Sunderland fans create a fabulous flag welcome for Chelsea

Haway the Flags group with Martyn McFadden and the new flag for the Stadium of Light.

Haway the Flags group with Martyn McFadden and the new flag for the Stadium of Light.

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AS FRANK Lampard, John Terry and Didier Drogba walk out of their away dressing room next Tuesday, they will be confronted by images.

Pictures of Kevin Ball lifting aloft the Championship trophy, Bob Stokoe with the FA Cup and Marco Gabbiadini’s strike at St James’s Park will all wander into their eyeline.

But they will have to wait until they emerge from the Stadium of Light tunnel to truly feel they are walking into the lion’s den.

Passing over the heads of those in the East Stand opposite them will be a banner, bearing the club’s crest and the words “Ha’way the Lads”.

Those in the Chelsea line-up will hopefully experience a nauseous feeling in the pit of their stomach at the sight as it sparks a crescendo of noise on the banks of the Wear.

That has been the plan of the Ha’way the Flags group – to ensure the Stadium of Light feels as formidable in the stands as it has proved to be on the pitch this season.

“It’s like moving into a new house when you put up posters of your favourite bands and players,” said Martyn McFadden, one of the organisers behind the initiative and editor of fanzine A Love Supreme.

“We’re kind of doing that to the Stadium of Light in the same way as the club have decorated the tunnel and the entrance to the ground.”

For full story, get today’s Echo.