SAFC fan wins matchday lottery on same day Black Cats win at Wembley

It was a double celebration for one lucky Sunderland fan at the weekend as they watched their team run out victorious – and scooped the matchday lottery jackpot.
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Sheila Farrell became the Foundation of Light’s first-ever Ha’way and Play jackpot winner during Sunderland’s Papa John’s Cup final win over Tranmere Rovers.

Sixty-one-year-old Sheila’s lucky number was pulled out on the 60th minute – just moments after Lynden Gooch struck the winning goal of the game.

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The jackpot has rolled over since the football club’s official charity relaunched their matchday lottery back in October and Sheila became the 17th cash prize winner and scooped the bonus jackpot, taking home the £1,000 prize and then the £5,000 jackpot.

Ha'way and play winnerHa'way and play winner
Ha'way and play winner

Avid Black Cats fan Sheila, who now lives in York, has followed the Lads since they were last Wembley winners; her first-ever game was the fourth round of the 1973 FA Cup run, where Bob Stokoe’s side beat Reading.

Sheila decided to play the lottery for the first time as she got caught up in the excitement of Sunderland reaching Wembley.

“I entered on the spur of the moment as it was cup final day. Never in a million years did I imagine that I’d win,” she explained.

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“After such an awful year for all of us, it was just a fantastic feeling to win and have something to celebrate - as well as winning the Trophy final as well of course.”

Sunderland fan Sheila FarrellSunderland fan Sheila Farrell
Sunderland fan Sheila Farrell

Since launching, the money raised from the lottery has helped the Foundation to support hundreds of vulnerable people throughout the north east community.

As well as delivering food and care packages to those self-isolating, has provided activity packs to keep people engaged during lockdown and has held online sessions to continue to support learners.

For every lottery ticket purchased, it goes a long way to help the Foundation continue to make a difference and provide support to those who need it most during these difficult times.

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The revamped matchday lottery came following fan feedback, where the Foundation of Light asked supporters their thoughts and how they would like it to work. With no fans in the Stadium of Light to sell tickets to, it also gave the charity the opportunity to move the popular matchday game online.

Sunderland after their Papa John's Trophy final win at WembleySunderland after their Papa John's Trophy final win at Wembley
Sunderland after their Papa John's Trophy final win at Wembley

Fans can purchase tickets online in advance of each SAFC home game and up until half time. Once supporters are able to return to the Stadium of Light, there will be sellers located in and around the ground to buy tickets from.

For more information and buy your ticket visit

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