Fab five who had an ab­so­lute love of their sup­port­ers club

Sunderland Echo - - Retro -

Any­one who be­lieves women are not in­ter­ested in foot­ball are likely to change their minds af­ter meet­ing one group of Sun­der­land sup­port­ers.

They de­vote much of their spare time to the run­ning of Sun­der­land AFC Sup­port­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, the of­fi­cial sup­port­ers’ club.

The work is vol­un­tary and un­paid, but they’re happy to do it as a “labour of love”.

The five women – Anne Howe, Audrey Bail­lie, Maria Forster, Ju­dith Tuck­nutt and Carolyn Buckle – have been keen on foot­ball for years and started out by sup­port­ing “the lads” from the ter­races.

When the as­so­ci­a­tion started in 1965, Anne, was one of the founder mem­bers. She helped for­mer trans­port man­ager John Ten­nick or­gan­ise coaches to away matches and is still one of the trans­port or­gan­is­ers as well as a bus stew­ard.

The fol­low­ing year she was joined by Carolyn Buckle, who started as a sou­venir seller in the Clock Stand shop and now helps with en­rol­ments, serves on the com­mit­tee and acts as “gen­eral dogs­body.” Carolyn per­suaded her work­mate Audrey Bail­lie to join the as­so­ci­a­tion, who in turn re­cruited Ju­dith Tuck­nutt. Ju­dith shares re­spon­si­bil­ity for or­gan­is­ing so­cial events with bank clerk Maria Forster, who stared in 1976.

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