The nerves showed from both sides. Advocaat had to work with the players that Poyet had left him including Jermain Defoe. He had been exchanged for the wretched Jozy Altidore who had experienced a miserable time on Wearside and who had gone to Toronto in a swap deal.

Defoe had scored twice against Burnley in January but the goals had dried up. His place was in some doubt but the lack of alternatives (Danny Graham) meant that he stayed in situ. Thank goodness for that….

The goal came in added time at the end of the first half. Defoe latched on to a header from Steven Fletcher and, from 22 yards, volleyed in a stunning shot which left Tim Krul clawing at air. There was a silence for a fraction of a second and then 44,000 red and whites erupted.


His goals would have kept us up if only Moyes had got us to defend

It was a defining moment for Jermain Defoe at Sunderland. No matter what else he did after that (and he has done plenty) he will always be remembered for that one stupendous volley and for the tears that followed as he went down the tunnel at half time.

The rest of the game was as nondescript as the forty five minutes that preceded the wonder strike but it was a moment that will never be forgotten. The sight of grown men and women leaping about as the ball hit the net and then hugging each other every time it was shown on the big screen at half time and at the end was something which will stick in the memory of every Sunderland supporter in that ground – and in the craw of every Newcastle supporter up in the North Stand or watching on television.

In the 53 years I have watched Sunderland few goals have given me as much pleasure. Thanks to the organisational skills of Advocaat and even a goal from Danny Graham we managed to dodge the bullet. I fear that there will be no repeat next year and that it may well be a while before we lock horns with the Black and Whites again.

Jake: shows you the way to go home

Tags: , , , , ,

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.

5 Responses to “Defoe vs Newcastle: a moment to remember” Subscribe

  1. Alex April 5, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    obviously dont do research do you gus poyet is manager of a chinese club

  2. Geordiedoonsooth April 5, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

    All you have to look forward to is the past!

    • malcolm April 7, 2017 at 7:37 am #

      Ah the return of the likely lad.

      As the oft heard chant in the stand goes “where were you when you were ****?”

  3. salutsunderland April 5, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

    Next you’ll be telling us half of our six top flight championships were in the century before last. Oops

  4. Pete Sixsmith April 6, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

    Thanks Alex. Always good to be corrected in such a charming manner.

Leave a Reply

Sixer’s Scunthorpe Soapbox: no Lincolnshire classic on a flat night in Scunny

Sixer's Soapbox (featured image)

Malcolm Dawson writes……at half time last night, I sent Pete Sixsmith a text. He was watching the boys in red […]

Lens absent as Sunderland manage only a draw at Scunthorpe

Promotion at first attempt!

Pete Sixsmith was at Glanford Park for Scunthorpe United 0-0 Sunderland. “As inspiring as an Ed Sheeran album” was his […]

Thanks for the memories, Tommy Sorensen. Stoke, Aston Villa fans may agree

Donate to the KidsAid charity supported by Thomas Sorensen at http://kidsaidacrossamerica.com/

Pete Sixsmith bids a fond farewell to Thomas Sorensen, a great Sunderland goalkeeper of recent times, as he puts away […]

Sixer’s Bradford Soapbox: Jeremain Lens a consummate artist

Sixer's Soapbox (featured image)

Malcolm Dawson writes…….Pete Sixsmith took another one of his short breaks to visit a new non-league ground, sample a few pints […]

Vito Mannone’s proud, emotional farewell to Sunderland (fans) as he joins Reading

And as the Countdown stalls at the first hurdle Benno is less than impressed with Don Vito's distribution..

The news that Vito Mannone was leaving came as Sunderland prepared for the friendly win at Hartlepool. In itself, it […]

West Ham Champions of the Premier League (table of season ticket affordability)

Salut Banner3(featured image)

  John McCormick writes: I get regular abuse banter from certain people who believe Anfield is a good value, top-class stadium. […]