25,000 fans ready for the big trek

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WITH the Wembley Cup Final as their destination some 25,000 Sunderland fan will be arriving in London by plane, coach, train and car throughout Friday night and the early hours of Saturday morning.

British Rail’s 14 special trains carrying 7,000 fans from the North East will be arriving in King’s Cross throughout th night and there will also be an early morning train from Leeds arriving at St Pancras at 3.30am on Saturday.

Bookings were still flowing in today for coach and train seats as fans managing to get tickets – many at black market prices – made last-minute bookings.

The biggest fleet of coaches ever to leave Wearside start the journey South from midnight tomorrow and the United Automobile Company, which expects to put on 50-60 coaches, will be taking bookings right up to the last minute.

Charter planes

We have plenty of coaches available and we are putting them on as we fill buses through bookings,” said a United spokesman. “Bookings are still coming in quite steadily and we will be taking them until late tomorrow.”

Two Viscount charter planes will be leaving Newcastle Airport on Saturday, carrying about 60 supporters each and there is another charter flight from Teesside.

British Rail’s specials include the “League Liner” which as been chartered for the Supporters Association and leaves Sunderland at 7.10am on Saturday.

The first trains away will leave Sunderland and Newcastle on Friday night, both at 10.30, and arrive in King’s Cross at 4.19am and 7.37am respectively.

A faster train leaves Newcastle at 10.40pm on Friday arriving in King’s Cross at 3.35am.

From midnight tomorrow five trains will go direct from Sunderland to King’s Cross arriving roughly at hourly intervals from 5.42am to 11.03am. Three other stopping trains leave Newcastle and two stopping trains from Sunderland.

British Rail has also laid on five extra trains from the West Riding to take Leeds supporter to Wembley.

40 coaches

Dozens of private coaches will be leaving from throughout the county and the United Northern companies already have 40 coaches booked to leave Park Lane.

The first 20, which will park at Waterloo, will set off at 12.30am on Saturday and the second 20 direct to Wembley Stadium at 6.30am but this number will be increased if there are more bookings.

Hundreds of other supporters will be leaving throughout tomorrow and Saturday morning to travel to Wembley in private cars.

Candid cameras

ITV cameras are to make a live recording of players reactions and conversations when the Sunderland team travel by coach from their South London hotel to Wembley for the Cup Final on Saturday.

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on May 3, 1973.