'Football was her life': One of Sunderland's most loyal supporters Margaret Roberts passes away aged 92

One of Sunderland’s most loyal supporters, Margaret Roberts, has sadly passed away at the age of 92.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 3:26 pm

Margaret was a Black Cats season ticket holder for over 55 years and attended matches right up until March 2019, when fixtures started to be played behind closed doors.

Following a short battle with illness, Margaret, who lived in Ryhope, passed away on April 26 but still listened to matches in hospital on the radio.

“She attended all home games, literally until the pandemic hit,” says Margaret’s granddaughter Claire Gibson.

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Sunderland supporter Margaret Roberts.
Sunderland supporter Margaret Roberts.

“When they were playing at Wembley she was at my mam’s making sure she could catch it on Sky. Football was her life to be fair.

“Even in her younger days when she was a season ticket holder at Roker Park, if she couldn’t attend the full match due to work, she would finish her shift, she was a domestic at Ryhope Hospital, get the bus and turn up at half-time.

“She’s always made sure she attended the matches.

“I’m sure if she was here she would be tense with Wednesday’s game to come and the play-offs.”

Margaret Roberts with former Sunderland goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery.

Margaret also attended Sunderland’s victory over Leeds United in the 1973 FA Cup final at Wembley, and was presented with a signed Sunderland shirt by legendary goalkeeper Jim Montgomey on her 90th birthday.

"She’s even taken grass from Wembley from the FA Cup final from years ago,” adds Claire.

"She has kept all her little ticket sachets from Roker Park. She sat in the main stand and when you got to a certain age, you were given the opportunity to sit with the older section, but she still wanted to be in the main stand.

"She loved the buzz of the game and loved being around the rowdy lot where all the chanting and singing was, she didn’t want to be in a quiet area.

"My brother managed to get her in a private box once to watch the match, obviously they had a nice meal and nice drinks.

"They said, ’Have you had a lovely day nan’, and she said ‘yes but I’d rather be sitting in my seat.”

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