I have visited your web site since it became RTG and before that the sites that were an inspiration for it. It’s funny but have you noticed how some people begin a letter feeling that they need to justify their support for SAFC. I started this letter the same way, the first game I went to etc. etc. I don’t really have to though do I?
I presently work for quite a large company and for the past two weeks have been lucky enough to attend a course with people from all over the UK and Europe. It was great to meet lots of new people and the social side more than made up for the course content. On the first day we were invited to stand up and introduce ourselves to the rest of the attendees, the usual stuff name, number. Blah, blah, blah. One girl, Louise, stood up at her turn and after informing us of her occupation and place of work mentioned she was a Newcastle season ticket holder. ‘There had to be one’ I remember commenting to a friend with a wry smile. Anyway after a couple of days we finally got round to talking about the inevitable. We were speaking about the derby at the SOL last season. I attended and so did Louise’s brother. He lives in York and apparently got into a debate with some Sunderland fans on the train home. These fans got off the train at York and gave this lad a severe beating. This beating resulted in him losing his sight in one eye. When she told me this I was stunned, I grew up in Sunderland and know all about the rivalry but for Christ’s sake.
Although the whole thing was caught on CCTV none of the offenders have been caught. I felt sick and still do when I think about what happened. I didn’t know what to say but later upon reflection for some reason I had the idea to write this letter and send it to you. I don’t fully understand why, probably to spread the guilt I feel, would it make things better if people could read this and knew? A couple of days after this conversation I spoke to Louise again and she told me her brother had collapsed after suffering blackouts that morning and had been taken into Hospital. Her parents were worried the beating he received may also have caused it however this doesn’t seem to be the case at least not from any damage to his head but may have something to do with his over straining his good eye.
I didn’t write this to get on my soapbox and have a go but this is wrong.
My wife is going to give birth to our first child in October and I so want him/her to support Sunderland…