‘Dear Niall and Drumaville,
‘I understand that you have had many applications for the vacant manager’s position, but I thought I would formally put my name forward for the job.
‘There are many things which make this job exciting for me. The first one is my love of Sunderland AFC…’
So wrote Peter Richardson, following through on a statement made by most Black Cats fans at some point during their time supporting the club.
After years of watching on from the stands, Peter decided Roy Keane’s departure was the perfect opportunity to throw his hat into the ring.
Unsurprisingly, Sunderland decided to go in a different direction, Ricky Sbragia holding the fort until Steve Bruce was appointed to the role the following summer.
What did surprise Peter, however, was an official response from the club, which read:
“Thank you for your recent letter regarding the vacant managerial role at Sunderland.
“The number and calibre of candidates for the role has been very high and unfortunately, we will be unable to progress your application further on this occasion.
“Thank you for your interest and may we take this opportunity to wish you every success in your career in the future.
“Yours sincerely, Sunderland AFC.”
That was the basis for ‘Rejected’, the book in which Peter wrote to every club in the Football League in search of his big managerial break.
That included asking Leicester for the job because he is such a fan of Foxes sweets, and wanting to move to the Pirelli Stadium in Burton on account of needing a new set of tyres.
His credentials, however, are impeccable, as he tells the Echo.
Peter lists his plethora of achievements in the game as follows: Playing in the dizzy heights of the Huddersfield U14 league Division One, managing to ensure a full squad came training the day after a 17-0 defeat, and winning three consecutive promotions in a Sheffield six-a-side league, ending up in the dizzying heights of Division Four.
The end result is an enjoyable jaunt round the great and good of English football, some of whom were good enough to respond to the applications with a dignified reply, some who met it with stony silence.
The big question, of course, is what Peter thinks would make the difference at Sunderland?
Rekindling a big man/little man partnership in the mould of Quinn and Phillips would be his starting point, but he reveals team spirit to be the key.
He said: “Make it more fun! I have told every footballer I have ever managed they need to go on the pitch, have fun and don’t be scared to express themselves.
“I managed Sunderland schoolboys at Under-13 and 14 level. In two years we didn’t lose a game. The players enjoyed playing and it showed.”
‘Rejected’ by Peter Richardson is available to buy on Amazon.