Christ­mas cheer is kick­ing on

Sunderland Echo - - Opinion -

The new regime at Sun­der­landFoot­ball Club is cer­tainly help­ing spread Christ­mas cheer right across the city.

On the pitch, Jack Ross’s side’s 16-game un­beaten run and progress in League 1 and two cups is bring­ing a warm glow to the Sta­dium of Light.

Off the pitch it’s go­ing ex­tremely well too with a host of new ini­tia­tives strength­en­ing the bond be­tween the club and the pop­u­lace.

One of the lat­est ideas is the Gift of Foot­ball, de­vised by Sun­der­land fan Si­mon Baty a week ago.

The idea is to help those fans strug­gling to af­ford to at­tend the Box­ing Day fix­ture against Brad­ford City at the Sta­dium of Light.

The scheme was quickly backed by owner Ste­wart Don­ald and di­rec­tors Char­lie Methven and Juan Sar­tori, who do­nated hun­dreds of pounds worth of tick­ets.

And the scheme has been kicked on fur­ther af­ter boss Jack Ross re­vealed that coach­ing staff and play­ers have also come on board.

He said: “I know that not only have Ste­wart and Char­lie been sup­port­ive of it, the play­ers and staff have been as well. It’s a re­flec­tion of how the club feels right now.

“It’s a gen­uinely bril­liant idea that I fully sup­port, peo­ple who wouldn’t or­di­nar­ily get to come see us will. It is ter­rific.”

Ear­lier this week, mid­fielder Luke O’Nien teamed up with ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Char­lie Methven to visit Hen­don’s Hud­son Road Pri­mary School to hand out the first batch of tick­ets.

And af­ter mak­ing a do­na­tion of their own on Thurs­day, the play­ers are plan­ning fur­ther sur­prise vis­its.

Skip­per Ge­orge Honey­man said: “All of the play­ers have seen the idea grow­ing on so­cial me­dia and it’s been the talk of the dress­ing room, so we are de­lighted to be in­volved and we will be sur­pris­ing fans through­out the next cou­ple of weeks.”

If you want to get in­volved, find the de­tails on the club’s web­site and let’s make Box­ing Day a very spe­cial time for sup­port­ers.

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