SoL friendly: Sunderland welcome Scottish champions

Sunderland will welcome Scottish treble winners Celtic to Wearside on Saturday 29 July 2017 in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Stadium of Light.

Both clubs share the same principal partner in Dafabet and in recognition of this, the game - the first pre-season friendly to be staged at the stadium since 2008 – will be known as the Dafabet Cup, with the respective trophy awarded to the winning side.

As well as the milestone of 20 years at the Stadium of Light, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Celtic’s historic European Cup win in Lisbon, when they became the first British club to lift the prestigious trophy. The legendary team, known as the Lisbon Lions, have been invited by Sunderland to attend the game in recognition of their achievements in 1967. The passionate Celtic fans are renowned for travelling in large numbers and Wearside is looking forward to welcoming a big visiting crowd and creating a celebratory and vibrant atmosphere between both sets of fans.

Fans will be able to enjoy family friendly and special season card holder pricing, with junior season card holders able to take in the action for free.

The iconic home of Sunderland hosted its first game on July 31, 1997, representing the beginning of a new era in stadium building in the UK. To this day, it remains one of the best modern stadia in Europe.

Sunderland ambassador Kevin Ball, who captained the Sunderland side in that game against Ajax, is delighted that Celtic will be visiting next month. He said: “To have Celtic here to celebrate the 20-year anniversary, almost to the day, will be a very special occasion for everyone involved with Sunderland.

“The two sets of fans share the same principles of loyalty and passion for their clubs and both teams have long and proud histories. It’s fantastic that Celtic have accepted our invitation to share this special day in what is also a very special year for them with the anniversary of the famous victory in Lisbon. I have no doubt it will be a great game, in front of a full house and something both Sunderland and Celtic supporters will love.”

The game will also be the largest gathering of former Sunderland players in the club’s history, with many of the stars of the last twenty years set to attend. Kevin Ball is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces, adding: “Bringing together former players and club legends will really make the day special. Recognising and celebrating our history, whether it is recent or long-standing is something that is hugely important to us and keeping our former players actively involved with the club ensures that we retain a strong connection with our history.”

Sunderland fans can cast their vote for their favourite moments of the last 20 years across the club’s website and social media channels - from Kevin Phillips’ wonder goal against Chelsea to Jermain Defoe’s incredible match-winning strike against Newcastle.

Just click here to vote! 

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