Dear Roker Report,
This is my 10 year old son’s 4th year as a season ticket holder and if I am being honest, it wasn’t his choice to own one - I was one of those dads who makes his kids go to the match when they would rather be at home playing Fortnite, because I know it is something we truly can share together as parent and child, something we can both feel the same about despite the three decade age gap. I know what life long memories it can provide and how good it can make you feel - when it goes right that is.
Imagine your introduction to SAFC being witness to the three previous campaigns? It was borderline child cruelty and he would have had every right to phone Esther Rantzen. Joking aside though, first impressions last and the lads could have lost a young fan forever.
Up until we got into this season he was a reluctant supporter but then the green shoots of interest began to appear as the feeling of winning became familiar, not a one off.
Then Wembley came and what a day it was! Seeing the look of amazement on his face when we walked up the steps and out onto the terrace was a moment I will never forget. Seeing a shy reserved lad going ballistic when we we pulled it back in the dying embers was a moment I knew he will never forget.
A lifetime fan of his own choice this time, was born on 31/03/2019. It was a proud moment to share with my son and the type of moment I dreamed of as a Sunderland fan, but more importantly as a parent. And that was just the Checkatrade trophy!
Yes we lost, yes it hurt, but now the dust has settled.....
I would give anything for that Sunday morning alarm to ring again.
So thank you SAFC for giving me a day that will stay with me forever.
I’m proud to be part of this club.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Lovely words, and what’s fantastic about the whole Wembley experience last week is that so many supporters just like you and I have said similar things. Every time Sunderland visit Wembley it means so much more to us than just a game of football - it’s about sharing unforgettable experiences with close friends and family.
That night before at Trafalgar Square is genuinely the best fan experience that I’ve ever had, and it didn’t even involve the footy.
When he’s older he’ll think back at his fondest memories as a supporter and as your son and recall the weekend at Wembley - not for the result, but because it just felt special. You can’t really explain those moments to people who don’t understand what it means to be a football supporter.