THE home of the Black Cats became the “Stadium of Fright” as young fans got into the Halloween spirit for a charity walk.
Led by SAFC club ambassador and legendary goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery, more than 50 children and their parents took part in the Niall’s Mile event in aid of the Foundation of Light.
Those joining in did four laps of the ground wearing scary costumes.
Prizes up for grabs for the best outfit included an SAFC family season ticket and match tickets.
Foundation of Light then hosted a spooktacular Halloween party, where youngsters took part in fright-inducing activities including Mummy Wrapping, learning to dance like a zombie from Michael Jackson’s Thriller and a Trick or Treat tour.
Niall’s Mile, named after former Sunderland player, manager and chairman Niall Quinn, aims to keep children active and get them taking part in community fund-raising.
Washington mum Sarah Morris took part with her mum Janet as well as her children Ben Lawrence, 10, Amy Lawrence, seven, and Chloe Wilson, one.
“I’ve done Niall’s Mile before and me and my mum did the Sunderland Big Walk a few months ago so when I saw this was on I thought it’d be a good idea to bring the kids down,” said Sarah, 31.
“It’s great to get the kids out exercising because it’s not a bad day today and they’ve all had a good time.”
Walkers were asked to pledge £1 to the Foundation of Light prior to walking and grabbed a Niall’s Mile drawstring bag including a frisbee or yo-yo for participating.
Niall’s Mile is run in partnership with Walk 4 Life and is sponsored by Sunderland City Council as part of the “All Together Sunderland” campaign.
Jimmy, SAFC’s record appearance maker, said: “We’ve got a lot of kids who’ve turned out today and they’re getting active for a good cause.
“They’re getting a nice look around the stadium and a party afterwards and I’ve really enjoyed being part of it.”
Lynn Cuthbertson, football development executive manager at the Foundation of Light, said: “It’s great that so many families are keen to keep their youngsters active over the half-term break and we try to give them the opportunity to do just that.
“It’s been a great day and we want to say thanks to everyone who took part. They’ve been fantastic.”