Newcastle United sponsor's classy gesture for Sunderland derby clash amid £150k cost

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Newcastle United handed out free scarves to supporters ahead of the derby win over Sunderland.

Newcastle United's front-of-shirt sponsor Sela provided free scarves to every one of the 6,000 fans making the short trip to the Stadium of Light.

Newcastle fans queued at St James' Park from the early hours of Saturday morning. Northumbria Police imposed strict conditions that all visiting supporters attending the match must travel on the club's organised free bus service.

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It meant United fans only received their match ticket once they got off the bus. It's understood the Magpies footed a £150,000 bill to ensure Eddie Howe's side were backed by a huge following, rather than see the allocation restricted to just over 2,000.

Newcastle fans hold scarves in the air during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match against Sunderland (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Newcastle fans hold scarves in the air during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match against Sunderland (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Newcastle fans hold scarves in the air during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match against Sunderland (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

The queue to board the buses stretched back as far as the RVI Hospital but Newcastle staff were on hand to give out granola bars and water, as well as a free scarf to every supporter. As confirmed by United, the scarves were provided by Sela, who pay £25million-a-year to sponsor the club's shirts.

It was a classy and perhaps clever gesture by Sela after Wor Flags had a request to bring their own flags rejected. Sunderland fans unveiled a flag display before kick-off but in the North Stand was a sea of black and white as fans waved their scarves.

Indeed, it proved to be a memorable day for the travelling Toon Army, who witnessed the club's first Tyne-Wear derby win since August 2011 courtesy of Alexander Isak's brace and an own goal by Dan Ballard.

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