Stirk's Wembley pizza sausage proves a real banger of an idea with Sunderland fans ahead of Papa John's Trophy final
Fans may not be able to soak up the real atmosphere of Wembley this weekend, but they can still tuck into an SAFC sausage on the big day.
With the lads playing at the national stadium on Sunday, March 14, to take on Tranmere Rovers in the Papa John’s Trophy, city butchers Stirk’s have brought back their tradition of creating a celebratory sausage.
In previous years, customers have been able to tuck into a Ross the Boss Banger and a Borini’s Italian Sausage – and now they can take a bite out of the Papa Stirks Pizza Sausage.
A Love Supreme put it up to the fans to choose the name with an online poll on their social media platforms – and it didn’t prove the ‘wurst’ idea.
Fans voted in their droves from choice of names: Papa Stirks Pizza Sausage, Papa Stirks Wembley Sausage, Red & White Banger and Red & White Pizza Delight, with option one coming out on top.
The sausage is now available from the Grangetown store in Stockton Terrace, priced £3.75 for a pack of eight pork sausages made with tomato, basil, mozzarella and pepperoni.
"As far as we’re aware this is the first time anyone has done a pizza sausage,” said Helen Benoist, marketing manager for Stirk’s. “With SAFC heading back to Wembley we thought we’d bring back the tradition of a themed sausage. Although the fans can’t be at the stadium, hopefully the weather will be nice and they can have some SAFC sausages on the BBQ.”
From every pack sold £1 will be donated to the #SunderlandTogether initiative, joining supporters in raising more than £100,000 for
Foundation of Light, Salvation Army, Sunderland Foodbank and Washington Mind.
With fans not able to follow their team to Wembley due to Government restrictions, lifelong fan Peter Richardson came up with the idea of letting people buy a virtual or commemorative ticket to help local charities.
This was then picked up by supporters’ groups Red and White Army, the Senior Supporters Association and Sunderland AFC Branch Liaison Council - who teamed up with the club and its official charity, the Foundation of Light, with fundraising smashing all expectations.
Fans from across the world have donated, as have a number of notable names – such as former owner Stewart Donald and legendary striker Niall Quinn.
Helen said: “Stirk’s really wanted to get behind the #SunderlandTogether initiative and fans had great fun with the vote, coming up with their own names as well, such as Hot Shot Banger and Wembley Delight."
Donations to the #SunderlandTogether campaign support critical COVID-19 response services across the region, helping to tackle rising levels of food poverty, increased social isolation among older people, poor mental health in adults and children, and rising unemployment.
:: Papa Stirks Pizza Sausages can be bought at the store in Grangetown, which is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 3pm, or ordered online via www.stirksbutchers.co.uk
:: You can find out more about the #SunderlandTogether campaign, and purchase your own virtual ticket, at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/sunderland-together/