Is this Sunderland's unluckiest fan? Tot Liam sees club relegated twice before his first birthday

One-year-old Liam Smith, who is destined to follow his family as a Sunderland supporter.
One-year-old Liam Smith, who is destined to follow his family as a Sunderland supporter.

Liam Smith has just marked his first year, but has already seen his football club relegated twice.

Confirmation Sunderland AFC would be playing in League One next season came just days before his birthday.

It was just four days after he was born - three months early weighing just 3lb 120z at Sunderland Royal - that the side was moved down into the Championship.

Dad Chris Smith, 28, who works as a customer manager at Nationwide, and mum Sarah Richardson, 29, a Sky sales adviser, live in Westoe in South Shields.

Chris is a season ticket holder of 18 years and sits in the South East Corner of the Stadium of Light with his granddad Terry Halpin, 73, while his dad Mark, 52, brother Daniel, 19, and other members of his family are also season ticket holders.

Chris said: "Most people as football fans normally suffer and see their club relegated once in their lifetime, but as a Sunderland fan, some times as a Sunderland fan it's a little bit more than that.

"My dad got me involved in it and made me suffer, so it just gets passed down.

"We're in it together.

"With Sunderland, it's not about supporting a team that wins all the time, it's just about getting up on a Saturday morning, going to watch Sunderland, it's tradition."

Chris added: "He arrived three months early, which was a shock.

"Sunderland Royal's staff were amazing.

"He was in its special care unit after he was born.

"He's doing so well now."