Lee Johnson will lead his side out at the national stadium in the final of the Papa John’s Trophy on Sunday, March 14 as the Black Cats eye a first win at the national stadium since the famous FA Cup triumph of 1973.
It’s the third time in three years that the Wearsiders have reached Wembley, and fans are hoping for a happy outcome this weekend.
And ahead of the final, the tournament title sponsors have re-named their Sunderland store in honour of the head coach in order to build anticipation ahead of the big day.
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The takeaway, on Newcastle Road, will be known as ‘Papa Lee’s’ ahead of the final – with the famous Papa John’s logo also re-branded in red and white to reflect the colour of the famous Sunderland shirts.
Opposition manager Keith Hill has also seen a store named after him in the Wirral, near to Tranmere Rovers home ground of Prenton Park.
Giles Codd, Marketing Director at Papa John’s said: ‘We can’t wait for the action at Wembley this weekend, and we know that all four teams are going to be desperate to get their name on the trophy.’
“We want to wish all of them luck, so by renaming our stores in each of the finalists’ towns we’re hopefully able to build a sense of anticipation among each local community. Who better to be able to provide this than the manager of each team? After all, they’re the boss!”
This comes as Papa John’s has announced plans to inject £250,000 into football communities with its ‘Together We Can’ fund.
From goalposts that need replacing to clubhouses that need a lick of paint, local football clubs all over the UK will have the chance to apply for access to a £100k fund, distributed by a Papa John’s committee to give grassroots clubs a boost. The pizza delivery chain has also pledged to provide £150k worth of brand-new football kits to clubs all over the UK in 2021 to help the 12 million people in the UK involved in the grassroots game.