The classic 'dressing room' mug from Guess the Score sponsors

The classic ‘dressing room’ mug from Guess the Score sponsors Personalised Footballs Gifts

Champions not mugs, but without our level of support

Champions not mugs, but without our level of support

Just to tidy things a little, let Salut! Sunderland record the last pair of Guess the Score winners of the season, with thanks as ever to our Weardale-based, Mackem-owned sponsors, Personalised Football Gifts.

Mike Thomas, a Chelsea supporter, correctly predicted the Blues would exploit tired legs, burst our survival bubble and win 3-1.

“I wish I had been blessed with enough confidence having made my prediction to back it up with a few quid at Corals'” he writes, as if the Chelsea mug is not reward enough. “Please pass on my thanks to Sunderland Supporters who attended – I thought they showed class throughout.”

Before that game, of course, was Arsenal and one of our own, Michael Robinson, went for 0-0 and the season-saving point.

This, from his home in the Tyne Valley, an area dotted with rd and white flecks to brighten the dour monochrome, is his Oscar-style acceptance speech:

You may or may not know that Corbridge has a bit of an SAFC connection even though the Tyne Valley is dominated by NUFC fans.

Manager Allan Brown was born here and lived in Riding Mill.My father knew him because they both played local cricket .During the 1960s Allan brought the team up to Corbridge a couple of times to play cricket against the village team ,of which I have been secretary for more years that I can recall . I have one of our old scorebooks which records one of matches and includes names such as Hurley,McNab, McPheat, Irwin,Montgomery and a certain Brian Clough.

You are more likely to know that Steve Bruce was born here in Corbridge at the local
cottage hospital as it was then….it then became a pub and has since been converted into posh apartments .

Steve , I hasten to add, wasn’t a Corbridge lad. I believe his mother was shipped out to Corbridge to give birth as the maternity ward in Newcastle General was full at the time. My late mother was one of only two midwives who worked at the mat unit in Corbridge then, so it was likely that she brought Mr Bruce into this world. Sadly I never got the chance to ask her.

Many years ago I spent and evening in Hexham in the company of a very young Ally McCoist when he was at SAFC. He was staying for a few days with Lenny Heppell, Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson’s father in law, who was employed by some clubs to work with players on rhythm and balance.Lenny his wife were ballroom dancing champions and coaches and ran a small night club in Hexham….The Fandango….which is where I was introduced to Ally one quiet Tuesday evening.Lenny knew I played local football and that I was an SAFC fan so palmed young Coisty off on to me and my NUFC supporting mate for what turned out to be a very pleasant evening.

Michael Robinson: 'was my mother present at Brucey's birth?'

Michael Robinson: ‘was my mother present at Brucey’s birth?’

* Michael on himself: I am a retired local government officer…40 years with Newcastle City Council, and only after I retire do we beat them five times in a row. Although I consider myself a Sunderland fan, I have never been a regular attender at matches. As a younger man my Saturdays (and Sundays) were tied up with playing local amateur football, and Northumberland League Cricket during the summer. So I guess I would get to about six games a year. For a number of reasons I haven’t been to the SoL for a good few years but fight the SAFC cause with my many ageing NUFC-supporting pals in the pub.

I first went to Roker Park in 1964 or 1965 and saw us beat Newcastle 2 -0. I think George Herd scored. A fortuitously timed football injury in 1973 meant that I got to see most of the cup run including the final.

Image by Jake:

Image by Jake:

See our cracking series of End of the Season reviews at

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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.

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