Film ID:
NEFA 21513



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This amateur film by Michael Gough, a member of the Newcastle and District Amateur Cinematographers’ Association, records the return home of Second Division team Sunderland Association Football Club after winning the FA Cup against Leeds United in 1973. The film includes celebrations in the street and at Roker Park stadium, and footage of the start of the last home match of the season against Queens Park Rangers the day after. Sequences of stills of the FA Cup match, Sunderland fans and players open and close the film. 

The film opens with various stills: a Sunderland Association Football Club group portrait of the FA Cup-winning team with trophy; the Wembley Stadium; King George VI introduced to Sunderland players; the three goals; and the jubilant crowd; Queen Elizabeth presenting the silver trophy to Sunderland; Raich Carter holding the Cup carried by the team; group portrait of Sunderland’s FA Cup-winning team with trophy in 1973; Sunderland supporters in the crowd at the FA Cup final in 1973; and various shots of players with the trophy, after the Second Division Black Cats beat holders Leeds 1-0 at Wembley.

Title: Return of the Cup

The streets of Sunderland are full of fans wearing Sunderland AFC soccer scarves, rosettes and other club paraphernalia waiting to welcome home the FA Cup-winning Sunderland AFC team in 1973. A learner driver’s Mini drives past with a “Welcome Home Lads” message painted onto the car. Other fans drive past with Sunderland AFC scarves hanging from the windows. Preceded by a motorbike cavalcade, the victorious Sunderland AFC team drive through Sunderland in an open-topped double decker bus decorated with banners, the players holding the FA Cup trophy aloft for the fans to see. The fans cheer and wave their banners. Police and media cars follow.

Group portrait of some of the jubilant fans. A van painted with “Sunderland-1 Leeds-0” drives by. More fans in decorated cars follow, including a heavily decorated car with slogans such as “Nice One Ian” and “Bobby’s Dazzlers Haway”.

At Roker Park, supporters pack the stadium waving scarves triumphantly. The team come onto the pitch and parade the FA Cup trophy in front of the fans. The banners sway in the crowd as they sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. Various shots of the team and Bob Stokoe, the club manager, on the pitch, waving to the crowd. The press photographers snap pictures of the team as they parade for the crowd. Portrait shot of a happy Bob Stokoe, the manager of Sunderland, in a Sunderland AFC hat and red polo neck jumper, clapping the crowd. Two men in white coats on the pitch hold up a mock white coffin that reads “Died 1973 Leeds”. Shot of the celebrating crowd in the stands. The two men in white coats place the mock coffin on the ground, one raising his arms to the crowd. He jumps up and down to celebrate. The Sunderland team continue to parade around the pitch. The players carry Bob Stokoe around as he holds the Cup aloft to the fans.

The next day after the return of the FA Cup to Sunderland, the team play their last home match of the season. The stands are packed with fans. Red balloons float around the stadium and pitch. A brass band in red jackets play for the fans. A vendor sells to the front rows of fans at the stadium. The brass band parades around the edge of the pitch before the match, led by a conductor in black suit and white shirt.

A player displays the FA Cup trophy to the fans near the tunnel entrance to the pitch. All the press photographers stand in a line snapping pictures. The other team, Queens Park Rangers, walk onto the pitch with Sunderland in blue track suits. The crowd sway in the stands with their red and white scarves held high, singing “You'll never walk alone”. Both teams of players line up on the pitch and wave to their fans (the Sunderland team track suits displaying the players’ names). The toss takes place between captains. The right back Dick Malone kicks a ball. The teams warm up on the pitch. The stands are packed. The match starts. Shots of the crowd are intercut with some match footage.

A series of black and white stills of the FA Cup Final match between Leeds United and Sunderland follow, including shots of the fans. A professional match commentary accompanies the stills. The monochrome fades into a set of colour stills of the Sunderland fans in the Wembley Stadium stands (a sea of red and white), the victorious Sunderland team doing a lap of honour after their win, Bob Stokoe with the trophy, and players posing with the Cup.

Title: The End

End credit: A Studio 103 Production

End credit: With Grateful Thanks to Sunderland A.F.C., Bobby Gurney, ex Sunderland and England 1925-46, Edward Thompson Ltd.