Freedom of the city for Sunderland AFC's 1973 FA Cup legends

Sunderland AFC’s 1973 FA Cup legends are to be given the Freedom of the City.

Monday, 10th January 2022, 11:05 am

Winning team members Dick’ Malone, Ron Guthrie, Micky Horswill, Dave Watson, Ritchie Pitt, Bobby Kerr, Vic Halom, Dennis Tueart, and David Young are all due to be honoured alongside members of the cup run squad Jackie Ashurst, Brian Chambers, John Lathan, Mick McGiven and John Tones.

Two members of the team – Billy Hughes and Ian Porterfield – have passed away

A socially distanced ceremony is due to be held from 6pm on for Thursday, January 13, at the Beacon of Light and will be available to view online on the City Council’s YouTube site.

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Freedoms are traditionally given by the City Council to citizens who make ‘significant contributions to the wellbeing and community spirit of Sunderland.’

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City council leader Coun Graeme Miller said: "It's right and correct that we honour and continue to recognise the achievement of Sunderland’s 1973 FA Cup winning team.

"The team are held in great respect across Sunderland and these freedoms are appropriate recognition for this enduring pride."

Bobby Kerr lifts the cup surrounded by teammates including Dick Malone, Dennis Tueart, Jimmy Montgomery, Ian Porterfield and Ron Guthrie

The Black Cats made history when they beat high-flying Leeds United 1-0 on May 5, 1973, with Ian Porterfield’s goal enough to see off the holders, who were making their third final appearance in four seasons.

The council conferred an Honorary Freedom on team manager Bob Stokoe in 1974.

And goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery BEM – whose stunning double save was as critical to the Wembley win as Porterfield’s goal – received the Honorary Freedom of the City in May 2016 ‘as a token of the honour and esteem in which he is held by the citizens of Sunderland and in recognition of the example of achievement he sets to the city’s young people and his personal contribution to the wellbeing of the city and people of Sunderland’.

Other freedoms of Sunderland include the late John Hays; Nissan’s chief performance officer Trevor Mann; Niall Quinn MBE and Joël Batteux the Mayor of Sunderland's twin-town St Nazaire.

Television reporter Kate Adie has also been granted Freedom of the City. Freedoms have also gone to 4 Regiment Royal Artillery - the 'North East gunners', 3 Rifles and the crew of HMS Ocean, which was Sunderland's adopted warship and the Royal Navy's largest ship for many years.

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