Hundreds of Sunderland AFC fans attended the club’s first-ever Hall of Fame event at the Stadium of Light on Friday.
What was the inaugural night of red and white royalty, Sunderland greats from Charlie ‘The King’ Hurley to Niall Quinn and Jimmy Montgomery wrote their name in Wearside folklore once more.
Sponsored by Stagecoach North East, attendees enjoyed an unforgettable evening in the club’s famous Montgomery Suite, which included a drink’s reception and a sumptuous three-course meal.
In total, 11 Wearside legends were inducted into the Hall of Fame – a star studded line-up which included club founder James Allan, Charlie Buchan, 1937 FA Cup winners Raich Carter and Bobby Gurney as well as Len Ashurst – who made over 450 appearances for the Lads – and Len Shackleton.
Speaking about the event club historian, Rob Mason, said: “I am really delighted that the club have agreed to honour the stellar names of the club’s past.
“We had people come to the event to commemorate those from the very first days of the club such as the great, great grandson of James Allan, who brought the idea of football to Sunderland way back in 1879, the grandson of John Auld, who captained Sunderland to their first league title in 1892, the son of Raich Carter, the grandson of Bobby Gurney and the granddaughter of Charlie Buchan.
“Then, we had people from the modern era like Bobby Kerr, Charlie Hurley, Jim Montgomery and of course, Niall Quinn.”
Former player, manager and chairman Niall Quinn added: “It is incredible to think that I am here given the history of the club and the brilliant people that have been in and around it for such a long time.
“It was a kind of hair stands up on your arms moment when Rob Mason got in touch to ask me if I would accept it. I was very lucky from the ages of 30 to 35 because I had the five best years of my career.
“To think that I am honoured in the same breath of the people inducted in the first-ever Sunderland AFC Hall of Fame who have real history here is special – particularly, in the same breath as Charlie Hurley. I am glad the fans put up with me in my first year when I was injured so I could go on to have the career I did here.
“The relationship I later developed with them was special. Everything about this club is so special and I’m just pinching myself at the thought of being in the club’s Hall of Fame.”