Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Rewarded with a Night on the Tiles

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Rewarded with a Night on the Tiles

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

When the box office opened for Radio One's Big Weekend ( a two-day music festival to be staged in Sunderland next month ( the response was staggering.

Countless pop lovers queued through the night at the city's Civic Centre on Friday and Saturday but, as big weekends go, the BBC are in real danger of being eclipsed.

By the time the headline acts begin their sets on May 7, Wearside could be all partied out.

Even Mick McCarthy, the Black Cats boss who gave up alcohol for a large part of this year, was in the mood for inebriation as he left the Stadium of Light having steered the club back to the Premiership on Saturday evening.

"I might be found wandering around my estate later on," he said when he emerged from a champagne-soaked home dressing room.

"Maybe I won't be found. I don't know."

Nobody could begrudge McCarthy his night on the tiles following the confirmation of Sunderland's promotion.

And nobody could have been more relieved than his wife.

"She got the real sharp end it last year when we lost in the play-offs," McCarthy explained. "We went off on holiday and she had to walk around America with me for two weeks and I don't think my language was too choice.

"I think she thought about flying home on a couple of occasions but she stuck with me and has been to almost every match this season. She deserved a hug and a kiss at the end ( that's where I went."

The family vacation promises to be a happier affair this summer but where will the McCarthys go?

"I don't know and I don't care," said a manager whose plans last year were ruined by a campaign extended by the play-offs.

"But we will go on May 8 this year, it won't be the 29th. My holidays start three weeks earlier this summer."

It seems that a manager who will take great satisfaction in being abroad when the Coca-Cola Championship play-off final is contested will also miss One Big Weekend. That May 8 could also see the divisional trophy presented at the Stadium of Light suggests he will not be alone in that. The feelgood factor is back.

Having plumbed the depths of despair following the relegation of 2003, the tears which flowed unashamedly from boardroom to dressing room, from the tunnel to the terraces were both understandable and poignant. …

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