SUNDERLAND today announced detail of the match on Saturday 29 July 2017 in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Stadium of Light. Celtic will be the visitors and as both sides share the same sponsor, they will play for the the Dafabet Cup.
Sunderland also recognise that Celtic have an anniversary of their own to celebrate this year – it being 50 years since Celtic started a new season as European Champions having won the European Cup in Lisbon in May 1967, after a 2-1 victory over Inter Milan.
Celtic will also arrive at the Stadium of Light as the Invincible Treble Winners and they will be hungry to maintain the club’s excellent record against English opposition on 29 July.
“The passionate Celtic fans are renowned for travelling in large numbers and Wearside is looking forward to welcoming a big visiting crowd and creating a celebratory and vibrant atmosphere between both sets of fans,” the club’s spokesperson stated.
On their own stadium , Sunderland were equally positive.
“The iconic home of Sunderland hosted its first game on July 31, 1997, representing the beginning of a new era in stadium building in the UK. To this day, it remains one of the best modern stadia in Europe.”
Sunderland ambassador Kevin Ball, who captained the Sunderland side in that game against Ajax, is delighted that Celtic will be visiting next month.
“To have Celtic here to celebrate the 20-year anniversary, almost to the day, will be a very special occasion for everyone involved with Sunderland,” he said.
“The two sets of fans share the same principles of loyalty and passion for their clubs and both teams have long and proud histories.
“It’s fantastic that Celtic have accepted our invitation to share this special day in what is also a very special year for them with the anniversary of the famous victory in Lisbon.
“I have no doubt it will be a great game, in front of a full house and something both Sunderland and Celtic supporters will love.”
Sunderland plan to invite many of their former players along to the Celtic match and Ball is looking forward to meeting up with some of his old team-mates.
“Bringing together former players and club legends will really make the day special,” he said.
“Recognising and celebrating our history, whether it is recent or long-standing is something that is hugely important to us and keeping our former players actively involved with the club ensures that we retain a strong connection with our history.”