Sunderland fan in Arizona faces a 10,500 mile round trip to Wembley - and look at the name of the street he's travelling from!

Sunderland fan Craig Watson can’t wait to see The Lads at Wembley – even if it means 10,500 miles of travelling.

Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 10:35 am

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The 40-year-old who emigrated from Barnes to Arizona, USA in 2016, can’t wait to see the Black Cats in action when they face Wycombe in the EFL League One play-off final on Saturday.

And he is confident that this is Sunderland’s year. There’s even an omen in his adopted home town of Chandler, Arizona, where one of the streets is called Championship Drive!

Sunderland were still in the Premier League when Craig moved out to the US in 2016 for work.

Craig Watson who is travelling from Arizona to Wembley to support Sunderland.

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“This is my second trip to Wembley from here,” he said. “I travel on Thursday from Arizona to London. I will be meeting with friends and my brother.”

It promises to be a poignant occasion as he has not seen them for more than two years and said: “I am so looking forward to supporting the lads. And meeting friends and family in London.

“I will be in Covent Garden on Friday for the day of celebrating making it to Wembley.

“The bad part for me is I left for the US in 2016 while we were still in the premiership. And now we are fighting our way out of League 1.”

Craig, second right, with pals in Covent Garden for one of Sunderland's previous visits to Wembley.

But he added: “I feel more confident about this game than other play-off or Wembley appearances.”

Chandler, he said, was ‘about the size of Sunderland, but with a lot less people. Lots of desert and mountains. Just outside of Phoenix.”

Craig is such a passionate Black Cats fan that he is hoping to set up a fan club in Arizona with his fellow SAFC pal out there, Kevin Rafferty.

He said: “I hope they win. That’s a long way to go to watch them get beat again!”

Craig and his friend Kevin Rafferty in the USA - under an aptly named street sign.

But Craig is confident that Sunderland can emerge victorious this time.

His prediction? - “Early goal for us, then one before half time. One in the second half. 3-0 win.”

Are you a Sunderland fan who is going to great lengths, or miles, to be at Wembley? Tell us more by emailing [email protected]

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Craig with his son Logan in their back yard before settling down to watch a Sunderland game.
Craig in his Sunderland shirt in Arizona.