SAFC to hold traditional silence to honour players and fans they lost in 2019
Sunderland AFC is to continue its long tradition of observing a silence at the last home game of the calendar year.
The silence, in memory of the club’s supporters, former players, coaching staff and officials who have passed away in the past 12 months, will take place before the 3pm kick-off when the Black Cats welcome Bolton Wanderers to the Stadium of Light on Boxing Day, Thursday, December 26.
The current players of both Sunderland and Bolton will come together in the centre circle in respectful remembrance of those who have gone.
The year has seen the “Sunderland family” lose a number of its former players and staff.
These include 1980s defender Nigel Saddington, 1960s inside forward Willie McPheat, 1950s England international Ivor Broadis, 1950s winger Geoff Toseland, 1960s striker Harry Hood, 1960s winger John Dillon and 1960s Northern Ireland defender Martin Harvey.
The most recent departure is that of Billy Hughes, who scored against Arsenal in the 1973 FA Cup semi final win at Hillsborough.
Also sadly gone are former coach Ian Ross, assistant and caretaker manager Ian MacFarlane and human resources manager, Mandy Goulden.
A club statement said: “The silence also gives us the opportunity to collectively remember loyal supporters who have passed in 2019. They, and their families and friends, will be in our thoughts.”
Supporters are kindly asked to take their seats early to ensure that the silence is observed in the appropriate, respectful manner.