Fans' memorial service to honour Sunderland legend Charlie Hurley

‘The greatest centre-half the world has ever seen’
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Members of the Sunderland AFC Heaven Branch are coming together to honour "the greatest centre-half the world has ever seen".

The one and only Charlie Hurley in 1964 and 2016.The one and only Charlie Hurley in 1964 and 2016.
The one and only Charlie Hurley in 1964 and 2016.

A memorial service will be held at Sunderland Minster on Monday, May 6 for Charlie Hurley, the SAFC and Ireland legend who passed away on April 22, aged 87.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Heaven Branch enables the loved ones of supporters who have passed to still feel connected, in death as in life.

Tributes have poured in to the great man.

The service will feature Malcolm Bramley of the Senior Supporters Branch sharing memories of Charlie, words and prayers from SAFC chaplain Father Mark Lyden-Smith and a recorded interview with Charlie himself.

A minute's silence will begin after the Last Post is played and will end upon a whistle, followed by applause from the crowd.

The service is to be rounded off with a no-doubt heartfelt chorus of “Who’s the greatest centre half the world has ever seen?” led by SAFC Supporters Association stalwart George Forster.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Heaven Branch co-founder Joanne Youngson said: "It might have been a bit of a trigger for our members, but since Charlie died they've really wanted to do something, so it started with a card collection. We sent the cards to his wife Joan and the family.

"Then we wanted to do a bit more, so the service is on Monday at Sunderland Minster. We have a whole hour's itinerary with different speakers and a recording of Charlie talking about what Sunderland meant to him.

"We've got former Sunderland players coming and Bobby Moncur representing Newcastle. Newcastle United have sent us a wreath, which is very nice of them.

"But it's a fan-led event. We're recording it and sending it to his family. Everything has been checked with them."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Moncur was an opponent of Charlie's at a number of derby matches in the 1960s.

Joanne added: "We've got a whole hour's itinerary, including a recording of Charlie talking about what Sunderland meant to him.

"The Heaven Branch brings us all together as a community in death."

The Minster only holds around 200 people, so the event is not open to everyone.

The branch can be contacted through their website,

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.