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Worst 50 Sunderland players of the past 25 years (Part One): Hepatitis, and a current player!

Recently we’ve looked at the 50 best players to play for our beloved club, but now it’s time to look at the worst... you might want to grab a blanket as we go from 50 to 37.

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50. Tom Peeters

He should have been much, much closer to the top twenty but that story of him jumping up and celebrating the sacking of Howard Wilkinson to his face makes him one of my favourite characters of all time.

Incredible Tom, incredible.

Sunderland Trips

49. Shaun Cunnington

Cunnington made Tommy Miller look like Steven Gerrard. Some say he wasn’t even a real footballer, and, much like Tupac at Coachella, he was simply a hologram.

However, he manages to escape the upper echelons of this list because he once karate kicked ‘Boro’s player-manager, Bryan Robson, flush in the chest. Brilliant.

48. Simon Johnson

Let’s look at his list of clubs shall we?

Hereford United, Bury (two games), Halesowen Town, Solihull Moors and Hinckley.

Not just crap, but proper, proper crap.

47. Clive Clarke

I rarely criticise Sir Niall Quinn, but the stress of being Chairman must have really taken hold when he decided to sign this absolute dud of a left-back.

By the time McCartney had returned to the club - for £6 million - Clarke had retired from the game due to a heart problem.

This health issue surprised former manager Roy Keane who rather callously noted that he wasn’t aware the left-back actually had a heart.

46. Benjani

I find it hard to sum up the Zimbabwean’s time at the Stadium of Light because I’m not even sure I recall much of it.

All I can remember is little more than a remembrance that he was utter toilet.

Sunderland v Manchester City Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

45. Paul McShane

In the short time McShane played for us he somehow demonstrated every loathsome characteristic of a central defender - and possibly even invented a few new ones to boot.

The best description of his style of play was that he ran at 1000mph, but his body reacted at 1mph.

Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

43. Nicolas Medina

It was nice that Julio had some company for a couple of years, but surely a Ravensburger jigsaw would have been cheaper entertainment?

The signing of Nicolas Medina was certainly a puzzle to Sunderland fans.

Sunderland AFC

42. Alan Quinn

Mick McCarthy’s 2003/04 season was full of weird and wonderful loan signings.

Sadly for Mick, much like presenting a lactose intolerant child a Dairy Milk selection box for Christmas, each player was an uncomfortable feeling in the stomach that resulted in unpleasant wind before subsequently being shat out almost as soon as it was digested.

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41. Robbie Elliott

I bet you forget he played for us didn’t you? Niall Quinn’s month long tenure as Manager resulted in us signing some utter rubbish, but this Gosforth-born dyed in wool Mag took the biscuit.

He was so bad, his only contribution of note was breaking Rory Delap’s leg in a match against Stoke City whilst he was still officially a Sunderland player.

Brilliant, Robbie, cheers.

Derby County v Sunderland Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

40. Andy Cole

Another former Mag, another waste of time.

Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole were potentially one of the best Premier League partnerships of all time - Yorke played defensive midfield for us and Cole didn’t score a single goal.

Everton v Sunderland Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

39. Gerry Harrison

Peter Reid was unearthed some real gems in his time here, but for every Super Kev there was a Lilian Laslandes and in 1998, a man called Gerry Harrison joined the Lads to help with our promotion push.

He played one half of football in the cup against York City and was blowing out of his arse, largely because he was signed without it being flagged that he had Hepatitis. Yep.

38. Rade Prica

It started so well, didn’t it? Prica had a blockbuster debut saw him score a delightful chip, before he almost added a second had he not practically caught the ball before it hit the net.

In his second appearance it all went embarrassingly downhill. The Swede was subbed on for the injured Kieran Richardson seven minutes into the game before suffering the wrath of Roy Keane who unceremoniously dragged him off less than thirty minutes later.

He never started a first-team game for SAFC, and no-one complained too much.

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37. Donald Love

With each relegation we had felt the lovable little rogue would find his level and that he would finally shine in a red and white shirt.

Yet here we are, sat in the third tier of English football, and the only time we look forward to seeing his face is on Max Power’s Instagram.

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