Trivia Tidbits From Sunderland's Long FA Cup History

Red and white ribbons on the cup again this year?

We are not often treated to a SECOND FA Cup game of the season, so we thought we'd mark the occasion with something a little special. Many will remember the Derby Day Did You Knows we did back in August, so we thought we'd release the FA Cup edition with a few fun facts and unusual tales with which you can wow your friends for ever more.

Did You Know?: Although the official attendance for Sunderland's FA Cup sixth-round replay against Manchester United at Roker Park in 1964 was 46,727, it is estimated that the actual size of the crowd was close to double that figure. Fearful that they were not going to be able to get in, fans had torn down the gates at the Roker End and thousands had taken advantage and poured into the stadium. Such was the size of the crowd for the game, that the Sunderland players, who had spent the day at the Roker Hotel on the seafront, struggled to approach the ground. Although nothing can be confirmed, it is widely speculated that the game was the best attended Roker Park crowd in history.

Did You Know?: Interestingly, the club's official highest attendance is also in the FA Cup. On 8th March 1933, a staggering 75,118 crammed into Roker Park to watch a sixth-round replay with Derby County. Roker Park was so packed full, that photos of the game show fans standing nearly all the way up to the the touchline.

Did You Know?: Sunderland had won the league title 6 times before they tasted FA Cup glory. Such was the frustration at the failure to replicate their league success in the cup, many at the time genuinely believed the club were cursed never to lift the trophy.

Did You Know?: When Roker Park was closed and fans were asked to vote for the greatest ever game seen at the famous old ground, it was an FA Cup tie that took the accolade - specifically the 3-1 fifth-round win against Manchester City en-route to winning the competition in 1973.

Did You Know?: Bobby Kerr was the man who famously lifted the trophy for Sunderland in 1973, but his satisfaction at depriving Leeds of FA Cup glory almost certainly made it even sweeter. 6 years earlier in a bad-tempered FA Cup tie with the Yorkshire club, 'The Little General' suffered a broken leg in a typically dirty tackle from Norman Hunter. Hunter would watch from the Wembley turf in '73 as Kerr climbed the 39 steps as the winning captain.

Did You Know?: Goal nets are a generally accepted sight at football grounds up and down the country these days. That wasn't always the case, however, and it is a Sunderland FA Cup which is responsible for their introduction to the game. On February 28th, 1891, Sunderland faced Notts County in an FA Cup semi-final. With the scores locked at 3-3, John Campbell scored what looked like a late winner, only for the referee to signal for a goal kick believing the ball had gone wide. To avoid any repeats (barring the odd ghost goal here and there...) goal nets were introduced the following summer. Sunderland lost the replay 2-0.

Did You Know?: The second-round FA Cup tie with Aston Villa in 1894 produced record gate-receipts for Sunderland's pre-Roker Park home, the Newcastle Road ground - a whopping sum on £960.

Did You Know?: The club record league win, a 9-1 thumping of Newcastle in 1908 is well documented, but the club's record FA Cup win surpasses even that. In 1895, Sunderland walloped Fairfield 11-1 on 2nd February in the first-round. This is also the only occasion in the club's entire history when they have scored 5 goals or more in both halves of a game.

Did You Know?: Sunderland's second-round cup tie at Maine Road against Manchester City in 1913 had to be abandoned due to a pitch invasion. The FA ordered the game to be replayed, but at Roker Park instead. Sunderland won it, 2-0, but tasted heartache in the final losing out to bitter rivals Aston Villa at Crystal Palace.

Did You Know?: This won't be a popular one... due to a colour clash with Southampton in a fourth-round clash at Roker Park in 1951, Sunderland borrowed a set of Newcastle United's black and white strips. Different times!

Did You Know?: Former Tottenham captain Danny Blanchflower claimed that the loudest noise he heard in his entire football career was when Willie McPheat socred for Sunderland against them in an FA Cup tie at Roker Park in March 1961.

Did You Know?: The first substitute to ever appear for Sunderland in the FA Cup was Allan Gauden, who claimed his little piece of history against Leeds United on 11 March 1967.

Did You Know?: When Sunderland won the cup in 1973, they became the first second division club to lift the trophy since West Bromwich Albion achieved it in 1931.

Did You Know?: In the 1913 final against Aston Villa, Sunderland were involved in a moment of FA Cup history, as Villa frontman Charlie Wallace became the first ever player to miss a penalty in a cup final.

Did You Know?: Now hopefully this isn't an omen ahead of the weekend, but Sunderland's first ever FA Cup game was held in 1884 and saw us defeated 3-1 by Middlesborough's near neighbours, Redcar.

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