By Danny Frattasi & Callum Prestwood
Wembley Stadium will host the Capital One Cup Final between Sunderland AFC and Manchester City on Sunday.
SAFC’s charity Foundation of Light has run a campaign throughout the week to get people involved.
The campaign, Red and White, has seen a lot business, schools, organisations and individuals involved – with some of the them winning tickets for the game.
However, for some the city has not got really into the spirit of the final, which is the first one for Wearside for 22 years.
Brian Gibbon, a non-local peddler, who has been selling the team’s merchandise in Market Square of the city centre, said: “I expected the town would get a little bit more behind [the team].
“If you look down the street, there’s not a shop here with red and white, nobody celebrating…without us here, us guys, there would be no red and white in this town.”
Brian said later on that he was fairly disappointed with the turnout, and that the town and community had put little effort in to preparing the town for the big day.
Ursula Apreda, Sunderland’s artist and owner of Marcello’s Italian restaurant, said: “Well I remember the last final cup from when I was 11 years old and the whole town was behind the team – streets were deserted and all shops were supporting the team.
“The public were great when I was putting the decorations on the restaurant outside to support the team ‘s game at Wembley.”
Seaham ice cream shop Lickety Split shop even made a two type of Sundaes – one of Manchester City’s and one of Sunderland’s, with 50p of each sold going in aid to the Foundation of Light’s education facilities.
Every participant in the campaign was asked to make a £1 donation to the charity.
And SAFC has set up a page on their website for people to send their good luck and well wishes to Gus Poyet, the players and backroom staff here.
These will be collected in and given to Gus Poyet and the team to look at on their journey down to the capital for the big game.