Sunderland AFC are fully committed to making match days a great experience for all their supporters and the Club recognizes that being able to meet and chat informally with the great players of previous years is one way to achieve this. To make it possible the Club have established the ‘Legends Table’ which is hosted by Jim Montgomery who invites a different Celebrity Guest to join him for each home game.
The Club are keen to give as many supporters as possible the opportunity to share in this unique experience and are pleased to let supporters know that the Celebrity Guest will visit the Quinn's Sports Bar both before and after the game to meet the fans, sign autographs, pose for photographs and answer any questions that might be put to him.
So- if you want to be part of this unique experience get into the Quinn's Sports Bar in good time and enjoy the company of the match day ‘Legend’.
Upcoming guests for the 'Legends Table':-
SUNDERLAND v CARDIFF CITY
Stadium of Light
Saturday 23rd September 2017
The week leading up to our game against Cardiff City coincides with the 87th birthday of our former manager Bob Stokoe, the man who master-minded our famous 1973 FA Cup triumph, and I'm delighted to have two of the members of that cup-winning team as my special guests on the 'Legends Table'.
Both were valued colleagues of mine in a squad built on team spirit and togetherness as well as no small degree of skill. We spent many years together at Roker Park becoming great friends and along with every other member of the 1973 FA Cup-winning team, we remain the best of pals to this day.
Born in Alexandria, Dunbartonshire, Bobby Kerr was spotted by Sunderland chief scout Charlie Ferguson and arrived at Roker Park during the 1963 close season. Although small in stature, Bobby made a huge impact when he made his first team debut four years later by scoring the only goal of the game against Manchester City in the dying minutes.
He would soon prove that this was no ‘flash in the pan’ by netting a further six goals in the next ten games however, his baptism in English football was brought to a shuddering halt when he sustained a broken leg in a collision with Norman Hunter in a fifth round FA Cup tie at Roker Park. It would be eighteen months before he returned to first team action but in the years that followed Bobby soon became established in the Sunderland first team, eventually taking over the captain’s arm-band from Martin Harvey.
He will, of course, be best remembered for lifting the FA Cup in 1973 when Sunderland manager Bob Stokoe dubbed him ‘The Little General’ in recognition of his leadership and tactical know-how qualities. Bobby played in every game in the cup run and for the best part of ten seasons he was almost a permanent fixture in the Sunderland team. In the campaigns between 1971/72 and 1975/6 he never made less than 40 appearances and picked up a Second Division championship medal in 1976 when Sunderland finally made it back to English football’s top flight.
Bobby’s Roker Park career eventually came to an end in March 1979 when he teamed up with his old Sunderland boss Bob Stokoe at Blackpool but a serious hip injury limited his progress at Bloomfield Road. After only 22 appearances for ‘The Tangerines’ he returned to the North-East to join Hartlepool before retiring from the game at the end of the 1981-82 season.
After football, Bobby went into the pub trade and still lives on Wearside where he remains a legend as the only man alive to have lifted a major trophy for Sunderland!
Richie Pitt graduated through the ranks at Roker Park and was a member of Sunderland’s 1969 FA Youth Cup-winning team, a season that also saw him make his League debut at the age of only 17. A tall and skilful central defender, he had already been capped by England at Under-15 and Under 18 level and when Sunderland reached the FA Cup final in 1973, Ritchie was the only member of the Sunderland squad to have previously played at Wembley!
Amazingly, he may not have tasted the glory of the cup win having been placed on the transfer list shortly after Bob Stokoe’s arrival at Roker Park in November 1972 and it was only after an injury to David Young that Ritchie found himself recalled to the Roker rear-guard. Once back in the side however, he was able to show his true worth producing some heroic performances alongside Dave Watson in the heart of the Sunderland defence for the remainder of the cup run, not least in the final itself when he produced arguably his greatest display in a Sunderland shirt.
The future certainly looked bright for the Seaham-born defender yet only a few games into the following campaign he sustained a knee injury that brought his relatively short career to an end. Having been forced to retire from the game, Ritchie went into teaching and after working in the Channel Islands he returned to the north east as head of year at Seaham Comprehensive School. Now retired and living on Wearside, Ritchie has been an active member of the Sunderland Former Players Association for many years.