BLACK Cats legends are urging Wearsiders to get their blood pressure tested to avoid the risk of a stroke.
FA Cup winners Jimmy Montgomery and Bobby Kerr dropped in at Sunderland Aquatic Centre to encourage people to follow their example.
It was part of a scheme which has seen The Stroke Association visit all 20 Premier League clubs to test out their fans’ blood pressure.
Results released today showed that the Black Cats are 14th in the table, with fans on average rating 147/85.
North East rivals Newcastle were worse off, coming in at an average of 150/93, in 16th place.
London club Fulham topped the league of fans with the lowest blood pressure.
Jimmy is particularly wary of the dangers of high blood pressure after what happened to his father James.
“My dad had a stroke and it affected his left side,” said the Southwick-born 67-year-old.
“That’s going back a few years now, and there wasn’t as much around on how to prevent it.
“He died of a heart attack, so I’m always aware of it.”
Nigel Rickaby, healthcheck and signposter from the Stroke Association, said it was important for people to be aware of the effect high blood pressure can have on a person’s overall health.
“There aren’t any signs or symptoms of high blood pressure,” he said.
“But if you drink more than six units of alcohol in six hours that can increase it, as will smoking and suffering from anxiety or stress.
“Forty per cent of strokes could be prevented if people realised that they have high blood pressure and it was treated.”
The hope is that Wearsiders will look at all aspects of their health and how it impacts on their blood pressure.
The Echo’s Tackling Men’s Health campaign, backed by SAFC and Sunderland Primary Care Trust, is calling on men to be more aware of the dangers of leading an unhealthy lifestyle.
Andrew Reynolds, from Barnes, was one of those who took up the offer of a blood pressure test.
“I’ve just done it and it’s quite high,” said the 21-year-old apprentice engineer.
“I think it’s because of my lazy ways, like getting takeaways.
“I’ve just started doing physio after having an operation on my knee, so that’s one thing I’ll be looking to cut down on.”