Wembley: The agony and the ecstasy....

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“WE sang our songs of triumph on the Wembley terraces; we sang them on the streets and in the bars of London; and we sang them long after midnight in the fountains of Trafalgar Square....” writes an Echo reporter who was on the terraces at the match.

Long before the game began, hundreds of fans preparing for the match exercised their voices in the Underground and on the way to Wembley.

But the first real roar of anticipation came as the coach carrying the Sunderland team was spotted travelling slowly up Wembley Way shortly before 2pm. Thousands of fans surround the coach to salute their heroes.

The massed chorus of Wearside fans inside took no warming up and soon burst into song which were to echo around the stadium and London all afternoon and long into the night.

As a seemingly endless red-and-white scarf snakes its way over the heads of red-and-white-drenched fans, not a Sunderland supporter could imagine we would not win the Cup.

The seething Wearsiders swayed in unison, waving their banners and scarves, and they were answered in the so-called “Leeds end” by hundreds of Sunderland fans with black market tickets who could not change ends.

The chants became a great roar of welcome as the team came on the pitch and the noise was not to stop until long after the game ended.

The match itself as watched in a constant sway and it was awesome to look back up the terraces to see the cascade of red-and-white which seemed to be flooding down.

The only goal brought a full-throated eruption of delight and fans hugged each other, danced jigs, and were hurled yards from where they stood.

The second half seemed like an age, as tension mounted and fans turned away screaming “Oh! No” as they saw Lorimer lining up with an open goal.

They could scarcely believe it when the game continued with Sunderland still in the lead.

And the referee’s whistle to herald the sensational victory was drowned by one of the greatest Wembley roars ever. And the most gleeful song of all rang out: “And now you’ve got to believe us, because we’ve won The Cup.”

It was impossible for hundreds of fans to see the presentation of Cup and medals as the scarves and banners were unfurled for the triumphal accolade.

Fountain “bath”

In the West End streets, neutrals said it had been one of the most colour events in the capital for years and out-matched even the World Cup Final.

Word spread around the bars that fans were marching into the fountains in Trafalgar Square and scores of Wearsiders made their way there to give tourists a spontaneous show.

They climbed the tiers of the fountains and once again broke into song. Police on duty were amiable and indulgent and midnight bathers were not arrested after leaving the water.

And so in the early hours and all of Sunday, fans went home with their memories of the greatest football match they had eve seen. ... and The Cup.

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on May 7, 1973.