Sunderland AFC's 1973 FA Cup legends given Freedom of the City

Sunderland AFC’s FA Cup legends have been given the Freedom of the City.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 8:01 pm

Winning team members Dick Malone, Ron Guthrie, Micky Horswill, Dave Watson, Ritchie Pitt, Bobby Kerr, Vic Halom, Dennis Tueart and David Young were all honoured at a ceremony at the Beacon of Light this evening, Thursday, January 13, alongside cup run squad members Jackie Ashurst, Brian Chambers, John Lathan, Mick McGiven and John Tones.

Billy Hughes and Ian Porterfield have passed away since the historic day and goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery – whose astonishing double save was as vital to the win as Porterfield’s goal – received the Freedom of the City in May 2016.

Manager Bob Stoke was given the honour in 1974.

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Sunderland pulled off one of the greatest upsets in cup history when they beat holders Leeds United – appearing in their third final in four seasons – at Wembley on May 5, 1973, winning 1-0 to become the first Division Two side to lift the trophy in more than 40 years.

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."

Local lad Richie Pitt was looking forward to the ceremony: “Irt is juyst going to be a really good evening,” he said.

The players outside the Beacon of Light

"We are all really proud ad it feels great to be here”

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The squad were all still in regular contact and would meet up when possible: “We are a tight team – we always have been for all the time since the final.”

Dennis Tueart joined Manchester City after leaving Roker Park and still lives in the North West but had travelled to the Beacon of Light with members of his family for tonight’s presentation.

Dennis Tueart was among the players in attendance

"It is fantastic,” he said.

He recalled how local firms such as Pyrex and British Shipbuilders had been delighted with the win: “Absenteeism was down everywhere because people all wanted to come to work to talk about match.”

Ian Porterfield’s daughter Joanne and grandson Callum attended to collect his scroll: “It is unfortunate he can’t be here but I think he would be very proud,” said Callum.

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Richie Pitt makes his mark

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The scrolls of honour ready to be collected
Team captain Bobby Kerr
Dick Malone meets a fan
Dave Young meets a young fan