Win copies of new book that charts the highs and lows of SAFC at the Stadium of Light

The opening friendly match at the Stadium of Light in July 1997
The opening friendly match at the Stadium of Light in July 1997
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From the glory of the road to Wembley to the misery of relegation – a new book looks back over the last two decades of Sunderland AFC.

Short Changed, though rooted in the present, casts an eye over the past 20 years of the club’s history since the move to the Stadium of Light back in 1997, charting the highs and lows in that time.

The book, published by Sunderland-based ALS, is split into three parts, looking at aspects of the club under the tenures of three different chairmen – Sir Bob Murray, Niall Quinn and Ellis Short.

The book chronicles the hope of the fans after the club moved from Roker Park to the new stadium on the former Wearmouth Colliery site two decades ago.

Short Changed’s author, Chris Weatherspoon, said: “While the book’s title may suggest that it is a reflection on all things currently wrong at Sunderland AFC, that title represents more of an overall conclusion on the club’s fortunes since moving to a new ground 20 years ago.

“That relocation across the city to the banks of the River Wear was meant to usher in a new era at the club and, hopefully, a return to long-forgotten glories.”

He added: “On the contrary, after an initial bright start to life at the Stadium of Light, we’ve seen three relegations, millions of pounds wasted and, in more recent times, a real straining of the club’s ties with the wider community.

“Short Changed is segmented into the tenures of the three most recent chairmen.

“Whilst the events on the field – obviously – get plenty of focus, the book considers wider aspects of the club’s recent past, looking in great detail at financial happenings and the link between the club and its fans.

“The book draws on exclusive interviews and considerable research to present a well-rounded analysis of what form the club has taken since moving to its shiny new home two decades ago.”

Short Changed is on sale at Waterstones in The Bridges, The ALS Shop in Sheepfolds Industrial Estate opposite the SOL and is also available online from the ALS website at

We’ve teamed up with ALS to give away two copies of Short Changed.

To be in with a chance of winning a copy of the new book, answer this question: who did Sunderland AFC play in their inaugural match at the Stadium of Light in July 1997, resulting in a 0-0 draw?

A) Ajax

B) Feyenoord

C) PSV Eindhoven

Send your answer and contact details on a postcard and return it to Short Changed Book Competition, Katy Wheeler, Johnston Press North East, 2nd Floor, Alexander House, 1 Mandarin Road, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton, Sunderland, DH4 5RA.

Alternatively, you can enter by emailing your answer and contact details to

Closing date for postal and email entries to the competition is Monday, November 13.