Hymns could change to chants as wedding clashes with Sunderland-Newcastle derby

Sunderland football fanatic John Slasor, of Sulgrave, Washington, was horrified when the new season fixtures produced a Tyne-Wear derby on the day he marries Leanne. . The couple are pictured with ther daughter Sophie.

Sunderland football fanatic John Slasor, of Sulgrave, Washington, was horrified when the new season fixtures produced a Tyne-Wear derby on the day he marries Leanne. . The couple are pictured with ther daughter Sophie.

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A COUPLE are facing a major fixture clash after arranging their big match for 3pm on Saturday, August 20.

Unfortunately for Sunderland fanatic John Slasor and his fiancee Leanne Kane, their wedding is exactly the same time as another huge occasion – Sunderland’s first home game of the new season against Newcastle.

The couple, both 24, live in Helmdon, Sulgrave, with their two-year-old daughter Sophie. The ceremony will take place at Our Blessed Lady’s Church in Washington Village.

John, a Jobcentre customer services advisor, is praying for a rearrangement – of the football that is.

He said: “We planned it about a year ago and had the date confirmed last October.

“I was getting texts before I had even found out when the match was. I took a look at the fixtures and just put my head in my hands. It’s an absolute nightmare.

“Leanne’s dad Jimmy goes to all the home games and I go with Kris, my future brother-in-law who’s also one of the groomsmen. Even if it moves to 12 o’clock, it would still be too much of a rush to get back.

“We actually tried to book the Stadium of Light for the wedding, but they said they would not be able to confirm it until the fixtures came out. It could only be a provisional booking.

“I’ve had loads of lads saying they want earphones and asking if the church has a plasma screen. I’ve also been warned by Leanne about mentioning it while we’re being married.

“I’m praying that it’s moved to a Sunday and put on the telly so I can at least watch it after the wedding.”

So why did the footy fan risk arranging his wedding during the season?

John added: “My worst-case scenario was that there would be a Saturday home match. Never did I think it would be against Newcastle. I’ve never known us to play them in the first home game of the season.

“My best man Gary is a Mag. Can you imagine what his speech will be like if we win?”

Leanne said: “I love football, but I hope the match is moved to another day. I don’t want my wedding day to be all about that.”

Twitter:@sunderlandecho