HUNDREDS of Black Cats fans landed a great Capital One Cup Final result.
Queues gathered outside the Stadium of Light ticket office overnight as the club released another batch of tickets for the Wembley date with Manchester City.
First in the queue were father and daughter Kevin Hughes and Rachael Cranswick-Hughes, from South Shields, who had been waiting since 10.30pm for tickets to go on sale at 9am.
Rachael will celebrate her 18th birthday on the day of the match – Sunday, March 2 – and is hoping she will have double cause to celebrate, even if she is a little apprehensive.
“I don’t know about being excited but I am looking forward to it,” she said.
“Hopefully Sunderland can make it a birthday to remember.”
Lifelong Sunderland fan Kevin is just hoping it will be fifth time lucky at the home of English football.
“I have been to Wembley four times previously with Sunderland and never seen them win there,” he said.
“I was there for the Milk Cup final with Norwich in 1985, the FA Cup against Liverpool in 1992, and the play-off final against Swindon in 1990 and then again against Charlton in 1998.”
Sunderland will start as underdogs against high-flying Manchester City but 50-year-old Kevin hopes recent results will provide a psychological boost. Sunderland have beaten City 1-0 at the Stadium of Light for the past four seasons. “It does seem that we are a bit of a bogey team for them,” he said.
Fred Davis had driven up from Leeds overnight in the hope of bagging tickets for himself and nine-year-old son Ethan.
Fred, originally from Shildon, had been waiting since midnight.
He reckons he has put in enough miles over the years to be owed a touch of cup glory, even following Sunderland on their short lived foray into European football after 1973’s FA Cup win.
“I travelled to Budapest to see them play Vasas, five of us in the car,” he said.
“We are Sunderland season ticket holders and we travel up for every home game.”
Fans not travelling to Wembley next month will still be able to enjoy the excitement at the Stadium of Light with the final screened at the ground.
The match will be shown in a variety of suites and bars, including Quinn’s Sports Bar, the Montgomery Suite and Executive Boxes.
Entry to Quinn’s Sports Bar is £8 per person, which includes a complimentary drink on arrival, followed by a buffet lunch.
The Montgomery Suite will set fans back £22 per person and include a Champagne reception on arrival followed by a two-course lunch with allocated seating. Guests booking this option will also receive a complimentary copy of the official Wembley match day programme.
Executive Boxes will be open to fans at a cost of £32pp. This includes a Champagne reception on arrival, followed by a three-course lunch and official Wembley match day programme.