Sunderland mourn death of FA Cup victor Stokoe

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The Independent Football

Bob Stokoe, who managed Sunderland to victory in the 1973 FA Cup final, died yesterday at the age of 73. He had been unwell for some time and was admitted to hospital in Hartlepool suffering from pneumonia.

Stokoe held a rare position in the North-east in that he was a hero to both Newcastle United and Sunderland supporters, having been part of the Newcastle side that won the FA Cup in 1955. His achievement in overcoming Don Revie's fearsomely-drilled Leeds United at Wembley in 1973, with a Sunderland team struggling to make an impression in the Second Division, rates as probably the greatest shock in any FA Cup final.

The first triumph for a Second Division side for 40 years, the final is remembered for the remarkable double save by Jim Montgomery that thwarted what looked certain to be a goal. At the final whistle Stokoe acknowledged the significance of that moment by sprinting across the Wembley turf to embrace Montgomery.

Stokoe won Sunderland promotion to the top flight in 1976 but resigned after a bad start to the following season, citing ill-health. He returned briefly as caretaker manager 11 years later following Lawrie McMenemy's sacking but was unable to prevent Sunderland's relegation to the Third Division for the first time in their history.