Jake sets the scene


Monsieur Salut writes:
tomorrow, one week before Sunderland meet Portsmouth in the EFL Checkatrade Trophy final, Pete Sixsmith opens a mini-series on his own acquaintance with Wembley.

He wasn’t at Sunderland’s first cup final and nor even was I. We both had other things to do, like waiting to be born. It would be a long wait. Sunderland’s introduction to FA Cup finals came in 1913, our opponents were Aston Villa and although the match attracted a world record attendance of 121,919, it was not played at Wembley but Crystal Palace. The opening of what is now, in reconstructed form, our national stadium but was then the British Empire Exhibition Stadium, took place 10 years later.

Aston Villa beat us 1-0 in what was at the time described as a rough old scrap so would probably have been positively murderous by today’s standards.

The intensity of the contest was unsurprising: both clubs were huge at the time. Not only were we together in the cup final, we were locked together at the top of the Football League top flight. And that battle we won, our fifth championship. Only one more has come our way since, in 1936.

Pete and I missed both the 1935-36 title-winning season, too, and were also absent a year later in 1937 when we beat Preston North End 3-1 to lift the FA Cup for the first time.

But both of us, and especially Pete, have been at Wembley on several occasions since the start of our Sunderland-supporting odyssey back in the early 1960s.

Over the coming days, before we attempt to beat Pompey in our latest cup adventure, he will bring you some of his own memories in his extraordinarily warm, wise and eloquent way.

Ha’way the Lads.

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.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

From MK Dons to Rochdale via Oxford, Peterborough and Portsmouth: it’s a short financial ramble

McCormick's Craic(featured image) full size 640 x 138

It was on 18th June that I put up the first in this series, covering the League One clubs beginning […]

Rotherham: where better to celebrate Sunderland’s promotion?

Click the image to visit our home page. Make reading Salut! Sunderland habit

This time last year, we were wondering whether a May weekend in Southend would be our promotion party. We know […]

Lasses cannot play football. Will the Women’s World Cup finally bury this falsehood?

Beth Mead, the Kevin Phillips of Sunderland women's football*

Who, like me, looked on in admiration at Janine Beckie’s corners for Canada against New Zealand and thought, “let’s hope […]

An evening with Nyron and helping hands for a Sunderland school and the fans’ museum

Nyron in a hat

Roy Keane famously said the less time Nyron Nosworthy spent on the ball, the better for all concerned. He was […]

Page generated in 1.403 seconds. Stats plugin by www.blog.ca