Roker casualties report for double training session

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WHATEVER doubts there may have been about Richie Pitt’s readiness to meet today’s starting dead-line for preparation for Saturday’s F.A. Cup (Sixth Round) tie against Luton Town were swept away at Roker Park last night, when he looked in good shape for the Reserves in their North Midland League game against York City Reserves. Manager Bob Stokoe said “He looked in good trim and he will be joining the rest of the players at Washington New Town where we will be working for the next three days, finishing with a Friday sessions at Roker Park.”

Today’s double sessions at the training complex will decide how well Bobby Kerr, Dick Malone, Mike Horswill, Billy Hughes and Dennis Tueart have recovered from the injuries which kept them out of the side beaten by Luton at Kenilworth Road on Saturday. No problems are expected.

While the scene shifts from Roker for the moment for Manager Bob Stokoe, trainer-coaches and players, Secretary Ron Linney and his staff are left to tidy up after the massive ticket distribution operation.

Luton took up only 6,500 of their permitted allocation of 13,500 and the remaining 47,500 of the all-ticket 54,000 gate were disposed of in a smooth operation completed within 48 hours. And it is pleasing to record that many non-voucher holders were successful applicants yesterday.

The next problem for the Roker staff is to pack in the capacity crowd as comfortably as possible on Saturday afternoon. Mr Linney told me “We shall be starting to open the gates at 12.30 and as it is roughly a half-hour operation all entrances to the ground should be open by one o’clock. We hope that as many as possible will come early to avoid congestion.”

There have been many queries on the removal of counterfoils from tickets for standing accommodation asking if their is any special significance. Mr Linney explains this by saying “It is simply a matter of speeding the flow through the turnstiles. Counterfoils are needed to identify seating accommodation, but the standing spectator does not need one.”

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on March 13 1973.