Roker players take a well-earned break

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SUNDERLAND’S CUP heroes take a well-earned break from soccer when they leave on Friday for a seven-day holiday to Majorca. Dave Watson, Dick Malone and Richie Pitt have asked to be excused from making the trip and manger Bob Stokoe will not stand in their way.

Mr Stokoe appreciates both the mental and physical strain that the players have endured over the past few months and said today that it will give some of the younger and more inexperienced players an unexpected holiday and a game against a top Spanish team.

Mr Stokoe has not named the squad who will be making the trip and is not likely to do so until at least tomorrow when he releases his retained list for next season.

Mr Stokoe will present his board of directors with the players he intends to release and he has made no secret of the fact there will be some severe pruning, despite the already-thin first team pool.

Derek Forster, Keith Coleman, John Lathan and John Tones all of whom joined the club on leaving school, have been on the open to transfer list for four months and are unlikely to be retained.

Other players are almost certain to be released and with the departure of Brian Chambers to Arsenal for £25,000 Mr Stokoe can then get down to increasing his playing strength for what he hopes to be a promotion-winning season.

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on May 15, 1973.