Sunderland AFC has a thriving supporters branch network, with over 50 UK-based branches and 35 overseas groups.
To recognise its growing international fanbase, the Branch Liaison Council, which represents every branch in the UK and worldwide, has joined forces with the club to host an international fans’ day, when Sunderland AFC take on Ipswich Town on Saturday 08 February 2020.
The event has grown from an original approach to the Branch Liaison Council (BLC) from USA-based supporter John Ellington.
Fans from across the globe will be invited to join what will be a special gathering to celebrate Sunderland AFC’s incredible support around the world.
Speaking about the event, Sunderland AFC chairman Stewart Donald said: “This is a great idea and our thanks go to the members of the BLC for their hard work in putting together such a packed itinerary.
“Our north east fan base is thriving, and we are also seeing an increase in interest from supporters from outside the UK, no doubt due on no small part by the success of the recent Netflix ‘Sunderland ‘til I Die’ documentary.
"Wearside is famous for the warmth of its welcome and it will be wonderful to meet some of our many international supporters on the day."
Cath Reid, secretary of the Branch Liaison Council: “We are excited at the prospect of meeting up with some of our many international members. They are an important part of our Sunderland family and hopefully this can become an annual event, growing year on year.”
The BLC has put together a packed schedule of activities aimed at giving international visitors a true taste of Sunderland, including two matches at the Stadium of Light.
The schedule includes:
A tour of the Stadium of Light and history talk from a Sunderland AFC former player.
Fans Party, to be held at the Fans Museum in Sunderland, affording an opportunity for supporters to mix with each other and enjoy some of our famous Sunderland hospitality.
Supporters get together in the SAFC Fan Zone for pre-match drinks and entertainment SAFC v Ipswich Town, Stadium of Light
Post-match drinks and food in Sunderland
A tour of the Beacon of Light and presentation from the Foundation of Light, showcasing their life-changing work in the local community.
International supporters interested in attending should email firstname.lastname@example.org