The much talked about Sunderland plane banner flew on Saturday.

A group of Newcastle fans having initiated a fundraising initiative (see below) to pay for a banner to fly over the Stadium of Light, with the target total of £960 quickly reached and surpassed – with the surplus thousands of pounds raised going to appeals set up for three local kids suffering from cancer.

Sunderland fan Arthur Dornan got in touch with The Mag and had this to say about the banner:

“I’m a Sunderland season card holder, our fans took the mick a year ago, now we have to take it.

“I thought the United by cancer divided by leagues was a way of getting your dig in while showing compassion for those poor kids.

“It’s very similar to the way our lot behaved after MH17 and I can’t see why our fans are making such a big deal.”

This was on The Mag yesterday (Saturday 13 May):

For anybody who hasn’t followed the story, this is what appears to have happened so far…

A year ago Newcastle are relegated and Sunderland fans pay for a ‘banter’ banner to fly over St James Park – ‘Auf Wiedersehen Prem Tyne To Go’.

Some 10 or 11 months later, a group of Newcastle fans fancy doing something similar to return the favour and start asking for donations to help raise the £960 to pay for a (yet to be decided wording) banner to be flown over the Stadium of Light.

Donations quickly reach and then exceed that £960, so the organisers decide to approach the families of a number of children who are suffering from cancer (from both sides of the Newcastle/Sunderland divide) and see if they will agree to accept any excess money received through the donations.

In the meantime, there has been negativity shown by some Newcastle fans to the idea of having a Sunderland plane banner taking the mickey out of them, as it is seen as a bit naff and lowering ourselves to the level of the Mackems.

Taking on board this negativity, the organisers of the banner appeal decided to give a number of options for fans to vote online for after running them past the families – some a simple mickey take of Sunderland/relegation, whilst others attempted to also make reference to the angle of the thousands of pounds raised for the kids suffering from cancer.

That voting (over 8,000 people voted according to reports I read) concluded on Sunday night and the most popular was:

UNITED BY CANCER DIVIDED BY LEAGUES

This came out on top by 2% ahead of second placed:

SMB ENJOY THE CHAMPIONSHIP WE DID

(Last month writing on The Mag, one of the organisers, Darren Curry, had this to say about the Sunderland plane banner:

“There were 20 or 30 of us originally involved but thanks to social media it has gone a little bit crazy and after seeing the number of people donating, we then decided to make it so the banner will be voted for online with a few options.

Maybe celebrating our promotion or a fighting against Cancer themed one (‘Cancer has no colours’ etc), which I’ve agreed to talk to the parents of the children about nearer the time .

The final choice of ideas to vote on will be publicised in due course.

Without the banner we probably would have raised very little money but now we’ve collected so much, the banner seems almost irrelevant, but will still go ahead.

It’s a bit of fun without trouble and Sunderland fans as well as Boro supporters have donated – as I have a lot of my mates who work offshore.

A lot of people are seemingly against the idea of a banner but we are saying that without the banner there is no donation to the kids (Frankie Sherwood, Hope Feeney and Bradley Lowery) , as the banner was solely the reason people originally donated money.

We are having a laugh and also now the banner is long ago paid for, we are generating some cash that will help in some small way the three kids named above.”)

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • Paul Patterson

    Ever since a flypast was suggested, I for one have distanced myself from such a tacky move. Of course I’m going to take the p**s out of my mackem supporting mates (when I say mates) but I prefer the chanting at games that poke fun at our nearest and dearest.
    Far be it from me to suggest how people spend their time and (other peoples) donated money, but to be honest I think the second choice banner would’ve been more fun and would’ve avoided the link between a serious subject and fan banter.
    The banner referencing Ant and Dec that was left outside SoL the other week was jovial and raised a smile from me the morning is was deployed, without linking another topic needlessly.

  • Mayor Vaughn

    Draw a line under the whole thing, move on.

  • Phil K

    People seem to forget who started this “tacky” action……

  • Rich Lawson

    I don’t like it,we did our talking on the pitch.Just give ALL the money raised to the kids,surely nobody who contributed would have complained at that ?

  • East Durham Mag

    Great article Arthur and a sensible thoughtful outcome. People banging on about this being tacky and beneath us are getting annoying. The recipient’s of the residue which is much more than the stunt itself cost seem very grateful. Banter is banter and our two clubs are at it all the time. Somethings are more important than football no matter what some idiots think. We all have our own opinions but this is done. Keep giving money to the causes but move on from the ethical argument please.

  • Wor Lad

    Not for me!
    Humble in Victory and gracious in defeat!

  • Robin Jonathan Wood

    Its really tacky and sad. Firstly who cares about a silly banner? I’m a newcastle supporter of 30 years and I hate the idea. The fact is little kids are terminally ill, they aren’t getting better bless them. I know shankly coined the phrase football is more important than life or death, but it isn’t. Anyone believing that hasn’t had to cradle a dying child or relative. The banner should be scratched, bad taste. I just see no point in it at all. Linking it to cancer simply makes it even worse. I’m ashamed to be linked with anyone associated to it.