Sunday 15 February 2015

Sunderland V Bradford - a house divided!

Today is the big match in our family. My two children are born in Bradford and feel deeply for it. They have grown to love our new city of Sunderland, (we moved here just over 2 years ago) and normally support Sunderland AFC, but in the FA Cup match, they are rooting for Bradford.

Not so with their Dad, I've become a serious Sunderland supporter over the last few years, and I'm clear on who I support today. It's not that I don't still love the city where I served as City Centre Priest, Bradford will always hold a special part of my heart. It is the city where my faith developed, where I stood side by side with campaigners on hundreds of issues of peace and social justice - it is a city full of love and surprises.

But this is about football, and I have been to seen more matches in Sunderland in the last 2 years than I ever did in 23 years at Bradford. The atmosphere at the Stadium of Light is magical, it is the supporters as much as the players and managers who have won me over.

I'm proud that Bradford City humbled Chelsea, and if they win today by sheer hard work, then I'll wish them on to Wembley. But I want Sunderland to win - and I'll be gutted if we lose. A win may reinvigorate us after a poor league season, and help ensure we stay up this year.

You have to love where you live. It is where God has put you.

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