Sunderland fans reach £73,000 target with Papa John's Trophy final commemorative tickets
A Sunderland fans’ charity drive ahead of this month’s Papa John’s Trophy final has raised more than £73,000.
Sunderland AFC take on Tranmere Rovers at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, March 14, in the Papa John’s Trophy final in what will be their second appearance in the final of the tournament in three seasons.
But due to the Covid-19 lockdown, there will sadly be no repeat of the scenes from two years ago when thousands of SAFC supporters took over Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square ahead of the match.
Whenever Sunderland appear at Wembley, tickets are widely sought after and it turns out that this time, it is no different – with fans also being able to help out range of worthy causes.
Lifelong fan Peter Richardson came up with the idea of letting people buy a virtual ticket, which was then picked up by supporters’ groups Red and White Army, the Senior Supporters Association and Sunderland AFC Branch Liaison Council who teamed up with the club and its official charity, the Foundation of Light.
And in just a week, the scheme has raised more than £73,000 – including donations from former chairman Stewart Donald and club legend Niall Quinn.
Now the target has now been raised to £85,000.
An update on the fund-raising page today (Tuesday, March 2) said: “This is simply unbelievable. Thank you so, so much to everyone who has donated and supported the project. It really will make a huge difference to North East lives.
“We smashed through our £73,000 target, so now we're aiming for £85,000. Ha'way the Lads.”
All donations will be split between the Foundation of Light, the Salvation Army, Sunderland Foodbank and Washington Mind as part of the #SunderlandTogether campaign to provide support during the pandemic and tackle challenges including rising food poverty, increased social isolation among older people, poor mental health and rising unemployment.
Fans can make donations via a dedicated page at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/sunderland-together!, where they can purchase mementos from as little as £5 for an e-ticket, with printed keepsakes available for £10.
Everyone who donates will be entered into a draw to win signed Sunderland AFC merchandise and other exciting prizes.