Sunderland Echo Column: Manchester United memories an inspiration for another Sunderland cup run

Today’s piece comes from Gareth Barker.


THIS time last year, I’d have had a very sore head and a very sore voice.


My WMS colleagues and I got together and croaked our way through a podcast.


We didn’t mind. We were going to Wembley.


Growing up in this era of football, my attentions were always pointed towards the league.


Be it getting promotion, or trying to stay up, this was what was important to me as a Sunderland supporter.


When we played cup games, we’d inevitably field a weakened side or go out in the early rounds.


There was the fleeting sign of interest, and one of my favourite away days was spent witnessing Tommy Smith’s double at Birmingham, which helped us towards a disappointing FA Cup semi-final defeat in 2004.


But when we did surrender meekly in the cups, my Dad was always more disappointed than I was.


On the 23rd of January, 2014, I understood why.


You can read the rest here.