I’ll be honest here and reveal right away that this is the best stadium in the world. And I know you’re thinking that I’m a Sunderland fan that’s bottled this entire project but hear me out…
I’ve been to the Stadium Of Light more than any other football ground in the world, and that will probably always be the case. I had a season ticket there for nearly ten years but something caught my eye on a recent visit that made it stand out.
I was doing a gig for Hilarity Bites in Sunderland and decided to drop by the stadium. I thought I knew every nook and cranny but headed to what is always a favourite part – panel 20 on the club’s “wall of fame”.
It’s a popular scheme where fans pay a ridiculous amount of money to have their name inscribed on a brick that adorns their stadium wall. I’ll be honest – I generally hate it nowadays, but back when the Stadium Of Light opened I was one of the mugs who forked out £25 for the privilege.
So anyway, I headed to my panel to take a snap of my name and something stood out. Not Paul Gadd, the real name of Gary Glitter, nor Alison Wylie who I went to school with. No – etched maybe a foot away from my brick is that of…
LIONEL FUCKING PEREZ! Well, I think the club edited his middle name out but if you’re unfamiliar with Lionel then let me explain. He played 75 times for Sunderland between 1996-98 and despite not being great he’s pretty much my favourite footballer ever. He was definitely one of the coolest players I’ve seen. If you remember Eric Cantona’s sublime chip for Manchester United – Lionel was in goal for that.
So I’m sorry, but for the weird quirk of my name appearing within about 50cm of Lionel Perez’s on the stadium wall, then Sunderland’s home is absolutely bloody well brilliant.
Woodhorn Lane Update
So Ashington Football Club have been in the news this week. I know! You’re thinking old Fury’s efforts have been finally recognised, aren’t you? No, as it turns out. The club announced ex-England cricketer Steve Harmison as their new manager in one of the oddest appointments in history. I was tempted to pop along to his first game but instead got some snaps the day after.
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