Play about life as a Sunderland fan is up for award

Paul Dunn
Paul Dunn

AN “outstanding” play about Sunderland AFC’s recent past is up for a culture prize.

The appreciation for I Left My Heart In Roker Park, performed by Wearside actor Paul Dunn, came from appreciative spectators who nominated it for a What’s On Where award.

And when Paul found out he could be in the running for honours, he said: “It is amazing and really gratifying to think that people enjoyed it so much they wanted to nominate.”

The one-man show is a homage to Sunderland FC’s recent and not-so-recent past. It was first written by Tom Kelly in 1997 when Roker Park was being demolished and has been updated since.

It was performed at venues including the Customs House in South Shields where the public loved it so much, more performances had to be put on.

Paul explained how he came to be involved. “I had some old photos belonging to Tom and we met up.

“He had been thinking about bringing the play back. We had a chat about it and he asked me if I would be interested in doing it. I was really excited.”

One of the nominations read: “I Left My Heart In Roker Park was an outstanding show last year, and Paul Dunn’s performance was breathtaking.”

Another said: “I Left My Heart In Roker Park was a brilliant play, with a fantastic performance by Paul Dunn.

“It was a one-man show, and he held the audience for two hours, making them laugh and cry throughout. It was an outstanding piece of theatre in 2014.”

The What’s On Where awards are held in association with our weekly entertainments guide, Wow 24/7.

They aim to reward the elite in categories which range from restaurants to children’s venues, takeaways to parks and community areas, and hotels to the best shopping experience.

We want you to nominate your favourites in each of the categories listed on this page.

The deadline for entries is February 5. After that, we will reveal the winners on February 26 in a glittering finale which will be held at the Best Western Roker Hotel.

•Enter your nominations here