top of page


We asked for your 1973 FA Cup win memories, we published some earlier here’s some more…

I was lucky enough to go to Wembley with my Dad. We’d been to the Man City replay and the semi-final at Hillsborough. The only way we could get tickets though was through my Dad’s friend who was chairman of Durham FA. Tickets were like gold dust.

We decorated the car, set off at the crack of dawn and got to Wembley for 9am! It was raining and we were walking around, my shoes leaked because I insisted on wearing exactly the same clothes for each game.

We saw the team coaches arrive; Jackie Charlton got some stick as he’d slated our chances on TV the night before. Then we went into the stadium to soak up the atmosphere. I’d been to cup finals previously and always thought Sunderland would never get there. So now they were defeat was just unthinkable. My favourite players were Billy Hughes and Ian Porterfield so that made the goal even more special. I don’t think we knew much about the double save in real time and somehow we managed to hang on. Only real football supporters can understand when I say it was the best day of my life. The FA Cup was much more of an achievement than it is today.

We stayed to watch the team coaches leave, Jackie Charlton had his head bowed in shame. Then unbelievably I got to shake hands with Ian Porterfield.

Now I can’t believe it’s 50 years ago. I am however very proud that although I no longer live in the north east, I’ve brought my son up to be a die-hard Sunderland supporter and we go to as many games as we possibly can including Preston on Monday.

All the best


One of my memories is about the scramble for Wembley tickets. The club issued vouchers at home games after the semi-final and there were ballots for tickets. I used to go to games with my dad, uncle and cousin. As I was 14, I used the junior turnstile so I had different vouchers from them. They got tickets in the ballot and I didn’t.

The last ballot was a green E ticket. I had a green F and a pink E so I tried a bit of home forgery and amalgamated them to make a ‘not great’ green E. It didn’t work and my ballot ticket and money were confiscated as ‘evidence’. Worth a try though.

Redemption came from another uncle who lived in Manchester and had claimed for years that he played golf with the Man Utd players (which none of us believed). It turns out this was all true, he was mates with their keeper, Alex Stepney and a ticket with Manchester Utd stamped all over it arrived in the post just before the game.

Great times, a great team and I can’t believe it’s 50 years ago.


I was nearly ten years old when Sunderland made their way to Wembley in 1973. I had started going to the matches with my mam (unusual in those days as it was a male dominated sport), and can vaguely remember the build-up, but not as vividly as the day itself.

We always had a set routine for cup final day, watching the build up from the morning, all the way to kick off, closing the curtains for better viewing, sweet treats and satsumas, and the golden rule; no visits to the toilet until half time! We made FA Cups out of card board and tin foil, my mam knitted ‘gonks’ and we attached them to our clothing with a pin. I still have my scarf from 73, I think it might disintegrate if I tried to wear it now! The whole area was red and white, it was a great atmosphere.

I remember seeing the open top bus travelling along ‘the cut’ in Houghton-le-Spring. Everywhere you looked it was red and white, with happy, smiling faces, an amazing atmosphere! Bobby Kerr was a favourite of mine, he was (and still is) our best ever corner taker. I used to shout his name from the Roker End. So when he waved directly (some might say he didn’t, but just let me believe he did) at me when the bus passed by us, well that made it a perfect day!

Sunderland’s day at Wembley helped make this not only a memorable day, but a memorable time in my childhood.

Best wishes


I was 13 at that time. I went to Wembley with Dad and Uncle sadly they have passed.

I just love everything about that team back then, the shirt I thought was the best thing since sliced bread. I couldn't wait to get it on at school when we played footy in PE. And going to Wembley was more than a dream come true for a 13yr old me. I didn't know until we got into the stadium that we were above the tunnel where Leeds fans were, no matter my Dad and Uncle were Giants well they were to me.

Anyway, the game itself. That tackle on Clarke by Ritchie Pitt, Clarke must have thought he got hit by a train, moving on Bobby Kerr that lob that and Harvey Tipping over the bar and we all know what happens next. Billy Hughes corner and Ian Porterfield volley into that net, Monty’s unbelievable double save, Tricky Dickie clearing the ball away, later Vic Halom with that thunderbolt that had Harvey pulling off a great save then not long after Ken Burns if my memory serves me well blows the whistle

Sunderland had won the FA Cup

Those who wore the Red and White shirt that day were immense and are my heroes, always will be. For my 60th the wife treated us to a game at the SOL where I had my picture taken with Monty and Trickie Dickie which certainly made my day, hopefully I shall get to meet the wee man himself Bobby Kerr in the future.



May 5th 1973 was one of the most wonderful days of my life!

I was a newly qualified teacher, living in Manchester at the time so I had to travel from there to London very early in the morning. My father travelled from Sunderland on the train overnight so was already suffering from lack of sleep! No mobile phones in those days but we still managed to meet up. London seemed to have been taken over by red and white. We went for lunch, (table prebooked by my father) and everyone was wishing us luck; no-one liked Leeds. I was so excited; I couldn’t wait for the match to start!

We travelled on the tube to Wembley and then the magical walk down Wembley Way. I didn’t feel nervous as we had nothing to lose; Leeds were the overwhelming favourite but I felt we had hidden quality that would surprise Leeds. As my father worked on the turnstiles at Roker Park, we had seats in the second row of the North Terrace so had an excellent view of the pitch. Further along our row there was a man dressed entirely in Union Flags; we had seen the same man on TV at many previous FA Cup Finals but no-one seemed to know who he was. There were no replica kits in 1973 but I had a rosette and a big brimmed red and white hat. Unfortunately, when the teams came onto the field, it started raining and my hat flopped!

Sunderland were strong from the first minute with challenging tackles that seemed to shake the confidence of Leeds. Then on 31 minutes Porterfield scored, right in front of us. I was ecstatic. I think my Dad tried to calm me down by saying ‘Well, Carole, they have to score 2 now.’ As the match went on, we started to believe we could win the game… and then the wonderful Monty double save. Unbelievable! Don Revie was sitting not far from us and we could hear him screaming at his players, using very colourful words. And then it was all over. Stokoe streaked across the pitch, making a bee line for Monty and we all cheered so much we became hoarse.

Outside of the stadium, my Dad and I were singing and dancing and making our way to the tube station to return to central London. People were coming out of their houses to congratulate us. Suddenly we realised there were no other football fans with us. We reached the tube station which was deserted. We got on an almost empty train but as we arrived at the next station, we saw the hordes of fans waiting to get on. We must have walked/danced to the previous station by mistake. Lots of Leeds fans got into our carriage but they were very friendly and congratulated us.

Back in London, there was a celebratory meal, more singing and dancing until it was time to catch the train back to Manchester. My Dad had to wait another hour for his train to Sunderland. The following Monday, my first class formed a guard of honour for me to pass through at the entrance to the classroom. What wonderful memories!


What a ride. I was lucky enough to be at every tie. Went to Maine Road where came away with a draw travelled home and was at Roker Park the next morning in the dark to get replay tickets. The atmosphere at the replay was amazing and we dominated City.

The semi against Arsenal was another epic win and on to Wembley. Left Sunderland station at daft o’clock on the Saturday morning. I took my brother’s bugle to make as much noise as possible. Arrived at Wembley very early so just soaked up the occasion and got some well needed food.

Wembley was bouncing with red and white and the lads made mighty Leeds know they meant business from the start. The ground seemed to shake when Porterfield scored, we were so happy. Then the double save. A lot of us thought they’d scored but a second later felt the relief as Jimmy Monty had made the best save I’ve ever seen. It was a nail-biting end to the match but the celebrations at the final whistle were great. We cheered and sang every time the cup was held up.

Leeds fans we met afterwards said we were the better team on the day. The train ride home brought sleep at the end of a long emotional day which I’ll never forget.


As a 12 year old Sunderland supporter it was an incredibly exciting day May 5th 1973.

As a season ticket holder I'd been to all the home matches leading up to the Cup final with my dad. Man City being the most memorable of course.

But even with a cup final ticket and long family discussions, I was not allowed to go to the Cup final as it wasn't a safe place for a 12 year old I was told!.

(different world then.)

My dad promised he'd bring me back a souvenir, and the Cup of course.

We were one of the first to have a colour TV so our house was packed full of neighbours for the Cup final.

At Wembley my dad got to the turnstile and saw a red and white Rosette lying face down on the ground, so he picked it up and put it in his pocket thinking nothing of it.

After the match celebrating in the pub after our magnificent 1-0 win over Leeds United he pulled the Rosette out of his pocket and looked at it. It had a picture of Ian Porterfield in the centre, "Unbelievable". "meant to be"

The memories of 50 years ago are still very clear, and those guys are still my heroes. They say you should never meet your heroes but Jimmy Montgomery is a very special man and a privilege to have met.

As a 12 year old I just thought that's what Sunderland did! win FA cups and England Win World cups, didn't realise it was a once in a lifetime thing, but what a one off day it was. I still have the Rosette and all the memories of that day in May when the lads made us proud. Let's hope one day we can give another 12 year old the same special memories I have, and make us all very proud once again.