(Photograph) - In league: Sunderland University and Sunderland Association Football Club have signed an official partnership deal to promote learning both at home and away. Peter Fidler, left, Sunderland's vice-chancellor, hopes that the agreement, thought to be the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, will improve the city's local and international performance. The university will run a work experience programme and stadium management course in conjunction with the club. Sports science students will also benefit from real-life subjects, while the footballers will reap the benefits of up-to-the minute research.
SAFC chairman Bob Murray, right, said: 'We share the same regional footprint with the university and we both want to be global. There are a lot of runners in this race so why not pool resources to succeed?'. Photograph by WILL WALKER