Youngsters get to try on England stars’ shirts at Fans Museum as Sunderland Ladies legends' kit goes on show

Youngsters have taken the chance to try on football shirts which were actually worn by former Sunderland Ladies players who went on to become England stars.

The Fans Museum in North Bridge Street has tapped into the success of the Lionesses at the Euros team by allowing young visitors to try on shirts worn in actual games by internationals from Sunderland’s women’s and men’s teams.

Among the former Sunderland international players whose shirts were worn were Lucy Bronze, Jill Scott, Beth Mead and Steph Houghton.

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From the men’s game there were shirts played in by Kieran Richardson, Djibril Cissé, Don Hutchison, Niall Quinn and Simon Mignolet among many others.

Youngsters from the Chance centre in the East End tried on legends' shirt and met 1973 FA Cup winning captain Bobby Kerr, left.

Around 30 kids aged four to 16 visited from the Chance centre in the East End got to wear the shirts, design their own kits, as well as pose for photographs with Sunderland’s 1973 FA Cup winning captain Bobby Kerr.

There was also the chance to hold the Women’s Premier League Division Two trophy, won by Sunderland under manager Mick Mulhern in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and a replica FA Cup.

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Other organised groups may be able to enjoy a similar summer holiday treat for children, but should contact the museum first.

Museum founder Michael Ganley said: “We engage with all ages and abilities. Following the success of the England women we wanted to do a pilot to show the huge collection we have from the female game.

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Ioni Leigh Langan, five, in one of Beth Mead's England shirts.

“The purpose is to bring a lot of kids who need interaction during the school holidays that doesn’t cost money. It’s unheard of for a museum like this to allow people to put on shirts or hold a trophy of significance without having to having to pay a sum of money – if you’re allowed to.

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“Unlike at other football museums there’s no entry fee here. We do things a little differently.

“The message we want to share is health and education. The education isn’t through a school, it’s by an indirect approach; communication with kids and teaching them about health.

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Isla Frost, who appropriately is eight, was wearing an old shirt of Euro winner Jill Scott.
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“It’s something we would like to do on a weekly basis; encourage more female groups to participate. We’re the only venue in the country that can offer this.

“If an organised group wants to come in, we can arrange a date and make it happen.”

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Derby day legend Kieran Richardson's shirt was perhaps a little roomy for Parker Harrison, four, but he didn't seem to mind.
Youngsters from the Chance centre in the East End tried on legends' shirt and met 1973 FA Cup winning captain Bobby Kerr, third from left.