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#90: Harold Shaw
1930-1936

Points: 30 Appearances: 217 Goals: 5

A regular in Sunderland's solid top flight side of the early 1930s, Harold Shaw missed out on the League title winning season of 1935/36 and the FA Cup triumph a year later through injury. He was however, a key member of the side that finished as League runners-up in 1934/35. Shaw was a tough-tackling left-back whose 217 appearances were all the more impressive given that he had not played at the highest level in seven years and had been in the lower leagues with Wolves before coming to Wearside.

 

 

#89: Cec Irwin
1959-1972

Pts: 31 Apps: 352 Goals: 1

Carrying on the tradition of the non-scoring right back started by Jack Hedley (Number 91 in this list), Cec Irwin racked up more than 350 appearances in his time at the club. However, he did enjoy his 'Makin moment' with a goal in a 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest in 1968 - from 35 yards out! Irwin's biggest achievement in a Sunderland shirt, apart from making his debut aged just 16, was being part of the 1964 Division 2 promotion side. He then played his part in six seasons of top flight football, although the last of which saw the club relegated in 1970.

 

 

#88: Gordon Armstrong
1985-1995

Pts: 31 Apps: 414 Goals: 61

A stalwart of the club from the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties, Gordon Armstrong experienced the whole range of emotions during his time at Roker Park. Most fondly remembered for his bullet header against Chelsea that helped Sunderland along the road to Wembley in 1992, Armstrong was also an integral part of the sides that won the Division 3 Championship in 1988 and earned promotion to Division 1 two years later. On the negative side, he was also in the teams that were relegated in 1987 and 1991. Armstrong holds the distinction of being one of the few Sunderland midfielders to hit more than 50 goals for the club.

 

 

#87: Joe Bolton
1972-1981

Pts: 31 Apps: 319 Goals: 12

Cult hero Joe Bolton clocked up more than 300 appearances in a decade at the club. A classic hard-as-nails left back who could also operate in midfield, Bolton made sporadic appearances in his first two seasons and didn't reach 30 appearances in either of the next two seasons. However, in his first season as a true regular, he won a Division 2 Championship medal (1975/76). Bolton remained in the side for the next five seasons, during which time the team was relegated in 1977, but promoted back to the top flight in 1980.

 

 

#86: George Aitken
1951-1959

Pts: 31 Apps: 267 Goals: 3

With a Sunderland career spanning the majority of the 1950s, George Aitken had a steady time on Wearside. His best seasons were 1952/53, 1954/55 and 1955/56 when he was an essential part of the side that attained Sunderland's last top flight top ten finishes until the Reid era. Unfortunately, the powerful Scottish half back was also a part of the first ever Sunderland side to be relegated from the highest level in 1958. Aitken also picked up a handful of caps for his country while at the club, in the days when Scottish caps weren't just handed out to any old numpties.

 

 

#85: Harry Ness
1911-1920

Pts: 31 Apps: 101 Goals: 0

In the summer of 1911 the directors at Roker Park blew hard on their thistle whistles to attract the most talented member of the Family Ness (sorry if you didn't watch kids TV in the late 1980s, you won't have got that). Harry Ness had half his time on Wearside interrupted by World War 1, but was never particularly an automatic choice. However, injuries in the 1912/13 season allowed the former Barnsley man to earn a League Championship medal and an FA Cup Runners-up medal.

 

 

#84: Bert Davis
1932-1936

Pts: 31 Apps: 163 Goals: 40

Outside right (‘Winger’ for all the younger readers) Bert Davis was a regular in the Sunderland forward line for four seasons, 1932/33 to 1935/36. In the last two of these seasons, Davis helped the club finish 2nd in Division 1 and then finally as Champions in 35/36. The diminutive Yorkshireman then lost his place at the start of the 1936/37 season to the up and coming Len Duns, thereby missing out on the club's 1937 FA Cup winning campaign.

 

 

#83: Jimmy Thorpe
1930-1936

Pts: 31 Apps: 139 Goals: 0

Jimmy Thorpe was an outstanding homegrown goalkeeper, who would have surely achieved so much more in his career, but for his untimely death. Although he always had a rival for his position, who would displace him for a time each season, Thorpe was generally first choice from 1932/33 until his death during the 1935/36 Championship winning season. Thorpe was badly injured during a game against Chelsea in February 1936 and although he managed to complete the match, he died in a diabetic coma four days later. His widow was presented with his Championship medal.

 

 

#82: George Herd
1961-1969

Pts: 32 Apps: 318 Goals: 55

Playing at Roker Park throughout most of the 1960s, George Herd enjoyed moderate success during his time at the club. He was part of the team that knocked on the door of promotion to the top flight, until they finally got in at the end of 1963/64. The Scottish wing man played a key role in helping Sunderland remain in Division 1 for the following five seasons. He then moved onto the coaching staff at the club and, after spells elsewhere, made two returns to the Roker backroom in the 1980s and 1990s.

 

 

#81: Tommy Wright
1949-1955

Pts: 32 Apps: 180 Goals: 55

A Scottish International whilst on Wearside, Tommy Wright was an exciting right winger with a keen eye for goal. In his first season as a regular at Sunderland (1949/50), Wright helped the side to 3rd place in Division 1, a position that has not been equaled since. He also featured prominently in four other solid top flight seasons, although he did miss most of the 1951/52 season with a bad injury. His departure to East Fife in 1955 saw another popular forward, Charlie ‘Cannonball’ Fleming, move the other way.

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