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Suspect arrested after footage shows man in Newcastle United shirt appearing to urinate on Sunderland legend's statue

A man has been arrested and a police investigation launched following video on social media which appeared to show the man, who was wearing a Newcastle United change shirt, urinating on the Bob Stokoe statue outside of the Stadium of Light.

By Neil Fatkin
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 9:01 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 9:14 am

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A man has been arrested after appearing to urinate on the Bob Stokoe statue outside of the Stadium of Light. Photo: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.

The tribute statue recreates the late Stokoe’s famous dance across Wembley’s turf after he had masterminded the club’s 1-0 1973 FA Cup final victory over Leeds United.

Many supporters will meet at the statue before games and touch his boot in the hope it will bring good luck during the match.

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A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “We are aware of a video circulating on social media which appears to show a man urinating on a memorial outside the Stadium of Light in Sunderland.

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“This type of behaviour is totally unacceptable and a full investigation has been launched into the incident.

“A 21-year-old man has since been arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct and remains in police custody at this time.

“We recognise that incidents of this nature can cause anger and frustration within our communities. We would ask everyone to please respect the ongoing investigation and refrain from anything that could jeopardise these live enquiries.”

Following the footage, which emerged yesterday (May 2), Sunderland AFC confirmed they had “referred the matter to the police” but that they “ would not be making any further comment at this moment in time”.

While the man in the footage was wearing a Newcastle United shirt, Stokoe, ironically, is also a hero and an FA Cup winner on Tyneside.

Born in 1930 in Mickley, in Northumberland, the central defender made 261 appearances for Newcastle United and was a member of their 1955 FA Cup final winning team.

Stokoe arrived at Sunderland in November 1972, while they were struggling towards the bottom of the then Division Two, where he became an SAFC legend after masterminding the club’s FA Cup final triumph in May the following year before guiding the Black Cats back to the top flight in 1976.

He died at the age of 73 in 2004 in Hartlepool after suffering from pneumonia.