Football play’s success sends it into extra time

POPULAR ... Paul Dunn is performing in the sell-out play I Left My Heart In Roker Park.
POPULAR ... Paul Dunn is performing in the sell-out play I Left My Heart In Roker Park.

A PLAY about the joy and heartache of being a football fan is a sell-out success in South Tyneside.

I Left My Heart In Roker Park is a one-man show recalling the demolition of Sunderland’s old Roker Park ground and the club’s move to the Stadium of Light in 1997.

The central character, Kevin Halliday, played by South Shields-based actor Paul Dunn, a Black Cats fan, looks back over his life to date, using the ups and downs of his beloved Sunderland as milestones.

His feelings about axed boss Paolo Di Canio, last year’s League Cup final defeat and the club’s ensuing relegation battle all come under scrutiny in this updated version of Tom Kelly’s play.

Two shows next month at the Customs House in South Shields have already sold out, but another has been added on Sunday, September 21, due to popular demand, as well as an extra date at the Durham Gala Theatre.

Jarrow-born playwright Tom, a lifelong Sunderland supporter, said: “The shows have been booking really well at all three venues.

“We’ve had to add extra dates, and some nights have sold out. It all bodes well for Sunderland in the new season.”

Paul said he is thrilled by the reaction to the play from both hardcore fans and those just wanting a good night out at a theatre.

The 39-year-old said: “I have just been told about the play selling out, and on the strength of that, the Customs House has added Sunday, September 21, to the tour. This thing just keeps growing.

“We will have a full weekend at the Customs House. Fans can see Sunderland away to Burnley on the Saturday and I Left My Heart In Roker Park on the Sunday. What could be better?”

Tickets are available now for the extra performance at the Customs House. They cost £9 and £7 for concessions.

To book, visit or call the Mill Dam venue’s box office on 454 1234.

I Left My Heart In Roker Park is also on at Washington Arts Centre on Thursday, September 25, and Durham Gala from Friday to Sunday, September 26 to 28.

All performances start at 7.30pm.

Twitter: @terrykelly16