The “Roker Roar” will be back tonight when more than 50,000 Sunderland fans will cheer on their team in the F.A. Cup Fifth round replay against Manchester City at Roker Park.
It promises to be one of the most partisan crowds in Sunderland club’s history for many of the tickets allocated to Manchester were taken by Sunderland fans on Sunday who had stayed on after the drawn match at Maine Road.
By mid morning today all the unsold tickets had been snapped up by fans who had been queuing at Roker Park from as early as 7am. The ticket office opened at 9am, an hour earlier than planned because several hundred people were already queuing. Two hours later the tickets had all gone, disappointing hundreds more fans who had not got to the ground soon enough.
Sunderland A.F.C. secretary, Mr Ron Linney, warned: “If you haven’t got tickets, stay away.”
He repeated yesterday’s plea for fans to arrive early. Turnstiles would start opening at 5.30pm, two hours before kick off. “If people don’t come early they may not get into the ground until half time.”
A special squad of plain clothes police will mingle with the crowd on the look-out for troublemakers. Its size is being kept a secret.
A police spokesman said the squad would be under routine orders but would have to be extra alert as the huge crows would make it difficult to get at troublemakers.
Picture Caption: In their eagerness to get tickets for tonight’s match at Roker Park, two Hebburn boys, Robert Brown (13), and Mark Findlay (11), travelled by bus to be at the ground by 9am today. But they had to queue for more than an hour before they were successful. The queue behind them was still several hundred yards long by the time they reached the ticket office. The boys are seen (extreme left) in the queue and later (inset) when they had got their tickets.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on February 27 1973.