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Pope 'praying for Sunderland derby win'
ARE the Black Cats in need of divine intervention?
This is the moment when the Pope accepted a personalised Sunderland AFC shirt from the club’s official chaplain.
Father Marc Lyden-Smith presented a Mackems home strip with the name Papa Francesco on the back during a visit to Rome earlier this week.
The Pontiff held the kit aloft and posed for pictures, which have since spread far and wide over the Internet ahead of Sunday’s Wear-Tyne derby.
Fr Lyden-Smith, who despite his colours is based at Newcastle’s St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral, said he was delighted.
“I was very lucky to get the chance to meet him at all as there were 120,000 people there.
“After I had given him the shirt he actually took it back into St Peter’s with him.
“He said he would be looking out for the result on Sunday.
“He wasn’t picking sides but I did ask him to pray for Sunderland and he said that he would.”
The priest was on a pilgrimage to Rome with Seamus Cunningham, RC Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle.
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