THE boss of a Kenyan soccer club - forged by devoted Sunderland fans - has been on a fact-finding mission in Wearside.
The chairman of Sunderland AFC Keroche, David Waithaka, visited the Stadium of Light after he was invited over by Black Cats supporters who are involved with the African team.
Coaches from Keroche were also due to make the trip, but were unable to enter the country because of Visa problems.
Founded in 2007 the club, who are nicknamed the Black Panthers and play in red and white, hope to improve the lives of people in Karai, in the Rift Valley province of Kenya where the team is based.
They will compete in the Kenyan National Second Division this year following two successive promotions.
Following a tour of the SAFC’s home, David and sponsors of Keroche met with the Black Cats’ head of international development Graham Robinson.
David also managed to meet SAFC head coach Gus Poyet.
David said: “To be in a stadium like this is unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like it.
“It’s great for us to be able to come here and talk about ideas which we can take back.
“I’m sure that with their help one day we can become one of the biggest football clubs in Kenya.”
Honorary president of Sunderland AFC Keroche, Gary Lamb, who is from Seaham, said: “Tombola (former SAFC main sponsors) have been behind us from the start and we’ve had a meeting with them today about how they can help.
“David’s had a good time during his visit, even though you can see he’s feeling the cold because he’s not used to it!”
Anyone interested in getting involved with SAFC Keroche can call Gary Lamb on 07880 732 078 or email him at GarySAFCLamb@hotmail.com.