SUNDERLAND fans have topped a national league table for good behaviour.

The Red and White Army were champions of the Barclays Premier League annual Fair Play Table for supporters - while the club’s players were bottom of the on-pitch fair play league.

Newcastle fans were rated sixth and the team was16th.

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Delegates in the Barclays Premier League assessed the behaviour of fans at matches, with points being awarded for positive verbal support and recognition of outstanding play by the opposition, as well as respect for match officials and opposing fans.

The club will receive £20,000 from the FA Charity Committee.

Sunderland AFC chief executive, Margaret Byrne, said: “We are very privileged to have such wonderful supporters, who back the team in huge numbers both home and away.

“They are a credit to our club and this award reinforces what we have always known – our fans are quite simply top of the league.”

Sunderland AFC will consult with supporters as to how the £20,000 charitable donation will be spent to benefit local good causes.