A FOOTBALL-LOVING couple proved to be the perfect match when they became the first same-sex pair to tie the knot at their club.

Sarah Price and Heather Thompson, both from Nettlesworth, near Chester-le-Street, exchanged vows in a civil partnership ceremony at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light on April 5, the first same-sex ceremony to be held at the venue.

Both are keen Sunderland supporters and wanted the theme of the ceremony to reflect their love of the Black Cats. Sarah wore a grey suit and red shirt for the day and their wedding cake was made of cheese wheels wrapped in red and white wax.

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Sarah said: "We’re both really big Sunderland fans and we were delighted when we found out we could hold the event at the Stadium of Light, particularly as my mum and dad bumped into former goalie Jim Montgomery when they arrived – they were over the moon."

After the ceremony, Sarah, a school sport partnership manager, and Heather, a teaching assistant, had photographs taken on the pitch, in the dug out and in the changing rooms with mascot Samson the Cat.

The wedding breakfast was held in a red and white decorated suite before another 150 friends arrived for the evening reception in the Black Cats Bar.

Sarah added: "It was just perfect and we even kept the red and white theme going with our choice of honeymoon – we’re off to Canada."