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‘From Jo’burg to the Stadium of Light’

Filed under: Sports |

In 2014 Sunderland AFC led the way in the first ever Barclays Premier League Live event in Johannesburg which saw two lucky fans win a once in a lifetime competition.

Premier League Live was a huge success, with over 30,000 fans attending, the event offered fans the chance to engage with some of the top Barclays Premier League clubs including SAFC. A number of exciting and interactive challenges took place at the fan park initiative, including the opportunity for visitors to win the ultimate matchday experience at the Stadium of Light.

The prize included return flights from Johannesburg, courtesy of club partner South African Airways, plus four nights’ accommodation and VIP hospitality at the Sunderland AFC v Liverpool match.

The winners of the competition, Joao Canada and his son Jose, travelled almost 6,000 miles to be at the Stadium of Light for Sunderland’s fixture against Liverpool FC.

Ahead of the game, Joao and Jose were given an insight in to the history of the club and given a tour of the Stadium of Light, where they met Sunderland AFC’s commercial director, Gary Hutchinson pitchside to receive their complimentary and personalised SAFC replica shirt.

Gary said: “We were delighted to host Joao and Jose at the Stadium of Light. Premier League Live in Johannesburg was such a fantastic event and it was great to be able to offer fans in Africa this once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a matchday with the Black Cats.

“We are enjoying an ever-growing profile on the continent as part of the SAFC in Africa initiative and we were honoured to take part in Premier League Live and look forward to meeting more fans in the future.”

As part of the visit, the duo was also given a tour of Sunderland’s state of the art training base, the Academy of Light, where young Jose was offered the opportunity to participate in a training session with Sunderland’s academy members.

Speaking about the visit, Jose said: “It’s been a great experience to come over for the game and also to meet lots of new people. The training session with the academy team was really intense and at a very high level. I hope to be able to keep working hard and one day play at this level.”

SAFC has established itself as one of the most recognized and respected Barclays Premier League clubs across Africa and through its many partnerships, relationships and grass root activities, African fans can truly see the impact SAFC is having on many people’s lives.

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