April 17th 2006
Stadium Of Light,sunderland
(score 1-4 att.40,032)
Revist-1st visit- Ground No.76- sunderland 1v1 Newcastle Utd-21st April 2001, FA Premiership
This was my fourth(and most enjoyable) visit to the Stadium Of Light.Not only was it memorable for the score,but it was also to witness the last competitive appearance and goal from the legend Alan Shearer.
Football fans in general love the big Derby games,when the season's fixtures are released in the summer it's the first games they look for,I do the same thing myself,and look out for the matches with the makems,but it's not with excited anticipation but with dread.I hate the Tyne-Wear Derby more than anything,and not just in football terms but in my life itself.Football is supposed to be an enjoyable experience in both playing and spectating,but I get no enjoyment from being in the SoL surrounded by forty-odd-thousand makems,filled with hatred towards their neighbours from Tyneside.
I keep hearing on local radio stations from fellow Toon supporters saying how they hope sunderland return to the Premiership so we can have the Derby's back,well in the words of Alan Brazil.."Wheyy,tell me wheyy"because personally I would be quite happy to never play sunderland again,so I don't have to go through those nerve racking 90 odd minutes.I can't imagine sunderland supporters somehow saying the same sort of thing if the roles were reversed.
Throughout last season I was adamant I wouldn't be going to the away derby,mainly because we haven't lost on Wearside for 26 years,not since I witnessed little Stan Cummins netted a late winner in a 2nd Division clash in Easter 1980.My thinking was we are due to lose this time and I couldn't bare to be there to see it.When the time came to apply for my ticket,I reluctantly send for it and when it arrived,I had that usual sick feeling in my stomach.I had many offers from many fans asking if I'd sell it,and I said no,even though I didn't know why,am I a glutting for punishment? A masochist or something?
As it turned out it was one of the most memorable football occasions I've been fortunate to witness.Winning 4-1,yes 4-1 I've waited all my life to see us hammer sunderland,but it didn't look that way in the first half.United were shocking in that opening 45 minutes and if it was possible I would have gone home,but once we equalised there was only going to be one winner.The four goals were all special,firstly Michael Chopra's first Premiership goal with his first touch of the ball,10 seconds after coming on as a sub.This was followed by Shearers last ever goal,a cool taken spot-kick.The best of the lot,little Charlie Zogs mazzey run and finish,and then remarkably a goal from Albert Luque,this was the stuff that dreams are made of! ;)
The win still hasn't changed my opinion,I know we'll meet again,don't know where,don't know when,but I know when it does eventually happen I'll have to go through the same rigmarole again.So seeing us win 4-1,how can you beat that?(5-1,4-0 aye,ah know) but I think this is as good as it gets regarding my trips to the great unwashed.
My record of makems v mags on Wearside is ;
P 12 W 4 D 6 L 2 F13 A8
So that's it for me,officially retired from going to see the Toon in makemland,I'll just have to hide in a bunker for 90 minutes or something and be let out on the final whistle with the good or bad tidings.I'll still go to the home derbies of course but I'm finished with making that trip into the darkside.But..wait a minute...I did say all this at the beginning of last season as well.
Magic Moment - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edm9yDhKFoU