Banner flyover at Stadium of Light to go ahead despite football fans' objections
A banner raising money for children with cancer will be flown over the Stadium of Light as Sunderland play their last home game of the season today.
Organised by Newcastle fan Darren Curry and bearing the slogan: “United by cancer, divided by leagues”, the banner has attracted some controversy with many calling for it to be stopped.
The hashtag #stopthebanner is being used on Twitter as fans of both Newcastle United and Sunderland AFC voice their opposition to the plan.
Announcing the slogan earlier this week, Darren said that more than a thousand votes had taken place online to decide on the wording.
Speaking today, Darren said: “The banner will fly today, all the families concerned are happy and have issued statements.
“We have raised £5,850 for the three kids and hopefully a lot more today.”
The flyover is due to take place at 3.10pm, as Sunderland face Swansea in their last home game of the season.
The banner’s message is in support of SAFC fan Bradley Lowery, who is five and suffers from cancer neuroblastoma, Frankie Sherwood and Hope Feeney, who are battling cancer.
Today, a message was posted to Bradley’s campaign Facebook page addressing the row.
It said: “So it appears there has been a lot of controversy about the banner that is getting flown over the SOL today.
“I would just like to say we don’t feel the banner is offensive or insensitive, I can understand why some people feel it is not appropriate.
“However the only thing we thought of when we heard about the banner is it was very thoughtful of people to want to raise awareness and raise funds for Bradley, Frankie and Hope.”
The banner was organised in response to last year’s prank, carried out by Sunderland fans when Newcastle United were relegated to the Championship.
Their banned read “Auf Wiedersehen Prem.”