Sunderland in the FA Cup glory year of 1937

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SHOUTS and cheers rang out around Wembley Stadium as Sunderland scooped their first FA Cup success on May 1, 1937.

A goal from Frank O’Donnell put Preston North End ahead in the 44th minute, leaving Sunderland fans biting their nails in anguish during half-time.

Fenwicks Brewery staff at the river gantry in 1937.

Fenwicks Brewery staff at the river gantry in 1937.

But Bobby Gurney, Eddie Burbanks and Roker captain Raich Carter all returned to the pitch with fresh vigour - running up a final score of 3-1 to Sunderland.

“It was Sunderland’s stamina which decided the final,” wrote Argus, the Echo’s notoriously hard-to-please football pundit.

“I only began to realise we had actually won the cup when I saw Duns and McNab ‘chairing’ Horatio Carter across Wembley’s playing pitch to the dressing rooms.

“They were followed by a rather dejected Preston. Proud visitors, and gallant losers. Dejected perhaps, but lavish in their congratulations of the Sunderland men.”

Other news to hit the headlines in Sunderland in 1937 included the unveiling of plans for a £14,000 crematorium – due to a shortage of land to build further graveyards.

Workmen digging a trench at West Herrington unearthed two skeletons, sparking a murder-style police investigation – until it was revealed the bones were a century old.

Bonfires, fairy lights and fireworks all helped to light up Sunderland as Wearsiders celebrated the coronation of the new King and Queen on May 12.

And plans for a £55,000 revamp of the Town Hall were announced as well, with the scheme to include extending the building and renovating the reading rooms next door.

There was sadness too, however, when Coxgreen Council School finally closed its doors - with the handful of pupils transferring to a new £10,000 school at Penshaw.