Sunderland at Wembley: 1973 FA Cup legends Micky Horswill and Dick Malone hoping for new glory in Checkatrade Trophy final
Sunderland legends Dick Malone and Micky Horswill are hoping Jack Ross’s Wembley-bound side will take their place in the record books later this month.
Dick and Micky were part of the last Sunderland team to lift a trophy at Wembley when they played in the 1973 FA Cup Final triumph over Leeds.
Sunderland have been back five times since - for play-off finals against Swindon Town and Charlton Athletic in 1990 and 1998, League Cup finals against Norwich City and Manchester City in 1985 and 2014 and an FA Cup Final against Liverpool in 1992 - but each visit has ended in disappointment.
Now the 1973 teammates are keeping their fingers crossed that the current side will lift silverware when they take on Portsmouth on Sunday, March 31.
Dick said: "I’m thrilled that Sunderland have reached the final and nothing would give me greater pleasure than seeing them walk up the famous steps at the final whistle to pick up winner’s medals and the cup.
"Winning the FA Cup in 1973 was an incredible achievement which will never be forgotten.
"Despite Sunderland’s fantastic previous history, we were giant-killers at the time, taking on the mighty Leeds.
"But although we were underdogs then, we were all aware of Sunderland’s great tradition and huge fanbase and we hoped that that Cup victory would lead the club back to glory days.
"If you had told me back in ‘73 that we would get to 2019, almost 50 years later, without another Wembley victory for Sunderland, I wouldn’t have believed you.
"It has gone on way too long and I would love nothing more than for Sunderland fans to have a new generation of players to celebrate lifting a Cup at Wembley."
Micky added: “I couldn’t be happier for the fans who have been through so much over recent seasons and have now got such a great day ahead of them.
"Some people will say it is only the Checkatrade Trophy but that won’t make a jot of difference to Sunderland fans - they’re going to Wembley and it is going to be great.
"And I'll tell you something, when the final comes and all those red and white fans start filling up Wembley, the country will be reminded of just what a great club it is and what a great set of supporters they have, regardless of what division they are in.
"They are special."
The pair were speaking when they met at the George Washington Hotel for the launch of the Mayor’s Charity Golf Day, due to be held on Friday, April 12.
Ian Gray, general manager of the George Washington, said : "Sunday, March 31, was going to be all about Mother’s Day’s for the hotel but we’ll be making arrangements to ensure that the final is screened live.
"Hopefully, that way the entire family can be kept happy and our guests can enjoy a double celebration."