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#30: Len Duns
1933-1952

Points: 51 Appearances: 244 Goals: 54

Newcastle-born Len Duns was an outside-right who by the age of just 21 had won both the League and Cup with Sunderland. Duns undoubtedly benefited from playing in a team that contained Raich Carter and Bobby Gurney, but made a significant contribution to the team himself. He was excellent going forward and possessed a real ruthlessness in front of goal. During the 1937 Cup run, he scored in each of the first five games. Duns never played for another senior club, and would have undoubtedly made many more appearances for Sunderland without the intervention of the war.

 

 

#29: Alex Hall
1929-1939

Pts: 51 Apps: 233 Goals: 1

Alex Hall was a raw full back who was moulded into an accomplished defender by Sunderland manager Johnny Cochrane. After spending just 4 months in senior soccer with Dunfermline, Sunderland spent £750 on the young recruit. Hall was allowed to mature in the reserves during his early years at Roker, and didn’t command a regular first team place until 1934/35. Able to play in either full back position, Hall was a tough tackler who was a regular in the 1936 Championship season and 1937 FA Cup win.

 

 

#28: Jimmy Connor
1930-1939

Pts: 52 Apps: 284 Goals: 61

If ‘Yellow Submarine’ had been written in the 1930s, it is quite possible that ‘Gary Rowell world’ would have been ‘Jimmy Connor world’. Scottish international Jimmy Connor was one of the most popular players ever in red and white. He was an outside-left who loved to come inside the full-back and hit a shot with his fierce left foot. During the 1936 Championship season, Connor had his greatest moment for Sunderland when he scored the winner in a 5-4 win against Champions Arsenal at Roker. However, disaster struck the following season. In the 4th round of the Cup run against Luton, a horrific tackle seriously injured Connor. This ultimately ended his career, as he was never to recover from the injury.

 

 

#27: Jimmy Watson
1900-1907

Pts: 52 Apps: 225 Goals: 0

Powerful left back Jimmy Watson played all but one game in the 1902 Championship season and was an established member of the side at the turn of the last century. A Scottish international, Watson arrived at Sunderland from Clyde and came to be considered as one of the finest full backs in the country. He possessed the intriguing nickname of ‘Daddy Long Legs’ due to his arms and legs moving excessively when he ran. Towards the end of his career Watson moved to Middlesbrough, and played for the Smogs for 3 seasons.

 

 

#26: Bert Johnston
1929-1939

Pts: 53 Apps: 163 Goals: 0

Bert Johnston was Sunderland’s centre half for the 1937 Cup Final. Johnston arrived at Sunderland aged 20 and was forced to compete for his position throughout the 1930s with both Jock McDougall and Jimmy Clark. By 1937 though, both had departed leaving Johnston to make the position his own. He became a resolute defender who enjoyed beginning attacks from the back. Like so many other players, Johnston’s career was brought to a premature end by the war. However, from 1951 to 1957 Johnston was a coach for the club.

 

 

#25: James Hannah
1891-1897

Pts: 53 Apps: 172 Goals: 77

Undoubtedly the holder of the strangest nickname in Sunderland’s history, James ‘Blood’ Hannah was present in Sunderland’s first ever league game against Burnley at Newcastle Road. An ever present in the opening season, Hannah could play on either flank and won Championship medals with Sunderland in 1893 and 1895. Hannah’s goal-scoring record in the FA Cup is quite remarkable, scoring 10 goals in 16 ties, including a hat trick in the club’s biggest ever cup win; 11-1 in 1894/95.

 

 

#24: Len Shackleton
1948-1957

Pts: 54 Apps: 348 Goals: 101

Len Shackleton , the Julio of the 50s, and probably Sunderland’s most naturally talented player ever. When ‘Shack’ wanted to play, there was no one who could stop him. His spellbinding trickery was magical, and when he felt like scoring, he usually did. Incredibly, medals and honours didn’t accompany the 'Clown Prince’s' career. During his time with the club, Sunderland’s highest league position was 3rd and he only received a paltry 5 caps for England. Perhaps his greatest contribution to Sunderland fans though, was saying that he wasn’t biased against Newcastle, he didn’t care who beat them! Awesome!

 

 

#23: Johnny Mapson
1935-1953

Pts: 55 Apps: 382 Goals: 0

Sunderland’s goalkeeper for the 1937 Cup Final, Johnny Mapson was a resolute keeper who served the club both before and after World War 2. Mapson was the replacement for the tragic Jimmy Thorpe who had died suddenly from diabetes in 1936. Aged just 20 at the time of the Cup Final, Mapson possessed a brilliant positional sense, rarely resorting to the last minute reflex saves that were perfected by Lionel Perez and Jurgen Macho. Mapson's specialty was catching the ball with one arm over the other at the side of his body.

 

 

#22: Matthew Ferguson
1896-1902

Pts: 55 Apps: 182 Goals: 5

Talented half-back Matthew Ferguson, was a distinguished member of the Sunderland first team from his debut in the 1896 season. He was an ever present throughout that season, and went on to win a League Championship medal in 1902. Ferguson’s Sunderland career was tragically cut short in 1902 as he died suddenly and prematurely. It was believed that if he had lived he would have gone onto win full international caps for Scotland, adding to those won at junior level.

 

 

#21: Sandy McCallister
1896-1904

Pts: 55 Apps: 225 Goals: 5

Sandy McAllister was a Scottish coal miner who became a sturdy member of Sunderland’s defence. A short, stocky, tough centre-half, McAllister played in the first game at Roker Park, and was part of the 1902 Championship winning side. An ever present during the 1899/1900 and 00/01 seasons, McAllister was a very popular player with the fans. This was demonstrated when he scored his first Sunderland goal, and received a gold watch and piano from the fans. Unfortunately, he contracted food poisoning whilst serving with the Northumberland Fusiliers in France during the Great War and died shortly afterwards.

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