The big-hearted Sunderland lad who won his whole football team a cherished treat

More of the Ryhope players.

More of the Ryhope players.

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It was the year when Peter Reid cheered up a group of schoolboys.

And the year when rival fans from Sunderland and Newcastle teamed up to develop junior football on Wearside.

Peter Reid with some of the Ryhope players.

Peter Reid with some of the Ryhope players.

But let’s start with the man who was at the SAFC helm in 1997.

Twenty years ago, the then Sunderland boss invited youngsters from Ryhope Junior School to have a training session with him.

It all followed a kind-hearted act by the junior school team captain Paul Middlemiss during the Seaham District Under 11 League cup final.

Paul came to the rescue when one of his teammates, Andrew Hodgson, was left without a medal in the cup final. Paul decided to give up his own medal and was content with the memory that he had scored.

Moorside Boys Football Club in 1997.

Moorside Boys Football Club in 1997.

The Sunderland manager got to hear about his selfless deed and invited the whole of the team down to the SAFC Whitburn training ground.

Les Hayton, who was the headteacher at Ryhope Junior School at the time, said: “It was an extremely generous thing to do as he is a very busy man.”

Were you a part of that amazing day - or perhaps you were a part of another junior team which made the pages of the Sunderland Echo that year.

The Moorside Boys Football Club was another team to feature - twice in a matter of weeks.

First we told how the squad had two coaches. One was Sunderland-mad John Carney and the second was Newcastle fan Gordon Reay.John looked after the back line and Gordon took the forwards.

Team members included James Whitehead, Christopher Dowson, Steven Teal, Mark Wardle, Simon Towers and Jonathan Wayne.

Who remembers those great days and how did the two-coach team get on? Get in touch and tell us more.

Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk