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Reader’s Corner: How a piece of silver paper from a fag packet saved a 1973 cup final disaster!

RR reader Mick Colman tells the tale of how a piece of silver paper from his fag packet saved him from absolute disaster on FA Cup Final day back in 1973!

Soccer - Sunderland Photo by Peter Robinson/EMPICS via Getty Images

As our latest cup final approaches if I may I would like to tell the story of Saturday 5th of May 1973. I was out of work at that time and could not afford to go to Wembley. Also my Wife was starting a new job and her first day was unbelievably that Saturday.

I had slept well the night before the game, had a hearty breakfast, fed the kids and the dog, and then settled down on the sofa. At about 10am I turned the tv on to begin what was surely going to be a day to remember. To my horror the tv would not come on.

Being an engineering type I checked the fuse in the plug and plugged a radio into the socket, only to find that both were okay and the fault was the tv itself.

The tv set was rented from radio rentals on Crowtree Road.

I got the bus down there immediately and went into the shop, only to be told that no repairs could be done, and that they could not get a replacement tv to me until Monday.

I got the bus back in a cold sweat and decided to take the back off the tv with nothing to lose. I discovered a blown fuse inside the set. I didn’t have one but broke all of the rules and used the silver paper from my fag packet.

Low and behold, it worked!

Ian Porterfield Sunderland v Leeds United 1973 FA Cup Final Photo by Don Morley/Allsport/Getty Images

The kids were playing in the garden, the wife had gone to her first shift at Pyrex, the dog was asleep in front of the fire with his SAFC rosette in his collar, I was on the sofa, eyes glued to the set.

31 minutes into the game I shouted the loudest GOOOOOOOOOAL of my life.

The dog leaped six feet in the air and the kids came running in to see what all the fuss was about. Then, of course, the rest of the game was a nail-biter but Monty, Porterfield and the rest of the team became overnight heroes, never to be forgotten.

I got the 6pm bus which was absolutely packed yet eerily, totally silent, I think we were all in shock, down from Ford Estate to the Earl Percy Arms in Millfield, where a record amount of ale was supped that night.

We had that tv set for another year before it went back, with the silver paper still in place.

What a day, one that I will never forget.

Bobby Kerr Photo by Don Morley/Allsport/Getty Images

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