It is difficult to think of a more spectacular fall from grace than that endured by Sunderland A.F.C.
Recently, the club’s troubles were documented in Sunderland ‘Til I Die, a fly on the wall series produced by Fulwell 73 and hosted on Netflix. Originally the show was planned as a way to document Sunderland’s triumphant return to the Premier League following relegation in 2017. Instead, the showdisplayed in horrific fashion over two series how Sunderland slid chaotically down the football pyramid.
Still, fans were gifted a rare insight behind the scenes of the club, and the wealth of eccentric characters that run, play for and support it.
Whilst Sunderland have had to shed most of their Premier League players since relegation, current manager Phil Parkinson looks to have finally built a squad that can achieve a long overdue promotion. The Mackams are currently amongst the UK bookmakers favourites to finally escape from League 1 and even neutral supporters will be hoping that one of England’s most historic clubs can soon turn things around.
Now that Sunderland ‘Til I Die is in hiatus, many fans are wondering what their favourite characters from the series are doing these days. Without further ado, let’s see where some fan favourites from the showended up.
Old school midfielder Cattermole was about as close to a club legend as Sunderland have had in recent years. With over 250 club appearances, the North East native was with Sunderland through times good and bad, experiencing back to back relegation down to League 1.
In July 2019, Cattermole departed for Dutch club VVV-Venlo but only managed 11 league appearances before being released in the following May, in part due to coronavirus related difficulties which saw the Eredivise abandoned.
Cattermole decided to call time on his playing career at just 32 years of age and is reportedly focusing on getting his coaching badges so he can return to the game behind the scenes.
The former Executive Director was the unwitting star of the second series of Sunderland ‘Til I Die. Arriving in 2018 with business partner Stewart Donald, Methven quickly became a fan favourite on Wearside, although his Eton educated accent and mannerisms made him stick out like a sore thumb.
Methven also became known for some David Brent style gaffes and awkward encounters. This included attempting to change the Stadium of Light’s match day music to something more befitting of an Ibiza nightclub, and referring to fans who illegally streamed matches as “parasites”.
Methven stepped down as Executive Director in 2019, citing conflicting professional and personal commitments, but still retains a stake in the club.
The former Wales manager arrived in Sunderland’s Championship season and securing his services was regarded by most as a real coup. As a highly regarded manager, Coleman had led Wales to the Semi-Finals of Euro 2016, and replaced outgoing manager Simon Grayson who had left the club in the relegation zone.
Coleman came across well in the series, seeming approachable and determined. However, privately he expressed frustration at the constant filming of his day to day business.
Whilst Coleman managed to lift Sunderland out of the relegation zone briefly, a constant refusal to invest further funds by American owner Ellis Short was stated by Coleman as the reason why he could not strengthen his squad and save them from League 1. Following relegation, Coleman was sacked.
Unfortunately, Coleman has since encountered more managerial misery, sacked by Chinese club Hebei China Fortune in May 2019. However, a manager of Coleman’s quality is sure to find success again.