Middlesbrough's gesture to much-loved former Sunderland employee before Tees-Wear clash

Middlesbrough paid tribute to Sunderland’s former head of media and communications Louise Wanless last night.

Wanless started her career in football as a press officer at Middlesbrough before Sunderland in 2003.

She then spent more than 16 years overseeing the club’s media and communications department before illness forced her to take a back seat last season on Wearside before sadly passing away.

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Last night, the Teessiders paid tribute to their former employee on social media, posting a picture of a Sunderland shirt with the Wanless name printed on the back hanging in the Riverside Stadium.

Middlesbrough won the clash 1-0 thanks to a goal in the first half which handed Chris Wilder’s side a vital three points in the Championship.

Sunderland’s preparations for the game had been rocked when talismanic striker Ross Stewart was withdrawn in the warm-up, the Scot appearing to pick up a muscle injury while practicing his shooting.

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MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - MARCH 19: A general view of Riverside Stadium prior to the Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final match between Middlesbrough v Chelsea at Riverside Stadium on March 19, 2022 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)