A BLACK Cats supporter shelled out £2,000 for the shirt and boots Fabio Borini wore when he scored Sunderland’s first goal in a major cup final in four decades.
Michael Ganley, of Ashbrooke, paid the money after it was auctioned off in aid of bone marrow charity, the Anthony Nolan Trust.
The 43-year-old is adding the shirt to his extensive collection of SAFC memorabilia, which he hopes to one day put on show in a museum.
Fabio, who has been awarded this year’s Young Player of the Year award, presented Michael with the shirt ahead of last Sunday’s final Premier League game of the season against Swansea City.
“I saw that Fabio’s fiancee Erin had donated the shirt to the charity appeal and thought ‘I’ve got to have it’,” said Michael.
“I decided to put in the first bid and it ended up being the highest, so I probably could have got it cheaper!
“But seriously, I’m really happy that the money is going to such a good cause and it will raise awareness of the charity.” Fabio’s first-half goal looked to have set Sunderland on their way to a piece of silverware for the first time in 41 years, but a second-half comeback saw Manchester City take home the trophy after they won 3-1.
Despite the final defeat, many of Fabio’s 10 goals for the Black Cats have helped ensure Premier League survival after their prospects looked bleak just a few weeks ago.
Michael, who admits he is “Sunderland daft”, says he wants the shirt to remain on show at the Stadium of Light for the forseeable future.
“I’ve built up the collection over 35 years,” added Michael.
“There’s a few hundred player’s shirts and medals in there and even (former manager) Martin O’Neill’s underpants!
“When I’ve bought bits of memorabilia over the years the club are happy, because they know I’ll give it to them to put on display, which is where I think things like this should be.”