Top ten most popular Sunderland stories of the week

Jordan Henderson in the stands for Sunderland's Capital One Cup Final against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium
Jordan Henderson in the stands for Sunderland's Capital One Cup Final against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium
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FROM Jordan Henderson’s Wembley appearance to the Tory MP who called fans ‘scumbag hooligans’, it’s no surprise cup final stories dominate our top ten this week.

Here they are in full:

1) Letters sent by Manchester City fans praising Sunderland supporters’ pride and passion in defeat were a runaway hit, with more than 45,000 people visiting to read them.

Sunderland fans were filled with pride at making such a good impression, and hundreds repaid the compliment with their own kind words about Man City fans.

2) Our picture of Jordan Henderson in the crowds at Wembley was another big hit, viewed more than 25,000 times, with thousands more tweets and Facebook posts.

Sunderland fans were full of praise for the Liverpool star’s loyalty to his home-town club.

3) This slideshow of pictures showing Sunderland fans painting London red and white on the eve of the Capital One Cup final proved popular.

BBC presenter and former Kenickie star Lauren Laverne was among those sharing them on Twitter. She said: “SAFC fans hit London. Amazing doomy music (HT @SunderlandEcho)”

Thanks Lauren! We can only take credit for the pics, of course. Music c/o Prokofiev.

4) Thousands of you helped spread the message after a man-on-man sex attack in Seaham town centre.
Echo readers shared our story on police searching for witnesses after a 33-year-old man was sexually assaulted in the street by a man in his 20s, helping the appeal reach as many people as possible. Thanks!

5) Robert Halfon MP well and truly put his foot in it when he called fans ‘scumbag hooligans’ during pre-cup final celebrations, sparking a massive online backlash.

The MP for Harlow in Essex later apologised to Sunderland fans, claiming he hadn’t meant to target them with his comments – and wishing the team all the best for the FA Cup quarter final.

6) Our exclusive on Sunderland lining up Lee Congerton as its next director of football sparked a flurry, being picked up by media organisations around the globe.

The former Welsh player – who is technical director at Bundesliga side Hamburger SV – is expected to replace Roberto De Fanti, who was sacked during the January transfer window.
7) The fact that there were only five arrests before and during the Capital One Cup final was very welcome news to Sunderland fans, especially given 84,000 people attended the match.

The news also flew in the face of Mr Halfon’s remarks, which many fans were keen to point out online!

8) Seb Larsson appeared to have an angry outburst when he was substituted during the cup final.

He later made it clear in a press conference that his rage was aimed at the referee’s free kick decision rather than his being brought off the pitch.

9) News that a community swimming pool is due to close under funding cuts sparked widespread outcry online.

The pool is the latest victim of the Government’s deficit reduction strategy filtering through to local services.

10) Bus passengers got a nasty shock when the single-decker they were travelling on burst into flames.
Echo reader John Kennedy captured the fire on video. Thankfully no one was hurt.