A Sunderland AFC superfan reckons he has raised the bar in the ‘most Mackem house’ debate – by surrounding himself with SAFC memorabilia.
Colin Rusby, 56, from Washington, was impressed after reading the story of fellow Black Cats fan Gary Crighton in the Echo earlier this week.
Gary has greated a shine to his favourite team by decking out his home in everything SAFC related.
Colin, though, believes his house is even more Mackem.
With Sunderland posters adorning the walls and Black Cats shirts from down the years filling the bedroom he shares with wife Nicola, 40, his commitment to his club cannot be called into question.
He even has a mannequin dressed in a Sunderland shirt, hat and scarf, which looks out from his bedroom window.
I think my house is even more of a shrine to SunderlandColin Rusby
Colin said: “I’ve walked past the house that was in the Echo the other day and it’s good how he has done it.
“I think my house is even more of a shrine to Sunderland, though.
“It’s brilliant – I love it. I feel at home when I see all of the Sunderland things.
“I’ve been a fan since I was little and the club is in my heart.
“We moved into this house recently and we weren’t allowed to do anything like this where we used to live, so it’s great that we’re able to now.”
Also living at the home is Colin’s son Michael, 30, who has learning difficulties.
While Colin does not get to as many Sunderland games as he once did, the club still remains as vital to him as ever.
He added: “I used to go with my mates when I was just a young boy, when the likes of Charlie Hurley were playing.
“My best memory is the 1973 cup final. I couldn’t get to Wembley for the game, but I was at the procession and I remember it well.
“It’s a bit more difficult to go to the games now, as I look after my son who has learning difficulties, but I go whenever I can.
“Whenever Sunderland are on the TV, we’ll never miss the game. When it gets to 3pm and Sunderland are playing, that’s my time.”
Colin is looking ahead to the new Premier League season with some optimism following the appointment of David Moyes as manager – and has one dream for his beloved club.
He said: “I hope we stay up.
“We’ve lost the best manager we’ve had in a long time in Sam Allardyce, and I think if he had stayed we could have gone a long way.
“I’m just hoping Moyes will come good.
“I’d love to see us competing to be champions one day, like Leicester did last season.
“If they can do it, there’s no reason why we can’t.”