GK - Márton Fülöp
After turning out for Coventry on 31 occasions on loan from Spurs in 2005, Márton Fülöp signed for Sunderland in a deal that was one of the few occasions we came out on top when Ben Alnwick moved in the opposite direction in 2006.
The Hungarian international was always a dependable goalkeeper when called upon, and he would make 50 appearances for Sunderland until he signed for Ipswich Town in 2010.
In 2015, Márton Fülöp tragically died after a battle with cancer at the age of 32.
RB - Stephen Wright
Signed as a 22-year-old from Liverpool for £1.5 million in 2002, Stephen Wright spent six years on Wearside making 92 appearances for six different managers.
A solid full-back during his time in the north-east, Wright struggled with injuries after sustaining a serious knee problem on our return to the Premier League with Mick McCarthy.
After his release from Sunderland in 2008, Wright signed for Coventry and made 55 appearances until leaving in 2010.
CB - Gary Breen
After successful spells at Peterborough United and Birmingham City, Gary Breen signed for Coventry City for £2.5 million in 1997 where he’d stay for the next five years.
His performances for the Republic of Ireland during the 2002 World Cup would see his stock rise to comical levels. This new status led to links with Barcelona and also a move to Inter Milan that broke down at the final hour due to a failed medical. He eventually, after much speculation, unsurprisingly signed for West Ham United on a free transfer.
A Mick McCarthy bargain for Sunderland, Gary Breen signed on a free transfer the following summer and would play 115 times for Sunderland that included lifting the Championship trophy as captain in 2005.
CB - Terry Butcher
I was young and naïve but it was only two years since the 1990 World Cup and I thought he was going to be great… but he wasn’t.
He never gave less than 100%, and he wanted it, but his knees were gone. Whatever little pace he’d had was also long gone... and that made for a difficult situation.
I’m still not sure how Julian Joachim kept a straight face when he raced past him at Filbert Street having been given a 20 yard head start - he could have lapped Butcher twice on his way through to score.
Butch had the distinction of playing for and managing both clubs in the role as player-manager, but I suspect both sets of fans rather he hadn’t.
LB - Clive Clarke
Signed in a deal that saw George McCartney move in the opposite direction to West Ham United in 2006, Clive Clarke would only play four times for Sunderland before joining Coventry City only two months after signing.
He would make 12 appearances for the Sky Blues during the next three months before returning to Sunderland. Lack of first-team opportunities were the catalyst for another loan spell, this time at Leicester City in 2007.
Within a couple of weeks of joining Leicester City, Clarke collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest in the changing rooms during half-time of a League Cup tie at Nottingham Forest, causing the game to be abandoned.
He retired due to health reasons and is now a football agent.
RM - Chris Maguire
Our current player Chris Maguire makes the team on the right of midfield. He also makes the XI courtesy of a loan spell at the Ricoh Arena in 2013, scoring two goals in three League appearances.
We’ve missed him as a different option recently while he has been recovering from injury.
He’s scored six times in League One this season and each one has seemed to be a screamer. We could do with a bit of that during the run-in so let’s hope he’s back soon.
CM - Don Hutchison
I’d be surprised if Don Hutchison didn’t play his best football in his time with Sunderland on the right of midfield under Peter Reid.
I remember thinking he was a good player when he signed from Everton for £2.5 million in the summer of 2000, but for many of his 39 appearances on Wearside, he made us tick.
For whatever reason, the Scottish international left Sunderland to join West Ham United the following summer for £5 million. For many people, it seemed to be the beginning of the end for Peter Reid at Sunderland.
He makes our XI due to an 18 month stay in the West Midlands across 2005-06 where he made 32 appearances for the Sky Blues.
CM - Dylan McGeouch
McGeough played eight games for Coventry City whilst on loan from Celtic in 2014.
It would be another four years via Hibernian before he signed for Sunderland on a free transfer last summer.
At times struggling with injuries and loss of form, he has also put in some impressive performances in the middle of the park this season.
If he stays fit, McGeouch could be a vital player towards the business end of the season.
LM - Nick Pickering
In the XI in his favoured left-midfield role, South Shields-born Nick Pickering burst onto the scene as an eighteen-year-old in 1981. Two years later he would gain an England cap during a tour of Australia.
He would be the last Sunderland player to pull on an England shirt until Kevin Phillips and Michael Gray represented England in April 1999.
He left Sunderland for Coventry City in a deal worth £125,000 in 1986 and would make 78 appearances over two years at Highfield Road.
STR - Kevin Kyle
Scotland international Kevin Kyle would eventually have his breakthrough at Sunderland during 2003-04, scoring 12 League goals whilst on route to play-off disappointment under Mick McCarthy.
He would always give maximum effort during games, but lacked the ability to kick on and 2003-04 would be the highlight of his Sunderland career. A serious hip problem did not help his cause over the next two years.
It was surprising when after only a handful of appearances for Sunderland over the next two years, and by virtue not many goals, Coventry City signed Kyle for £600,000 in August 2006. He did manage 44 games with the Sky Blues but only five goals.
STR - Stephen Elliott
The second Mick McCarthy bargain of our XI, ‘Sleeves’ signed from Manchester City in the summer of 2004 for a tribunal set £125,000 including potential add-ons.
In his first full season, the Republic of Ireland international would score 15 League goals (finishing only one behind top scorer Marcus Stewart) as Sunderland won the Championship under Mick McCarthy in 2005.
Notable mention for his goal at St James’ Park the following season that tends to be forgotten as we lost the game.
Elliott joined the Sky Blues during the 2012-13 season scoring four goals in eighteen appearances.
(SUB) Stern John
One of the least notable signings of Roy Keane’s time on Wearside but by no means least effective.
Stern John signed for Sunderland for an undisclosed fee during the 2007 January transfer window after three successful years at Coventry City.
Chipping in with the odd important goal and being an effective option as substitute to see games out, John was that something different we needed to see us over the line. He would also be part of the deal that brought Kenwyne Jones to Sunderland from Southampton the following season.
(SUB) Jon Stead
Our major signing of summer 2005 ahead of our capitulation in the Premier League during 2005-06 that would see Sunderland relegated with 15 points.
Signed for £1.8 million from Blackburn Rovers, he would take 11 months to score is first goal for Sunderland, and only managed one more in a torrid time for the player and those who had to watch him.
His time at Coventry came during a loan spell in 2010 scoring twice in ten games.
(SUB) Keiran Westwood
Westwood never quite got the run of games he might have needed to really become a permanent fixture between the sticks for Sunderland.
Whether it was down to pressure of trying to stay as number one or lack of ability, among the handful of impressive performances, there always seemed a mistake in him.
Steve Bruce signed Westwood for Sunderland on a free transfer in 2011 from Coventry, where he had three successful years. The Republic of Ireland international has been a regular number one for Sheffield Wednesday since 2014.