James Copley: How Sunderland contributed to England's Euro 2022 win and Liverpool's latest trophy

This weekend saw Sunderland contribute to England’s greatest footballing achievement since 1966 with Wearside’s fingerprints left on the sporting landscape up and down the country.

Monday, 1st August 2022, 1:45 pm

Yes, England defeated Germany 2-1 at Wembley Stadium to win the 2022 Championships. At football. It did actually happen. It is a truly monumental achievement, one which will go down in the annuls history and will likely affect much social change in the United Kingdom.

Serina Weigman’s Lionesses will be remembered as footballing pioneers in this country and mentioned in the same breath as Dick Kerr’s Ladies, Bobby Moore, Sir Alf Ramsey, Lilly Parr, Geoff Hurst and Kelly Smith.

They have cemented themselves in immortality - and the City of Sunderland played its part in laying the foundations.

Whitby-born Beth Mead, the tournament’s top goal scorer, played for Sunderland between 2011 and 2017, scoring bucket loads before moving onto Arsenal and England fame. Our city can take pride in playing a small part in her development from prospect to phenomenon.

Lucy Bronze also started every game for the Lionesses. The 30-year-old hails from Berwick-upon-Tweed and is probably the best right back of her gender in the world, but she too got her big break at Sunderland, donning the red and white stripes for three years between 2007 and 2010.

Playing for Sunderland at the same time as Bronze was fellow defender Demi Stokes, another piece of Weigman's Euro 2020 winning squad developed in the City of Sunderland.

And who could forget Jill Scott? The Sunderland-born warrior brought on to inject experience into England during the final throws of the game. She provided one of the tournament’s most iconic moments as she berated her German counterpart. You didn’t have to be from Wearside to get the gist of her feelings.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Jill Scott of England celebrates with her medal after the 2-1 win during the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium on July 31, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Last night marked Scott’s 170 international appearance. She will be remembered as one of the best athletes this proud city has ever produced, up there with Jordan Henderson and Raich Carter as Sunderland-born sporting legends.

And Farringdon-born Henderson picked up his own trophy over the course of an eventful weekend too as his Liverpool side defeated Manchester City for the Community Shield at the King Power Stadium.

That means he is now the proud owner of winners medals for the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, European Super Cup, Club World Cup, EFL Cup and the Community Shield. Quite incredible.

Moving away from football and into boxing. Just hours after Henderson captained Liverpool to another trophy, Rhyope-born Josh Kelly won the WBO International title and is now eyeing world honours.

Kelly, a keen men’s mental health advocate, is a former Olympian. This is certainly something for Sunderland to be proud of.

Pat McCormack fought this weekend too. The Washington lad is known for his 2018 Commonwealth Games gold back in 2018. He then won a silver at the Beijing Olympics earlier this year.

The 27-year-old scored a first-round knockout in only his second professional bout and has every chance of becoming one of the United Kingdom’s premier boxers in the next few years with more championships on the horizon. His twin brother, Luke, isn’t bad either!

These athletes continue to prove the worth of sport in this wonderful city, producing on the biggest of stages and inspiring people the world over.