Ex-South Shields MP and SAFC board member David Miliband says Mariners are "doing better" than Black Cats
Former South Shields MP David Miliband has praised the town’s football club and said they are currently “doing better” than Sunderland.
Mr Miliband – a former board member with the Black Cats – was in the city on Friday, December 6, to support Houghton and Sunderland South constituency Labour candidate Bridget Phillipson.
The former Foreign Secretary, who left Parliament in 2013, attended a Labour members event at Silksworth Youth and Community Centre on Tunstall Village Road, as part of five visits to seats across the North East.
In an interview after the event, he spoke fondly of South Shields Football Club (SSFC) of which he has been president since 2002.
When asked if he still keeps up with what’s going on in the town, the former MP, who represented South Shields for 12 years, said: “Yes. I still follow South Shields Football Club - they're doing a bit better than Sunderland at the moment.”
The Mariners are currently top of their league, the BetVictor Northern Premier League Premier Division table, having been promoted three times in the last four years.
When chairman Geoff Thompson took over in 2015 there were nine divisions between the two clubs, now reduced to four with the Black Cats being relegated twice in that time.
SSFC also hold the accolade of being one of the most recent North East clubs to win at Wembley following their FA Vase success in 2017.
Mr Miliband, who recently hosted his annual South Shields lecture - this year entitled Football, Brexit and Everything in Between - at Harton Academy, with guest Gary Lineker, stills owns a house in the town with his family.
He continued: “We come back every year with our kids. This part of the world is very good to me and my family. I feel very connected to it.”
The full list of candidates standing in Houghton and Sunderland South is: Richard Bradley (Green), Paul Edgeworth (Liberal Democrats), Richard Elvin (UKIP), Christopher Howarth (Conservative), Bridget Phillipson (Labour), Kevin Yuill (Brexit Party).
The full list of candidates standing in South Shields is: Emma Lewell-Buck (Labour), Sarah McKeown (Green), Oni Oviri (Conservative), William Shepherd (Liberal Democrat), Geoff Thompson (Independent) and Glenn Thompson (Brexit Party).