Dressed to thrill: Sunderland fans rush to buy new home kit

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FANATICAL Sunderland supporters queued up outside the home of the Black Cats to get their hands on the team’s latest home kit.

The shirt was officially unveiled at the Stadium of Light store.

Paul Harrison and his son Luke, from Seaburn, proudly show off their purchases.

Paul Harrison and his son Luke, from Seaburn, proudly show off their purchases.

The kit was launched as head coach Gus Poyet took his side out to Portugal to continue their pre-season preparations.

The new campaign kicks off with a trip to West Brom on Saturday, August 16.

One fan, Paul Harrison, was waiting at the entrance to the club shop with his son, Luke, who turned 14 this week.

Paul, 44, from Borrowdale, in Seaburn, said: “I didn’t like the gold lines at the bottom of the sleeves on the shirt at first, but it grows on you.”

“I have been a season card holder since the Stadium opened in 1997.

As for the coming season, Paul added that he would like to see Sunderland start well, which would be in stark contrast to last year’s period of unrest under former boss Paolo Di Canio.

“I think we need a good start as three or four games into last season we only had one point.

“I’d like us to finsh mid-table and not get beat off the likes of West Brom.

“But last season we beat Newcastle home and away, which was absolutely fantastic.”

Luke said: “I feel pretty much the same as my dad really.

“I like the new kit too. Like my dad, I hope to have a mid-table season and not be near the bottom three.”

Another fan, Melissa Duffield, 21, from Glamis Court in South Shields, has been going to the Stadium of Light since 2007.

She said: “I didn’t like the kit at first, but it’s really grown on me.

“However, I love the away top, but that is because I like blue.

“I wasn’t into football until I was 14, but since then I’ve dragged my dad to the matches and have been going to the games ever since.”

Melissa hopes to not have to endure another great escape, after Sunderland won four out of their last five matches last season to secure Premier League survival.

Poyet’s team at one stage looked cut adrift and heading for the Championship before the turn around.

She added: “I would like to not have to perform another miracle.

“I think top 10 would be a successful season, but I want to finish anywhere above the relegation zone.

“Beating Newcastle again would be wonderful though.”