Fab five who had an absolute love of their supporters club
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.