on 5 February 2010
For a lifelong Sunderland fan this book provided welcome respite from the tribulations of yet another season of disappointment. In fact it seems almost inconceivable that there was a time when we would go out and expect to win because we were simply better than all the rest. So having carefully rationed myself to a few matches at a time I just about managed to stretch the enjoyment of this book out over a couple of weeks, although the gripping nature of the 1937 cup run did speed things up a bit!
Relying heavily on contemporary match reports in the North Mail and N*wc*stl* Journal ("lightly edited for the modern reader") you get a good feel of attitudes of the time, and that not much has really changed. Oddly, even though SAFC were so dominant, the reports are often critical, never holding back when a player was not considered to be pulling his weight, and referees were not immune from that either.
The book is dedicated to Jimmy Thorpe, the goalkeeper who died 4 days after being hurt in a home match against Chelsea. Astonishingly the team was in action again just 3 days after his death, winning 3-0 away to Liverpool.
Apart from the reports there are short pen pictures of the Sunderland players, plenty of black and white photos and mentions of famous players in opposition such as Shankly or Matthews (although Bob Hesford of Huddersfield, father of the future Sunderland goalie Iain, didn't get a mention). There are also random comments on other contemporary events, from the first release of the board game Monopoly to the abdication of Edward VII, to provide a bit of perspective.
I would recommend this book, certainly to Sunderland supporters, but I feel there will be enough to interest football fans in general.
on 30 December 2009
This book tells the story of Sunderland afc from 1935 to 37.In these two seasons the team swept everyone aside on the way to winning the League Title,F.A Cup and Charity Shield.
An excellent read for a Sunderland fan,oh if only our team was like this now!
All the league tables and statistics are included along with loads of other interesting facts.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone.