Sunderland fan Robert Hall has called for both Mags and Mackems to tone down the “aggressive and abusive” hatred between the two clubs, asking ‘is it all really necessary?’ and admitting to actually having a soft spot for Newcastle!
As we all know, the hatred between the two sets of supporters has only increased of late, with recent relegations for both having created the perfect chance to rub salt into the wounds.
Robert clearly thinks it’s gone a little bit too far, however, and has said the following about his thoughts on NUFC and the rivalry between the two clubs when speaking to the Chronicle:
“I was born in Lanchester, County Durham in 1944 and throughout my school years, all I was ever interested in was football.
“I was either thinking about it, reading about it, playing it, watching it, talking about it, or writing about it.
“During these early years of my life, my father who was a Newcastle supporter, would take me to St James’ Park to see the likes of Jackie Milburn and Bobby Mitchell one week.
“Then, as most of my school friends were Sunderland supporters, I went to Roker Park the following week and saw the likes of Len Shackleton and Stan Anderson.
“Towards the end of my school years I made the decision that Sunderland were the team for me and I was very fortunate to have seen the likes of Cloughie, Charlie Hurley and Jimmy Montgomery.
“However, when I got married in 1968, my best man was a Newcastle supporter. So I still went to St James’ Park occasionally with him and thoroughly enjoyed the Fairs Cup matches, especially the game they won 5-1 against Vitoria Setubal on a Wednesday evening in a snow storm and then later on, the Malcolm ‘Supermac’ Macdonald years.
“These were great times for watching and supporting football clubs.
“I then moved to Suffolk nearly forty years ago and although Sunderland are still my number one team despite the heartache they have given me these last few years, I am pleased I never insisted my children became Sunderland supporters, or I may have been reported to the NSPCC by now.
“My reason for writing is to plead to the section of supporters who shout abusive language at each other and to the so called TV pundits, who seem to take great pleasure in promoting this ‘aggressive hatred’ towards each other’s clubs and their supporters each side of the Tyne.
“In addition to hoping that some of the hostility will cease one day, my wish is also for some of the columnists such as Chris Sutton and Joey Barton who on a few occasions can be quite humorous with their banter, but they must stop writing articles to boost their own egos, as in my opinion their aggressive journalism in the main, is just offensive and insulting and shows a lack of intelligence.
“Having said that, I’m really pleased to see and hear Alan Shearer has mellowed in his old age when he’s talking about Sunderland and to hear Rafa Benitez and Shay Given say they’ve got sympathy for what’s happened to Sunderland during the last couple of years, is very pleasing indeed.
“Finally, no matter what happens to Sunderland during the next few years, they will always be my number one team, but on every match day, Newcastle’s result will always be the second result I look out for, while also hoping it is a positive one.
“So please, those responsible stop this aggressive violent behaviour and let’s revert back to the competitive rivalry and humorous banter as it was in my earlier days as a supporter of both clubs, which is so much more fun, as after all, it’s only football.”
What do you make of all this folks?
Personally, I feel that a certain level of hatred is ingrained into the vast majority of supporters and won’t ever go away, but I will say that it all goes too far when violence and major abuse comes into it.
We’re passionate about our club, our team and our region, but it all goes way too far when people start getting hurt.
Do you feel it’s gone too far or do you enjoy the intensity of our rivalry?