The lucky hat that helped Sunderland win the cup

Sunderland wives and girlfriends set off for London.
Sunderland wives and girlfriends set off for London.
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Last week we took a first look at behind-the-scenes news from Sunderland in 1973.

This week, we conclude our step back in time with more of the off-the-field news from the weeks The Lads made history.

Lily Arnott with her cup final ticket.

Lily Arnott with her cup final ticket.

Ray Averre must have thought it was always in the bag. When he headed to Wembley in 1973, he took his beloved lucky hat with him.

The 14-year-old had only once seen Sunderland lose – he didn’t have the hat with him at the time.

Sadly, Ray was on the verge of missing the FA Cup Final because he didn’t have a ticket. That was until Alan Smith, the captain of Warwickshire Cricket Club, stepped up and gave away four tickets.

One went to Ray. Another went to 81-year-old great grandmother Lily Arnott who, as we reported last week, missed Sunderland’s trip to Wembley in 1937 when she gave her ticket away.

Ray Averre with his ticket and his lucky hat.

Ray Averre with his ticket and his lucky hat.

On the evening before the game, 25,000 Wearsiders set off for London including one fan who stood to collect £1,000 with Gus Carters if Sunderland won.

Shops were planning to close early. The Sunderland Echo chartered an aircraft to fly copies of the cup final sports edition to London.

Billy Hughes, Dennis Tueart and Ian Porterfield were photographed trying out trendy gear in King’s Road, as a road worker went past – a sweeper.

On the eve of the match, there was a Grand Wembley Dance planned at the aptly named Roker Victory Club.

The front page of the Sunderland Echo from Friday, May 4, 1973.

The front page of the Sunderland Echo from Friday, May 4, 1973.

And on the TV at 10.30pm, ITV were screening Who Will Win The Cup, featuring interviews with Malcolm Allison, Derek Dougan and Jimmy Hill.

On the day itself, Cup Final Grandstand was on BBC1 from 11.15am with Cup Final It’s A Knockout.

But if the nerves were too great, you could always go to the Binns remnant sale where jewellery cost 20 pence, and men’s shoes started from £3.25.