Sunderland AFC's 1973 FA Cup winning team to get the Freedom of the City

Sunderland's captain Bobby Kerr held aloft by his teammates Billy Hughes and goalkeeper Jim Montgomery after their FA Cup Final victory against Leeds United at Wembley Stadium Credit: PA

Members of the legendary Sunderland AFC FA Cup-winning team will be granted the Freedom of the City at a ceremony on Thursday.

The team is remembered for their triumphant win against Leeds United in May 1973 that crowned the Wearsider's FA Cup winners.

Sunderland were then a Division Two (Championship) team and were up against a Division One's (Premier League) side Leeds United, who were the current FA Cup holders as well as playing in their third final in four seasons.

Sunderland won 1-0 in front of a crowd of 100,000 fans. They became the first Division Two side to lift the cup since West Bromwich Albion in 1931.

Sunderland manager Bob Stokoe is hugged by his players after they beat Leeds United 1-0 to win the FA Cup Final at Wembley

Today’s ceremony will take place at the club’s Beacon of Light. It will see members of the team gather 49 years to the day since the club set out on the road to Wembley.

The winning team and members of the cup-run squad who will receive the honour are:

  • Richard Philip 'Dick' Malone, 

  • Ronald George 'Ron' Guthrie, 

  • Michael Frederick 'Micky' Horswill, 

  • David Vernon 'Dave' Watson, 

  • Richard Ernest 'Ritchie' Pitt, 

  • Robert 'Bobby' Kerr, 

  • Victor Lewis 'Vic' Halom, 

  • Dennis Tueart, 

  • David Young 

  • Jackie Ashurst

  • Brian Chambers

  • John Lathan

  • Mick McGiven

  • John Tones

Two members of the team, William 'Billy' Hughes and John Ian Porterfield have passed away. They will be granted the honour posthumously and the Freedom will be received by family members.

Freedoms are traditionally given by the City Council to citizens who make 'significant contributions to the wellbeing and community spirit of Sunderland.'

Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller said: "It's right and correct that we honour and continue to recognise the achievement of Sunderland's 1973 FA Cup winning team.

"The team are held in great respect across Sunderland and these freedoms are appropriate recognition for this enduring pride."