Legend bowled over by crowd's welcome.
Sunderland legend Jimmy Montgomery admitted he was “overwhelmed” by the crowd’s reception ahead of last night’s game against Stoke.
The 1973 FA Cup-winning side were introduced to the Stadium of Light faithful ahead of kick-off and were greeted by a standing ovation from a near-40,000 turnout.
Montgomery was visibly emotional after accompanying his team-mates onto the pitch – the culmination of a weekend of events to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1-0 win over Leeds United at Wembley.
“The reaction took us back to the day of Ian Porterfield’s memorial,” Montgomery explained. “It was very emotional, as it was that day, and the crowd were absolutely fantastic.
“We didn’t know what the response would be. Obviously we know what the fans feel about the cup win, but I think the greeting took everyone by surprise.
“It was truly wonderful and brought a tear to the eye. It takes you back to the old days.
“The crowd were brilliant 40 years ago and they didn’t disappoint last night.”
It was a busy evening for the former players, who took part in a signing session at the Stadium Store prior to the game before being hosted in the boardroom.
Meanwhile the group - who made a combined 2,574 appearances for the club - were also guests of honour at a gala dinner at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.
They were joined by the FA Cup trophy itself on a night of nostalgia on Wearside, with more than 400 guests in attendance.
Montgomery – along with colleague Dennis Tueart – was key to organising the event and the club’s very own ambassador relished the chance to mingle with fans and former colleagues alike.
“The gala dinner was absolutely fantastic," he said. "I just wish I could live it again because it passed pretty quickly.
“It was great to see all the lads again with all the mickey-taking and messing around.
“I was glad to see the supporters enjoying themselves as well and quite a few of them mentioned to me how fantastic the event was.
“We were looked after very well in the boardroom and received a lovely present from the club, which I would also like to thank them for.”