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On This Day (24 Oct 1973): Sunderland take on Sporting Lisbon in European competition!

ON THIS DAY (1973): Sunderland defeated a Sporting Lisbon side that had been slightly depleted as a result of some of their players being caught twocking audio cassettes from Boots in Newcastle!

47 years ago today, Sunderland took on Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon in the second round (1st leg) of the European Cup Winners Cup.

Admission prices at Roker Park were doubled for European games, with the club’s directors claiming that this was to help pay for the upgraded floodlights that we’d require to accommodate the needs of colour television. 31,568 fans were at Roker Park that night to witness the lads claim a famous victory - our last ever win and game in senior European Competition on Wearside. How depressing, eh.

Still, it wasn’t a depressing night, and fans who were there at the game recall a classy Sporting side being outdone by the sheer determination of Sunderland on the night - Stokoe’s men running out as winners, with the game ending 2-1.

Sporting were no mugs, and that season they would go on to win their 14th Portuguese league title. Second division Sunderland managed a victory over one of the top sides in Europe at the time, an impressive feat considering our own stature within the game at the time.

The players of both teams before the game
Ryehill Football

Bobby Kerr gave Sunderland the lead when his shot was fumbled back over the line by Portuguese international goalie Vitor Damas.

The Lads held firm, and then just after the hour mark Micky Horswill scored our second goal of the evening to double the lead. Job done then, or so you’d think, but with just five minutes left to play Hector Yazalde - one of the top strikers in world football at the time - scored to give Sporting an away goal going into the second leg.

Yazalde went on to score 46 goals that season in total, making him the top scorer in Europe.

Back in those days, clubs were allowed to name five players as substitutes. Those scanning the team sheets might notice that Sporting only had three - this was because some of their players were sent back to Portugal in disgrace after they were caught shoplifting audio cassettes from Boots on Northumberland Street in Newcastle! Each of them were convicted and fined £20 as a result.

Sunderland’s XI: Montgomery, Malone, Bolton, Horswill, Watson, Young, Kerr, Hughes, Halom, Porterfield, Tueart. SUBS: Swinburne, Ellison, Mitchell, McGiven, Lathan.

Sporting’s XI: Damas, Manaca, Pereira, Fraguito, Laranjeira, Alhinho, Faria, Fernandes, Yazalde, Canotilho, Nando. SUBS: Cabral, Valter, Tome.