Sunderland RCA FC were delighted to do our bit for the City of Sunderland, honoured by a visit from our adopted ship HMS Ocean for four days last weekend, by hosting a game between the HMS Ocean Football Club and Northumbria Police at Meadow Park on Sunday afternoon.
It was a very pleasant day and we were surprised a bigger crowd didn't turn out, but it was a good game and the sailors seemed to really enjoy it. They certainly enjoyed it more than the footballing representatives of the boys in blue anyway, as the ship beat the coppers 8-1!
It is fair to say that the seamen had a good deal of youth and fitness on their side, while the Police team had some wise old football heads, our old boy Paddy Little among them, who were hoping that experience would compensate for elderly legs. And with the benefit of the slope they did very well for the first half, producing most of the good football and probably unlucky to only go in level at the break. But then the wheels fell off.
Ocean FC ran riot down the bank and soon had the peelers looking to the ref and asking for time. Not to worry it's the game that counts. A couple of pints afterwards and some generous words of thanks from both sides and a promise from the Ocean boys to come back for a tour when next home on leave, before they had to head back to the ship, clutching a Sunderland RCA pennant, which will be in a place of honour in the mess already.