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Sunderland A.F.C.

Full name Sunderland Association Football Club
Nickname(s) The Black Cats, [1]
Founded 1879
Ground Stadium of Light
Capacity 49,000
Chairman  Niall Quinn
Manager  Roy Keane
League Premier League
2006–07 Football League Championship, 1st

Sunderland Association Football Club is a professional football club, based at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, in North-East England. They play in the Premier League. They moved to the Stadium of Light in 1997 after 99 years at Roker Park.[2]

Before the Second World War, Sunderland were league champions six times - in 1892, 1893, 1895, 1902, 1913, and most recently in 1936, when they became the last team wearing striped shirts to win the league. They were elected into the football league in 1890, becoming the first team to join after the league's birth in 1888. Sunderland stayed in the top flight until 1958, a record only which Arsenal have bettered since, in 1992. The club won their first FA Cup in 1937 with a 3-1 victory over Preston North End.[3]

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Sunderland's major triumph post WWII was the club's second FA Cup victory in 1973, when the club secured 1-0 victory over Leeds United.[4] Statistically, Sunderland are the sixth most successful in English league history.


Glasgow born Sunderland-based school teacher James Allan started the ‘Sunderland and District Teachers Association Football Club’ formed Sunderland A.F.C. on 17 October 1879. On 16 October 1880 the club changed its name to "Sunderland Teachers Association football Club" ie the Teachers bit remained, but the statement which announced this indicated that the club opened its membership to all in order to relax financial troubles and increase the pool of players available to it. Sunderland Teachers AFC became Sunderland AFC on limited company status. Sunderland enjoyed an extremely "unhealthy" rivalry with Sunderland Albion F.C. (who confusingly had the same initials) until their demise in the early 20th century.

Ironically it was James Allan who founded Albion after being voted off the Committee of Sunderland AFC although he had formed Albion prior to the meeting.

Sunderland were admitted into The Football League for the 1890-91 season, replacing Stoke. During the late 19th century they were declared as the "Team of All Talents" by William McGregor, after a 6 v 1 over Aston Villa at Perry Barr (erroneously up to now attributed to a 7 v 2 home win against Aston Villa), the founder of the English Football League, and between 1892 and 1902 the team won the league three times and were runners-up a further three times.

In 1913, Sunderland again won the league and lost their first FA Cup Final 1-0 to Aston Villa. It was the closest the club has ever gone to The Double.

The club's sixth (and to this day last) league championship came in the 1935-36 season, and the next season the club finally won the F.A. Cup after a 3-1 victory against Preston North End at Wembley Stadium.

Following the Second World War, the club suffered a downturn in fortunes, despite breaking a number of transfer records and being labelled 'The Bank of England Club'. In 1957 the club were implicated in a major financial scandal (the second in their history after the Andrew MacCombie scandal in 1904), resulting in an unprecedented fine of £5,000 and the suspension of the club chair and three directors. In 1958 Sunderland were relegated from the top-flight for the first time in their 68-year league history.

Sunderland won their last major trophy in 1973 courtesy of 1-0 victory over Leeds United in the FA Cup Final. Sunderland, a second division club at the time, won the game thanks to an amazing double save of Jimmy Montgomery to deny Peter Lorimer, described by many as the greatest save at Wembley, and by some even as the greatest save of all time. Ian Porterfield scored a stunning volley in the 30th minute to stun Leeds and take the win. Since 1973 only one other club (Southampton in 1976) has equalled Sunderland's achievement of lifting the FA Cup while playing outside the top tier of English football.

In 1985, Sunderland appeared in their first and only (to 2007) League Cup final, losing 1-0 to Norwich City.

1987 saw one of the lowest points in Sunderland's history, as they were relegated to the third division of the English league for the first and only time. Under new Chairman Bob Murray and new manager Denis Smith the club were promoted as champions the following season. In 1990, they were promoted back to the top flight, after losing to Swindon Town in the play off final, but Swindon's victory being revoked after being found guilty of financial irregularities. They stayed up for one year before being relegated on the final day of the season.

Sunderland's last outing in a major final came in 1992 when, as a second division club, they returned to the FA Cup Final. There was to be no repeat of the heroics of 1973, with Sunderland losing 2-0 to Liverpool.

The early 1990s was a turbulent period for the club. In 1995, they faced the prospect of a return the third-tier of English football. Peter Reid was brought in, and quickly turned things around. Reid's time in charge had a stabilising effect; he remained manager for seven years, one of the longest tenures in Sunderland's history.

In 1997, Sunderland left Roker Park, their home for 99 years. They moved to the Stadium of Light, a 42,000-seat arena that, at the time, was the biggest new stadium built in England since WW2. The move saw a renaissance at the club, as attendances jumped dramatically. The Stadium capacity was later increased to 49,000.

Sunderland returned to the top-flight as champions in 1999 with a then record points total of 105. Two consecutive seventh place finishes in the Premier League were followed by two less successful seasons and they were relegated to the second-tier with a record low points total of 19 in 2003. Former Ireland manager Mick McCarthy took over at the club and in 2005 he took Sunderland up as champions (the third time in under ten years). However, the following season was a disaster; Sunderland finished on a new record-low total of 15 points. McCarthy left the club in mid-season and was replaced temporarily by Kevin Ball, a former player.

Following their relegation new hope was given to the club by ex-player Niall Quinn, along with his Drumaville Consortium, successfully launched a bid to buy out former chair Bob Murray in July 2006. The consortium appointed former Manchester United captain Roy Keane, a former international team mate of chairman Niall Quinn, as their new manager. Quinn had been in charge for the first few games of the season in a disastrous start. However, under Keane the club rose steadily up the table with an unbeaten run of seventeen games from the start of 2007. Along with Birmingham City FC, Sunderland clinched promotion to the FA Premier League for the upcoming 2007-2008 season, following Derby County's 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on April 29th. Roy Keane was informed via a text message that Sunderland AFC had been promoted while walking his dog Triggs.[5] On May 6th 2007 Sunderland were crowned winners of Championship after beating Luton Town 5-0 at Kenilworth Road.

Promoted to the Premier League, their first game was at home against Tottenham which they won 1-0 due to an injury time goal from Michael Chopra.

Club Colours

Sunderland began playing in an all-blue kit, then red and white halved shirts, settling on red-and-white stripes in 1887, parading this new kit in a game against Notts Mellors. The red and white stripes can be traced back to a gift from fellow North East team South Bank FC who helped Sunderland out when they faced financial difficulties. They donated a set of red-and-white striped kits, complete with black shorts, and Sunderland have been wearing those colours ever since. For the 07/08 season, the away kit is all white, which continues a tradition of Sunderland AFC wearing the colour (the team wore white on the first game at Roker Park in 1898).[6] There is also a third kit, which is all blue.


Following promotion from the Football League Championship in the previous season, Sunderland are in their 107th full professional league season in the FA Premiership. In 117 years (76 in the top division), they have played over 4700 league games, of which they have won 41%, drawn 24% and lost 35%. Sunderland has an all-time positive league goal-difference of over 600.

Sunderland last won the league in 1936. Since then, their highest league finish was 3rd in 1950, although they did reach seventh in consecutive seasons at the turn of the 21st century. Since they were first relegated in 1958, Sunderland has not spent longer than 6 years in a division without being promoted or relegated.


In 2000 following a poll on the official SAFC website, Sunderland confirmed the football clubs traditional nickname of "The Black Cats".

There is a long historical link between Black Cats and Sunderland; including the "Black Cat Battery", a battery gun based on the River Wear, according to Sunderland AFC. However no evidence has been found by any supporter to back this up. This link is reinforced by folklore in which the black cat is said to bring luck.

A Sunderland supporter Billy Morris took a Black Cat to the 1937 FA Cup Final in his top pocket as a good luck charm, it worked as Sunderland brought home the trophy for the first time. during the 1960's a Black Cat lived in Roker Park and was fed and watered by the football club. Its reward for catching mice and rats.

Since the 1960s, the emblem of the Sunderland AFC Supporters Association has been a black cat. After 2000, Sunderland's Mascot became "Samson the Cat" and a few years later, Delilah joined him. Samson was originally named after shirt sponsor at the time (Vaux Samson bitter). Delilah was given her name to create the "Samson and Delilah" pairing; the name of a Biblical couple.

As well as the "Team of All Talents" at the turn of the 20th century, Sunderland was also known as the "Bank of England club" during the 1950s. This was due to the club's huge spending on the transfer market at the time, which saw the transfer-record broken twice.

At the beginning of the 2006-07 season, the purchase of the club by the Irish Drumaville consortium, the appointments of Niall Quinn and Roy Keane to their respective roles as chairman and manager, as well as the relatively large number of Irish players in the squad (nine players out of 34) led some fans to jokingly dub the team "Sund-Ireland".

Newcastle United fans tend to call Sunderland Dirty Mackem Bastards or Sad Mackem Bastards (often Often abbreviated to "SMB") because of the rivalry between these two north eastern giants. Sunderland embrace this and call the hated rivals the barcodes in response.


The official club fanzine is called Legion of Light. Others have included A Love Supreme, It's The Hope I Can't Stand,Sex and Chocolate, Wise Men Say, and The Roker Roar (later The Wearside Roar).


Honours Times Years
First Division Top Flight Champions 6 1891/1892, 1892/1893, 1894/1895, 1901/1902, 1912/1913, 1935/1936
First Division Top Flight Runners-up 5 1893/1894, 1897/1898, 1900/1901, 1922/1923, 1934/1935
Championship Second Flight Champions 2 2004/2005, 2006/2007
'New' First Division Second Flight Champions 2 1995/1996, 1998/1999
'Old' Second Division Second Flight Champions 1 1975/1976
'Old' Second Division Second Flight Runners-up 1 1963/1964
'Old' Third Division Third Flight Champions 1 1987/1988
FA Cup Winners 2 1936/1937, 1972/1973
FA Cup Runners-up 3 1912/1913, 1941/1942, 1991/1992
FA Youth Cup 2 1967, 1969
League Cup Runners-up 1 1984/1985
War Cup Runners-up 1 1942
Charity Shield Winners 1 1936/1937
Sheriff of London Charity Shield Winners 1 1902/1903
Charity Shield Runners-up 1 1937/1938

Top flight

Reached the First Division in 1890 and over the next 50 years were league champions six times.

Were relegated from the First Division for the first time in 1958, making 68 consecutive seasons spent in the English top league, still the second highest total in English football. Since then though, they have struggled to establish themselves back in the top flight.

Played their first Premiership season in 1996-97, which ended in relegation on the final day of the season.

Returned to the Premiership in 1999 and finished seventh in both of their first two seasons back at the highest level.

Were relegated from the Premiership in 2003 with a record low of four wins, 21 goals and 19 points.

They returned to the Premiership in 2005/2006 season, but went down after just one season, breaking their own record by attaining just 3 wins and 15 points.

They then returned to England's top flight after a successful 2006/07 season in the Championship, winning it under the leadership of manager Roy Keane.

Second flight

Have spent most of their time since 1958 bouncing between the top two tiers of the English professional league.

Were Division 1 champions in 1999 with an English league record of 105 points, which remained unbroken for seven years until Reading topped the same table with 106 points.

In 2006-2007, following a terrible start to the season - losing their first four games, Sunderland AFC went on to win The Championship once again. This meant that they had won the Football League Champions Trophy for the 10th time in their history - albeit it 4 of them being at the second level. However, it was a monumental achievement following the debacle of the previous season. The driving factors of this transformation were the financial takeover of the club by the Drumaville consortium led by Niall Quinn, and more importantly, the appointment of Roy Keane as the manager of the first team.

Third flight

Spent one season in the Third Division (1987-88). The managerial expertise of Dennis Smith and frequent goal scoring of Marco Gabbiadini and striking partner Eric Gates, ensured that their stay at this level was a short one and they went straight back up as champions.

Cup competitions

FA Cup runners up to Aston Villa in 1913.

The team inspired by local boy Raich Carter won the clubs first F.A. Cup in 1937, beating Preston North End 3-1.

Achieved a famous 1-0 victory over the then mighty Leeds United in the 1973 F.A Cup final thanks to an Ian Porterfield goal and a Jim Montgomery wonder save.

Reached the final of the League Cup in 1985, in which they were beaten 1-0 by Norwich City. Following this game the 'Friendship Trophy' was instituted, reflecting the excellent camaraderie between the fans of the two clubs. It is competed for each time the clubs meet and is currently held by Sunderland.

Most recent cup final was the 1992 FA Cup final, which was lost to Liverpool.

Club records

  • Home Attendance (Professional competitive games only)
    • Highest (Overall): 75,118 (v Derby County, FA Cup 6th Round Replay, March 8, 1933 at Roker Park)
    • Highest (League): 68,004 (v Newcastle United, March 4 1950 at Roker Park)
    • Highest (Stadium of Light): 48,355 (vs Liverpool, FA Premiership, April 13, 2002)
    • Additionally, Sunderland hold the record for the highest attendance outside the top flight of English football since the advent of the Premier League: 47,350 (vs Stoke City, Coca-Cola Championship, May 8, 2005)
    • Lowest (Overall): 1,000? (v Fairfield, FA Cup First round, 2 February 1895 at Newcastle Road) (estimate)
    • Lowest (League): 2,000? (v Everton April 10 1910 or Burnley December 12 1914) (both estimates and both at Roker Park)
    • Lowest (Stadium of Light): 11,450 (vs Chester City, Carling Cup First Round, August 24, 2004)
    • Lowest (Stadium of Light, League): 22,167 (vs Wigan Athletic, December 2 2003)
    • Highest average league attendance (Overall): 47,976 (1949-1950 season at Roker Park)
    • Highest average league attendance (Stadium of Light): 46,790 (2000-2001 season)
    • Highest ratio between average league attendance and stadium capacity: 97% (1999-2000 season)
  • Scorelines
    • Biggest victory (League): 1-9 (v Newcastle United, Division One, 5 December 1908)
    • Biggest victory (cup): 11-1 (v Fairfield, FA Cup First round, 2 February 1895)
    • Biggest Defeat: 8-0 (v West Ham United (19 October 1968), Watford (25 September 1982))
  • Players
    • All-time appearances: 623 - Jimmy Montgomery (537 league, 78 cup, 8 other)
    • All-time goalscorer: 228 - Bobby Gurney
    • Post-war goalscorer: 113 - Kevin Phillips
    • Most goals in a season: 43 - Dave Halliday, 1928/29 season
    • Highest transfer fee paid: £7m (rising to £9m)[7] (Craig Gordon from Hearts) (British record - highest ever fee paid for a goalkeeper)
  • Sequences
    • Most back-to-back league wins: 13 (November 14, 1891 - April 2, 1892)
    • Most back-to-back league draws: 6 (March 26, 1949 - April 19, 1949)
    • Most back-to-back league losses: 17 (January 18, 2003 - August 23, 2003)
    • Longest run without a league defeat: 19 (May 3, 1998 - November 11, 1998)
    • Longest run without a league win: 22 (December 21, 2002 - August 23, 2003)
  • Points
    • Most points in a season: 105 (Football League Division One, 1998/99) (English league record at the time)
    • Fewest points in season: 15 (Premier League, 2005/06) (English league record since the advent of three-points-for-a-win)


As of 9 August 2007.[8]

Current squad

No. Position Player
1 GK Craig Gordon
2 DF Greg Halford
4 MF Dickson Etuhu
5 DF Nyron Nosworthy (vice-captain)
6 DF Paul McShane
7 MF Carlos Edwards
8 MF Dean Whitehead (captain)
9 FW Anthony Stokes
10 MF Kieran Richardson
11 FW Daryl Murphy
12 MF Liam Miller
13 GK Darren Ward
14 FW Stern John
15 DF Danny Collins
16 FW Michael Chopra
18 MF Grant Leadbitter
19 FW Dwight Yorke
21 DF Russell Anderson
22 DF Clive Clarke
23 FW Roy O'Donovan
24 GK Trevor Carson
27 DF Stanislav Varga
28 MF Graham Kavanagh
29 DF Peter Hartley
30 MF Jake Richardson
31 FW David Connolly
32 GK Márton Fülöp
33 MF Ross Wallace
–– MF Tobias Hysén

Out on loan

No. Position Player
–– MF Arnau Riera (on loan to Falkirk)
–– DF Stephen Wright (on loan to Stoke City)


Current management and coaching staff

  • Chairman: Niall Quinn
  • Manager: Roy Keane
  • Head Coach: Tony Loughlan
  • First Team Coach: Neil Bailey
  • Reserve Team Coach: Kevin Richardson
  • Senior Physiotherapist: David Binningsley
  • Physiotherapist: Pete Friar
  • Goalkeeping Coach: Raimond van der Gouw
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach: Mike Clegg
  • Fitness Coach: Scott Ainsley
  • Academy Manager: Ged McNamee
  • Assistant Academy Managers: Kevin Ball and Elliott Dickman
  • Chief Scout Mick Brown

Chairman History

19 men have chaired Sunderland A.F.C. since it became a limited company in 1895 with an average tenure of 5 and a half years. The longest serving chair is Bob Murray who chaired the club for 18 years in two separate spells (of which the second - 11 years between 1995 and 2006 - was the longest continuous spell of any chair).

Fred Taylor escaped suspension following the 1904 illegal payments scandal, a feat not matched by Bill Ditchburn following a similar scandal in 1957. Ditchburn became the first and only Sunderland chair to be suspended during his tenure. The five proceeding chairs, Turnbull, Ritson, Parker and father and son Syd and Keith Collings, were all directors on the board during the scandal.

  • 1879-1895 - Run by a committee
  • 1895-1903 - James Henderson (Moved Sunderland from Newcastle Road to Roker Park)
  • 1903-1904 - Sinclair Todd
  • 1904-1913 - Fred Taylor
  • 1913-1921 - Samuel Wilson
  • 1921-1930 - William Bell
  • 1930-1938 - Walter Raine (Former mayor of Sunderland.)
  • 1938-1940 - Duncan White
  • 1940-1949 - Joespeh Prior
  • 1949-1957 - Bill Ditchburn (Former mayor of Sunderland, he was suspended from football by the FA after the 1957 financial irregularities scandal.)
  • 1957-1958 - John Turnbull
  • 1958-1960 - Stanley Ritson
  • 1960-1968 - Syd Collings
  • 1968-1971 - Jack Parker
  • 1971-1980 - Keith Collings
  • 1980-1986 - Tom Cowie
  • 1986-1993 - Bob Murray
  • 1993-1995 - John Featherstone
  • 1995-2006 - Bob Murray (Moved Sunderland from Roker Park to Stadium of Light; Floated the club on the Stock Exchange. Longest serving chair in total.)
  • 2006-Present - Niall Quinn (Only chair to simultaneously manage team. First former player to become chair. First non-English chair).

Source: [4]

Managerial history

Name From To Record Notes
Tom Watson August 1, 1888 August 1, 1896 191 119 28 44 3 League Championships.
Statistically, Sunderland's most successful manager.
Bob Campbell August 1, 1896 April 1, 1899 103 41 22 40  
Alex Mackie August 1, 1899 June 1, 1905 214 104 46 64 1 League Championship.
Bob Kyle August 1, 1905 March 1, 1928 817 371 155 291 1 League Championship.
Johnny Cochrane May 1, 1928 March 31, 1939 500 212 122 166 1 League Championship, 1 FA Cup.
Bill Murray April 1, 1939 June 1, 1957 512 186 140 186  
Alan Brown June 1, 1957 May 31, 1964 332 138 88 106  
George Hardwick November 1, 1964 May 31, 1965 29 14 3 12  
Ian McColl June 1, 1965 February 1, 1968 124 39 27 58  
Alan Brown February 2, 1968 November 1, 1972 219 63 68 88  
Billy Elliott November 1, 1972 November 23, 1972 4 0 2 2 Caretaker
Bob Stokoe November 23, 1972 August 18, 1976 197 92 49 56 1 FA Cup.
Ian MacFarlane August 18, 1976 December 1, 1976 7 2 1 4 Caretaker
Jimmy Adamson December 1, 1976 August 25, 1978 88 29 28 31  
David Merrington August 25, 1978 December 13, 1978 8 4 2 2 Caretaker
Billy Elliott December 13, 1978 May 24, 1979 26 14 7 5 Caretaker
Ken Knighton June 7, 1979 April 1, 1981 94 34 25 35  
Mick Docherty April 1, 1981 June 1, 1981 4 2 0 2 Caretaker
Alan Durban June 1, 1981 March 2, 1984 130 37 40 53  
Bryan (Pop) Robson March 2, 1984 March 4, 1984 1 0 1 0 Caretaker
Len Ashurst March 4, 1984 May 23, 1985 66 21 16 29  
Lawrie McMenemy June 8, 1985 April 16, 1987 90 27 24 39  
Bob Stokoe April 16, 1987 June 9, 1987 9 3 2 4 Caretaker
Denis Smith June 9, 1987 December 30, 1991 238 91 64 83  
Malcolm Crosby December 30, 1991 February 1, 1993 60 21 15 24  
Terry Butcher February 5, 1993 November 26, 1993 45 14 8 23  
Mick Buxton November 26, 1993 March 29, 1995 76 25 24 27  
Peter Reid March 29, 1995 November 7, 2002 353 159 95 99  
Howard Wilkinson November 10, 2002 March 10, 2003 27 4 8 15 Statistically, Sunderland's least successful permanent manager.
Mick McCarthy March 12, 2003 March 6, 2006 147 63 26 58  
Kevin Ball March 7, 2006 May 31, 2006 10 1 2 7 Caretaker
Niall Quinn July 25, 2006 August 30, 2006 6 1 0 5 Chairman / Caretaker manager
Roy Keane August 30, 2006 Present 41 26 7 8  
Managerless games     35 13 7 15  
Total Club Record November 1879 Present 4801 1968 1153 1681

The Stat Cat


1879-1882 - Blue House Field, Hendon

1882-1883 - Groves Field, Ashbrooke

1883-1884 - Horatio Street, Roker

1884-1886 - Abbs Field, Fulwell

1886-1898 - Newcastle Road, Monkwearmouth

1898-1997 - Roker Park, Roker

1997-present - Stadium of Light, Monkwearmouth

Notable players

  •  Ned Doig
  •  Alf Common (1900)
  •  Leigh Richmond Roose (1907)
  •  Charlie Buchan (1911)
  •  Dave Halliday
  •  Bobby Gurney
  •  Raich Carter
  •  Willie Watson
  •  Len Shackleton (1948)
  •  Trevor Ford (1950)
  •  Colin Pascoe
  •  Billy Bingham (1950)
  •  Len Ashurst
  •  Eric Gates
  •  Don Revie (1956)
  •  Charlie Hurley (1957)
  •  Brian Clough (1961)
  •  Jim Baxter (1965)
  •  Ian Porterfield (1967)
  •  Dave Watson (1970)
  •  Gary Rowell (1972)
  •  George Burley
  •  Jimmy Montgomery
  •  Barry Venison (1981)
  •  Bryan 'Pop' Robson
  •  Sam Allardyce (1980)
  •  Terry Butcher
  •  Kevin Ball (1990)
  •  Ally McCoist (1981)
  •  Marco Gabbiadini (1987)
  •  Michael Gray (1992)
  •  Michael Bridges (1995)
  •  Thomas Helmer (1999)
  •  Stefan Schwarz (1999)
  •  Steve Bould (1999)
  •  Niall Quinn (1996)
  •  Chris Waddle (1997)
  •  Chris Woods (1997)
  •  Kevin Phillips (1997)
  •  Thomas Sørensen (1998)
  •  Don Hutchison (2000)
  •  Julio Arca (2000)
  •  Tore André Flo (2002)
  •  Paul Bracewell (1983, 1989,1995)
  •  Claudio Reyna (2001)
  •  Mart Poom (2002)
  •  Patrick Mboma (2002)
  •  Dwight Yorke (2006)
  •  Craig Gordon (2007) - To date the club's most expensive signing.
  •  Kris Wall (2007) - Reserves
  •  Johnny Mapson 1937 FA Cup Goal Keeper aged 19years died(1999 the last of the 1937 FA Cup Winning team)


  • Sunderland received the first 4-figure transfer-fee in football history; £1,002 was paid by Middlesbrough for Alf Common.
  • Arsenal's highest ever attendance at Highbury was against Sunderland; a crowd of 73,295 watched a First Division game on March 9, 1935. The record attendance of Arsenal's local rivals Tottenham Hotspur was also against Sunderland - On March 5, 1938 75,038 fans watched the game at White Hart Lane.
  • Sunderland were also the visitors for record attendances of Leeds United (57,892 at Elland Road on March 15, 1967), Watford (all-seater record, 21,590 at Vicarage Road on November 27, 1999), Bristol Rovers (record at the Memorial Ground, 11,433 on October 31, 2000), Exeter City (20,984 at St James Park for an FA Cup 6th round replay in 1931) and Yeovil Town (16,318), they lost 2-1 to the then non-league club at Huish Park on January 29, 1949 in the FA Cup 4th Round.
  • Sunderland's record attendance of 75,118 at Roker Park is the sixth highest record attendance of all league clubs - behind Manchester City (84,569), Chelsea (82,905), Everton (78,299), Aston Villa (76,588) and Manchester United (75,664).
  • Sunderland has broken the British football transfer record on at least five different occasions, and they have been the selling club on at least three occasions.
  • In 1895, after winning the English league for the third time, Scottish champions Hearts challenged Sunderland to an exhibition match, billed as the 'Championship of the World'. Sunderland won the game 5-3.
  • In 1903, Sunderland fans - disgruntled following a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday - stoned the referee and the Wednesday team bus. The FA banned Sunderland from playing their next game at Roker Park; instead, they had to play it at St. James' Park in Newcastle.
  • Sunderland's record win, 9-1 at Newcastle United is still a record away win in England's top division.
  • Between 1999 and 2006, Sunderland held two very distinct English professional league records; both the highest number of points in a season (105 in First Division, now known as the Championship, in 1998-99) and also the lowest number of points in a season (19 in the Premiership in 2002-03). In 2006, Reading broke the record for the highest number of points with 106, and in the same season, Sunderland broke the record for the lowest number of points with 15 in the Premiership, based on three points for a win this is the lowest ever total by an English top flight club and the worst by any club for over seventy years.
  • The club was the subject of a BBC fly on the wall documentary called Premier Passions which revealed Peter Reid as a prolific swearer.
  • When the team emerges from the tunnel before a game, the music that they are played on with is Dance of the Knights by Prokofiev followed by the introduction to Elevation (song) by U2.
  • In 2006 Sunderland was listed on eBay, bidding went to £10 Million (GBP) before the listing was removed by eBay, only after the listing was reported in the national press.
  • On 7th August 2007, Sunderland broke the British transfer record for a goalkeeper by signing Craig Gordon from Hearts for £9 million pounds.


  1. ^ http://www.experience.com/alumnus/channel_hoovers_employer_profile?id=121873&channel_id=Sports&source_page=employers
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ http://www.fchd.btinternet.co.uk/cups/facupsummary.htm
  4. ^ http://www.fchd.btinternet.co.uk/cups/facupsummary.htm
  5. ^ "Keane learns of promotion whilst walking dog. sunderland have now been named the champions after a 5-0 win over luton and birmingham lost to preston 1-0", Evening Echo, 2007-04-29. Retrieved on 2007-04-29. 
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ Gordon Agrees £9m Sunderland Move. BBC. Retrieved on 2007-08-08.
  8. ^ [3]

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