STADIUMS: Roker Park

One of the most memorable grounds in the history of English football, Roker Park was home to Sunderland for just under a century.

It was a timely move for the Black Cats who until then had six grounds in under 20 years, and they wanted a place they could truly call home and build on the vast success they had enjoyed at Newcastle Road.

During the Lads' time at Roker Park the ground held a record crowd of 75,118, hosted a World Cup quarter-final, three England internationals, an FA Cup semi-final replay and two FA Amateur Cup Finals.

But Roker Parkalso provided fans with a focal point to be proud of.

The Stadium was symbolic to the region and it was a place that signified everything that remains true to Sunderland, and that was captured in the ‘Roker Roar’.

It was a roar that allowed Sunderland to become world famous especially with the local players they were producing, as the likes of Charlie Buchan, Raich Carter, Len Shackleton, Charlie Hurley and Jim Montgomery came through the ranks.

Roker Park witnessed the Lads win the Championship in 1930 as well as the FA Cup for the first time in 1937. The victories brought much delight and instilled a sense of pride to the working-class industrial area.

Equally with every success there’s disappointment and that came with a series of relegations from 1958, but the club stuck together and continued to grow their fan base.

Roker Park’s final chapter came in 1997 when Sunderland bid farewell to their home after 99 years.

The last game came against Liverpool in a post-season friendly in 1997, which was ironic because Liverpool were the first away team to play Sunderland at Roker Park. The Lads bowed out with a 1-0 win thanks for John Mullin’s goal.

Roker Park played host to over 1,800 league games and Sunderland moved to the Stadium of Light with a superb record of being unbeaten in 1,445 league games they played at Roker Park.

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