Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby hit the headlines for some utterly disgraceful fan violence, but before the match there was nothing but high spirits and jaunty melodies as Sunderland supporters travelled to the game.
Black Cats midfielder Craig Gardner was suspended after picking up his tenth yellow card of the season, but tweeted his intention to cheer the team with the fans a few days before the short trip to Newcastle. The former England U21 kept his word, and even made the journey to St James' Park on the Tyne and Wear Metro system. Just like a normal person!
When Gardner was spotted on the train among the proles, he was naturally asked to lead a chant. He immediately responded with an ode to new manager Paolo Di Canio, who led Sunderland to a surprise 3-0 victory later in the day.
Perhaps he is one of the 99% of Premier League footballers who have driving bans, or maybe he is also suspended from riding the team bus (did he break the "no number twos" rule?) but this will do nothing to harm his reputation with the Black Cats' faithful.
- Sports & Recreation