Massive Lads fans: Nathan Raine

Our Black Cats fans here at GAS have been justly enthused by the announcement of us being the SAFC Principal Partner for the 2020/21 season. Seeing the new kit proudly featuring our logo was the icing on the cake!

We’ve interviewed a number of our biggest lad’s fans to find out why red and white runs deep at GAS. Here we take a look at Nathan’s passion for the Black Cats.

Name: Nathan Raine

Role: Group HR Advisor

Age: 23

Earliest SAFC memory

I used to get the ticket offer through school, child and parent go to match for a tenner or something. I started getting a season ticket when I was 12 because of those tickets!

My earliest specific memory of a match is Sunderland winning 4-0 in 2010, Darren Bent hat-trick. I was making my way to my seat and the crowd erupted, Fraizer Campbell scored after 41 seconds!

Favourite ever SAFC player

My favourite player has to be Defoe – absolute coup swapping him for Jozy Altidore. He had a great pedigree and a massive reputation. I feel like he scored every game for us.

Favourite match

Steven Fletcher to make it 3-0 at home to Newcastle. That assist from Kaboul is De Bruyne-esque and simply is not talked about enough! Also, the fact that it was against Newcastle AGAIN makes it all the better.

Favourite Kit

One from the early 2000s, this is my idea when I think exactly how a Sunderland kit should look. Normal stripes with a classy collar, black shorts and socks with the red feature. Beautiful.


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Paul JohnsonGroup Financial Director

Paul Johnson is very much a home-grown talent.

He joined Great Annual Savings Group in its infancy, fresh from a youth career as a professional footballer with Hartlepool United.  He quickly established a reputation within the business and aced all required accountancy qualifications in the space of four years to become the Group’s Management Accountant.

Several successful projects later, Paul was promoted to Head of Finance.  When the former FD left GAS, he took on the mantle of the business’ most senior finance professional; boasting a string of incredible achievements all under the age of 30.


“I have witnessed phenomenal growth at the Group over the many years I’ve worked here and I’m looking forward to guiding the Group into an exciting new chapter.”

Interesting fact:

Paul made his professional debut for Hartlepool United against Bournemouth in the Football League.  Some say Danny Ings still resides in his pocket to this day.