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Soapbox: suffering in the rain at St James’ Park

Sunderland fans remember the 2-1 victory in torrential rain at Newcastle United in 1999. Pete Sixsmith’s memory goes back further to another wet occasion at St James’ Park, without the uplifting consolation of a win … Half term and a couple of days in Lincolnshire, watching the delights of Louth Town v Shirebrook Town (8-0) […]

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Soapbox: admiring FC United of Manchester, recalling our past glories

The latest chapter of Pete Sixsmith’s own version of Notes from a Small Island takes him to Gigg Lane, a ground where Sunderland have enjoyed happy times, but for an FA Cup tie featuring neither SAFC nor Bury … There are certain grounds in the pantheon of Sunderland’s success that you just look back at […]

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Soapbox on beating Aston Villa: Dunne and dusted

It was nerve-testing, but three points took us into hallowed Peter Reid territory (seventh top or, as one wag put it, two wins off second place, two defeats off second bottom). Pete Sixsmith reflects on our victory – and joins heaven knows how many other headline writers in coming up with the Dunne & dusted […]

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Soapbox in Blackburn: hoofing Big Sam and the timid Brucester

There was, of course, one thing much worse than staying in and watching Blackburn v Sunderland on the box: going to Ewood Park to see it. Pete Sixsmith presented apologies for absence from a meeting at work to make the transPennines journey on a wet, miserable night and is grateful he can at least look […]

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Soapbox: a changing Premier amid the Liverpool/Man Utd shambles

Change, says Pete Sixsmith with what he terms “apologies to the late, great Sam Cooke”, is gonna come. Dylan had similar thoughts (“Come gather round people …”). Pete’s belief is that the obscene spectacle of Liverpool FC’s disintegration, and the unsavoury air over Old Trafford, may be symptoms of a malaise that will lead to […]

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Soapbox in Workington on the FA Cup trail

Phrases like “the quality shone through” and “good pedigree” somehow seem out of place when the subject is Workington football club. Pete Sixsmith finds a way of making them work … Regular readers may be aware that I quite enjoy International weekends as it gives me an opportunity to go “somewhere else”. In the past […]

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Wolves maul Sunderland in another Hetton horror show

Is going to watch the Reserves becoming a pointless exercise, in more ways than one? Pete Sixsmith reports from a Little & Large show … Reserve nights at Hetton are beginning to lose their allure for me. After a dispiriting 3-0 defeat on Tuesday, I am beginning to wonder if there are other things I […]

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Manchester United Soapbox: good point, missed opportunity

Pete Sixsmith saw a very good performance, a good point won – again – against top opposition and ended up feeling just a hint of disappointment … At 5.20pm, as I came out of the East Stand beaming at the excellent performance I had just witnessed, I heard the bloke in front of me say: […]

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A Newcastle v SAFC rant: late change, high prices

The police have a hard enough job gaining and keeping public sympathy and understanding when they act with sensitivity, tact and a sense of fair play. How much worse it is when they appear to care little about the impact their decisions have on ordinary people. Let Pete Sixsmith climb on to his Soapbox and […]

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Soapbox in Liverpool: not a fair Kop

Pete Sixsmith had a good day out on Merseyside, watching Sunderland play their best football of the season, enjoying some decent ale and admiring the fine sportsmanship of Kuyt and Torres … The Brucester made the point last night that all the talk would be about Stuart (“Winifred”) Attwell’s performance and/or the looming crisis in […]

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Branch Lines: Sunderland supporters in the Heart of England

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Malcolm Dawson writes….back in 1997/98 despite living in the Midlands I made 43 Sunderland games over the course of the […]

Sunderland vs Rochdale prize Guess the Score. Keep Henderson quiet, Lads

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Hail the return of Guess the Score in prize format – Monsieur Salut is in a slightly better mood this […]

View from the North West Corner: Sunderland U23s v Norwich City U23s

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SAFC U23s 1 v Norwich City U23s 1 For some reason the Under 23s had elected to play their home […]

Sixer’s Burton Soapbox: a bitter defeat at the home of The Brewers

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Malcolm Dawson writes…..I spent the weekend catching up some of my old muckers from the East Midlands, two of whom […]

Sixer’s Sevens: Sunderland ailing at Burton Albion

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Pete Sixsmith was looking forward to the weekend, not just because of the prospect of a decent game but also […]

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground: Burton Albion and the Pirelli Stadium

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John McCormick writes: I wondered how Pete Sixsmith would approach this one, given that it’s less than a year since […]