All set for the game of their lives

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SUNDERLAND Manager Bob Stokoe took his team to Wembley this afternoon confident in their ability to rise to the occasion and convinced that after the “rubbishy” F.A. Cup Finals of the last few years they were going to play their part in making this final the best at Wembley for many years, writes Argus.

With the last training session and the first tear talk on the big game completed yesterday the Sunderland players who have been in high spirits throughout the week in their Selsdon Park H.Q. turned in early last night and were late risers this morning. They had light lunch before starting their momentous journey and ready to play the game of their lives.


Sunderland’s final against Preston in 1937 was the first televised Cup Final. They broke fresh ground again today when they became the first team to travel on a coach wired for live TV for their 70-minute drive from Selsdon to Wembley.

“We know what we are taking on,” said Mr Stokoe. “We are playing a very professional side and I have a lot of respect for them but I don’t rate them unbeatable.

“Nobody gave us a chance against Manchester City or Arsenal. The difference against Leeds is that everybody wants us to win. Managers from all over the country have told me so. The crowd I am sure will be on our side.

“Maybe Leeds would beat us nine games out of ten. I’m not sure. But we aim to make this one the odd game out by going at them as we like to do and giving them something to worry about. Why shouldn’t we beat them? After all Sunderland are undefeated at Wembley – it’s our favourite ground.”

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on May 5, 1973.