CLUB legend Jimmy Montgomery will be Sunderland’s secret weapon in their South Korean charm offensive this week.
The Wearsiders’ leading all-time appearance maker flew out with club officials yesterday and will represent Sunderland at functions and presentations throughout the Peace Cup tournament.
It is the first time the 68-year-old has been to the country but he is looking forward to spreading the good word about Sunderland Football club.
And in a country which venerates age and achievement, the amiable ex-goalkeeper is bound to go down well as the club looks to develop its image and reputation in Asia.
He told the Echo: “I’ve been looking forward to the trip and I’m excited about going.
“I think the tour is a wonderful opportunity for Sunderland Football Club to promote itself, and for me to be part of the club going forward is great.”
Monty’s involvement is part of his role as club ambassador and his first duty as Sunderland’s newly-appointed global ambassador.
He reflected: “I love the club and always have.
“It was the club I supported as a boy, the club I was lucky to make so many appearances for, and the club I was lucky enough to be involved in last time we won silverware.
“The magic of that 1973 FA Cup win is still talked about nationally and even internationally and I think that’s one of the reasons why I was asked to be part of things at the club.
“I’ve been a matchday ambassador for some time now but this is my first job as a global ambassador and I’ve been looking forward to it.
“I think it’s going to be a bigger and bigger thing for the club as time goes on because there’s no doubt that the English Premier League is becoming a global event.
“South Korea is a chance for the club to promote itself in an emerging market and I expect there’ll be a lot of interaction with Africa in the future, now that the club has become part of the Invest In Africa campaign.
“They’re very much changed times from when I was a player. But they’re exciting times and it’s great that Sunderland have become part of them as a result of establishing themselves in the top flight again, where they always should have been.”