Sunderland Fans' Museum to create coronavirus memorial garden

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Sunderland’s Fans Museum is to create a place for bereaved families to remember their loved ones claimed by coronavirus.

The museum, in Bridge Street North, has teamed up with Sunderland City Council and housing firm Gentoo to create a new memorial garden.

Gentoo chief executive Nigel Wilson and city council leader Coun Graeme Miller joined museum founder Michael Ganley and members of the museum team to launch the garden.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The museum has also worked with the council to have the NHS rainbow dyed in the grass on its embankment overlooking one of the main approaches to the city centre.

The museum's NHS rainbowThe museum's NHS rainbow
The museum's NHS rainbow
Read More
Follow our live blog

“We are going to create a memorial garden for all our families at this difficult time,” said Michael.

“We want somewhere that people can come and reflect about their loved ones after they have passed away, so I contacted Coun Miller and also Nigel from Gentoo.

“They both loved that idea that we wanted to create something like this, so we have been working with Gentoo and the council and they have been carrying out preparatory work, pulling out tree trunks and clearing the ground.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
(from left) Gentoo's Nigel Wilson, Michael Ganley and Coun Graeme Miller, with members of the team(from left) Gentoo's Nigel Wilson, Michael Ganley and Coun Graeme Miller, with members of the team
(from left) Gentoo's Nigel Wilson, Michael Ganley and Coun Graeme Miller, with members of the team

“In the next two or three weeks, we will be able to get things started, then we will be putting our design ideas for the garden out there.”

For Michael, the garden is an extension of the work that the museum has been doing to support its local community through the coronavirus crisis.

“When a local gentleman passed away, we knew we had to do something so we decided to create the memorial garden. We will create a pebble garden and the pebbles will all be of a certain size so people whose loved ones have passed away will be able to write a special message on them.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We want people to be able to come here, sit out with a cup of tea and just be able to relax and remember.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

How to subscribe to the print edition

It’s easy to subscribe to your local newspaper. We have arranged a special 20 per cent off subscription offer for people to take advantage of. Visit, choose the newspaper title, the type of subscription and enter your details.