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The Top Ten: Played For Both Sunderland & 'Boro


Seeing as its FA Cup weekend, we at Roker Report are keen to get the jump on the build up. We are gracing ITV’s presence yet again on Sunday, with our fourth round tie (note: not a derby) with Middlesbrough.

So, to follow on from our weird and wonderful FA Cup facts, this week’s Top Ten features those who have played for both SAFC and the 'Boro.

10. Boudewijn Zenden

Responsible for the only piece of major silverware on Teeside, Zenden initially joined Boro on loan before making the move permanent at the start of the 04/05 season. After spells at Liverpool and Marseille, Bolo joined Sunderland on trial that evolved into a one-year deal.

Zenden played his part for SAFC over the course of that season – earning him a year’s extension – and contributed 2 goals in 27 appearances last season. Despite being a calming influence on both the pitch and in the dressing room, his time on Wearside will more than likely be remembered for his impromptu celebration with Asamoah Gyan.

9. Peter Davenport

Stopping just one shy of 100 league appearances, Davenport partnered Marco Gabbiadini in attack during his time at Roker Park. Having joined from Boro, he was part of the ’92 FA Cup final side and made a telling contribution in the run to Wembley – opening the scoring in the quarter-final win over Chelsea.

However, he will most likely be remembered for his goal in the derby at Roker Park (the real one, not this make believe one) in the same season.

8. Stan Cummins

Who breaks their transfer record for a midfielder!? Uhh, we did, in 1979 when Cummins was signed from Middlesbrough for £300,000 as a 20-year-old prospect.

Cummins scored 12 goals in his first season at Roker Park, helping the club back into the First Division. He went on to be a regular in the side up until his move to Crystal Palace in 1983.

The midfielder returned to SAFC two seasons later but unfortunately left his shooting boots at Selhurst Park.

7. Stewart Downing

Often forgot, but Downing did have a brief loan spell on Wearside under Mick McCarthy’s reign.

Sent to the Championship with the intention of gaining more experience, Downing played 7 times for the Lads and scored on 3 occasions, and had an immediate understanding with then left-back Julio Arca – giving us the false hope that we had finally reproduced the Micky Gray- Johnston partnership down our left-hand side.

Alas the dream ended cruelly and swiftly, as Downing was recalled by Boro and immediately installed into their first team.

6. Lee Cattermole

There’s no denying that Catts has had an up-and-down time since moving from Wigan.

After making 69 league appearances for hometown club Middlesbrough, and featuring in the UEFA Cup final, Steve Bruce took him to Lancashire and then brought him here.

His debut against Bolton – and form for that matter right up until the Liverpool (beach ball) game –indicated why Bruce held so much trust in a young man widely denounced as a hothead.

Of course we have seen that side of him, too, to the extent that if it wasn’t for Martin O’Neill’s arrival, Cattermole may have been facing the exit door at the SoL – but like many the new manager has galvanised a player that had become lost and Cattermole once again looks like the all-action central midfielder many had hoped he would be.

5. Allan Johnston

‘Magic’ was a feature of the side that romped to the First Division title, collecting 105 points under Peter Reid, yet upon promotion the relationship between player and manager seemingly broke down and Johnston was to never play for SAFC again.

After two loan spells and a move to Rangers, Johnston returned to the North-East with Middlesbrough but was unable to recreate the form that made him such a potent left-winger for SAFC.

4. Julio Arca

Anyone else think we had just signed Adam Sandler when Julio came over from Argentina? No? Just me then.

But a debut goal later against West Ham at the Stadium of Light, Arca, by his own admission, thought he had ‘made it’. That was just the beginning.

After finishing 7th in his first season, Arca would then learn that Sunderland never do things the easy way, and proceeded to flirt with relegation before succumbing to her the following season. In fairness to Arca, he resisted offers from elsewhere and helped the club regain its top-flight status, before another affair with relegation in 2006.

That summer, he joined Boro but was one of the more gracious of the departed, and despite being involved in both 19 and 15 point seasons, Arca was that much-fabled flicker of hope through a very dark spell.

3. Alf Common

Common helped SAFC to a First Division runners-up spot during his first spell at the club, and although he missed out on the title a year later as he left for Sheffield United, his goal helped the Blades to an FA Cup win over Southampton.

He then rejoined the Lads for a second season-long spell, before becoming the first player to be transferred for £1,000 when he joined ‘Boro in 1905.

Here today, gone tomorrow old Alf was, but contributing 6 goals to the cause in his first stint at Roker Park – the year that laid the foundations for a fourth league title – is good enough reason for him to make it into third spot.

2. Stan Anderson

Anderson is a true rarity in that he has represented – and captained – each of the three major North-East clubs.

Joining the ‘Bank of England’ club in 1949, Anderson’s time at the club correlated with a downturn in fortunes; most notably ‘the curious case of Mr Smith’ where the FA fined SAFC for making illegal payments to players in 1957, and relegation for the first time in its history the following season.

Despite the tumultuous time the club was facing, Anderson served SAFC with distinction, making 447 appearances for the Lads before joining Newcastle.

Upon crossing the divide, Anderson captained the Magpies to promotion to the First Division in 1963.

Given that Anderson is fourth all-time SAFC appearance maker, we can perhaps forgive him his indiscretions.

1. Brian Clough

Ah, it had to be didn’t it?

With a career that amassed 251 goals in 274 goals, Clough is the finest player to have represented both clubs.

Had injury not prematurely ended his playing days, it would surely been greater – a true case of ‘what might have been’ for SAFC fans.

Still, even with a limited time at Sunderland, Clough amassed a lethal record – 54 goals in 61 games – and is revered by fans that were fortunate enough to have seen him play.


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