Sunderland start official supporters branch in North Korea
Sunderland AFC have set up an official supporters’ club branch in North Korea.
Tom Fowdy, the founder of Visit North Korea, will run the overseas branch, which will be one of many outside the North East.
Sunderland have over 70 branches of official supporters' clubs based throughout the UK and overseas.
The Visit North Korea company already has an advertising deal with local non-league side Blyth Spartans.
Fowdy was born in Sunderland and hopes the club will be able to grow in North Korea.
"Our plan is to raise awareness by donating a gradual flow of Sunderland merchandise to the country, including football shirts, scarfs and other memorabilia," Fowdy the Sunderland website.
"We will look at donating to local schools, colleges and other institutions. North Koreans do love their football, but they have no access or resources to buy things like football shirts.
"This provides an incredible opportunity not just to develop our fanbase, but to engage in a profound act of charity as well to a people much less fortunate than our own.
"We are starting from scratch. That is the excitement of this challenge.
"They have an awareness of the Premier League and inevitably drift towards the "big teams", but we are going to connect with them in a personal way which no club has ever yet tried."