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Club Connection: Sunderland Legend Kevin Phillips

Sunderland visit Leicester City on Saturday when Premier League action resumes, and they'll come up against a Black Cats hero now learning the coaching ropes following his recent playing retirement.

Stu Forster/Getty Images

Sunderland's post-war leading goalscorer and all-round legend Kevin Phillips will make up part of Leicester City's backroom staff as they entertain the Wearsiders at the King Power Stadium.

Phillips, who ended his distinguished playing career with the East Midlands outfit, has always expressed his enduring affection for Sunderland and will be greatly looking forward to Saturday's encounter.

The Hitchin-born striker rose through the ranks from non-league football with Baldock Town following his release by Southampton, prior to a move to Watford.

His promise began to shine through at Vicarage Road, as a number of clubs began circling in the hope of securing his signature. Fortunately for the Black Cats, they won the day and signed Phillips up on a bargain fee eventually rising to £600,000 with add-ons.

Phillips' form exploded into life at the Stadium of Light under manager Peter Reid and he went on to plunder 130 goals in all competitions while representing the red-and-white army for six - mainly - glorious years.

He won promotion to the top-flight with Sunderland in 1999 following play-off final heartbreak in his first season with the club at the conclusion of the previous campaign, later going on to inspire the club to consecutive seventh-place finishes in the Premier League while striking up a wonderful partnership up front with Niall Quinn.

Amazingly, Kevin Phillips remains the only Englishman to claim the European Golden Boot, which he did in 2000 after banging in 30 Premiership goals throughout an unforgettable year.

Eight England caps also came his way during that remarkable period, before Phillips moved back to his very first club Southampton.

To round off his playing days, Phillips helped Leicester City to promotion when spending the final four months of last term on the playing staff before finally hanging up his boots.

No matter what the result on Saturday, the sensational centre-forward will always remain in the hearts of every Sunderland follower for his exploits at the club between 1997-2003.

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