Sunderland’s Fans Museum reveals reopening date and announces an extended 35-year lease
Sunderland’s unique museum dedicated to football memorabilia and its fans heritage is set to open to the public once again after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sunderland AFC’s football season gets underway with a home fixture against Wigan on Saturday, August 7 and the Fans Museum on North Bridge Street is celebrating by reopening to the public on that day for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The announcement comes at an exciting moment for the Fans Museum as it has also secured a 35-year lease extension for its current residency at the former Monkwearmouth Railway Station, as well as up to £60,000 in new financial support from Sunderland City Council to continue the planned development and expansion of the museum.
The Fans Museum was set up by Sunderland fan Michael Ganley, who amassed a vast collection of rare pieces of footballing history over the course of thirty years.
Eight years ago, he quit his job to follow his dream of establishing a museum in Sunderland dedicated to the history of football and its fans.
Michael said: “I would like to thank Sunderland City Council for their belief in my dream of what it could bring to the city, I am very proud we have the only interactive museum of its kind in the world and it was founded in my own city of Sunderland.
“These last 16 months have been an incredible journey for us all and I am excited now to announce we have created an amazing board of directors and partners which will enable the Fans Museum to grow with the true recognition it deserves.
“The aspects of reopening are extremely exciting and I can’t wait to welcome people back to the museum.”
The museum has also unveiled a new board of directors, which include Leo Pearlman who is a partner at Fulwell 73, Sunderland born musician Don Airey, 1973 Sunderland FA cup winning captain Bobby Kerr, owner of JC Events Ltd Jacqui Chapman, CEO of Gentoo Group Nigel Wilson and Paul McEldon OBE who is the CEO of the North East Business and Innovation Centre.