Thousands watch Sunderland City Run & Sun FM’s 20th Birthday Bash

A record turnout with 4,000 people taking part in the two main running events was followed by Sun FM’s 20th birthday bash yesterday as the crowds lapped up the entertainment on stage. World record holder Paula Radcliffe was joined by Olympian Ali Dixon on stage after they had competed for race winning bragging rights, and with Steve Cram for a special live Into the Light podcast with Kevin Ball and Michael Proctor.

Local talent was showcased such as The Lord Swans, winning music from Genfactor, and acts from both Sunderland College and University along with AAA cheerleaders.

But the main event for Sun FM and fans was the live set from Aston Merrygold and his dancers on stage performing his new official second single, ‘Precious’.

Aston came straight to Sunderland from a UK tour in Manchester, Birmingham and London earlier in the week. As the freezing cold wind bit hard, Aston’s performance sent his fans into frenzy, particularly as they mobbed him at the end and got selfies and autographs.

5 pairs of lucky fans had met him exclusively earlier on such as Sophie Burlinson who had named her first born son Aston and fulfilled a lifetime dream of meeting him.

Aston Merrygold said about his new solo career: ‘’If I can get anything close to mirroring the success at JLS I would be more than happy. They were great days together with the boys.”

As part of the pop phenomenon JLS, Aston enjoyed success with five chart-topping singles, a further five Top 10 hits and four smash hit albums. Debut solo smash ‘Get Stupid’ was Aston’s first foray into solo stardom.

Sun FM is the official media partner for the Sunderland City Run, Steve Cram said: “There was a lot to celebrate this year with Paula, Ali and Sun FM’s 20th birthday bash. A massive thank you to Sun FM for being partners to the event, and a great milestone celebrating their 20th birthday.” 

Sun FM Managing Director, Julian Carter said: “We were really proud to put something of this magnitude on in the heart of the city, and with Sunderland Run & Sunderland B.I.D. we really helped generate some extra footfall to the city.” 

To see a gallery of photos click here 

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