Sunderland pupils get lessons on football club’s history

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Pupils got filled in on the illustrious history of Sunderland AFC as part of an exhibition of memorabilia at their school.

As part of the national Schools PE Week, collector Michael Ganley displayed his extensive collection of SAFC-related items at St Mary’s RC Primary School.

I encouraged children to get photographs and even try on the items, again these images will stay with the kids forever.

Michael Ganley

Michael joined forces with ex-pupil from the school Callum Bradfield and even managed to bring along former Black Cats skipper Bobby Kerr, captain when the club won the FA Cup in 1973, on one day to speak to the youngsters.

Michael, who is looking to create a permanent home for his collection of Sunderland pieces, said: “The presentation with all of the school took roughly an hour and teachers as well as the children loved it.

“But we displayed at the school for four days. On the final day, I took along Bobby and we then had another two-hour session in the main school hall doing questions and answers, the children loved hearing the stories from such an iconic player of Sunderland’s past.

“I encouraged children to get photographs and even try on the items, again these images will stay with the kids forever.

“This is my philosophy to educate the children and I will be looking at other venues and schools to do further events like this.”

Michael is also calling on football fans to attend a special match in aid of St Ignatius Church and the Niall Quinn Children’s Centre at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The game, in which former SAFC players such as Julio Arca, Alex Rae and Darren Williams will line-up against a Christian side, takes place on Sunday, August 2, with a venue set to be confirmed in the coming weeks.