Seven things the Echo team loves about Sunderland

Penshaw Monument by Craig Wilson
Penshaw Monument by Craig Wilson
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Ahead of National Mackem Day tomorrow we've been reflecting on everything that's great about Sunderland - our city.

Whether you were born here, educated here or work here - there is so much to be proud of on Wearside, we just had to share our favourite things.

Sunderland Empire Theatre - Happy National Mackem Day!

Sunderland Empire Theatre - Happy National Mackem Day!

From the beloved Black Cats (and their stadium!) to backstage at the Empire, here's what some of our team loves the most about Sunderland.

What's your favourite thing about your city? Let us know in the comments what stands out for you.

Mark Thompson, Head of Digital: University of Sunderland: "I spent four great years at the university and I was a student when the fantastic St Peter's Campus opened. I have so many fond memories, from long nights at Manor Quay to filming along the beautiful coastline - I even enjoyed the freezing walk over the Wearmouth Bridge!"

Debra Fox, Social Media Editor: Sunderland Empire Theatre: "It is a magical feeling sitting in the theatre, and waiting for the curtain to go up. And in Sunderland we get to anticipate a performance in one of the most beautiful venues in the country. The Empire truly is a jewel in the city's crown, boasting the best of the West End, and everything else in between, all year round."

Sunderland AFC - a club to be proud of on National Mackem Day.

Sunderland AFC - a club to be proud of on National Mackem Day.

Joy Yates, Editorial Director: The coastline: "I am so proud to take visiting friends and family for walks along the stunning Seaburn and Roker coastline. And the friendly, attentive, chatty service in the bars, restaurants and shops make you proud to live and work in such a great city."

Katy Wheeler, Entertainment Editor: Gigs at the Stadium of Light: "When I started at the Echo ten years ago I never thought I'd be writing 'Oasis, Bruce Springsteen and Beyonce' in the same sentence as "Sunderland," but the events team at the club has transformed the face of summer entertainment in the city. Whatever your musical tastes, you can't deny its value to the city in putting Wearside in the national music media spotlight and providing a boost to local bars, hotels and B&Bs."

David Allison, Senior Reporter: The football club: "We've got a historic football club which, despite having not won a major trophy or played in European
football since 1973, regularly gets crowds of well over 40,000. We're the six times champions of England (the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur can't beat that), have won the FA Cup twice and have been in the Premier League for 10 consecutive seasons now. Plenty to be proud of about the Black Cats."

Fiona Thompson, Senior Reporter: Sunderland Aquatic Centre: "There are so many brilliant places, hidden and popular, I love in Sunderland, but the place where I spend the most time is its Aquatic Centre. It's a brilliant pool and a real haven away from everything else. The staff are always really helpful and friendly too. We're lucky to have it and all the other pools across the city on our doorstep."

Sunderland University.

Sunderland University.

Gavin Foster, Managing Editor: Penshaw Monument: "The thing I love about Sunderland is the feeling of seeing Penshaw Monument when I return home. When I'm coming along the A19 and I see Penshaw Monument, I always know I'm really home."

Sunderland Aquatic Centre.

Sunderland Aquatic Centre.