Sunderland AFC’s 2017-18 adidas third kit is now on sale in official club stores.
In homage to the unbreakable bond between the club and the rich industrial past of its city, Sunderland AFC has launched a new third kit which is charcoal in colour, reflecting the proud mining history of the region and the stadium site.
A number of Sunderland supporters who sit in the stands today worked at the Monkwearmouth Colliery and in a further nod to the mining community, fan Barry Collinson, who worked in the pit for 11 years, took pride of place in the kit unveiling. In a further twist of fate, Barry now works for Sunderland AFC, so his links to the former pit continue to this day.
Speaking about his involvement in the kit launch, Barry said: “I worked in the Wearmouth Colliery for 11 years and have worked at the Stadium of Light since 2008, where I’m a maintenance operative in the facilities department.
“I’m very proud to have been a miner and to now work at Sunderland AFC, I feel a special bond to this place and as a Sunderland fan, it’s an honour to be involved in the kit launch and to take part in the photoshoot at Beamish Museum, which brought back some special memories. This new kit will be a hit with our supporters and I’m sure it will bring the team luck”.
The Durham Miners’ Association Brass Band performed at the stadium, with members wearing the new shirt; Alan Cummings, secretary of the Durham Miners' Association said: "Sunderland is a team and club built on foundations of coal. Generations of miners toiled beneath the ground the Stadium of Light now stands upon and on Saturday's they'd be at the match, supporting their beloved team.
“We welcome the fact that the heritage of miners and mining communities has been honoured in the design of the new kit. It helps to keeps our unique culture alive."
The Monkwearmouth Colliery was the largest mine in Sunderland. It began producing coal in 1835 and was the last to remain operating in the County Durham Coalfield. The final shift left the pit on December 10, 1993, ending over 800 years of commercial coal mining in the region.
Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, celebrating its 20th birthday this year, now sits proudly on the former colliery site and its mining heritage is woven through the very fabric of the football club. First and foremost, its name pays tribute to those miners who toiled relentlessly, carrying a Davy lamp to light their way as they emerged from a back-breaking shift underground.
As supporters arrive at the stadium a huge replica Davy lamp, with its eternal flame shining brightly, lights the way for supporters and a pit wheel sits majestically outside the main west stand.
The ‘men of steel’ sculpture on the banks of the River Wear features miners pushing coal scuttles up the hill and the Monkwearmouth Lodge miners banner, presented to the club by the Durham Miners’ Association, is proudly displayed inside the stadium for all to see.
Sunderland AFC’s third kit is available in a limited edition at www.safcstore.com and club stores located at the Stadium of Light, Debenhams in Sunderland and The Galleries, Washington.
Official EFL shirt personalisation is available on all replica kits, and Black Cat's fans can now take advantage of a special half price offer. With every personalized shirt purchased, you can now get the shorts and socks for half price.