Black comedy revisits SAFC’s six in a row glory

SAFC celebrating the Derby Day win in April 2015
SAFC celebrating the Derby Day win in April 2015
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A new novel revisits SAFC’s six derby day victories over rivals NUFC.

Six in a Row, a black comedy set in Sunderland, tells the tale of the Black Cats’ six wins over Newcastle United from the perspective of one hapless Mackem.

Chris Thompson with the Six in a Row novel.

Chris Thompson with the Six in a Row novel.

Penned by Chris Thompson, it tells the fictional tale of John Foster, a jaded Sunderland supporter with a negative attitude and a surly disposition. The novel follows the unrelenting madness at the club, on and off the pitch, which perfectly mirrors his own tumultuous life.

After seeing his side beaten 5-1 by their nearest rivals, John unwittingly makes a deal with the devil.

In exchange for his soul, Sunderland will beat Newcastle six times in a row.

What John doesn’t anticipate is the devil’s work he must do to get the things he so desperately wants, especially when Sunderland reach their first

cup final for 22 years.

Chris, a member of the editorial team at long-running Sunderland fanzine A Love Supreme, says the book is a celebration of fan culture and growing up in Sunderland.

The author feels the playful spin on the historic run of victories is something that offers a unique perspective on such a large part of the region’s culture.

He said: “John Foster is a lost, confused character who clings onto the fortunes of his football team to try and get him through life. Unfortunately, he’s a Sunderland supporter, so those fortunes don’t come around too often.

“Beating Newcastle six times in a row was hilarious. A real dream. And it’s just as entertaining the second-time around.”

Sunderland fans have enjoyed a string of wins over Newcastle in Tyne-Wear derbies in recent years, clocking up six wins in a row - though the last match between the two teams ended in a draw.

•The book is being released by ALS Publications. It will be priced at £10 and can be pre-ordered at