By Brian Hall
Wednesday 17 Aug 2011 09:32:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles



After my previous counselling advice on how to avoid Derby pre match tension, I have rapidly accepted that my advice on how to avoid it was crap. My girls mentioned the match coming up, a mate expressed his joy at having a ticket, another mate - aye, i do have some - talked about escaping into some remote hill or something, as he is fearful that Alan Partridge could lead us into disaster, and just to end my noble attempt to calm down, I saw a photo of that Plastic Manc Pretend Geordie, Bruce, looking keen for revenge.



I thought back to my first away match. 1969 at a very tender age. At Sunderland. The day the Fulwell End was taken. Others sprang to mind, some glorious, orgasmic, others canny painful to be honest. Home triumph on New Years Day, 1984. What a night! Especially in divided County Durham. The O'Brian freekicks, or was it Any O'Briens? Shearer's last game, they sang Shearer, Shearer, What's the Score, after they went 1-0 up, and they went home 4-1 down. Our Claire went home too, with a small piece of red seat as a treasured memento.


Of course, as in life, there have been painful moments. The 1990 play off return at SJP, that bloody awful 2-0 loss that bloody awful night. That FA Cup win in 1973. But then I comforted myself with the knowledge that one of their gleeful triumphs in torrential rain led to the resignation the day after, and the arrival of a certain Sir Bobby Robson in toon.


All these thoughts not only confirm that my previous counselling advice failed at the first hurdle, but also reinforced that I probably need to see a cousellor myself. Why am I even bothered about a game against the smaller club in our region? It is even a small town, if you recognise the fact that they occupied Washington, Shiney Row, and God Knows Where, just to make their population bigger. As a Shiney man, I can confirm that nobody there, not even the Mackems, say they are from Sunderland. 


No, I should be more mature than spending time thinking about such matters. After all, I have other things to do. Writing a play with a mate, which only me and him will attend. Keeping up my Spanish, in the vague hope that one day I might have just enough cash to return there. Looking after my daughters and sharing quality time with them in the summer holidays when I get the chance, or suggesting they gan and play in the back lane, that is. Reading about the North-South Divide, as that has never happened before in the economy. Maintaining my fitness programme - my Personal Trainer is keen that I put even more effort in my domino and pool games.


No. Enough is enough. It is only Wednesday morning. At the moment, I am on with a History project, and that is more important. And for a change, I can work out the stats related to it with ease. 52 won, 47 drawn, 45 lost. Bit catching up to do yet for our SAFC friends, eh.  


Must dash. Counsellor appointment is fixed....for Five Past One today.




ps   true story. I once had to go for couselling years ago and the bloke was a Mag. It turned out he sat a few rows behind me in the East Stand. No prizes for guessing what we used to talk about.

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