Sunderland AFC’s next home game will be “Charlie Hurley Day” as the club honours one of its greatest players.
The clash with Hull City at the Stadium of Light, on November 18, will see the Black Cats’ Player of the Century attend as guest of honour, with a number of activities planned to celebrate “the King” who recently celebrating his 80th birthday.
Charlie will be joined by members of the 1963-64 promotion-winning side, which he captained, with Cecil Irwin, Len Ashurst, Martin Harvey, Brian Usher, George Herd, Johnny Crossan, Stan Anderson and Jim Montgomery joining him on the pitch, prior to kick off, when they will be introduced to the fans.
The club’s former training ground at Whitburn was named after the Republic of Ireland centre half, and the gates that stood outside the entrance will be re-sited at the Stadium of Light, fittingly returning them to the club where he is hailed as a hero.
The gates, which will be situated close to the stadium’s main west stand, will be formally dedicated before Saturday’s game.
Fans group ‘Ha’way the Flags’ are also set to unveil a new crowd-surfer flag bearing Cork-born Charlie’s image before kick off, which has been donated by the club.
40,000 clap-banners featuring Charlie’s name and image will also be distributed throughout the stadium.
Sunderland AFC’s chief executive Martin Bain said: “Charlie is an iconic figure in Sunderland’s history and he continues to be held in the highest esteem by our supporters and everyone associated with the club.
“We are delighted to honour him with this special tribute and celebrate his career and many years of service to the club.”
Sunderland AFC ambassador Jim Montgomery, who played alongside Charlie for nine years, said: “He was an absolute colossus of a man and a fantastic footballer, who richly deserves to be honoured in this brilliant way, by the club he loves so much”.
Voted the Player of the Century in the club’s centenary year of 1979, Charlie made 400 starts and one substitute appearance between 1957 and 1969, scoring 26 goals.