24. Jon Stead
Poor old Jon was far from hated on Wearside.
The poor lad was just the best we could afford at the time - Mick McCarthy and his newly promoted side’s budget resembled the same value of a copy of the Shoot 1994 annual and a Wham! bar, and it really didn’t stretch far.
My abiding memory of him is his dead-pan reaction to his second, and final, Sunderland goal in a 3-1 defeat to Southend. Refusing to celebrate, Stead had a look of genuine fear that he may be lynched by enraged fans who traveled the breadth of the country to see a fourth defeat in four games.
23. Andrea Dossena
“Yes, I have come to unearth gems that nobody has heard of before on minimal fees!” declared Roberto De Fanti as he entered the Stadium of Light doors.
With our attempts to sign Benjamin Mendy dashed, De Fanti decided to dip his hand into the lucky bag of available left-backs and, sadly, pulled out this bloke.
22. Ben Alnwick
Kept out of the side by Kelvin Davis (I know, right?), the Prudhoe-born goalkeeper showed his commitment to the Wearside cause by being the first player to ask Niall Quinn if he could leave on the Irishman’s first day in the job.
Oh, and that video.
21. Javier Manquillo
With Athletico Madrid, Marseille and Liverpool on his CV, we thought we had unearthed a gem when Davey Moyes wheeled in the Spaniard.
But the truth is that I wouldn’t want to see this lad ever again, even if the world flooded with urine and he lived in a tree.
20. Marc Wilson
The name just fills me with sadness.
My initial thoughts of Wilson were that he had Premier League pedigree, something to prove and was available for free; therefore, his signing was a no-brainer.
Proof I know nothing - absolutely nothing - about football as a sport.
19. Michael Ingham
I feel pretty hollow placing a lad who didn’t even complete 120 minutes of football with the Lads in my top twenty, but his performance at Portman Road back in 2005 was genuinely horrific and gave me a hernia.
It was like a watching a man with Vaseline hands try to catch fish.
18. Brett Angell
The former Southend United player is the kind of signing that sums up Sunderland AFC to an absolute tee.
In nine appearances against us he managed to score five goals in the mid-90’s; whereas, in the red and white he played sixteen times, scoring just once.
In the (slightly amended) words of the great Will Ferrell in Stepbrothers: “You’re not a centre forward. You’re a big fat curly headed f***.”
17. Greg Halford
“I had Greg at Sunderland and he was a disaster for me. Very very poor.” - you said it Roy.
16. James McFadden
Why was he here? Was he even the same guy that scored from 40-yards in the Stade de France only a few years previous?
I had recalled the Scottish forward as a talented player, but upon arrival at Sunderland he had gone from a tricky, youthful player to an aging, uninterested has-been with a hairline that could rival Steven Fletcher’s.
15. Brendan Galloway
I went to three pre-season games that summer, all in Scotland, and saw the Everton left-back’s arse get torn out by legends of the game such as David Wotherspoon, Simon Murray and Matthew Knox.
Honestly, it was shocking. I can’t even laugh about how bad this lad was.
14. Anthony Le Tallec
The youngster’s career had been so successful at youth level he was dubbed ”the next Zidane” by French media outlets and coaches alike, and Sunderland fans were excited to see what the young Liverpool star could bring to our newly-promoted side.
We shouldn’t have been.
He now plays in a league sponsored by Pizza.
13. Jozy Altidore
Look, Jozy, something about me really likes you. You were funny on Twitter, you won that penalty at Chelsea and all that, however...
I can’t get the image of you - two yards from the goal-line - somehow back-heeling the ball, then proceeding to handball it before finally falling over, out of my mind.
You were two-yards out. It was an empty net. Two yards.