With today being an Anniversary we lost one of our players, I feel it only fitting to share a piece of the clubs history and to tell you about how I obtained this beautiful piece.
One Monday morning, I get a message through from a collector in the Ukraine asking if I’d be interested in a Sunderland tracksuit top.
At first, I thought not for me but then I asked for a few images. Then image one come through and I instantly thought, ah it’s the replica 73 tracksuit top. I was just about to reply when image 2 come through. Strange I thought, I didn’t know Umbro had made a replica. Then image 3 of the tags, now my eyes are twitching thinking well this is not a replica at all. Still in shock, I hadn’t actually realized I hadn’t seen the back.
I then was just in mid reply to then get the image of the back, that synonymous name PORTERFIELD embezzling across the back. Talk about walking and messaging at the same time, trying to restrict my excitement and saying ok what do you want for it.
After getting the images through, I find myself driving to the club, heading for the main reception to where I had made a call to open the cabinet to look and compare Bob Stokoes’ top, checking the zips, tags, and even the letters on the back, looking at images is not the same as having it in my hand to compare, but my heart knew it was right.
So now it starts, negotiations. After maybe 3 messages we agree a price, and then I ask how did you acquire it, not the best way of course but my head was not in the mode, I was being lead by my heart.
The top was donated to a charity shop some time ago and was not selling, it was ready to go to the homeless on the streets to wear, till our beautiful friend saved it. He was told it was donated by a coach who worked with Ian in Busan, in Korea, a native from the Ukraine.
So now, I’ve got the history, got the images, and agreed and paid for it, still hyper and smiling like we just won the cup again, but wanting to keep it low only letting David Mitchell & Rob Mason know as they arranged to open the cabinets.
So a week goes by, an email sent to see what is happening as the tracking details weren’t correct, no response, so I wait another couple of days to get a reply it hadn’t been sent as the post wasn’t due to be collected from the area for another 3 days.
Eyes in disbelief, debating what to reply. All sorts going through my head, but still being led by my heart, I give him the benefit of doubt, so I wait and to his word I get a tracking number the same as the one I’ve got 3 days later. Straight onto the website, sorry technical problems try again in 5 hours.
My lord this is affecting my heart more now, as in worry of a heart attack. Sleepless nights were to be had for another 10 days. That’s right 10 days, at this point I thought I’ve been had. I was more gutted to think I’ve seen it but I’ve just been scammed. The money then hit home, and then it really hit home. Oh well at least no one knew about it, but how do I explain to my ex wife who does my accounts where that sum of money had gone!!!
More emails asking for info, then as if I was in a time warp I get an email saying my parcel is now in customs ready to ship from London. A gasp of happiness and a relief that then put a smile on my face again, so I now decide my plans for the next day will consist of being at home, up bright and early, all set to work from home. Sitting anticipating the postman, buzzing to get me to sign for the parcel, it’s now 2pm postman been with the day to day post, and still no parcel.
So I decide to go to the post box again to then find a card saying no answer and parcel needed to be signed for. Please collect with id 24hrs later! Noooooooooo how had that happened, I was in all day and no one pushed the buzzer, my lord now we are feeling stressed, knowing I’ve now got to sleep one more night to then go and collect it.
No sleep, worried sick, I couldn’t wish for the morning to come quick enough, then it does, a friend comes and picks me up as I’ve wanted him to see it. But he knew nothing of the last 4 weeks I had gone through. I pop in the sorting office, and walk out with a plastic bag. Is that it? My lord, I wanted it boxed and lock and chains on it! I get in the car and tear it open, to reveal the lovely red we all pray to. I then show the name to my friend who is in disbelief but after a few cups of tea, I tell home the full story. Obviously he had some select words for what I did, but was hyper to know I managed to get this piece of our clubs history and heritage.