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The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground: (part 2) Cardiff City and the Eponymous Stadium

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John McCormick writes: after 1971-2 it was another 30 years before I returned to Cardiff. This time I drove there and stayed in decent hotels (you know, the kind with heating and showers). Cardiff had changed from the solemn, somnolent city I remembered. Now it was full of partygoers engaging in drunkenness and sin. But […]

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The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground: (part 1) Cardiff City’s Ninian Park

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John McCormick writes: I made it down to Cardiff in 1971 or 2, via the Heads of the Valleys Road, one or more pubs in Aberdare and Tonypandy’s Pandy Inn, but in February 1972, where Pete resumes his travelogue, I was half-way through my undergraduate career and finding respite from academic life (mine involved the […]

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The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground: Nottingham Forest and the City Ground

Pete Sixsmith then (not so long ago) ... he's a lot trimmer now

John McCormick writes: I’ve sort of begun a tradition within this series, of adding material, especially video, that Pete Sixsmith hasn’t come up with himself, although he has provided some great photos. I was setting this one up in advance, hoping as I did so that Pete would include something I could use to keep […]

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The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground: Sheffield United.

Pete Sixsmith then (not so long ago) ... he's a lot trimmer now

John McCormick writes: on Saturday Ed posted on his facebook page that it had been 378 days since he’d seen us win and then headed off to the SOL. Now you know who to blame. But you can’t fault his loyalty. Stony broke, he and a mate once hitched down to Bramall Lane for an […]

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The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground: the company of Wolves

Promotion at first attempt!

Malcolm Dawson writes……the last time I went to Wolves, if I remember rightly, Stephen Elliot equalised with about 10 minutes to go and it was the last time I was seriously worried for my personal safety at a football match. I had arranged to go with a female friend of mine who had been born […]

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The first time ever I saw your ground: Burton Albion and the Pirelli Stadium

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John McCormick writes Burton is one of those places you’re not likely to visit by accident if you live in Liverpool. It’s in between everywhere – to the east and north of the M6 and A5, to the south of the road between Stoke, Derby and Nottingham. It is, just about, on the way from […]

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The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground: Aston Villa and Villa Park

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John McCormick writes: I suspected this would be one of the grounds that Pete Sixsmith counts among his favourites. After all, not only  is it old and venerable, like the man himself,  with international matches and semi-finals galore on its cv, it has the Archibald Leitch connection that he relishes. And there’s a bonus for […]

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The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground: Middlesbrough, Ayresome Park and the Riverside

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John McCormick writes: a few of the old grounds I’ve visited are not around now – Oxford’s Manor, Maine Road, the Old Den, Boothferry Park and the Brittania spring to mind – but what is strange is that I haven’t been to any, not one, of the new grounds that replaced them. For some reason, though, […]

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The first time ever I saw your ground: Brentford and Griffin Park

Pete Sixsmith then (not so long ago) ... he's a lot trimmer now

John McCormick writes: I’d hoped to make this fixture but circumstances dictate otherwise, which means I’ll have to wait another year (or more likely a decade, according to some comments I’ve read) before I can renew my acquaintance with what is probably my favourite ground in all of London. For now, I’ll have to make […]

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Sunderland opponents and their grounds: Sixer’s series as good as it gets

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    Put it this way. Pete Sixsmith gives a lot more to the football-supporting public than he gets back. He collects bits and bobs of beer money, the odd mug or print or match ticket paid for,  but nothing that remotely reflects all he does, mostly for Salut! Sunderland but also in unpaid appearances […]

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The bookies say Sunderland, Barnsley, Charlton, Portsmouth, Luton and Scunthorpe. What about you?

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And so we have it: the fixtures are out. You’ll be getting your fill of dates, and conjecture from all […]

Alim Ozturk gets the traditional Salut! Sunderland welcome

Just a few of Jake's generic Salut! Sunderland images ...

No time for much else, but Salut! Sunderland could not let the signing of Alim Ozturk – our first acquisition […]

Charlton at home to start. Seaside promotion party at Southend to finish?

Just a few of Jake's generic Salut! Sunderland images ...

Monsieur Salut introduces the full fixtures list for next season, starting with Charlton at home, remembers an ambitious pre-match request […]

World Cup Diaries: (4) Moscow en fête as Russians celebrate another big win

Andy Falconer: 'I love Sunderland really'

Our Boro-suppporting World Cup diarist – Monsieur Salut’s nephew, Andy Falconer – changes city. After revealing in the beauty of […]

Sunderland’s Spanish conquest: ‘the essence of English football in its purest sense’

Jake: 'when will we next see sunny times for Sunderland AFC?'

This well-researched and, for Sunderland fans, heartwarming slice of football history was written by David Hewitt, a PhD researcher in […]

The Paddy McNair question and the ins and outs of squad rebuilding at Sunderland

One that was made earlier. Nic, left, with Claire, from outside the Fulwell

This tweet, from a Twitter contact (we follow each other), caught the attention. Well Mr Paddy McNair I do not […]