Boxing Day: The Gift of Football returns

Following a wealth of requests from Sunderland AFC supporters and partners, the Gift of Football is back!

Dozens of fans and businesses have already contacted the Stadium of Light Box Office in a bid to relaunch the acclaimed initiative ahead of the Black Cats’ Boxing Day fixture against Bolton Wanderers.

An incredible 1,650 tickets were donated in 2018, as supporters, staff, players and partners ensured nobody missed out, and a record-breaking crowd of 46,039 roared the Lads to victory over Bradford City.

Originally dreamt up by season-card holder Simon Baty, the initiative united the city and delivered a Christmas to remember, while further highlighting the power of the club’s esteemed fan base.

This year, the SAFC community will once again be supporting each other and spreading the festive cheer, with the Gift of Football forming a key part of the club’s ‘Coming to Town‘ campaign.

SAFC fan Baty said: “The origins are not as exciting as you may think – I was just sitting at home one night and because of work, my eldest son realised that he would only be able to attend one of our festive fixtures. For various reasons, we opted for Blackpool, so we knew that we had a spare ticket for Boxing Day that we didn’t want to go to waste, and it just took off from there.

“My father passed away a few years ago, and the last game we went to together was on Boxing Day. It was freezing and we lost miserably – but sometimes those are the memories you cherish the most, because going to games with family, especially at this time of year, is about far more than what happens on the pitch.

“The festive period is a special time for many of us, but for a lot of people it’s not easy, so if we can once again brighten things up for our fellow supporters, it’s something we should be encouraging each other to do.

“Last season, an incredible number of tickets were donated, so hopefully we can replicate that and once again come together at the Stadium of Light on Boxing Day.”

Working alongside the Foundation of Light, as well a multitude of other local charities, the club will be distributing tickets throughout the local community in the build-up to Christmas.

Supporters can donate tickets now – and it’s easier than ever!


Gift of Football tickets are priced at £15 and can be donated by clicking here.

Supporters are advised to select ‘digital’ from the delivery options when checking out to ensure they are not charged a postage fee.

Regular tickets for Sunderland’s Boxing Day fixture against Bolton will be on sale from Monday.

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