Football supporters are being encouraged to visit Sunderland's main library and share their recollections of when the city hosted World Cup games 50 years ago.
SAFC Museum and the Sporting Memories Network have teamed up to stage a free public event at Sunderland City Library and Arts Centre on Friday to celebrate the city’s role in hosting group stage matches of the tournament at Roker Park.
On the day England take on Australia at the Stadium of Light, SAFC Museum are inviting fans of all ages to join in the celebrations and share memories of the time when Roker Park was involved in staging the world’s greatest football tournament.
Staff and volunteers will be on hand from 9:30am till 4:30pm to interview visitors, to collect memories and to add them to www.memoriesof66.com the official digital archive of the #memoriesof66 project, run in partnership with the National Football Museum, FA and Sporting Memories Network.
Visitors are encouraged to bring their own memorabilia from 1966 along to the event, including football, music and fashion items and to share the stories behind them and the memories the items hold.
There will also be chance for fans to share their memories in the fan zone at the Stadium of Light ahead of kick off the International match.
It was revealed in April that 1966 World Cup winners Martin Peters, Nobby Stiles and Ray Wilson are living with dementia and that Jack Charlton is also experiencing severe memory problems.
Sporting Memories Network run projects across the UK with older people using memories of sport to help tackle dementia, depression and loneliness.
Memories shared at the event will help support this important work.
Sandhill library host one such group, following a grant to the network from Sunderland West Area Committee.
Martin Glenn, FA chief executive, said: “On behalf of The FA, I would like to commend Sporting Memories Network for the great work they are doing in such an important area.
“Football has an incredible power to bring people together and I am sure this event in Sunderland will do much to stimulate positive memories from 1966.
"We are also delighted that we have been able to bring the England team back to Sunderland, especially given the part that Roker Park played 50 years ago.
"Let’s hope for another memorable occasion.
Michael Ganley, founder of SAFC Museum said: “ To host such a prestigious event on the 50th anniversary year of the 1966 World Cup Finals is tremendous, Sunderland was privileged to have been part of the hosting of matches in the finals, so we are excited to see what the local community can come up with, as always we are going to push all aspects of awareness towards education and all matters concerned with Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
Tony Jameson-Allen, co-founder of Sporting Memories Network said: “We are looking forward to a really busy day at the fantastic SAFC Museum of recording memories and hearing all about life in the city in ’66 and of course, the games at Roker Park.”