Stadium of Light bar named after Niall Quinn

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NIALL Quinn is to have a bar at the Stadium of Light renamed in his honour.

The Sports Bar will be renamed Quinn’s after the legendary former player and chairman, who left the club last month to concentrate on his own business interests.

Other changes will see memorabilia from the Irishman’s playing days adorn the walls.

Chairman Ellis Short said: “Niall is and always will be a Sunderland legend and he has a special and unique place in the club’s history.

“We wanted to ensure that his name lived on, not only in the hearts of every Sunderland fan, but in a tangible way too.

“While Niall has gone on record to say that he didn’t want a stand named after him, what could be more apt than to rename our most popular supporters bar after him?”

Quinn was told of the name change after he completed the latest Niall’s Mile fund-raising walk, in aid of the SAFC Foundation, this week.

He made a quick visit to Quinn’s for a pint of Guinness, with members of the club’s board, staff and players.

Chief executive Margaret Byrne said: “Niall is held in the highest regard, not only by our supporters and everyone at the club, but by the wider football world.

“There has been a huge response from fans wishing to see his time at Sunderland commemorated, and naturally everyone at the club wholeheartedly supported this.

“Of course Niall is a very unassuming man, and the idea of statues and stands in his honour really didn’t sit comfortably with him.

“But we all know how much he likes a pint or two, so we think we’ve come up with the perfect tribute.”

Quinn was signed for Sunderland by Peter Reid in 1996, and went on to shine in the twilight of his career on Wearside.

After retiring in 2002 he returned to the club as he and the Drumaville consortium took over the Black Cats.