Sunderland fan pranks Newcastle supporting Saracens coach in celebration of team's place in the Premier League

Neil Cain with the posters stuck on Joe Shaw's car.
Neil Cain with the posters stuck on Joe Shaw's car.
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A professional rugby player who became a Mag after playing in the North East has been pranked by his Black Cat neighbour in the aftermath of last night's celebrations.

Roker-raised Neil Cain became neighbours with ex-Newcastle Falcon and Westoe RFC coach four years ago, with the pair becoming friendly rivals over their Wear-Tyne teams.

Joe Shaw coaching children at Kepier School in Houghton when he was with Newcastle Falcons.

Joe Shaw coaching children at Kepier School in Houghton when he was with Newcastle Falcons.

At 6am today, as Neil still revelled in the delight that Sunderland would be staying in the Premier League after last night's 3-0 win against Everton, he snuck out of his house in Kimpton, Hertfordshire, and stuck a series of hand-made 'Toon Doon' posters on his sponsored car.

The coach, who now works for Saracens and is preparing to see his side taken on Racing 92 in the European Rugby Champions Cup in Lyon on Saturday, is yet to react to the practical joke.

Neil, who moved to Hertfordshire 25 years ago to work and his now operations director of grounds maintenance company John O'Conner, said: "This morning, at 6am, I just put the Toon Doon posters all around his sponsored car.

"I'd had to do quite a bit of work with my colouring pencils.

There was no escaping relegation misery for Joe Shaw after his neighbour Neil Cain decorated his car.

There was no escaping relegation misery for Joe Shaw after his neighbour Neil Cain decorated his car.

"He hasn't spoken to me about it yet, but I've had lots of missed calls and messages about it.

"I hope he will find the funny side of it.

"I think it will take him at least a year before he gets the chance to get his own back.

"To be honest, I'm so pleased we are staying up, but the fact we have sent Newcastle down has just made it.

Joe Shaw's Saracens car was covered in the handmade notes.

Joe Shaw's Saracens car was covered in the handmade notes.

"When he moved to play for Newcastle, I think he realised it's a massive part of the North East culture, it's part of the social scene and he got to know the Newcastle players and then went to work for Newcastle University and coach its side and he was at Westoe.

"We have some good banter.

"He thinks Newcastle are posh and Sunderland isn't, and I've put him right, and I say Newcastle are Scottish."

Neil, who wore his Sunderland tie when he met Prime Minister David Cameron after he was presented with the National Apprenticeship Service Champion Award, was in the Old Red Lion in Islington for last night's game.

Neil Cain stuck the posters on all sides of the car.

Neil Cain stuck the posters on all sides of the car.

It is used by members of the London branch of the Sunderland Supporters' Association, which has around 1,000 members.

"It's become the London branch's pub, so we pretty much take it over," added Neil, who will be at Sunderland's game against Watford.

"I think there would have been some very confused people in London last night when they saw us all in there.
"There was at least 300 of us in there. It was mayhem at the end and there's a great video of us all singing.

"I was just delighted. What Sam Allardyce has done has been great."

Neil's devotion to Sunderland even saw him name his son, now 21, Sam Aaron Francis Cain - an acronym his wife had not twigged until someone pointed it out some time later.

Neil Cain, wearing his Sunderland tie, as he attended a reception at 10 Downing Street and met David Cameron.

Neil Cain, wearing his Sunderland tie, as he attended a reception at 10 Downing Street and met David Cameron.

Neil Cain, centre, with David Cameron at the 10 Downing Street reception.

Neil Cain, centre, with David Cameron at the 10 Downing Street reception.