Sunderland plan fair deal for fans

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AFTER the great experience of claiming an F.A. Cup win over Manchester City before a capacity crowd at Roker Park last night, Sunderland directors have already decided to make their home Sixth Round tie against Luton Town on March 17 an all-ticket game. And in an attempt to get tickets into the hands of all their regular supporters they have arranged for the issue of vouchers to spectators at Saturday’s home League game against Oxford United.

“We have decided that this is the fairest means of ensuring that the right people are taken care of,” said Secretary Ron Linney. “We will be issuing 34,000 vouchers through the turnstiles on Saturday and these will entitle the holder to a ticket for the Luton game when these go on sale on Sunday week.”

Season ticket holders will not be affected. They can make postal applications immediately enclosing Form E, or they can wait until March 11 and make personal application at Roker Park.

Vouchers will be available for seating accommodation and the terraces and holders will be guaranteed tickets for the Luton game.

Mr Linney spoke highly of the conduct of the huge crowd last night. “There were no unpleasant incidents and it is a great thing for football when a crowd of this size can assemble for a game without giving any trouble. The fans have had to take a lot of criticism for disorderly conduct, but they certainly deserve a pat on the back for last night.”

Manager Bob Stokoe, checking on the physical cost of last night’s win, finds that two of his players could be doubtful starters for Saturday.

Ian Porterfield has fractured the little toe on this right foot and it remains to be seen whether he can be made comfortable enough to play on Saturday. Ron Guthrie is receiving treatment for muscular strain and it is sore enough at this stage to make him a doubtful starter.

An X-ray examination of Bobby Kerr’s hand injury shoed that there was no bone damage.


Mr Stokoe said: “I’ll be going over to Newcastle tonight to await the outcome of their board discussion on our offer for Ray Ellison. We have made what we think will be an acceptable offer and we will wait and see what the Newcastle directors decide.

“We still have an awful lot of football to play this season. Sixteen League games and at least one more Cup-tie have to be packed into these last few weeks.”

Progress to the Sixth Round means, of course, that Sunderland’s home League game against Queens Park Rangers will not be postponed. This means that they now have six postponed games to fit into a season which has little more than eight weeks to run.

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on February 28 1973.