Sunderland AFC fan puts his Black Cats knowledge to the test in the famous Mastermind chair

Sunderland AFC's post-war history was Neil Chapman's specialist subject. Here, the club's players celebrate their 1973 FA Cup victory against Leeds.
Sunderland AFC's post-war history was Neil Chapman's specialist subject. Here, the club's players celebrate their 1973 FA Cup victory against Leeds.

He hoped to be quizzed on his favourite comic Viz...

But it was Neil Chapman’s knowledge of his beloved Sunderland AFC which was put to the test as he took his seat in the Mastermind chair.

I’ve done a few shows before, but this one was quite scary.

Neil Chapman

The 58-year-old, from Houghton, chose his side as his specialist subject after his suggestion of the comedy strip magazine was turned down by the BBC show’s bosses.

It was narrowed to the club’s post-war history as question writers put together the posers for the IT consultant, who runs his own firm – FTM North East.

The West Stand season ticket holder was given a handful of books to revise so that he and the programme’s team had the same research material.

He scored 12 out of 14, with a final score of 21 after the general knowledge, missing out to his competitors who scored 23, 25 and 27.

Neil is a veteran of television quizzes, having previously appeared on Tipping Point, The Chase, Fifteen to One, Beat the Nation, Brainteaser and Revenge of the Eggheads.

His appearance on Mastermind hit the screen last night.

The dad-of-four, who is originally from Penshaw, where parents Gordon and Jean, both 84, still live, said: “I applied to them for a laugh.

“I knew that Steve Cram had answered questions on Sunderland, so I didn’t think I’d be allowed, but they said it had been a few years.

“I did OK in the specialist round, with a few passes, and then I was flying in the general knowledge, but then I was asked a few and I just thought ‘What?’

“I’ve done a few shows before, but this one was quite scary.

“I knew my mates would give me a hard time if I got any wrong, and they’ve been taking the micky on the Sunderland Message Board, then it’s been on Twitter and it’s gone mad.

“I would say if anyone wants to do it, they should give it a try.”