Sunderland’s top news and sport stories of 2014

Sunderland fans celebrate Fabio Borini's goal in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley against Manchester City.
Sunderland fans celebrate Fabio Borini's goal in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley against Manchester City.
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TOUCHING tales, good news for the city and goings on at Sunderland football club are among our most-read stories of the year.

It’s been a massive 12 months for Sunderland, with the Black Cats heading to Wembley for the Capital One Cup final, big shows such as Lion King and War Horse heading to the Empire, and projects getting underway across Wearside.

That’s setting aside derby victories, the ongoing success of Nissan, and Gus Poyet pulling off the “Great Escape” to keep Sunderland in the Premier League.

But there has been sadness and tragedy alongside the good news, and at this time of year our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones or suffered hardship or tragedy during 2014.

In come cases your response has been incredible, whether it’s by sending messages of support, fundraising or doing good deeds, and will have been of some comfort to those in need.

Now 2015 is looming, with Sunderland to host the 300ft waterslide, rock giants the Foo Fighters to perform at the Stadium of Light and dozens of projects getting underway across the city, it looks like the new year is going to be a great one.

Our top ten most-read news stories of 2014:

1) Teenager had sex with 13-year-old girl at party – then posted pictures of it online – 691,153

2) Sunderland mum found daughter hanging from window blind cord – 57,289

3) Manchester City fans write letters of praise to Sunderland supporters – 53,058

4) Teaching assistant goes on trial charged with having sexual activity with a pupil – 35,352

5) Sunderland woman burned, stabbed and bit children – and rubbed chilli into a girl’s eyes and private parts – 32,820

6) Safety campaign: Parents release heartbreaking final picture of daughter killed in blind cord accident – 32,117

7) Police name man, 26, found dead in Sunderland field – 30,556

8) Body found in Sunderland woodland – 30,367

9) Police hunting couple after restaurant runner at Panda’s in Sunderland – 27,819

10) Arrest over murder of Sunderland schoolgirl Nikki Allan – 27,458

Our top ten most-read sport stories of 2014:

1) Liverpool striker Borini in Sunderland talks – 24,603

2) TRANSFER TALK - Leeds reject Sunderland bid for Byram – 23,208

3) Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson at Wembley to cheer on Sunderland – 22,632

4) Sunderland eyeing a summer move for central defender – 21,333

5) Alvarez and Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk linked to Sunderland as Poyet promises surprise

6) Wickham told: Sign or we’ll have to sell you – 20,848

7) Poyet confident on Sunderland transfer breakthrough – 20,891

8) Poyet: New boys on way to boost Sunderland’s goal power – 20,474

9) Borini’s demands scuppered possible Sunderland return – 19,609

10 More Sunderland signings by WBA opener, says Poyet – 18,658

...and here are Sunderland’s top five good news stories of 2014

1) Manchester City fans write letters of praise to Sunderland supporters – 53,058

2) Sunderland chosen to host gigantic 300ft water slide – 24,678

3) Sunderland Empire to host The Lion King on seven-week run – 19,471

4) Frankie & Benny’s to open at £35million leisure development – 16,616

5) Name announced for new £1million bar to replace Sunderland’s Chase – 14,088

Let’s hope there are plenty more of this kind in 2015. Happy New Year!