WELL-BEHAVED Black Cats supporters have helped to scoop thousands of pounds for deserving Sunderland charities.
Earlier this month it was announced that SAFC supporters were deemed the best behaved in the Barclays Premier League last season.
The win means that the FA Charity Committee is now able to give away £20,000 to be shared between a pair of worthy causes.
The club held a consultation with supporters on how the money could be used to benefit the community, with voting seeing the prize split between Grace House Children’s Hospice and Sunderland RNLI.
Delegates in the Barclays Premier League assess the behaviour of fans at matches throughout the season, with points being awarded for positive verbal support and recognition of outstanding play by the opposition, as well as respect for match officials and opposing fans.
Grace House, based in Southwick, is set to provide hospice care for children and young people with life-shortening conditions throughout the North East when it opens later this year.
Karen Maclennan, senior fund-raiser at Grace House said: “I’d like to congratulate the Sunderland fans for winning the award for being the best behaved supporters in the Barclays Premier League last season which is tremendous achievement and a credit to both the club and the city of Sunderland.
“As you can imagine we are absolutely delighted to receive this £15,000 donation and on behalf of everyone at Grace House I thank you for your generosity and most welcome support.”
Sunderland Royal National Lifeboat Institution, whose volunteers rely wholly on donations to save the lives of many people caught in waters across the Sunderland coastline each year, will receive a £5,000 share of the funding pot.
James Jamieson, lifeboat operations manager at Sunderland RNLI, added: “Everyone at the lifeboat station is over the moon to be selected by SAFC and its supporters to receive this magnificent donation.
“This donation alone will almost totally offset our fuel costs for an entire year; which will equate to us carrying out approximately 100 rescue missions and saving the lives of many.”
Chairman of the Sunderland Supporters’ Association, George Forster, said: “I think Sunderland supporters can be really proud that this money will be going to two local, worthy charities.
“I’m really delighted that the money has been used in this way and I’m sure that it will do a lot of good for people throughout the city.”