Letters, Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Have your say

Observations on fans and players

BEING a casual observer of the great inconsequence, I went to the game at Newcastle last month with interest.

Being seated second row from the back, I was surrounded by smart, youthful lads, complete with common camaraderie, cans of ale and a lexicon of profanity to make the angels weep. The many ladies in the vicinity closed their ears and all credit to them for remaining and enduring the language.

Our gallant lads all had season tickets and seats together in the back row, none of which was ever used as they stood the whole game.

In fairness, I rarely felt threatened by them apart from an occasional thump in the back, accidental I am sure. They gave up their ale when approached by a steward and warned that they were on camera and would be ejected if they persisted.

Their partisanship was secure to the home side and the referee’s efforts when giving the opponents a free kick resulted in abuse with a capital “A”. Of course, home-side free kicks were cheered to the echo whence strange songs I was unable to translate erupted.

It occurred to me later that if by a quirk of fate all of one side’s players had been signed by the opposition and vice-versa, both sets of fans (short for fanatics) would be supporting the opposing teams. Silly, isn’t it?

Would that point worry the individual players? Well no, apart from the odd exception, all of them would not care. Their services go to the highest bidder whether based in the North East or Timbuktu. They are pros, there to make a living – good for them, I say.

As for the players that kiss the club’s shirt badge, well work that one out for yourselves. I have no doubt these “fans” have good jobs, they were intelligent and could read the game. Why do they behave like they do? Perhaps it’s a reminder of the Thirties when times were harder than now and neighbourhoods had to stick together to survive and without knowing, they are doing the same, with a common purpose of winning through. To them it’s a matter of life or death and bragging rights at work on Monday morning.

Sixty years ago the respective teams had many players, on a mere pittance, who served their local club and none other throughout their careers. Now, they could have caressed the club badge and looked anyone in the eye.

Allan Wilkinson

Bicycle menaces

WHEN I was a schoolboy I was very much aware of the law on riding my bicycle on the pavement and was constantly warned by the local bobby not to do it.

Now I am an OAP, aged 85, and when I do my shopping in town I am sick of being harassed by idiots on bikes weaving among pedestrians.

My query is: why do the police choose to ignore this dangerous practice? Is it because of the work involved handing out fixed penalty notices or is it that they are not up to the job?

I look forward with anticipation to a reply in the Echo from a spokesperson for Northumbria Police to comment as to why this loophole is allowed.

Law Abiding (Name and address supplied)

Traffic fears

AS a past grocery manager and past councillor for the ward, I’m writing about Morrisons’ wish to build their £12million supermarket near B&Q on the Armstrong Industrial Estate, Washington.

I neither agree nor disagree with Sunderland Civic Society’s view that we will have more supermarkets than anyone else. I’m concerned about the entrances and exits and possible road traffic problems.

With the roundabout near the Co-op petrol station, five ways exist. Just maybe that’s why the old development corporation refused the only application for a drive-thru restaurant at the top of Albany, when Dickens had a store on the old RCA record site and car ownership was less then than it was now.

The planning committee will have a difficult job shortly, jobs or no jobs, with this application.

Bill Craddock, Donvale Road, Washington

Moved by poem

WHAT a touching poem you published by Yvonne Sullivan, To Mam.

I was truly moved as I read it in the hospital waiting room at the Royal. It made me think how my own mother never failed to visit and support absolutely anyone who was admitted to hospital in our family from near or far.

It made me really think deeply about the mystery of time passing by. The fact we can’t live for ever, that is a fact we all know and that’s why I’ve just made my will, in case I should suddenly go.

My uncle made a joke about mum, saying she loved hospitals. But it was really because she cared and always wanted to help us all emotionally, and help us mum did – like all mothers throughout the world.

Jimmy Chambers, Durham Avenue, Donwell, Washington