My All Time SAFC XI
GK: Jimmy Montgomery. The legendary keeper is remembered for his remarkable double save in ‘73, and if it weren’t for the sensational Gordon Banks, our Hendon-born hero would have certainly gotten a start for the England national team.
RB: Chris Makin. Signing from Marseille in the late 90s, the solid fullback quickly became a vital component to Peter Reid’s promotion winning side, making 121 appearances before moving to Ipswich.
CB: Charlie Hurley. The Captain of this fantasy team, the Irishman was named Sunderland’s Player of the Century. The classy defender made over 400 appearances, earning the nickname The King.
CB: Gary Bennett. Only four players have made more than Benno’s 444 appearances for the lads. The classy centre half captained the club as well as playing in the FA and League Cup finals.
LB: Michael Gray. We’ve all had to endure the pain of reliving that penalty kick, but Gray quickly put that behind him, earning three England caps and over 350 for his boyhood club.
RM: Nicky Summerbee. A toss-up between Summerbee and Alan Johnson. The tricky winger signed from Manchester City in a £1 million deal plus Craig Russell. He went on to play almost 100 games in red and white, and no player could cross a ball like him. Our answer to David Beckham.
CM: Kevin Ball. Bally joined the club from Portsmouth in 1990 and is hard as nails. Even now after his retirement, the ex-captain plays an important role in and around the club; highlighting how highly he is thought of at Sunderland.
CM: Lee Cattermole. The only player to still currently play for Sunderland, Lee Barry’s tenacity and passion for the club is unrivalled. Throughout his time on Wearside, Catts has shown excellent leadership in the darkest times of the club’s history. From cup finals to great escapes, Lee has stuck with the club thought thick and thin (and through Paolo Di Canio’s reign).
LM: Len Shackleton. The Clown Prince of football said one thing that endeared him to Sunderland fans immediately: “I’m not biased when it comes to Newcastle- I don’t care who beats them!” As well as this, Shack was a joy to watch on the pitch and the first embodiment of a modern-day “Maverick.”
ST: Kevin Phillips. Super Kev will always be loved at Sunderland, as the ex-Watford striker bagged an outstanding 113 goals in 208 appearances including a European golden shoe winning 30 goals in 1999-2000. He remains the only English player to win this accolade.
ST: Niall Quinn. Who else? The massive Irishman struck up a phenomenal partnership with Phillips and is known as “Sir Niall”. The club legend has had every role at the club; Player, manager and even chairman!