Friday, 8 July 2011

Almost the double - Sunderland AFC 1912-13

Out soon and it's a brilliant book 
From Gary Rowell 

It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be asked to write the foreword for this book on one of Sunderland’s truly great sides.

Sadly too many Sunderland supporters know too little about the history of the club, and any book that reminds fans that we’ve won the top flight on six occasions - more than the likes of Newcastle United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Wolverhampton Wanderers or Leeds United - can’t be bad.

Two years ago Paul Days and Mark Metcalf did a great job of bringing alive the Sunderland side of 1935-37 in a book titled TOTAL FOOTBALL, a term the great Liverpool manager Bill Shankly used in honour of Raich Carter’s team who he compared to the fabulous Dutch side of the 1970s. 

Now in this latest book we get to find out how the 1912-13 side almost became the first side in the 20th century to win the League and FA Cup ‘double’ as they and, another great side, Aston Villa made it through to the Cup final whilst both finishing ahead of the rest in the League. In the end we took the League and the Villains the Cup in a final played before a then World Record crowd of 121,919 which remains the largest crowd at any Sunderland match during the club’s 132-year history.

As someone who loves the history of our club I was fascinated to find out more about the players from this fabulous season including the likes of George Holley - the First Divison top scorer in 1911-12 and a man who scored a hat-trick at St James’ Park in December 1908 when Newcastle were trashed 9-1. Jackie Mordue scored 15 times in the 1912-13 season but the undoubted star of the show was one of Sunderland’s greatest players - possibly the greatest - ever in Charlie Buchan, who notched 27 league goals,

Then there’s ‘keeper Joe Butler, who arrived after the season started, to make some fine-match winning saves and strengthen a defence in which centre half Charlie Thomson was outstanding. Throw in Harry Martin on the wing, Frank Cuggy and Harry Low as wing-half’s plus two outstanding fullbacks in Albert Milton and Charlie Gladwin then what you find inside this book is the tale of a very fine side. One all Sunderland supporters like myself can feel proud of.

Haway the Lads
Gary Rowell

Buy it now 

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