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Sunderland AFC removes Prince Andrew plaque commemorating Duke of York's visit to Stadium of Light

Sunderland AFC has confirmed that a brass plaque commemorating a visit by Prince Andrew to the Stadium of Light in 1997 has been removed.

Sunday, 20th February 2022, 9:16 am

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The club has not made an official comment, nor revealed where the plaque is now. But it has confirmed to the Echo that “this plaque was removed from display some time ago.”

Its removal was not publicised, but the Echo understands that the plaque was taken down from the marble entrance hall in January where it had hung for over 24 years. A picture now occupies the same spot.

Eleven matches had already been played there, but the stadium was officially opened by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, on Monday, November 10, 1997.

A brass plaque commemorating the stadium's official opening by the Duke of York has been removed.

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The official opening was a well publicised event at the time, with a dinner in one of the stadium’s function suites attended by the club’s top brass and local dignitaries.

The inscription on the plaque read simply: “The Sunderland Stadium of Light, opened by HRH the Duke of York CVO, ADC, on Monday, 10th November, 1997”.

Prince Andrew has agreed to make a “substantial donation” to his accuser Virginia Giuffre’s charity after the pair agreed an undisclosed out-of-court settlement in her civil sex claim against him.

No detail has been disclosed with regard to the settlement and costs, but it has been reported he has agreed to pay an eight-figure sum.

The Duke of York meeting Sunderland supporters on November 10, 1997.

Ms Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, made a claim against Andrew for damages in her home country of the US, claiming she was trafficked by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, Andrew’s friend, to have sex with the royal when she was 17, a minor under US law.

The settlement agreement states that Andrew will donate to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights and that he has pledged to “demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein” by supporting the “fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims”.

Although the parties have settled the case, the agreement is not an admission of guilt from the duke and he has always strenuously denied the allegations against him.

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