Sunderland fans deliver once again on ANOTHER memorable night in Trafalgar Square
Just eight weeks after taking over Trafalgar Square, Sunderland fans reclaimed one of Britain's most historic landmarks on Saturday night, once again turning the capital red and white.
Nearly two months have passed since the Black Cats' last trip to the national stadium, which, despite the euphoric scenes the night before, ended with a penalty shootout defeat to Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy final.
After a long and arduous season which is set to last a staggering 61 games, one may have wondered if Sunderland supporters could recreate such a jubilant display.
But yet again, on another memorable night, Sunderland fans delivered.
Compared to the phenomenal turnout ahead of March's London takeover, the early glimpses may have seemed a little underwhelming.
Perhaps that's because there's more riding on a League One play-off against Charlton Athletic, a huge game for both clubs, compared to the free hit of a lower tier competition which few even acknowledged at the start of the season.
Ahead of the Black Cats' Wembley meeting with Portsmouth earlier this year, Wearsiders made up for their lost celebrations in recent years, following back-to-back relegations from the Premier League to League One.
But following a football club, particularly one which has endured as much as Sunderland in recent times, can be a draining experience, especially in a season which has taken fans to Pompey (twice), Plymouth and AFC Wimbledon.
Trips like that aren't cheap and, understandably, there will be those who couldn't make it this time around, or who elected to travel down on the day, saving themselves for the winner-takes-all final.
Yet on the journey from Covent Garden to the main gathering in Trafalgar Square, you couldn't miss the red and white shirts scattered around the capital, socialising in bars and enjoying their bank holiday weekend ahead of this season-defining match.
As expected, Trafalgar Square was a livelier affair, as a sea of red and white descended on Nelson's Column.
Those who got there early had chance to put up their flags, which were draped over the concrete walls surrounding the monument, showcasing the Sunderland name and emblem.
There was no question about one of the six teams who are playing at Wembley this weekend.
Chants of 'Ha'way The Lads', 'Que Sera Sera' and 'Sunderland 'Til I Die', among others, could be heard throughout as Black Cats supporters sang away and cracked opened their cans on a fine summer's evening.
They were joined by chairman Stewart Donald and club legend Niall Quinn, who were only too happy to stop and be photographed with fans as day turned to night.
As the natural light disappeared, the blazing red flairs were even more prominent, lighting up the venue as the clock approached midnight.
A first win at Wembley since 1973 would surely turn a memorable weekend into an unforgettable one for the Black Cats faithful.
Sunderland fans will need to play their part in that, with around 38,000 Charlton fans expected at the national stadium on Sunday afternoon.
But, on Saturday night at least, Sunderland fans once again delivered.