I am from Middlesbrough - there, I've said it, but have followed the club through five decades.
How come? Well, my dad was brought up in Bishop Auckland before moving to Teesside before I was born. He would regale me with stories of the great Bishops team of the 50s who regularly won the old Amateur Cup before crowds of 100,000 at Wembley.
Sadly, anyone else still around to recall those heady days may be as unfamiliar with the workings of the Internet as Kevin Kilbane was at finding a head with a cross.
So, there was an interest in football and this stretched further afield to the local professional team - step forward SAFC. My dad told me this was Durham's Team (note capitals).
Now being a Sunderland fan is never easy at the best of times but one brought up on Wearside at least has the camaraderie of like-minded fools who can share in the disappointment. However it was a pretty desperate life at primary school surrounded by Boro fans until that glorious day in May, 1973.
My first memory of a live game was the fourth round tie with Bournemouth. I loved the opposition keeper- his name was Death, although there was an untimely apostrophe somewhere in there to spoil things. I recall the open expanse of the Roker End and the tiny cluster of visiting fans somewhere in the middle - segregation was yet to be the vogue. Little did I know what this scrappy 1-0 victory would lead to.
Three months later and a bell bottomed 7 year old with hair fashionably past the shoulder strode out onto the street, chest puffed out.
'Who's the only supporter of the cup winners round here, then?'
The red and white striped tradition has now been passed on to the next generation. Unfortunately for him there has been no fairytale victory to cushion the appearances of megastars like Jason Steele, Billy Jones and people that don't even want to be there (the ultimate act of treason). But like us all, we have stuck with them through thin and thinner and so look forward to tonight.
If we lose, it's just a friendly. If we win, it's the start of Jack's revolution.
Either way, we will be there for We Are Wearside - if perhaps by default!
Ha'way The Lads!