Sunderland football fans needed for project remembering 1973 FA Cup win

Vera Hutchinson, Football Widow, County Durham, 1992 – from In Soccer Wonderland by Julian Germain
Vera Hutchinson, Football Widow, County Durham, 1992 – from 'In Soccer Wonderland.' Credit: Julian Germain

Sunderland fans will be centre stage of a project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club's FA Cup win.

The project will bring together fan's memorabilia of the 1973 FA Cup and reflect on the experiences of Sunderland AFC supporters during the Bob Stokoe era.

People are being asked to bring along memorabilia, photos and scrapbooks which could be added to an evolving exhibition and book.

Football artist Julian Germain, who is part of the project, said: “Snapshot photographs as well as other creative endeavours such as home-made banners, scarves or scrapbooks seldom get published or exhibited so they very rarely get seen, but they offer a valuable and distinctive viewpoint from the more familiar images produced by the press, as well as fantastic images and objects that capture the emotions and experiences of the time.

“Perhaps you have a picture of yourself during that cup run, maybe at Notts County in the third round or at Hillsbrough in the semi-final against Arsenal, or maybe your family was gathered around the neighbour’s colour telly to watch the final? Or it could just be you or your mum or grandad, proudly wearing a replica Sunderland shirt, or waving a banner or scarf at the victory parade?” 

Julian Germain (second right) pictured with Rachel Brown, Paul Dobson, Amanda Ritson, and volunteers John Phillips and Eddy Moor. Credit: Sunderland University.

Among those working on The People's Visual History of the 1973 FA Cup, which is funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, are the University of Sunderland, Fanzine A Love Supreme, Foundation of Light, Hendon charity Back on the Map and Sunderland arts programme The Cultural Spring.

The project team’s first event is on Saturday 18 March from 12:30pm at the Beacon of Light in Sunderland.

An exhibition of materials collected so far will be on display, with the stand itself created by volunteers of the Men's Shed, part of Back on the Map's volunteer-led programme of activities.

Amanda Ritson, programme manager at the North East Photography Network (NEPN) based at the university’s Northern Centre of Photography, said: “The project seeks to bring together materials lovingly preserved or passed down to be celebrated in exhibition and book form, so that this collective heritage is conserved for future generations.”

Paul Dobson, Co-editor of A Love Supreme, said: “We are thrilled to be a partner on the project as it will provide the opportunity for the biggest single event in history of the club, and a huge one for the city, to be viewed and remembered afresh. Since A Love Supreme began offering fans’ opinions to the football world in 1989, FA Cup 1973 has loomed large in our contributions – even from those who weren’t alive at the time - and we look forward to celebrating those memories and seeing what else is unearthed in the form of personal photos and memorabilia.

Paul Dobson’s framed tickets, programmes and photos from Sunderland’s 1973 FA Cup triumph. Credit: Julian Germain

“To see these memories and images collected during the project’s various events will be special, and they will be collected and featured in a special book to be published later this year, ensuring that those memories will not fade.”

Co-ordinator of the Coals to Goals heritage project at the Foundation of Light, Alyson Dixon, added: “The 1973 FA Cup was a special occasion for the club and the city, and this project will be a great way of unearthing and preserving people's memories of the event.”

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