Thousands raised by Sunderland fans following Wembley ticket initiative

Sunderland fans show their support in the stands during the Sky Bet League One Play-off final at Wembley Stadium, London.

An initiative for Sunderland fans to donate and receive commemorative virtual Wembley tickets, for their Papa John’s Trophy final on March 14 has commenced.

Sunderland fan Peter Richardson came up with the idea, following Sunderland’s victory over Lincoln City in the semi-final, meaning a third trip to Wembley in the space of two years for the Wearside club.

Along with Mr Richardson, supporter branches including Red and White Army and the Sunderland AFC Branch Liaison Council, had supported the idea before teaming up with the club.

All proceeds will be split between four North East charities; Sunderland Foodbank, the Salvation Army, Washington Mind and the Foundation of Light.

Sunderland chief operating officer Steve Davison said: “This is a fantastic initiative and one that as a club, we are immensely proud to support.”

The Crowdfunder originally had a target of £10,000 which has been surpassed with donations currently standing at over £39,000, including a donation of £3,000 by former Sunderland chairman Stewart Donald.

The creators of the page shared their thoughts on the progress, they said: “Wow we hit our £10,000 target in less than 24hrs.”

Fans can donate at: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/sunderland-together with e-tickets priced at £5 and paper tickets costing £10.