Goals from Elliott Embleton and Ross Stewart were enough to secure a 2-0 win against Wycombe Wanderers in what turned out to to be pretty comfortable day in the Wembley sunshine.
Around 46,000 members of the Red and White Army had made the pilgrimage to the Capitol, while many more packed into bars and pubs across Wearside in the hope Sunderland could finally overcome their play-off jinx and climb out of the third tier of English football after four years.
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Embleton’s strike after little more than ten minutes provided the perfect start and settled some of the pre-match jitters but Wycombe still had plenty of fight and it was not until Stewart struck with barely ten minutes of the 90 left that fans could really start to relax.
The STACK at Seaburn was one of the venues screening the game, with hundreds of fans treated to live entertainment before kick-off.
Twenty-four -year-old Rachael Pearson had made the short trip from her home in Fulwell and admitted he had expected Sunderland’s poor run in the play-offs to continue.
"I did not think that it would happen,” she said.
"I knew we would get out of League One at some point but I didn’t think it would be today. I am just buzzing – I only wish I had been at Wembley.
"I don’t think I will stop smiling for a month.”
Friends Niamh Charles and Thomas Hogg had agreed to differ over Sunderland’s chances, with Niamh, 20, confident of a win and 21-year-old Thomas expecting the worst and only too happy to be proved wrong: “I was not predicting that,” said Thomas, from Gateshead.
Niamh, from Sunderland, had predicted a 3-0 win: “I did not think they would bottle it this time,” she said.
"I had a good feeling.”
Morgan Dunbar was so sure of a 3-0 win he had even put a bet on – one which he had been happy to lose.
"I couldn’t care less,” said Morgan, 21, from Gateshead.
"All I care about is Sunderland going up. It’s the best day of my life.”