Haway the lads! Sunderland’s heroic 1973 FA Cup-clinching squad will forever be immortalised, as it just been announced that players and squad members will receive Freedom of the City. 

Here’s everything you need to know… 


Sunderland AFC’s 1973 FA Cup winning team to receive Freedom of the City



Winning team members Richard Philip ‘Dick’ Malone, Ronald George ‘Ron’ Guthrie, Michael Frederick ‘Micky’ Horswill, David Vernon ‘Dave’ Watson, Richard Ernest ‘Ritchie’ Pitt, Robert ‘Bobby’ Kerr, Victor Lewis ‘Vic’ Halom, Dennis Tueart, and David Young are all due to receive a Freedom.

Members of the cup run squad also receive a freedom: Jackie Ashurst, Brian Chambers, John Lathan, Mick McGiven and John Tones.

Two members of the team, William ‘Billy’ Hughes and John Ian Porterfield have passed-away.

Freedoms are traditionally given by the City Council to citizens who make ‘significant contributions to the wellbeing and community spirit of Sunderland.’


Honouring the achievement of Sunderland’s 1973 FA Cup winning team… 


Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller said: 

“It’s right and correct that we honour and continue to recognise the achievement of Sunderland’s 1973 FA Cup winning team.

 “The team are held in great respect across Sunderland and these freedoms are appropriate recognition for this enduring pride.”


Sunderland AFC were victorious in the Football Association Challenge Cup Final, also known as the FA Cup Final, on 5 May 1973. 

The Division Two side faced Division One’s Leeds United, who were the current FA Cup holders as well as playing in their third final in four seasons.

 Sunderland won 1–0 in front of a crowd of 100,000 fans. They became the first Division Two side to lift the Cup since West Bromwich Albion in 1931.

In 1974, the council conferred an Honorary Freedom to team manager Robert ‘Bob’ Stokoe.

 Since then the team’s goalkeeper James ‘Jimmy’ Montgomery BEM, received the Honorary Freedom of the City in 12 May 2016. 

He received it “as a token of the honour and esteem in which he is held by the citizens of Sunderland and in recognition of the example of achievement he sets to the city’s young people and his personal contribution to the wellbeing of the city and people of Sunderland”.


Following in great footsteps… 


Credit: Sunderland Antiquarian Society. Sunderland’s 1973 FA Cup-clinching team receives heroes return as squad return to Wearside with the prestigious trophy. 


Other freedoms of Sunderland include the late John Hays, founder of Hays Travel; Nissan’s chief performance officer Trevor Mann; Niall Quinn MBE and Joël Batteux the Mayor of Sunderland’s twin-town St Nazaire.

 Television reporter Kate Adie has also been granted Freedom of the City. 

Freedoms have also gone to 4 Regiment Royal Artillery – the ‘North East gunners’, 3 Rifles and the crew of HMS Ocean, which was Sunderland’s adopted warship and the Royal Navy’s largest ship for many years.


The socially distanced ceremony is timetabled for Thursday 13 January from 6pm at the Beacon of Light.

The event will be available to view online on the City Council’s YouTube site at: https://www.youtube.com/c/SunderlandUKOfficial


Who else should receive Freedom of the City? Get in touch online. Twitter: @SunderlandVibe, Instagram: @SunderlandVibe, Facebook: @SunderlandVibe.

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