Sunderland fans’ derby-day support helps Echo win award

TOP PRIZE: Johnston Press Chief Executive Ashley Highfield, second right, and Chief Digital and Product Officer Jeff Moriarty, far right, present the Audience Engagement Award to the Sunderland Echo.

TOP PRIZE: Johnston Press Chief Executive Ashley Highfield, second right, and Chief Digital and Product Officer Jeff Moriarty, far right, present the Audience Engagement Award to the Sunderland Echo.

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HA’WAY the lads!

Sunderland AFC smashed Newcastle United four derby games in a row – and now we’ve netted another Tyne-Wear victory.

Ashley Highfield presents the Chief Executive Award for going the extra mile to Karen Waggott.

Ashley Highfield presents the Chief Executive Award for going the extra mile to Karen Waggott.

This time it was the amazing Black Cats fans who picked up an award for your response to the Sunderland Echo’s coverage.

Our team recorded a famous one-nil victory on December 21, and the Echo put out a rallying call for supporters to get involved, as we reported the event in the lead up on the day, live match coverage and post-game celebrations.

We were inundated with fantastic photos, videos and comments as our city celebrated another sporting success.

We all know Sunderland fans are the best in the world, and now it’s been recognised at the Johnston Press annual awards, where the Echo picked up a top prize for audience engagement from its parent publishing group.

The derby was a special day and what was even more special was the way our loyal readers engaged with us to show their support, and this award is a recognition of the effort of the fans.

Gavin Foster, managing editor

Gavin Foster, Echo managing editor, said: “The derby was a special day and what was even more special was the way our loyal readers engaged with us to show their support, and this award is a recognition of the effort of the fans.

“We hope to do it all again on Easter Sunday when Newcastle visit the Stadium of Light – and be celebrating another fantastic win. Ha’way the lads.”

You can get involved with our coverage on April 5 through our Facebook page for SAFC fans and our Twitter account for all things red and white, @sunechosafc.

The Sunderland Echo’s commercial support manager Karen Waggott also picked up the chief executive award for going the extra mile.

Stephen Plews, managing director for the Echo, said: “Karen is truly one of our unsung heroes and thoroughly deserved this recognition.”