Watch little Jack - Sunderland's youngest and cutest supporter - cheer on his team

Is little Jack Longworth Sunderland AFC's cutest and most enthusiastic supporter?

Thursday, 21st February 2019, 3:55 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd February 2019, 8:57 am
Cheering on the lads

He's not even two years old and he's already been to more than 15 home games at the Stadium of Light.

Now footage of the SAFC-mad youngster cheering on his team has put smiles on faces across the country.

Cheering on the lads

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

His aunt, Helen Shenton, captured little Jack's reaction when Aiden McGeady scored a penalty at the Stadium of Light against Gillingham on Tuesday night.

Jack, who will turn two in just two weeks time, has attended almost every home match since the start of the season - heading to his first game when he was just 18 months old.

Described as 'a little hooligan', the adorable tot is decked out in a Samson hat and Sunderland scarf and spends the whole match cheering on the team shouting 'come on' and 'haway lads'.

"He's been to every match since the start of the season bar two," says Helen, 39.

Jack with Alim ztrk, Kazaiah Sterling and Glenn Loovens

"He absolutely loves it, he's Sunderland mad. He's brilliant, we take him down early so he can meet the players.

"He's a bit scared of Samson but he'll give him a high five.

"He's been going to the matches since August, imagine what he’s going to be like in a couple of years. He needs to be on the pitch!"

The youngster has already met a number of first team players including Alim Öztürk, Kazaiah Sterling, Glenn Loovens, Bryan Oviedo, Max Stryjek and Denver Hume

Jack with Bryan Oviedo

Helen, her husband Richard and their daughter Sasha, of Peterlee, are big supporters of the club and got Jack's older brother Charlie, 6, a season ticket to join them.

But after the first match, Charlie wasn't interested so they asked Jack's parents, Helen and Peter Longworth, if they could take the 18-month-old instead.

"They were worried he wouldn't settle but we said if he doesn't we'll just leave," said his Aunty Helen.

""But he absolutely loved it. It's unbelievable that someone so young can be so into it.

Jack and his grandad Paul

"The season card is his now, I don't think he'd let anyone else take it away from him!"

And the football fever runs in the family - as Helen recalls Jack's grandad's uncle was Sunderland player Jackie Mordue, who made his debut for the club in September 1908.

He became the club's main penalty taker and contributed a goal against Newcastle United in a 9–1 victory at St James' Park on 5 December 1908.

Helen said: "My dad, Paul, said Jackie's cap from when he played for England is on display in the reception at the stadium.

"He’s spoke about in a lot of Sunderland books from playing and scoring a goal in the match in 1908 where we won 9-1 against Newcastle.

"He said Jackie, Charlie Buchan and Francis Cuggy, were known as the infernal triangle."

Jack and his cousin Sasha with players Max Stryjek and Denver Hume

Paul's grandad played professionally for teams including Middlesbrough, Blackpool and Hartlepool and even Paul has played for teams like Ferryhill, Horden CW, Hartlepool.

"He loves sport and kicking a football around," added Helen. "You can just tell he's going to grow up loving the game."

Jack at the stadium
Jack and his uncle Richard Shenton
Jack and his cousin Sasha Shenton outside the Stadium of Light
Little Jack with his slice of pie
Jack and cousin Chloe with Delilah
Jack has his own season card and he's not even 2 yet