Sunderland AFC and Red and White Army are proud to announce the Stadium of Light’s south stand will be renamed The Roker End.
The official renaming ceremony will take place ahead of kick-off at the club’s Boxing Day fixture with Bradford City, as a specially-commissioned ‘captain’s mural’ is unveiled within the stand’s main concourse.
In conjunction with RAWA, the club has been working on a range of initiatives to improve the matchday experience at the Stadium of Light.
A comprehensive survey led by RAWA clearly demonstrated that supporters felt the Stadium of Light needed a greater sense of identity, and following the award-winning Big Seat Change, the process of renaming the south stand began
After working closely with all supporter groups to develop a shortlist, over 13,000 people cast their selection and the Roker End was the overwhelming winner, acquiring 70% of the vote.
The Roker Roar shook opposition teams to their core and became synonymous with the club throughout its 99-year tenure at Roker Park, and it will be forever woven into the fabric of the English game.
120 years on, the Stadium of Light’s south stand will be christened the Roker End, allowing supporters old and new follow in the footsteps of previous generations, and Roar on the Lads through thick and thin.
Chairman of the RAWA, Andrew Hird, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for supporters to come together and help give our stadium a greater sense of identity, and they answered the call with thousands participating.“The Roker Roar is synonymous throughout football for being loud and representative of our city, and we want the Stadium of Light’s Roker End to carry on that tradition and recapture Roker Park’s stirring atmosphere.
“The club have been open and honest in their communication with supporters from day one, and they too are passionate about restoring the Stadium of Light to its former glory, as we saw with the Big Seat Change.
“This is the first of many projects RAWA are working on with the club and other supporters’ groups, and there is much more to come.”
Sunderland AFC’s executive director, Charlie Methven, added: “This has been a fantastic exercise to go through with RAWA and the rest of the supporters’ groups.
“To have over 13,000 vote, in such a short space of time, is almost unprecedented and demonstrates Sunderland fans’ passion for their club and its history.
“As away fans, Stewart and I were always very aware of Roker Park and its reputation, and it’s good that a new generation of SAFC supporters will now be able to feel that direct link with that famous past.”