The story behind Gus Poyet’s lucky wrist band

Sunderland Manager Gus Poyet wearing the 4Louis wrist band
Sunderland Manager Gus Poyet wearing the 4Louis wrist band
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COULD a charity wristband sported by Gus Poyet be his lucky charm?

The head coach, dubbed a “miracle worker” for masterminding Sunderland’s escape from relegation, has been wearing the 4Louis band for the past three matches.

In that time his team clocked up victories over Cardiff, Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion.

Black Cats boss Gus pledged to wear the pink and blue band after being touched by the work of 4Louis, which supports bereaved parents who have been affected by the trauma of stillbirth.

He met Bob and Tracey McGurrell, who set up the charity in memory of grandson Louis, at the Player of the Year Awards, after they were selected by Sunderland Supporters’ Association to be their charity of the year.

Bob, 47, from Shiney Row, said: “I was honoured to be asked to present the Player of The Year Award to Vito Mannone and whilst we were there, we met manager Gus Poyet.

“Tracey presented Gus with a 4Louis awareness band and she promised that Louis would help the lads get out of trouble.

“He said he would wear it for the Cardiff City game. After we won that game we didn’t think anything of it, but since then, they’ve gone on to win another two.

“The club have said it’s his lucky charm. It’s so touching for us as we’re big SAFC fans, plus it’s really helped to raise awareness of our charity.

“We are very humbled that he would support what is essentially a small charity and give us a chance over the bigger ones.”

Bob and Tracey set up the charity with daughter Kirsty in 2009 after her first son Louis was stillborn.

Realising there was a lack of support for others going through this trauma, they set up a charity to provide free keepsake boxes to parents who lose their children in this way.

The boxes contain items which parents can keep as a memento of their child, as well as messages of support.

The charity has since snow-balled and the boxes are now in 120 hospitals around the country.

In addition, 4Louis provides bereavement rooms and other items for neonatal units.

Bob, a manager at a drilling company, said: “When Louis was stillborn, we got a few hours to take him home, and I asked Kirsty if I could take him to the Stadium of Light, as that was where I had planned to take him for matches when he was older.

“It’s one of those things I still hold on to now.

“We like to think he’s looking down and supporting Sunderland. Since Gus has been wearing the band, it’s helped us to sell more bands, which will really help the charity to grow.”