Is this Sunderland’s oldest fan?

Marie Connolly with former Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn in 2009.
Marie Connolly with former Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn in 2009.
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ONE of Sunderland’s oldest fans was given a special gift to mark her 100th birthday.

Marie Connolly, of Seaburn, was given a personalised shirt signed by Black Cats stars.

Marie Connolly, 100, received a signed Sunderland shirt from the club in recognition of her landmark birthday.

Marie Connolly, 100, received a signed Sunderland shirt from the club in recognition of her landmark birthday.

“She couldn’t believe it. She was absolutely made up,” said her son Gerry Connolly, 67.

“There were 60 people at her party and everybody thought it was a great gesture from the club.”

Marie was 24 when Sunderland beat Preston 3-1 to win the FA Cup in 1937 and 60 when Ian Porterfield scored the winner against Leeds in the 1973 cup final.

After years of support she went to her first match in 2009, when the Black Cats beat Stoke City 2-0 at the Stadium of Light, and met then-chairman Niall Quinn – a day she describes as one of the best in her life.

The centenarian celebrated her birthday with family and friends at Cuthbertson Court, Dykelands Road, where she has lived independently since her husband Billy died in 1989.