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2014

September 2014

  1. 'Superkev' has signed for Sunderland once again.

    Superkev re-signs for Sunderland

    SAFC’s leading post-war goal scorer, ‘Superkev’ has agreed to become an ambassador for the club’s charity, the Foundation of Light. Sir Bob, who founded the Foundation when he was Chairman of SAFC in 2001, said…

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    ‘Superkev’ has signed for Sunderland once again.

    SAFC’s leading post-war goal scorer, ‘Superkev’ has agreed to become an ambassador for the club’s charity, the Foundation of Light.

    Sir Bob, who founded the Foundation when he was Chairman of SAFC in 2001, said he was thrilled the former fans’ favourite had agreed to join the charity: “Among Sunderland fans Kevin has legendary status. He played a major role in what was one of the club’s most exciting periods, and his goals and talent cemented a place in the club’s folklore.

    “I’ve remained close to Kevin since his days at the club and was sure he’d be interested in helping the Foundation. He’s always been a top man as well as a top player and he was genuinely interested in the invaluable work the Foundation does with families in the region.

    “It was only fair to him to wait until he’d retired as a player to ask him to join us, but I had no hesitation in doing so once he joined the coaching staff at his current club, Leicester.”

    “He is one of the club’s most famous sons and his involvement will make a real difference, heightening awareness and interest in the work we do.”

    Kevin said he was honoured to be asked to become an ambassador for the Foundation: “Sunderland will always hold a special place in my heart. I loved my time on Wearside and have really fond memories of the city and the club.

    “It’s great to be able to give something back to the community after all the support it gave me – and it’s also very hard to say no to Sir Bob.

    “He’s really passionate about the Foundation and has told me just how important the work is that it does. I look forward to helping take the Foundation forward and to promoting the fantastic work it does in the north east.”

    The Foundation works with more than 42,000 adults and children across Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham annually. Its mission is to use the power of football to help young people and their families realise their full potential.

    The Foundation’s base is currently within the Stadium of Light, but proposals for a new home, the Beacon of Light, were recently approved by Sunderland Council.

    The Beacon will be an exciting and inspiring education, training and sports facility located next to both the Sunderland Aquatic Centre and the Stadium of Light.

    The unique centre will be the first of its kind in the UK and include engaging and interactive zones in education; health and fitness; sport and play; and the world of work and will welcome thousands of children, young people and adults through its doors every week.

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April 2014

  1. Chester-le-Street annual dinner

    Sir Bob enjoyed a wonderful evening at the annual sporting dinner held by the Chester-le-Street branch of the Sunderland Supporters’ Association. The dinner was organised by fans and attended by many red-and-white supporters as well…

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    Sir Bob enjoyed a wonderful evening at the annual sporting dinner held by the Chester-le-Street branch of the Sunderland Supporters’ Association.

    The dinner was organised by fans and attended by many red-and-white supporters as well as representatives from the club.

    Sir Bob said: “I had a fantastic evening and it was great to catch up with so many people, including former Sunderland manager Denis Smith.

    “The atmosphere was great and we were all chatting about the match at Manchester City from the previous night. Many of us were all still reeling from their late goal which cost us the game!”

    Click below to read Sunderland Echo Sport Writer Graeme Anderson’s review of the evening.

    Chester le Street Dinner

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2013

December 2013

  1. Goodbye to the Football Echo

    Sir Bob has lamented the passing of the Football Echo, a paper which has followed the highs and lows of Sunderland AFC since 1907. After 106 years, the Football Echo has been printed for the…

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    Sir Bob has lamented the passing of the Football Echo, a paper which has followed the highs and lows of Sunderland AFC since 1907.

    After 106 years, the Football Echo has been printed for the final time and will make the transition online in the New Year.

    Sir Bob commented on the loss of the weekly paper, saying: “I’ll be really sorry when it’s gone. It was an institution and something every Sunderland fan wanted to see on a Saturday night – especially if we’d won.

    “It was often the catalyst for discussion in pubs and clubs, with people agreeing or disagreeing about what had been written.

    “My Dad took me to my first Sunderland match in 1954. We were playing the team of the day, Wolverhampton Wanderers and the atmosphere was terrific, with the Roker Roar in full voice. That was it, I was hooked and I suppose I’d have seen my first Football Echo soon after that.

    “I know that four years later Sunderland were relegated for the first time, and the Footy, to that point printed in pink, went white with shock.

    “I’ve been getting the paper for 58 years. I used to wait at Ibbetsons, with my savaloy, after the game, waiting for the paper to come out in the low times in the early 1960’s.

    “One edition I do remember well is the one from May 5, 1973 – the day we won the FA Cup. The Footy Echo’s headline was ‘They’ve done it” and that summed up the feeling of the whole town.

    “What the current writers and the reporters of yesteryear – including the famous Argus – have always done is more than just report every kick. They’ve captured the spirit of each game, the chants of the crowd, what the away support was like and how the officials performed. You almost felt you were there, which was invaluable for those who couldn’t get to every home or away game.

    “And one thing was for certain, no matter where we are on Match of the Day the Football Echo has always put Sunderland first and last.

    “Wherever I’ve lived, I’ve always had the Footy Echo posted to me. The coverage was always in-depth, comprehensive and interesting. The Footy Echo also provided a platform for readers to have their say: although when I was chairman of the club I didn’t always agree with what was being said, it was an important forum for fans, especially in the days before the internet.

    “It has chronicled the ups and downs and ins and outs of the club for so long, it’s hard to think of life as a Sunderland fan without it. I know it was one of only one or two remaining Saturday afternoon football papers, and I remember when most evening papers had similar publications. I think it has survived so long because it did its job so well – and because of the close relationship between club, fans and the Footy Echo.

    “During my time at the club, we treated the Footy Echo very seriously and tried to help the Echo writers by providing players and staff for interviews. We saw it as a way of keeping supporters informed and involved. It was a valuable platform for the club and was very much party of our long and valued relationship with the Sunderland Echo.

    “I also think it has played a vital role in shining a light on the dozens, if not hundreds, of non-league games being played on Wearside and beyond over a weekend. It provided a valuable service for these teams, often being the source of was in the team and who wasn’t and where the games were to be played, and when, for Sunday morning teams and others.

    “It helped maintain interest in these leagues and, over the years, probably helped kept them going.

    “I can understand the financial pressures on it in these days of saturation coverage of the Premier League and so few games scheduled for Saturday afternoons, but it’s still a blow.

    “I’ll be genuinely sorry to see it go, and I’m sure all Sunderland fans will be too.”

     

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1999
  1. Sunderland revenge away day blues

    It had been a hard opening to the season for Sunderland losing 4-0 away at Stamford Bridge but it was almost worth the away day defeat to be 4-0 up against Gianluca Vialli’s side by…

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    It had been a hard opening to the season for Sunderland losing 4-0 away at Stamford Bridge but it was almost worth the away day defeat to be 4-0 up against Gianluca Vialli’s side by half time at home in the December.

     

    The game started an hour late due to an electrical fault in the surrounding area – luckily the official with the key for the sub-station nearest the stadium was actually inside for the game!

     

    “We were unstoppable that day as Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn scored two goals apiece in the first 45 minutes. The game finished 4-1 but it was an awesome display from Sunderland and the atmosphere inside the stadium was ironically electric!”

     

    Quinn scored his 6th goal of the season in the first minute before Phillips scored a brace and Quinn completed his double. Poyet scored a consolation goal for the visitors but it was Sunderland’s day.

     

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August 1999

  1. Bob sporting the beautiful red and white stripes in the board room at St James' Park, Aug 1999

    NUFC 1 – Sunderland 2

      “My best memory of a Tyne  Wear Derby has to be August 1999. It was a fantastic match but the weather was unbelievable. It was like a tropical storm!   “Newcastle was re-developing the…

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    Bob sporting the beautiful red and white stripes in the board room at St James’ Park, Aug 1999

     

    Bob sporting the beautiful red and white stripes in the board room at St James’ Park, Aug 1999

    “My best memory of a Tyne  Wear Derby has to be August 1999. It was a fantastic match but the weather was unbelievable.

    It was like a tropical storm!

     

    “Newcastle was re-developing the stadium and had part of the roof off. Oddly enough, the seats for NUFC directors were under cover but the ones for the Sunderland official party were not! We got absolutely drenched but didn’t mind one bit because we won 2-1. It was a fantastic game with Philips and Quinn both hitting the back of the net.

     

    “We were so wet after the game that I sent down to the dressing room to bring the spare subs kit up to the board room and I got changed into it.

     

    So, there I was in the Newcastle board room, having won 2-1 and wearing the beautiful red and white stripes. My only regret is that my dad never saw me – that would have been fantastic!”

     

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