Liverpool the opening act at Sunderland’s Roker Park

September 8, 1898
The formal opening of the Wearsiders’ splendid ground could scarcely have been fixed at a more opportune time, following as it does so soon after their victory at Preston. Their opponents will be Liverpool, certainly the most expensive combination now playing in the League tournament. It cost the Mersey club close upon £3,000 to secure the talent now wearing their colours, and the players are among the highest paid in the League.

Whether the Mersey men can give the Wearsiders the knock to the same tune as to The Wednesday, who went down before them by four goals to none, or that of Glasgow Rangers by three to nothing, remains to be seen. Both teams will be at full strength, and a rare tussle is practically assured.

The Marquis of Londonderry will be present to perform the opening ceremony of the new ground, and will be accompanied by the Mayor, magistrates, and members of the Town Council. In addition, there will be Dr Guthrie’s celebrated band of Highland Pipers and dancers from Edinburgh, who will submit an interesting programme of piping and dancing from two o’clock until the starting of the game. In order to suit early comers, the gates will be opened at two o’clock. Entrances are arranged round the ground, so that there need be no crushing. Accommodation has been provided for cycles, and the time fixed for the kick-off is 3.30. Excursions are being run from mane of the surrounding places.

The Liverpool team are expected to arrive in the town to-morrow afternoon. The Sunderland team will not be chosen until to-morrow. The season tickets are going off exceedingly well. Intending holders can obtain them from the secretary (Mr. R. Campbell), on which day none will be sold.

The proprietors of the Avenue Theatre have invited the Liverpool and Sunderland football teams to attend the performance of the “Transit of Venus” on Friday night, and the invitation has been accepted.
(Source: Sunderland Daily Echo: September 8, 1898)

Roker Park on the opening day in 1898
Roker Park

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