TWO Sunderland children were at Wembley today thanks to the generosity of a Weybridge man who saw them on television on Thursday.
Mark Middleton, of High Garth, and Marie Brook, of Wear Garth, in Sunderland, were interviewed in the B.B.C. programme, “Sunderland’s Pride and Passion,” at St Patrick’s R.C. School, where they are both in the top form. They had both said how disappointed they were at not getting tickets to see the match.
They were both speechless when an Echo reporter called at their homes to tell them they had been offered tickets and their return fares to London by Mr Steven Matthews.
Mr Matthews telephoned the B.B.C. in London yesterday saying he would like to give tickets to Mark and Marie, who are both 11. So began hectic negotiations to arrange the trip.
The B.B.C. contacted the Echo who contacted the children and their parents. After several telephone calls between the Echo, the B.B.C., and Mr Matthews home, and a prolonged session at the booking office at Sunderland railway station, details of the trip were arranged, and the children were on their way.
Mark and Marie were to see the match, and then spend the night on London, before returning to Sunderland tomorrow.
Marie has particular reason to be pleased by the unexpected gift. Her father Mr Harold Brook, and her elder sister and brother, already had tickets and went to London on a Sunderland Supporters’ Club coach overnight.
Mrs Sally Matthews told the Echo why her husband had made the offer.
“He has strong feelings about people who go to the Cup Final because it is a social thing to do, but don’t go to any other match throughout the year. A Tottenham Hotspur fan, he thought the children should have the tickets, because it was something they might never have the chance to see again.”
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on May 5, 1973.