So, when Netflix released the second series of ‘Sunderland ‘Til I Die’, the football world rejoiced. It might not be actual football, but it’ll do for now.
If you don’t take much of an interest in lower league football and so didn’t know how the Mackems’ season was going to unfold, you’d be forgiven for thinking Netflix had made it up.
Two Wembley defeats, one on penalties, one via a last-minute goal, the worst January panic buy in the history of panic buying, not to mention Charlie ‘David Brent’ Methven in charge. The writers of Dream Team would struggle to top this.
Many of the protagonists of this comedy/tragedy have since moved on to pastures new and no longer find themselves being shouted at in supermarkets by irrational middle-aged men (can’t imagine why they fancied moving). However, some are still at the club.
Here’s our run down of the key players and staff of ‘Sunderland ‘Til I Die’ and where they are now.
How could we possibly start with anyone else? I think I may have actually done some damage to my toes I curled them so much when he swaggered around the Stadium of Light pitch wagging his fingers in the air to DJ Tiesto's ‘Adagio For Strings’ remix.
The egotistical Brent impersonator announced in December last year he would be resigning from the board for personal reasons - however, he retained his shareholding in the club.
One member of the Sunderland hierarchy who seemed to come away with a modicum of respect.
The businessman proved he had the stomach for the fight as he battled to keep the club afloat and sought investment. However, despite currently still owning the club, Donald has announced he would be willing to sell should the right offer come along as he ‘doesn’t want to outstay his welcome’.
Highly-rated north of the border, Ross’ appointment as Sunderland boss in May 2018 was his first managerial job in England.
Ross was sacked in October 2019 with the club in sixth position, however, he soon landed himself another job as he was appointed Hibernian manager just five weeks after being given his marching orders.
Joshua, Joshua, Joshua. You looked down that camera a dozen times, looked us all in the eye and said you weren’t going anywhere. How could you?
Despite Maja’s insistence he had no idea what was going on with his contract negotiations and he would remain at the club, the Nigeria international broke Sunderland hearts when he swapped the north east of England for Bordeaux (can’t see the appeal myself).
Maja remains at the French outfit to this day and is beginning to settle, scoring six in 21 league games in just over a year at the club.
Maja’s replacement. Goodness me.
Remember series one where Martin Bain went chasing Chris Martin like he was Lionel Messi, only to throw his toys out the pram when he embarrassingly signed for Championship rivals Reading a week later? Well, that wasn’t going to happen to Stewart Donald, no no no, Stewart Donald gets what Stewart Donald wants, even if it costs him an arm and a leg…. THEY PAID HOW MUCH FOR HIM!?!?!
Having been told by boss Mark Ross that Will Grigg is worth no more than £1.5m, Donald - like a dog chasing its shadow - frantically chased Grigg on deadline day before landing his man for £4m.
The move proved to be a classic January panic buy. Grigg is still at the club, 38 games and 5 goals later, it’s looks money well spent. Oh well, at least he comes with a catchy song.
Somehow, fans of Sunderland don’t absolutely hate Lee Cattermole, despite overpaying for him, watching him do nothing for ten years, him proving he was barely good enough for League One never mind the Premier League, then missing what proved to be the pivotal penalty in their EFL Trophy final.
He did cry though so let him off.
In the summer of 2019, Cattermole called it a day for his time on Wearside, claiming it was ‘the right time to find a new challenge’. Having spent the best part of a decade fighting relegation, he obviously had to find himself a club where he’d feel at home, so Cattermole moved to Eredivisie side VVV-Venlo who are two points above the drop zone.
Another of the stars of this series, cheeky chappy O’Nien came across well on camera and clearly enjoyed interacting with Sunderland fans when helping with stadium repairs.
Unfortunately, his form on camera didn’t transfer to the pitch as he struggled initially, but he has gone on to become a key part of the Sunderland team. Still at the club, O’Nien has made an impressive 72 league appearances in less than two years, scoring nine goals.
McGeady was too good for League One and Sunderland knew it. Once a £10m signing, he had no place in England’s third tier, even at the age of 34.
In all fairness to the former Celtic man, he stuck with the club as they went sliding down the football pyramid, and only moved to Championship side Charlton on loan in January. The winger managed just three games for Lee Bowyer’s side before the league was postponed.
An undoubtably talented footballer, Honeyman was announced as captain of his boyhood club at just 23 years of age.
Unfortunately for Honeyman and for Sunderland, the third tier of English football is no place for a hot prospect like him and he moved to Hull in the summer of 2019.
Honeyman has gone on to become an integral part of the Hull team, appearing in 33 of their 37 league fixtures this season.
Special mention to Sunderland’s friendliest taxi driver Peter Farrer and legendary club chef Joyce Rome. The pair lit up our screens yet again this series. In all honesty, we don’t know where they are now, but presumably he’s still taxi driving and she’s still cooking.
One thing we do know, is they’re still following the Black Cats. Poor b*******!
Source : 90min