Sunderland fans to vote on re-naming Stadium of Light's south stand - here's the four options
Sunderland fans have been given the chance to re-name the Stadium of Light's south stand.
Supporters are to be given an opportunity to name the stand from a short-list of four suggestions from a survey in the summer led by the Sunderland supporters group, Red and White Army (RAWA).
The four names on the short-list are: The Roker End, The Wearside End, The Colliery End, and The Raich Carter End.
The RAWA, working alongside the club to help improve matchday experiences, carried out a large survey with fans, and one clear result was that supporters felt the Stadium of Light needed a greater sense of identity.
In response to this, Sunderland AFC confirmed that the south stand, which is the stadium’s popular singing end, would be given a new name, to better resonate with supporters, the club and the city.
Chairman of RAWA, Andrew Hird said “When 10,000 supporters complete a survey, you’re naturally going to get a wide range of suggestions an all manner of things, including the naming of stands. However, it was clear that the themes of tradition, history and sense of place were of utmost importance.
“With this in mind we provided a long-list to Sunderland AFC which has led to a shortlist of four names for supporters to choose from. We’re aware you can’t cover all bases when it comes to such a large number of respondents, but we’re very pleased with the collaborative approach the club has taken. The choices are derived from supporter feedback and are consistent with those themes of tradition and heritage”
Of the four options, The Roker End is a homage to Roker Park and the famous Roker Roar, while The Wearside End would celebrate the location of the Stadium of Light on the banks of the River Wear.
The Colliery End has been put forward as a tribute to the great mining tradition across the city and wider communities across Durham and South Tyneside with the Stadium of Light built on the old Wearmouth Colliery.
And The Raich Carter End pays homage to one of Sunderland's greatest-ever players, who lifted the FA Cup in 1937 and was the youngest captain to win the First Division title.
Sunderland AFC’s executive director Charlie Methven said: “Sunderland both as a club and a city has a strong and proud identity and we want our home, the Stadium of Light, to reflect this.
“Since we came to the club in the summer, putting supporters at the forefront of everything we do was our utmost priority. They are the lifeblood of this football club. Giving our supporters the opportunity to choose the name of the stand is important, this isn’t simply about the club making a decision, it’s about reflecting and actioning the wishes of supporters.
“Our sincere thanks go to the RAWA for all of the fantastic work they have done and continue to do to make the ideas and suggestions of supporters a reality.”
Sunderland fans can cast their vote here on what they'd like the south stand to be called.