SOLDIER-turned-author Chris Ryan met Mackem fans.
The SAS hero was in Sunderland to sign copies of his new book, Masters of War, at Waterstones in The Bridges.
Despite his Geordie roots, Chris has built up a firm following on Wearside.
So much so that he attracts more fans to book signings in Sunderland than he does in Newcastle.
Chris, who became famous for being the only member of the eight-man SAS mission Bravo Two Zero to escape during the First Gulf War, said: “I don’t get back to the North East as much as I’d like, as I spend most of my time in America.
“Between Newcastle and Sunderland, I only get 10 per of the crowd in Newcastle that I get in Sunderland.
“The first time I did a signing at Waterstones in Sunderland, I thought it was going to be a quiet one, but I ended up having to stay an hour later than planned because of queues.
“The publisher couldn’t believe it.
“I’ve been going there for three or four years, and I’m a SAFC fan now because of the response I get.”