Watch as Sunderland Fans' Museum pays tribute to footballing great Pele with display including signed match shirt
Sunderland Fans' Museum is paying its own tribute to football’s first global superstar.
Edson Arantes do Nascimento - known to billions across the world simply as Pele – passed away on December 29 at the age of 82.
Thousands turned out to pay their respects at a funeral service this week in which he was laid to rest on the ninth floor of the vertical Memorial Necropole Ecumenica – reportedly at his own request so he could look over the nearby Urbano Caldeira stadium, the home of former club Santos.
Brazil’s newly-installed president Luiz da Silva was among those who lined up as he lay in state on the stadium’s pitch for 24 hours before the service.
Now the Fans’ Museum in North Bridge Street is also paying its respects, with a whole wall dedicated to a display celebrating the great man’s achievements.
‘One of the most iconic figures in the game’
Highlights include replicas of the Jules Rimet World Cup – which Brazil retained after winning the competition for a third time in 1970, with a 4-1 demolition of Italy in which Pele scored one and made two more – and the present trophy.
The cabinet also contains a programme from the 1970 final, as well as shirts from Santos, their great rivals Corinthians, and New York Cosmos, the team with which Pele did so much to popularise ‘soccer’ in the US.
Pride of place is taken by a shirt worn and signed by Pele himself, as well as Brazil legends Carlos Alberto, Gilmar and Rivellino.
Fans’ Museum founder Michael Ganley said it was important to pay tribute to a man who had done so much to promote football worldwide.
"He was one of the most iconic figures in the game,” he said.
‘This is what the Fans Museum is all about’
"It does not matter which club or country you support, you can recognise other greats. Pele was an ambassador for the game and was loved around the world.
"I was too young to see him play but watching him on TV and seeing the highlights of his performances was amazing.
"He was one of the best players ever.
"Having a display like this is what the Fans’ Museum is all about.”