Turner’s prize banner that inspired Sunderland’s great escape

INSPIRATION: Isabel and Matthew Turner with Gus Poyet and their 'Miracles happen Gus' banner yesterday at the Academy of Light.

INSPIRATION: Isabel and Matthew Turner with Gus Poyet and their 'Miracles happen Gus' banner yesterday at the Academy of Light.

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“MIRACLES happen Gus” was the message in the away end at Stamford Bridge which provided the perfect backdrop for the start of the Great Escape.

And now the creators of that banner, Matthew Turner, 14, and mum Isabel, have met the man himself after congratulating Gus Poyet for Sunderland’s successful survival bid.

The pair, who live in the London suburb of Richmond, were at the Academy of Light yesterday to show Poyet their handiwork.

The banner was sparked by Poyet’s comments after Sunderland’s 5-1 defeat at Tottenham last month, when the head coach claimed the Black Cats needed a “miracle” to beat the drop.

When Sunderland returned to the capital for the trip to Chelsea, the banner was draped in the away end before it also made an appearance at Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over West Brom.

“I watched Gus’ interview after Tottenham and I still felt it was possible to stay up, so it was mum’s idea to make one,” said Matthew.

“Loads of people at school said they had seen it, but there are only two Sunderland fans in my year, so quite a lot of banter went on!”

Isabel added: “There were a stream of texts from people who saw it while we were at the game, even from my brother who was watching in Thailand.

“It was great to see that the player never gave up.”