Kind-hearted tradespeople have been rolling their sleeves up to help get the new home of the SAFC Fans Museum open.
Museum creator Michael Ganley was formally handed the keys to Monkwearmouth Station Museum at the end of last year, after council bosses agreed to let the site be used by him and his team.
It is now hoped that the museum will be open to visitors by the summer, allowing football supporters from all over the country and even abroad to view historic pieces of sporting memorabilia.
But much work is needed to be carried out on the building before it can officially open its doors.
Match-worn shirts, medals and even the boardroom table and chairs from Sunderland’s former Roker Park home are all part of the exhibition, which has been put on temporarily at various locations in the city over the past few years.
Lifelong Black Cats fan Michael, of Ashbrooke, said: “Things are going great at the minute and we’ve had a fantastic response to our appeal for help.
“We’ve got people coming in in their 70s, a couple of days a week, and they’re really enjoying being involved rather than sitting at home doing crosswords or whatever.
“Like us, they are football fans who have passion for the project.”
So far tradesmen have got involved to help with pat testing and providing fire extinguishers, but more help is needed with Michael renewing calls for anyone interested to contact him.
“Work is picking up slowly but we really need painters and a couple of joiners to help out,” said Michael.
“Painting the place will be a big job because of the size of the building.
“There’ll be great opportunities for sponsorship involved for anyone who helps with the building, which I’m sure will be terrific publicity for the firms.
“In essence they will be among the founding members of our new home.”
Among businesses who have so far come forward to offer their services are Robert Smith and David Crampton of Silkwood Flooring, Garry Burlinson of Wilkinson Decorators, Fred Hood of McNally Thompson Electricals, Neil Henry of HLA, Phil Moir of Richard Reed Solicitors, Anne Ganley of Thompson’s Waste Skips, Paul and Malcolm Clark and Mark Cruddas of A Plant Tool Hire and Les Cooper of UK Asbestos Ltd.
Roofer Gary Shovlin, plumber Daniel Petty and interior designer Karen Walker have also been involved.
Anyone who thinks they can provide help should call Michael on 07801393935 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.