Double celebration for Sunderland fan on poignant day at the Stadium of Light

A Sunderland supporter is celebrating winning £1,000 in the Ha’way and Play lottery draw on what was a poignant day at the match for her and her family.

Sunderland supporter Toni Potts was at the Stadium of Light to celebrate her 50th birthday with John Baker, the father of her late partner, also celebrating his 83rd birthday.

Toni is now living in North Wales and had travelled up especially for the match and to meet up with her deceased partner’s family who live in Hebburn.

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They took in the win over Bolton Wanderers from an executive box after clubbing together in memory of season card holder Gordon Baker, whose dream was to experience match-day hospitality at the stadium.

Toni Potts (far left) and John Baker (second from left) along with other family members outside of the Stadium of Light.
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And match day was cause for double celebration as Toni couldn’t believe her eyes when her winning number flashed up on the big screen during the second half of Sunderland’s 1-0 win against Bolton Wanderers.

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She explained how it had been an poignant day for her and her family.

She said: “The reason I was at the game was in honour of my partner Gordon, who died earlier this year. I was there with his father John, to celebrate his birthday and mine and we decided to treat ourselves and the family to a box at the match.

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“Gordon would have loved the occasion, especially the result. He probably would have enjoyed that more than either of our birthdays and to find out we’d won the lottery draw made it extra special.”

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All money raised from the Ha’way and Play lottery helps SAFC’s official charity, the Foundation of Light, to support hundreds of vulnerable people throughout the North East.

The lottery website reads: “Ha'way and Play your part in tackling some of the North East's biggest challenges. Your money will make a life-changing difference to thousands of people and families across Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham."

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Fans can purchase tickets online in advance of each Sunderland AFC home game at

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