Football: Joy at Roker

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The Independent Online
DERBY'S failure to beat Birmingham yesterday ensured that Sunderland returned to the top division of English football after an absence of five years - and no one was more surprised than their manager Peter Reid.

The former England midfielder thought Sunderland needed a point from today's game against Stoke after Crystal Palace's win at Wolves. "To be honest, I didn't realise what was happening," Reid admitted after watching Darlington's Third Division match against Bury.

"I was watching a very good match and wasn't listening on the radio at all. I just hadn't realised that we could be promoted today, and it was only half-way through the second half that somebody told me that Derby were drawing and that we had done enough," he added.

"It is tremendous for Sunderland and the supporters," he said. "I am going to enjoy it.

"We have got three games to go and we are going to try to win them all. This is a magnificent achievement and the players have been magic this season. We are 16 games unbeaten and that's terrific."

Reports, page 28

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