What else went on in Sunderland in 1973?

Tony James and Bob Scott ready for the off in their red and white Cup Special car.

Tony James and Bob Scott ready for the off in their red and white Cup Special car.

1
Have your say

We often hark back to that wonderful year when Sunderland won the FA Cup in 1973.

But what else was going on in the city as FA Cup fever gripped the town?

Lily Arnott.

Lily Arnott.

Let’s take a look back in the first of a two-part focus, with the second to come next week.

Thousands of Wearsiders headed for Wembley but spare a thought for those who were left behind.

There was Maurice Hepworth, the Sunderland youth team captain, who was injured days before the game and needed an abdominal operation. He watched the match from a hospital bed.

Lily Arnott, 81, was another to miss out - deliberately. She had been at Sunderland’s last FA Cup trip to Wembley in 1937 with her late husband John but they gave a ticket to a man outside the ground.

Everybody just went wild that night in 1937. When we got home, I followed the team round the town. If they win this time, I’ll do it again

Lily Arnott, 81, in 1973

In 1973, Lily planned to be in London to meet up with the man she gave her ticket to - but would there be a twist in the story? Find out next week.

Thousands of others tried to turn to the touts who were selling tickets for £15 and sometimes up to £50.

But there was better news for the workers at Sunderland Shipbuilders Ltd. Their bosses told them they had taken over the Odeon cinema for a special big-screen presentation of the game.

At the time, there were only two big screens in the country. The other was in Sunderland as well - taken by the Top Rank suite where workers from Austin and Pickersgill planned to watch the match.

Roker Park backroom staff are entertained by Vaux Breweries.

Roker Park backroom staff are entertained by Vaux Breweries.

Jimmy Mullen was one of those who was determined to be at Wembley, just like he did in 1937 when he worked in the projection room of the Havelock Cinema.

And Sunderland fans Tony James and Bob Scott decorated their “Cup Special” car in red and white before driving it to London for the match.

For those not into football, Snow White was on at the ABC, or you could watch Unconquered, the Saturday BBC2 film starring Gary Cooper.

Maurice Hepworth who missed a visit to Wembley after an injury.

Maurice Hepworth who missed a visit to Wembley after an injury.