‘I missed my daughter’s birth to see Sunderland win the FA Cup’

Karen Davies (centre) with her parents, David and Christine Lumsdon. The anniversary of the 1973 Cup Final is being celebrated with a red-and-white party.
Karen Davies (centre) with her parents, David and Christine Lumsdon. The anniversary of the 1973 Cup Final is being celebrated with a red-and-white party.
0
Have your say

KAREN Davies celebrates her 40th birthday tomorrow – the same day her SAFC-mad dad missed her birth to see The Lads win football’s greatest cup competition.

She was born on the day Sunderland overcame the odds to beat the mighty Leeds United and lift the FA Cup.

Karen, daughter of David and Christine Lumsdon, was due to be born a week after the 1973 Wembley showpiece.

But much to David’s dismay, Christine’s waters broke on the Friday night, leaving him with a huge dilemma.

But as Christine gave birth, dad David, now 67, was hundreds of miles away in London cheering on SAFC to one of their greatest every triumphs, with Ian Porterfield’s 31st minute goal sealing a 1-0 win for Bob Stokoe’s side.

David decided that: “You can have a baby every year, but Sunderland can’t get to Wembley every year,” and went to the capital with fellow fans.

Karen, a community matron of Moorside, Sunderland, said: “My dad got a supporters’ bus at midnight from where we lived in Silksworth down to Wembley, and on the way back he rang the hospital from motorway cafe.

“He couldn’t hear because it was so loud with noisy supporters, so the manager let him use his office for the call.

“When he came back out saying he had got his girl, the roof almost came off with noise.”

David managed to get back to his wife and child in the maternity ward at Sunderland Royal Hospital, catching a ride on a milk float when the bus he was a passenger on broke down on Houghton Cut.

“My dad came in, covered in red and white paint, looking scruffy and obviously smelling of drink,” said Karen.

“He said “I’ve been to Wembley,” to which the midwife replied ‘never!’

“My mam went berserk at the state of my dad because she worked there as a nurse herself, but my dad still says it was the best day of his life, even now.”

Karen celebrated her birthday with her mum and dad, brother Neil, 42, and sister Gemma, 29, with a red-and-white-themed party.

They also plan to enjoy a family meal together tomorrow.

•Get a copy of our FA Cup victory souvenir special, free inside today’s Echo