SUNDERLAND AFC’s official charity has smashed its £30,000 fundraising target.

The club's Foundation of Light called on fans and businesses to donate £1 through its Give A Quid campaign to support its award-winning sport, education, employability, health and wellbeing programmes and to tackle mental health issues across the region.

The campaign was backed by a number of famous faces including the Black Cats’ manager Jack Ross, Sunderland legends Niall Quinn, Kevin Ball, Jimmy Montgomery and Marco Gabbiadini as well as former athlete Steve Cram, North East England Chamber of Commerce chief executive James Ramsbotham, BBC commentator Guy Mowbray, SAFC chairman Stewart Donald and club staff.

The campaign reached more 600,000 people on social media and saw a wide range of fundraising activities take place across the North-East including bucket collections in Sunderland City Centre.

Club mascots Samson and Delilah visiting businesses and a showcase Foundation Match Day at the Stadium of Light when SAFC played Doncaster Rovers on April 19.

Match-worn shirts from the game have raised nearly £4,000 via an online auction, with Lee Cattermole, John McLaughlin and Lynden Gooch's still up for grabs on the Foundation's eBay page.

On Wednesday, the SAFC Branch Liaison Council presented a cheque for £600 to Foundation of Light commercial director Phil King, which took the money raised so over the £30,000 mark.

Charity chief executive Lesley Spuhler said: "Once again our incredible fans have shown why they really are the best in the country. The passion and pride they show in supporting their community is second to none. The support they have shown to the Give a Quid campaign has highlighted how important improving mental health is to our supporters.

"We knew that £30,000 was an ambitious but achievable target but with the support of Sunderland AFC, the local business community and a lot of generous people we’ve achieved it with money still coming in. Thank you."