Stadium name unveiled

July 23rd, 1997

Stadium of Light

The Stadium of Light name was finally announced at a dramatic midnight press conference on the eve of the ceremonial first match against AFC Ajax. Bob wanted a name that would be instantly recognisable, distinctive and inspirational and one that paid tribute to the industrial heritage of the club’s supporters and the location of the stadium.

Stadium replaces Monkwearmouth Colliery

The connection to light was chosen for 2 main reasons; namely as an ever-lasting tribute to the region’s mine-workers and proud industrial heritage and in the expectation that the stadium would be a guiding light in the future

The name is very much a symbolic link to the thousands of miners and Sunderland supporters that emerged from the darkness and into the light every day when they returned to the surface after working in the mine.

A 10m Davey Lamp, which saved the lives of thousands of miners and was invented in Sunderland is located on the approach to the stadium and the words ‘Into the Light’ also appear on the Murray Gates in front of the main reception.

The name was also chosen in the anticipation that the stadium would be a symbol of hope for the club. It reflects the desire of the club and its supporters to be in the limelight and to achieve sporting success.

In an age when so many stadiums’ are not distinctive or where naming rights have been sold for commercial reasons, the name Stadium of Light remains unique and inspirational and sets Sunderland apart.