After your recent rantings, we thought it might be nice to hear something positive (hopefully); Derby Day memories have been good recently, not so good further back. Anyway, here’s the first of hopefully a few pieces on the matter from Tom White.
My favourite Derby Day memory is also my first. Back in 1999 as a 9 year old kid I was more interested in playing football on a weekend and keeping an eye on the score rather than watching it, this time I was stuck inside due to torrential rain.
I sat down to watch the Derby at a family friend’s house and when the teams were announced, I was shocked that Shearer wasn’t playing for them.
The always injured Kieron Dyer sored for them first and my heart sank a little bit. I was a young kid watching my team get beat in the biggest game of our season, and I wished was outside in the rain playing football with my mates instead of watching this.
Niall Quinn equalised at some point, I have no recollection of the time, all I can remember is that was the second half and it was a header from Summerbee’s (remember when we had natural wingers!) free-kick. I was dancing around the living room with pure joy.
Shearer was brought on with about 15 minutes left of the game and that worried me slightly. But a couple of minutes later and Super Kevin Phillips scored the most memorable Derby goal, in my mind anyway.
Phillips had his initial close ranged shot saved and I thought the chance was gone, but he had other ideas. Phillips went after the loose ball with his back to goal, turned and chipped the ball over Tommy Wright and some random defender, whose name I don’t remember nor care about, and scored the winner.
I was bouncing of the walls delight.
The rest of the game was a blur up until a near freak own goal by Kevin Ball, a tackle on the half way line and it hits our bar? That was lucky.
That game was what cemented my love for Sunderland; from that weekend on I still played football every week with my mates, but I made sure I went home to listen to every match on the radio or watch it whenever we were on TV.