More England Recognition

Ladies fans will be delighted with the news that Sunderland’s Lucy Staniforth has been added to the Lionesses squad for England’s World Cup qualifier away to Russia on Friday (8th June, kick-off 5.00 p.m. BST, live on the BBC Red Button and on line)

Lucy (better known as “Stan”) has been an outstanding player for the Lasses since her return to the club where she started in women’s football at the age of 16, and won the s17-18 Player of the Season award by a comfortable margin.  Her selection is overdue recognition for her skill and determination.

Could Stan be the 8th player to be capped by England developed by a club the FA no longer deem to be worthy of a place at the top levels of the national league structure?  We wish her luck!

Meanwhile there have been crumbs of comfort against the recent FA structural review in that new club owner Stewart Donald has confirmed that the “ladies team is an important part of our Sunderland family…….. We want to continue the club’s long-standing tradition of developing top-class women’s footballers, as well as giving young girls the opportunity to aspire to play for Sunderland when they grow up.”

Where, and at what level, this may be will depend on the outcome of an appeal by the club to the FA against the decision to exclude them.


As a number of you will remember, Jock Clark, one of our members died a couple of years ago. In his memory, a quiz with Glasgow Rangers, was held. 

A return evening is now scheduled and will take place on Thursday June 7 at Southwark Brewery, 46 Druid Street, London SE1, starting at 7.30. Teams have been sorted but spectators are welcome; it’ll be a good early chance to “chew the fat” over our new ownership. Entrance is free and there will be food and a free drink or two. It would be great to have a good turnout in Jock’s memory.

Ladies Team Unsuccessful

The FA announcement of the teams who will form the two top tiers of the newly structured Women’s Super league excludes Sunderland Ladies.  When the football club firstly told the team they must go part time and then excluded them from training facilities at the Academy of Light and from playing their home games at the Hetton Centre many felt the writing was already on the wall.

Despite this demotivation, the team retained a huge collective determination and recently achieved 7th place in the top tier.  The FA however required applicants for this top tier from 2018-19 onwards to display a sustainable budget plan for full-time playing and coaching staff and it is now apparent that Sunderland, despite a rumoured new link with Northumbria University, have failed to provide the necessary assurances, even for a part-time team in the second tier.

This is clearly a PR disaster for Sunderland Football Club to be upstaged by Yeovil in the top tier, and Lewes in the second tier.  Whether those involved in the team will have the desire to continue in existence at the feeder third tier is at present unknown but our thoughts must go out to those who have not only progressed to the team from the club’s link with Gateshead Academy for Sport and the Sunderland Regional Talent Club but also players from other teams at home and abroad who have contributed so much to the team’s success over the last four years.


Football’s Over? Not Quite!

Yes our Championship membership is over for the time being and we are all waiting to see what the effect of new ownership will be on our chances of returning there for the 2019-20 season.
Meanwhile, there’s no need to suffer withdrawal symptoms of watching a club team as Sunderland Ladies play the final away game of their season against Chelsea tomorrow (Saturday 12th) night.   The outcome of the club’s application for an FA Women’s League licence for next season will be announced shortly so the Lasses will surely appreciate whatever support we in the London Branch can offer in what must be uncertain times for them all.
Next season the men’s team will be visiting some new grounds and in some cases new teams.  One of these is AFC Wimbledon whose current ground, Kingsmeadow, 422a Kingston Road, Kingston KT1 3PB also host Chelsea Ladies’ games.  So this is also an opportunity to “case the joint” (and the journey) before next season.  The nearest station is Norbiton to which there is a frequent service from London Waterloo.
Kick-off is at 7.45 p.m. and Admission is £6 for Adults and £3 for Juniors and Seniors.  Come along and shout “Haway” at Lucy Staniforth and the team!


Celebrate the end of the season!

Last day of the season, The Lads play Wolves at the SOL, by which time we will know for sure if we are up or down.

Branch Member Simon Hobson’s band Pawnshop Roxxx (aka PSR) is playing a gig in Roker later that afternoon.

When : Sunday 6th May, 5pm. to 7pm.

Where: Grannie Annie’s, Roker (formerly the Smugglers)

It’s a Bank Holiday weekend so this is a perfect way for anyone staying over to let off steam after a truly crappy season.

Regular WDS contributor and resident bard IAN MOLE has written a book.’Tiddle-ee-Aye-Go! Tales from the Heart of Sunderland in the Sixties’ contains 47 short stories about growing up in Sunderland in the early Sixties.

It costs £12.50 inc, post and packaging, available on eBAY, or at at Sunderland Antiquarians shop at 6 Douro Terrace and the A Love Supreme shop opposite the SoL.

Further information can be find via the link below:

wds_2017-2018 Issue 3 copy