50 Years

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I have been watching Sunderland since 1960, a 50 year roller-coaster ride that in truth has been a ride with few peaks. That 1973 (I was there!) represents the pinnacle of that 50 years is a massive disappointment for a club with the history and potential of this one.

I have never been able to understand why, within that same period, teams from the North West have been so dominant when the potential for success for those from the North East is the same.

To those youngsters on here (you know who you are) who are quick to castigate the apparently miserable, negativity of the pessimistic old fart posters(they know who they are!) I just hope you have more to cheer about when you look back over your own half centuries of following the lads. After a while, like me, you’ll not dare to hope too much, because it hurts too much when the hope is continually dashed.

When we were relegated in 2003 I reluctantly accepted that I had witnessed the best three consecutive seasons that I was destined to see in my lifetime. I had dared to hope as the new millennium approached that this was it, this was our time. We had a fantastic new stadium representing a fresh start and a bright new future. No longer would we be the plucky underdogs or perennial yoyos, we could compete at the top table and would do so for many years to come.

For me that relegation was as low as I have ever been, even worse than the 1987 relegation to division 3. I was sure that the best opportunity we’d had for a sustained period of real success had been within our grasp, had been lost, and would never be seen again. The 15 point season in 2006 (did that really happen?) only added weight to that conclusion.

And yet, despite all that, once again I can’t stop the hope rising….

Do we really have a team who can thrash the current champions, unbeaten in their own back yard, and playing on the back of 9 clean sheets?

Are we really unbeaten against the teams who finished 1 to 7 the previous season?

Have we really bought a striker on the shortlist of WORLD footballer of the year?

Do we really have a 20 year old who’s been at the club since he was 7 about to make his debut for England?

Do we really have a manager who recognises young talent and gives it a chance to bloom, who recognises unfulfilled talent and lets it express itself, who can spot a bargain in the transfer market and have the courage to follow through?

Do we really have one of our finest ex players working his socks off with charm, enthusiasm, clarity of purpose and total empathy with the fans as Chairman of this club?

Has he really been able to persuade a hardnosed, businessman to invest millions in the team and at the same time bring financial stability to the club?

Have I really seen this somewhat reclusive businessman behaving like a real fan, holding his head in his hands in disappointment or jumping out of his seat, arms raised and yelling in celebration?

Please God, can I really dare I hope again….?

Stuffed Cat

Cracking post mate. Especially the bit about dare to hope. As a follower of the lads for 31 years home & away i can totally understand your comments & thoughts. FINGERS CROSSED THIS TIME. PLEASE.


Looking back to the 15 point season, its mental to think how far we have come in such a short space of time. If after portsmouth at home that season somebody had told you that 5 years later all of this would be happening at the club they would have been locked up in a lunatic asylum.

eternaly greatfull to niall quinn, without him taking over im convinced we would have been relagated again to league 1.


I've always had faith but mostly blind faith ...... at the moment I trust the club, for the first time in 40 years of support, and believe there are grounds for actually believing we can do something.

Let's win a cup or go into Europe. When you look at the likes of Bolton, Newcastle and Portsmouth there's no actual reason we can't.
Great post mate. My first match was a 0 0 draw with Port Vale in the cup in January 1962. Over 48,000 there. It has taken over 48 years for the dream to maybe start to come true. Even if we fall back a bit this season, this weekend I have seen one of the the greatest performances by a Sunderland team in all this time. The only way is up.


I can empathise with the op.
We just need to get a canny little run going now and who knows what the season might bring !


Been supporting since I can remember, not as long as the OP though - I have seen more false dawns than I care to think about. This time I can really dare to hope.


It's getting close to 50 years for me too.

Seen many a false dawn: 1964, 1973, and 2001 spring to mind.

A few years ago the idea of any team, never mind us, cracking the so -called Big Four was almost comical. But some of those financial decisions may come home to roost and the problem with being a rich man's plaything is he can easily get bored. (or be thrown in jail in Russia or Saudi Arabia).

There are cracks appearing and who knows...could as well be us in future years (especially if our "not quite as rich" owner doesn't get bored himself).

Man Utd, Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea were all down in the old second division at some point. Nothing is pre-ordained forever. things do have a habit of coming around, even if it takes decades. Teams such as Ipswich, Notts Forrest, Derby, Blackburn, Villa have succeeded over those years..there's always hope. We just have to keep going forward.
As it's never been said yet... let me be the first.

F*ck off... Toon... Toon. :lol:

Oh, and cracking post, marra. Nice one and the answer to most of your questions is a resounding YES.

Good Times, mate.

old git two

I have to agree with everything you have said.

One thing that gets to me.

How much longer will I be around to see this progressing.

Will I see another trophy at SAFC.

Will I once again witness European Football

Will I see kids from the youth progress in the game like Colin Todd

Sometimes on the Metro after the game. It have been know to loss the heed with some of the younger supporters.
They complain about watching shite.

Make no mistake. Supports around my age know exactly what watching shite is like.

But still we return season after season. No matter how deep the shite gets.

We remember the good/great games and sometimes put the shite games to one side.

You get to an age when STID does start and mean something.

However....It is all about being a Sunderland Supporter.

Pissed in the White Bear Pub in London after the 73 Final to the low times. And believe me there has been many of those.

But still we keep putting our hands in our pockets and turning up.

Anyway...One thing remains as true as ever FTM

I've always had faith but mostly blind faith ...... at the moment I trust the club, for the first time in 40 years of support, and believe there are grounds for actually believing we can do something.

Let's win a cup or go into Europe. When you look at the likes of Bolton, Newcastle and Portsmouth there's no actual reason we can't.

Cracking Band
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