Sunderland smash League One record as bumper 46,039 Boxing Day crowd watch Bradford City clash at Stadium of Light

A record-breaking crowd of 46,039 watched Sunderland AFC's Boxing Day clash against Bradford City at the Stadium of Light.

Wednesday, 26th December 2018, 3:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 4:12 pm
Sunderland were backed by a bumper crowd at the Stadium of Light.

The phenomenal figure is a new record for League One.

Sunderland’s executive director Charlie Methven took to the pitch at half-time to announce the record breaking crowd.

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Methven said: “I set a challenge to reach 40,000 today and I massively underestimated you!"

He added: "You helped us beat Leeds' record by over 8,000 people, so thank you very much.

“Thank you very much, have a great second half! Ha’Way the lads!”

The previous League One record of 38,256 was set by Leeds United in 2008. The record for the third tier is from the 1979 Sheffield Derby when more than 49,000 fans watched the game.

But Sunderland set a new modern-day record and record for League One.

Sunderland have an average home crowd of more than 30,000 over the 2018-19 season so far.

Manchester City holds the third tier record for the highest average League One attendance, with a figure of 28,261 from their 1998-99 promotion season but Sunderland are on course to beat that too.

Sunderland’s previous highest home attendance of the season came on September 1st, when 32,193 watched a 1-1 draw with Oxford United.

Methven wanted Sunderland to beat the League One attendance record, set by Leeds United in 2008 when 38,256 watched the club seal promotion against Gillingham.