Sunderland AFC comes together to celebrate the life of Michael Waggott in poignant Stadium of Light tributes
The fans, players and staff of Sunderland AFC and Fleetwood Town came together to celebrate the life of Michael Waggott at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night.
Waggott, a lifelong supporter of Sunderland, was treated by the emergency services during the first half of the club’s home fixture against Burton Albion last month.
He was then transferred to Sunderland Royal Hospital, where he sadly died on Thursday, February 24th.
A minute’s applause was held shortly before kick off in Tuesday night’s fixture, with the players of both teams lining up on the centre circle to pay their respects.
Sunderland AFC's best and worst managers since 1973 revealed - ranked by win percentage in our memorable moments photo gallery
Jordan Henderson exclusive: Liverpool captain name drops three Sunderland players and talks Stadium of Light return
Next Middlesbrough manager latest: Surprise prices on Lee Cattermole, Roy Keane and Sam Allardyce
Michael’s family shared a heartfelt message of thanks to the footballing community and the emergency services, which was read out before applause from all corners of the ground.
"We would like to offer our sincere thanks to the staff, players and fans of Sunderland AFC,” the message said.
"We are so grateful for everything they did to help Michael and the ongoing support we have received as a family.
“The police, paramedics and staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital also deserve special thanks for their caring professionalism which we will not forget.
"Finally, we want to thank football clubs and fans from across the country for their kind messages of support, which have helped us get through such a horrendous time.
"Forever in red and white, rest in peace, Michael.”
Images celebrating Michael’s life were shown on the two big screens during the applause, while the Sunderland players also wore black armbands throughout the game to remember Michael.
A shirt bearing Waggott’s name was hung up in the tunnel and the home dressing room in the build up to the game, and was carried out on the pitch by team captain Corry Evans. It will be signed by the players before being passed to the family after the game.
In a statement shared in the club programme Sunderland AFC said: “All at Sunderland AFC are incredibly saddened by the passing of lifelong supporter Michael Waggott.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time, and we will continue to offer them our full support throughout the next days and weeks.”