SUNDERLAND “cup fever” – stamped out in the early stages in recent seasons – shows signs of developing into an epidemic this week.
Queues of “patients” were lining up at Roker Park today, for the only known cure – a ticket for the 4th Round FA Cup against Reading on Saturday.
A certain Mr Charlie Hurley, manager of Reading and former Sunderland captain, is believed to be partly responsible for the outbreak. Other causes are Mr Bob Stokoe and his team which has recently set pulses racing on the terraces.
Pictured below are three supporters who got their tickets today, but who believe Saturday’s match will only service to heighten the fever.
Mr Charles Dunn (left), a 72-year-old retired millwright of Waskerley Road, Washington, and his wife Margaret (70) expect to see the biggest crowd of the season at Saturday’s match. Sunderland will win of course, they say, and cup fever will spread.
Mr John Dougherty (65), a retired gardener, of Bevan Avenue, Ryhope thinks many supporters will come simply because Reading are managed by the former Roker Park idol.
But Mr Dougherty, a season ticket holder for 15 years, says: “Sunderland are playing so well now they can’t lose to Reading. I just hope the next round produces a home tie for Sunderland.”
Mr Ron Linney, secretary of Sunderland AFC, told the Echo: “Interest is very big for this game.
On Saturday there were queues for tickets all day. We have taken on temporary staff to cope and today they have been going non-stop selling tickets.”
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on January 29 1973.