East Durham firm signed up to provide security at Sunderland AFC

back row from left to right, Steadfast Security managing director Michael Harbord, Vito Mannone, Jack Rodwell, Duncan Watmore, Steadfasts Steve Hill, front row, Steadfast Security managing director Dave Watson and directors Paul Harbord and Ian Harbord.

back row from left to right, Steadfast Security managing director Michael Harbord, Vito Mannone, Jack Rodwell, Duncan Watmore, Steadfasts Steve Hill, front row, Steadfast Security managing director Dave Watson and directors Paul Harbord and Ian Harbord.

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A security firm has won a major contract to look after the Stadium of Light and the Academy of Light as well as other Sunderland Football club sites.

And on top of becoming the club’s leading security service provider, expanding East Durham-based company Steadfast has also agreed to become an official business partner of the Black Cats.

“We have had a box at the Stadium of Light since it opened, having previously watched the Lads from the Fulwell End and have followed the team through thick and thin. So the chance for us to provide this service to the club is huge for us - a real privilege and honour.”

Michael Harbord

That move will see Steadfast building close ties with the club and benefiting from LED perimeter and jumbo screen advertising at the 48,000-seater stadium, along with player endorsements, matchday hospitality and programme advertising.

Sunderland AFC’s commercial director, Gary Hutchinson, said: “Steadfast are industry leaders in providing security services, offering us a 24/7 security service and CCTV monitoring across our sites.

“They are a great addition to our team and we are delighted to welcome them to the Sunderland Family.

“It has been a very productive period for us in terms of growing and developing our range of partnerships and our relationship with Steadfast is another positive step.”

Steadfast meanwhile are thrilled to have a tie-up with a club that the board of directors have supported all their lives.

Michael Harbord, managing director of the Steadfast Group, said: “We are a growing company with over 150 employees and over the last 20 years have grown from local, to regional, and now national level.

“But at our heart we are still a family firm and a massive Sunderland supporting one at that.

“We have had a box at the Stadium of Light since it opened, having previously watched the Lads from the Fulwell End and have followed the team through thick and thin.

“So the chance for us to provide this service to the club is huge for us - a real privilege and honour.

“And then to take that relationship one step further and become an official partner of the club is something we are all proud of.”