Tuktuk Day 85

Sunderland AFC – Cecil Irwin

Yes, I know we all hate Facebook but if we are honest, we love it too! Yesterday was a loving day as I had the pleasure of “meeting” the grandson-in-law of one of Sunderland’s Legends, Cecil Irwin, in a football group. As often happens, the conversation develops and we learn that Cecil is not enjoying the best of health …. and that it’s his birthday soon.

Ben said, “Hi folks, bit of a long shot here but does anyone have any magazines, articles, memorabilia etc pertaining to Cecil Irwin who played for Sunderland in the 50’s & 60’s. Cecil is my wife’s grandad and is suffering a bit with dementia and other ailments, however loves to see and talk about things from his playing days. He has no problem remembering those days, so trying to get as much as I can for him.”

I have dug a few bits out and they are winging their way to Cecil as we speak. There were an impressive 74 comments, messages of support and a massive number of fond memories. The power of Facebook!

In the meantime, I called David Blight, my great friend and 60 year fan of Sunderland who said, “All I remember about Cec Irwin is the promotion team that he was part off in the early 60’s that remains imprinted on my mind… Montgomery…Irwin, Ashurst… Harvey, Hurley, McNab… Mulhall, Herd, Sharkey, Crosson, Usher I may have got which side the wingers were on mixed up – Mulhall and Usher; right or left – otherwise… to me, Cec Irwin was the biggest, baldest, full back in the league! Until Dick Malone came alone that is.” David kindly did a Sunderland overview recently….. here I have fond memories of Sunderland from the days of my cycling tour. It was indeed the first stadium I visited after the road “accident.”

Wikipedia does not offer too much but David did find a these fascinating articles “A Love Supreme” and “Northern Echo” (John Charles – who?)

11v 11 yielded this for the 63/64 season. The programme is for the last match of the season. Promotion was already assured as the Black Cats had wrapped it up with a home win over Charlton Athletic the previous week although Cec missed that match but he did start in 39 of the 42 games.

League Division Two table at close of 1963-64 season

1Leeds United422415371342.0883763
3Preston North End422310979541.4632556
4Charlton Athletic4219101376701.086648
6Manchester City4218101484661.2731846
7Rotherham United421971690781.1541245
8Newcastle United422051774691.072545
11Northampton Town421691758600.967-241
12Huddersfield Town4215101757640.891-740
13Derby County4214111756670.836-1139
14Swindon Town4214101857690.826-1238
15Cardiff City4214101856810.691-2538
16Leyton Orient4213101954720.750-1836
17Norwich City4211131864800.800-1635
19Swansea Town421292163740.851-1133
20Plymouth Argyle428161845670.672-2232
21Grimsby Town429141947750.627-2832
22Scunthorpe United4210102252820.634-3030

26 Dec 1963Leeds United v SunderlandD1-1League Division Two
28 Dec 1963Sunderland v Leeds UnitedW2-0League Division Two
04 Jan 1964Sunderland v Northampton TownW2-0FA Cup
11 Jan 1964Sunderland v BuryW4-1League Division Two
18 Jan 1964Manchester City v SunderlandW0-3League Division Two
25 Jan 1964Sunderland v Bristol CityW6-1FA Cup
01 Feb 1964Sunderland v Swindon TownW6-0League Division Two
08 Feb 1964Cardiff City v SunderlandW0-2League Division Two
15 Feb 1964Sunderland v EvertonW3-1FA Cup
19 Feb 1964Sunderland v Norwich CityD0-0League Division Two
22 Feb 1964Sunderland v Derby CountyW3-0League Division Two
29 Feb 1964Manchester United v SunderlandD3-3FA Cup
04 Mar 1964Sunderland v Manchester UnitedD2-2FA Cup
07 Mar 1964Sunderland v MiddlesbroughD0-0League Division Two
09 Mar 1964Manchester United v SunderlandL5-1FA Cup
14 Mar 1964Newcastle United v SunderlandL1-0League Division Two
21 Mar 1964Sunderland v Preston North EndW4-0League Division Two
27 Mar 1964Sunderland v Rotherham UnitedW2-0League Division Two
30 Mar 1964Rotherham United v SunderlandD2-2League Division Two
04 Apr 1964Sunderland v Swansea TownW1-0League Division Two
06 Apr 1964Leyton Orient v SunderlandW2-5League Division Two
11 Apr 1964Southampton v SunderlandD0-0League Division Two
18 Apr 1964Sunderland v Charlton AthleticW2-1League Division Two
25 Apr 1964Grimsby Town v SunderlandD2-2League Division Two

Now that’s what I call promotion form!

A win for Grimsby would have saved them – NO mercy!

I whipped over to The Fans Museum (shouldn’t every club have one?) and the Sunderland Who’s Who book “All The Lads.” He is featured with a comprehensive bio.

A local lad, with a long career at Sunderland. Are those days gone by? A partner with Len Ashurst who later became a Gillingham manager so another link with the Priestfield men. Yesterday it was Bradley Dack Who will it be tomorrow!

Here are a couple of views of the two Sunderland stadiums of the last 60 years from Papilios Creative that hopefully will bring back happy memories.


Please remember that the purpose of this 90 day challenge is to raise funds for the club and an equal amount for Prostate Cancer. As always, I HOPE you are all enjoying the tour of the UK and that you will consider a donation to support FC Deportivo Galicia and/or Prostate Cancer UK If everybody chipped in £1 I would easily hit my target of £10,000 and life would be easier in West London whilst the charity continued their great work. A HEARTFELT thanks, if you can.


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