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The Top Ten: Londoners To Play For The Lads

We bring you our top ten Londoners to don the red and white.
We bring you our top ten Londoners to don the red and white.

When the idea for this particular Top Ten was thought of, I thought it would be a breeze. London's a pretty big place, big population and surely there will have been many folks to come through there to play for the lads.

I thought wrong, it was a bit of an epic struggle. So whilst several came to mind immediately, there started a search through the history books and websites to basically complete a top ten. Eventually we found several and my luck was in.

So without too much further ado, lets look at those who've made the long trek up north to turn out for SAFC...

10. Nyron Nosworthy

My feelings on Nyron have been made perfectly clear in the past, but the way he makes this list is much like his career. Making a fleeting appearance based on the fact options have been limited.

Ok, I'll do my best to praise him as I know many seemed to enjoy his antics... Nyron Nosworthy, Born in Brixton, and built like a, if you'll excuse the pun "Brixton Sh*thouse" he did have a run of games alongside a then unheralded Jonny Evans to form a formidable partnership. Especially during Roy Keane's epic season which took us from bottom to top of the league.

All this of course coming after he was moved to the middle of defence following a disasterous and uncomfortable spell at right-back.

Cryuff turns, gangly legs, straw hats, singing, performances ranging from amazing to absurd, Nyron will always be remembered. Its up to you how you choose to do so.

9. Danny Dichio

Following a relatively unsuccessful period in Italian football, we brought Dichio back to England for £750k in 1998. He couldn't have come at a better time really, considering we went on to win the league with 105 points, and of course finish seventh in the Premier League.

It was however in his first season that perhaps one of his most memorable games came. The now infamous play-off final with Charlton Athletic where an attempted volley fell tamely to Sasa Ilic as opposed a header which would surely have had the net bulging.

He was part of one of our better combinations of strikers though. With Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips dominating things, both Dichio and Michael Bridges were able fill-ins and accepted their roles as such. A haul of seventeen goals in seventy-five appearances isn't too bad for a perennial substitute.

Personally, I always quite liked him. Seemed to go about his business well and not cause any fuss, also chipping in with goals, and when Quinny was injured there was no particular disappointment or fear. Dichio did us fine.

Dichio still has plenty of time for SAFC too. We spoke to him in 2010, when Roker Report was still less than two weeks old. Have a read of that here - CLICKY or if you'd prefer, Dichio was the subject of a Cult Heroes recently, so give that a read for more on "Mellow-D" - CLICKY

8. Anton Ferdinand

How many times can one man bounceback! Written off by many fans upon his arrival as being too expensive and rubbish, he proved us wrong with some fine performances. Later, following an unfortunate own goal at Old Trafford he was cast aside by Steve Bruce.

If I was him, I'd have left as soon as possible, but it's testament to the man himself that he stuck around, even despite not being given a squad number for the 2010/11 season, that he could bounce back and againestablish himself in the side.

Not only that, but prove to be more than capable in any position across the back line, be it left-back, right-back or in the middle, he always gave 100% to the cause. I'd say 110%, but there was still cause for the Ferdinand family gene which means you invariably switch off for a brief moment during a game, but nonetheless, he was overall a solid performer.

Eventually he was sold on to QPR this season, but you can see from the man himself on Twitter that he maintains a lot of respect and passion for SAFC, and all in all thoroughly merits a place in this list.

7. Gary Breen

He might have won over 60 caps for the Republic of Ireland, but he was born and raised in Hendon, London. Who knows if he ever checked out Hendon, Sunderland while he was here.

Gary has had his detractors at the club, and suffered relegations with us, but not many Londonders will have come to the North East and captained the side to promotion.

Following an outstanding 2002 World Cup with the Ireland team, Breen was said to be on the verge of a move to Italian giants Inter Milan. This fell through due to injury problems, but their loss was our gain. Via West Ham, but still, our gain as he went on to captain the club to the Championship title.

A classy central defender, and an awful deep-lying midfielder it was later proved in the Premier League. What were we thinking!

6. Kieran Richardson

Despite coming through the ranks at Manchester United, he was initially poached as a teen from West Ham United. It feels slightly wrong to include current players in this sort of list, but as outlined at the start of things, options have been somewhat limited, and it pretty much came down to him or Michael Turner.

As for Richardson, he certainly seems to have adapted to the area, and been popular with managers who've always tried to get him in the team wherever possible. He must be approaching having played nearly every position at the club during his time at the club - and notably, always without a grumble.

It's even better that despite shuffling round thte pitch and changes of management, he's just gone about his business, and best of all, he's done it very well. Many are still split on his best position, which unlike some utility players, is a compliment due to his form in all roles.

Good player, plenty of life in him and always playing with a smile on his face. What more could we ask from someone with no affiliation to the area?

5. Ivor Broadis

Now, the signing of Broadis was one of the strangest transfers in the history of football I'd say, as in 1949 Broadis, then player-manager of Carlisle United, sold himself to Sunderland.

Broadis was part of the legendary "Bank Of England" team at the club, longside childhood friend Arthur Hudgell who also features in this list. He netted 27 goals in 84 games for the club as a tricky inside forward.

Broadis also went into journalism after finishing, he recalled his time at Sunderland as fondly as he was remembered by the fans, but it wasn't without a tinge of sadness...

"The sad thing about that Sunderland side was that we should have won the League in 1950. They played me at centre-forward against a relegated Man City with three or four games to go and we lost. We finished third in the end. We should have won the league that year, it would have made such a difference."

He was right too. That team should have won the league, and a whole lot more than it did, but it still remains one of the greatest, if not the greatest, SAFC team in the history of the club. One Broadis can be proud to have been part of.

4. Arthur Hudgell

A record amount paid for a defender when Sunderland forked out £10,000 for Hudgell from Crystal Palace in 1947. Hudgell missed our embarrassing defeat to Yeovil Town in the FA Cup, but did however go on to play 274 times in what was a formidable team.

All too often Hudgell didn't receive the adulation of some of his fellow players at the time such as Len Shackleton or Stan Anderson, but he was regarded as a classy defender, and consistent performer.

He even played in the same youth team as Ivor Broadis.

3. Darren Bent

Seriously, lets ignore his acrimonious departure for a minute and look what he did for the club. He only played 58 games, but a return of 32 goals in the at time is nothing at all to be sniffed at.

Bent's high point was without doubt the 2009/10 season, in which he netted 24 goals. Or to look at it another way, 50% of our goals that season.

It's all such a shame really that he decided he didn't want to stick around very much, and the nature of his move to Aston Villa, regardless of the extortionate fee, will always leave sickly feel in the mouths of many. However, when you look back on his goals record at the club, from last minute goals against Arsenal and Manchester City to the beach-ball bobble which went in against Liverpool, he could score every type of goal.

A great striker, just too bad he's a bit of an arse.

2. Charlie Hurley

How is "The King" in at number two? Well basically because he's only part-Londoner. Born in Cork, Ireland but moving to the big smoke and coming through the youth ranks of Milwall.

When he moved to the North East, he could well have decided to bugger off after his debut. We were trounced 7-0 by Blackpool, and Charlie scored and own goal. He'd go on to have better days though, perhaps notably an FA Cup win over Norwich City in which he scored the only goal in 1961.

I'm gonna keep this brief to be honest. He's Charlie Hurley. You know him, we know him, he might only be a part-time Londoner, but he can do what he wants and go where he wants. He's The King.

1. Charlie Buchan

Ok, so Hurley can't go where he wants, I'm actually going to hold this one against him. If he'd been a full-time Londonder, then ok, I'll accept. However in this instance I'm dishing out the top spot to Charlie Buchan.

Buchan was a tall, elegant centre forward, and was highly successful. He was often described as the best footballer in the country, and was our leading scorer for seven of the eight (competitive) seasons from 1912-13 to 1923-24.

He'd go on to become our all-time record League goalscorer with 209 goals. Buchan was also capped by England, his debut coming against Ireland on 15 February 1913. His appearances were limited by the lack of internationals due to war; he only earned six full caps, scoring four goals.

He'd go on to have a successful spell with Arsenal too, and later produce his own magazine "Charlie Buchan's Football Monthly" and was a highly accomplished writer in his own right. Can you imagine anyone now doing the same? I think not. A great player, and a great man.


Do you agree, disagree, feel we missed someone out? No doubt we have got it all wrong, so vote in our poll and tell us who you think should win.

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