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Watford v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship - Vicarage Road

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A rallying cry for the Boxing Day fixture against Blackburn!

With the club donating £1 from every ticket sold for our game on Boxing Day to the Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen, we asked our writers for their thoughts on why buying a ticket could be worthwhile!

Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images

Andrew Smithson says…

I thought this was a lovely gesture when I saw the announcement from the club and I think it’ll be a massive boost for the SCSK - both in terms of extra funds but also helping to make more people aware of support they offer and the assistance they need to continue doing so.

The donations will make buying tickets a lovely gift for somebody who’ll not only get the chance to see the Lads, but in the knowledge that others are benefiting from it too.

There are also plenty of reasons for previous disaffected supporters to treat themselves to a ticket

The football side of things has been improving for a while, and those that can afford to go along now have an extra incentive.

Christmas can be a funny old time and it brings mixed emotions for a lot of people.

It also highlights the difficulties faced by many of the less fortunate folk in our communities, and whether you choose or are able to celebrate at this time of year, I hope it remains a period where we can all reflect and show goodwill to others.

Initiatives such as this suggest that the club appreciates its position within the city and is not just here to take what it can.

That means a lot to me as I am proud of my club and my home, and I want there to be a positive link between the two that will benefit all concerned.

Well done to whoever made this decision, and well done to the amazing people that help the SCSK in different ways. Sunderland would be a lot worse off without you.

Sunderland v Burnley - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

Jon Guy says…

It’s a great gesture by the club, given the tremendous work the SCSK does within the city.

I would hope that fans would be keen to provide their support to a great cause and in many ways hopefully having spent a Christmas Day with their loved ones, it’ll encourage the supporters to spare a thought and a quid for those who are struggling- a number that is sadly increasing.

Aside from the support for the SCSK, let’s not forget the game has every chance of being a cracker between two good sides. There’s also the potential for a shootout between Ross Stewart and Ben Brereton-Diaz, who looked good at Ewood Park earlier in the season.

We are playing good football in periods, and we know from recent form that games at the Stadium of Light are never boring.

I’d say extend your Christmas Day and bring your family to the game, support the Lads and give a little to those who currently really need it.

Blackburn Rovers v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship
Bereton-Diaz was a thorn in our side in the reverse fixture back in October
Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images

Martin Wanless says…

There’s nothing better than a home fixture on Boxing Day – for me, that’s the biggest and best day of the season, and it’s always the game I look for second, after the opening day, to see who we’ve got.

There are a few sub-plots here, particularly with Tony Mowbray and the crap decisions we got down at Ewood Park a couple of months ago, so it should be a cracking day to be at the Stadium of Light.

Of course, in addition to the footy on offer, by buying a ticket for the game you’re also helping people from our region who need it the most. People who won’t have been able to afford a good Christmas, people who, at this moment, can only dream of being able to buy a ticket for the football.

£1 from each ticket sold for the Blackburn game will go straight to the Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen, and that’s an incredible gesture from the club. It’ll make an unbelievable difference to what you all know is a charity very close to our hearts here at Roker Report, and it’ll help so, so many people during the course of the coming 12 months.

We saw at the last home game the backing the club gave to the Fight For Faye appeal, and it’s brilliant to see the Sunderland AFC getting involved in and supporting the people of the community – our community, their community – who need it.

When I was growing up, Sunderland proudly were ‘The Caring Club’. We need to get back to that sentiment, and if the past couple of weeks are anything to go by, it looks as if we are.

I doubt this would have happened 3-4 years ago, so it’s incredibly heartening and positive that it’s happening now. The importance of this cannot be underestimated, on so many levels.

Well done.

Seaburn Boxing Day Dip
After a Boxing Day dip, head down to the Stadium of Light!
Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Kelvin Beattie says…

I was having lunch with my youngest daughter and her boyfriend who are home for Christmas from Australia, when I noticed this news. I shared it with them and found myself proudly proclaiming the “new” regime for many aspects of their management, not just this decision.

The work of SCSK was already familiar to my visitors as they have contributed over the last two years to RR fundraising, none the less it prompted some discussion about the state of the country that services such as SCSK are so essential for the most vulnerable in our society.

It was not lost on us that while we were having these “lofty” discussions, we were enjoying some very nice (expensive) food and wine, following a beautiful snow-filled dander on the always pleasing-to-the-eye Derwent Walk.

In many respects, the conversation heightened our appreciation of our time together, as well as our ability to join in with such an essential fundraising effort. Tickets are bought, the message is passed on.

When we talk about our ambition for our team and club, it is acts such as this Boxing Day venture that give me hope and evidence that we are indeed “heading in the right direction” in many if not all aspects.

If we truly want to be a “community club”, then decisions like the Boxing Day venture need to become regular and mutually respected by fans and all involved in the running of the club.

Well done to those that made this decision. It's over to us, the fans, to do our bit now, let's fill the SoL and make this a win/win (and hopefully win on the pitch) venture.

Ha’way my bonny Lads n Lasses!


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