Sunderland FA Cup Final hero Jim Montgomery was at a North East airport to encourage supporters to follow their club on its summer tour.
The star keeper form the 1973 Wembley side joined Newcastle’s Fairs Cup-winning captain Bob Moncur at Newcastle International Airport just days before the Black Cats and the Magpies jet off to North America.
The Magpies are visiting Milwaukee, Sacramento and Portland and Sunderland are playing in Sacramento and Toronto.
For the first time football fans will be able follow their club’s pre-season schedule using the new United Airlines service to New York direct from Newcastle.
Once in the Big Apple fans can connect on to 300 destinations across the Americas, including the cities in which both sides are playing.
Bob, who was recently appointed to the board at Newcastle United, said: “It’s great for the region that you can now fly direct to North America from Newcastle.
Jim added: “The timing couldn’t be better for Newcastle and Sunderland fans too, who will now have the opportunity to see their teams in action and maybe also enjoy a summer holiday while they’re over in the US.
“The North East’s football fans are some of the most passionate in the game. This service will give them the opportunity to show those who follow the sport in America that world famous support.”
John Irving, Business Development Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “Both sets of fans will always follow their clubs around the world. Our flights to Newark are conveniently timed for connections right across the Americas, meaning fans won’t have to miss any of the action.”
Supporters who want to book their flights can do so today by going to www.united.com or through a high street travel agent.