WITH Manager Bob Stokoe topping the list of victims, the flu bug creates problems for Sunderland as they prepare for a busy weekend with a visit to Cardiff City on Saturday and a home game against Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day.
Mr Stokoe, who travelled to his St Anne’s home after Saturday’s game against Preston NE felt it coming on yesterday and his wife informed club secretary Mr Ron Linney this morning that he had spend the day in bed and would be laid up for at least another 24 hours.
Trainer-coach Billy Elliott contacted the manager by phone this morning was told that Mr Stokoe was hoping to be able to make the sort trip to Halifax for tomorrow night’s North Midlands League game between Sunderland Reserves and Halifax Reserves.
Mr Elliott, who also suffered a mild attack and got over the worst of it by going to bed at 6.30 last night, passed on the news that youth team trainer-coach Ray Yeomen had caught the virus and would be out of action for a few days.
Both Ian Porterfield and Bobby Kerr have the symptoms of the infection and are keeping away from the training quarters while receiving treatment from their own doctors.
There are no other first-team casualties at the moment, but younger players Dave Shannon, John Blyth and Keith Adams are all down with flu.
“We are taking all the necessary precautions” said Mr Elliott, “and I don’t think we will have anything to worry about.” But there will surely be an anxious day or two before there can be any assurance that the outbreak is not going to assume epidemic proportions.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on December 19 1972.