Following what can only be described as a morale sapping week, Steve Bruce has just a handful of days to rally his troops ahead of a tricky away fixture at newly promoted Swansea City. You all know the drill by know, so as part of most comprehensive build up on the Interwebs for SAFC's games we bring you a Cult Hero that has had the pleasure of representing both sides.
At first I was a little stumped as to a suitable candidate until the ever reliable Michael Graham, my "go to guy" for all things SAFC that came to pass before my time with the club, who after the usual mocking, reminded me of course of this weeks played for both, cult hero - Colin Pascoe.Pascoe spent five years on Wearside sandwiched between two spells with Swansea, where he spent the majority of his playing days and now coaching career. The sometimes underrated and under appreciated midfielder should be a welcome and familiar face on the Welsh club's bench this weekend.
The left winger began his career with Swansea as an apprentice in 1982 and during his six season spell with the Swans Pascoe amassed over 210 appearances, which also led to him earning International recognition in 1984. with two games in quick concession; a 1-0 defeat to Norway and a 0-0 draw with Israel. Colin would however then be overlooked for International duty for over four years.
Pascoe made the move to Roker Park in March of 1988 with a fee of £70,000 agreed by tribunal. The winger was to have an instant impact on the team and results by helping Sunderland to the Third Division title with four goals in nine appearances.
Colin was also to feature heavily as part of Sunderland's run back to the Top Flight and was instrumental in the 1989/90 season making thirty-three appearances including the Play Off Final at Wembley.
The winger's move to Sunderland was also to help revive his International career despite playing outside of the top flight, something which is unthinkable in today's footballing landscape where the National side is almost selected exclusively upon the status of the player's parent club. Another argument for another day. Pascoe's finest moment in Welsh colours would undoubtedly be his final game as he featured in an unlikely victory over the mighty Brazil in 1991.
Whilst Colin may have sometimes garnered mixed opinions from the home crowd the majority appreciated his involvement and influence on the side as a skillful yet hardworking player who was key to supplying the ammunition to Gates and Gabbiadini.
Pascoe was to carry his impressive Play Off season form into the First Division where he again was an important player for the side, in what proved to be a tough and ultimately disappointing season as SAFC were relegated. From here on however injuries and a lack of from saw the winger's involvement start to decline and ultimately he made a loan move back to Swansea for the 1992/93 season. Colin obviously did enough to impress his former employers however as his move was made permanent as the Welsh side repaid Sunderland the £70,000 for his services.
The wing wizard would go on to make over a hundred further appearances for Swansea before a free transfer to Blackpool where he made just a solitary appearance from the bench in 1996. Pascoe has since made the transition to coaching and is currently employed by, who else but, Swansea.
Pascoe should be fondly remembered on Wearside for his effort input to the Sunderland side which rose from the Old Third Division back to the top flight and for assisting in making the "G-Force" as prolific as they were with his service from midfield.