Animals star Alan Price reveals the proudest day of his life - when Sunderland won the FA cup in 1973

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Animals star Alan Price reveals the proudest day of his life - when Sunderland won the FA cup in 1973

Animals star Alan Price reveals the proudest day of his life - when Sunderland won the FA cup in 1973

Posted: 19 Mar 2010

Animals star Alan Price reveals the proudest day of his life - when Sunderland won the FA cup in 1973

North East singing legend Alan Price – who has had a string of massive hits in a 40-year career – reveals the best day of his life was when Sunderland won the FA Cup in 1973. This year is the 40th anniversary of the famous cup giant-killing act.

Lifelong Black Cats fan Alan, who shot to fame in the Sixties with The Animals, says: ‘I’ll never forget that day. I was there.’

The Fatfield-born keyboards ace, who arranged the famous Animals hit House of the Rising Sun, even battled his fear of flying to jet in specially from California to witness the epic giant-killing act.

 ‘I flew back from Los Angeles for it and even forecast the result when I had an argument with Jackie Charlton who was also invited there by the BBC.

‘I went to a hotel in Piccadilly after the game and there was a cabaret band on and I got up and played with them. Len Shackleton and Jackie Milburn were there dancing with their partners.

‘They brought the cup over to me and it was full of champagne. I drank champagne out of the FA Cup.

‘My brother was watching it on TV, we were both Sunderland supporters.

‘I had my head in my hands because I was hung over. I had been drinking all the way over from Los Angeles. Then I went straight into the hospitality suite for the BBC at Wembley and drank there too.

‘When Ian Porterfield scored I had my head in my hands for a different reason. I just stared at the floor and I prayed.

‘I phoned my brother up and said: “Did you watch it? It was good wasn’t it?”

‘He said: “I was watching it, but my behind was nipping the buttons off the sofa!”’

Alan, who had a string of solo hits including Jarrow Song, is back on home turf when he plays Durham Gala Theatre on April 1.  And he gets a mention in Lance Hardy’s book Stokoe, Sunderland and ’73 about the big FA Cup upset.

He also revealed that arch-rivals Newcastle United play his version of Blaydon Races at St. James’ Park on the public address system just before the kick-off for every home game.

‘I shouldn’t say this as a Sunderland supporter but I did an album of North East folk songs and it’s my version of the Blaydon Races they play on the tannoy when the teams come out.

‘I know because if I’m ever watching football on Sky Television I hear the song. It’s from an album of Geordie folk songs I did with Chas Chandler.

He joked: ‘That’s why I never claimed any royalties.’

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