Please stick with me as I indulge myself with one of the other loves of my life, Sunderland AFC, who play their football (soccer) in the English Premier League.
Today I start at the beginning of a photo story showing some of the fans and peripherals around a game at the 48,800 seater Stadium of Light, all the pictures were taken on Saturday 20th. March 2010 when Sunderland defeated Birmingham City by a 3 - 1 scoreline. Unfortunately I won't be showing pictures from inside the stadium during the game because of some weird image copyrights held by the club and the Premier League.
South Shields lies in between Sunderland and Newcastle and the football fans here are evenly split between the north-east's two major teams, I've followed Sunderland since I was a very young boy and have experienced both joy and heartbreak as a result.
Bob Stokoe was an absolute legend in the north-east of England, having played football for our bitter rivals Newcastle United he forged his managerial career in the clubs of the lower divisions including Carlisle before arriving at Sunderland in 1972 when our fortunes were low. Sunderland were a 2nd. Division side then and under his management he took the club to Wembley in 1973 where we beat Leeds United, who were without doubt England's best team of the time, in a legendary FA Cup Final. The statue erected in his honour after his death depicts the unforgettable moment at the end of that cup final when Bob (the Messiah) raced onto the Wembley turf to embrace goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery who had pulled off one of history's greatest ever double saves that prevented Leeds from scoring.
Bob was well regarded and was a real gentleman.
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Read my views in Curly's Corner Shop, to find out a little more about my home town South Shields.
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