SUPPORTERS at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light will be encouraged to back a charity by three special guests who step onto the pitch at half time during the Sunderland v Portsmouth match on Saturday.

Miss Beats, the new mascot of North East heart charity Red Sky Foundation, will be on the pitch with ten-year-old Phoebe Rumney, from Houghton, who won a region-wide competition to name her, and the Foundation’s founder Sergio Petrucci, who will donate a life-saving defibrillator to the club.

Since its launch in 2016 Red Sky Foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to help buy lifesaving equipment for cardiologists to treat patients at the children’s heart unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, Sunderland Royal’s neonatal ward and James Cooke hospital at Teesside.

In the last 18 months, it has placed more than 80 defibrillators at schools and public places, including 23 to help save patients on the covid wards at Sunderland Royal Hospital, and taught thousands of children and adults how to perform CPR and use the lifesaving devices.

The machine the Foundation is gifting to the Stadium of Light will be housed in a special cabinet on the outside wall of the club’s ticket office and will be available to members of the public should it be needed to rescue someone in cardiac arrest nearby.

Sergio, who founded the charity with wife Emma after their daughter Luna was born with acute heart problems, said he was excited to be handing it over.

“I’m a Sunderland fan through and through and the chance to stand on the pitch at half time is a dream come true,” he said.

“But it’s the reason behind it that is really important and that is to give the city another a defibrillator, because these machines save lives.”

Fans at the game will be given the chance to support Red Sky Foundation with a fundraising text campaign, set up to help the charity provide even more defibrillators across the region. Text the word RED to 70470 to donate £2 per month.

For more information about the charity and ways in which to support it visit

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