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Top 20 all-time prolific goalscorers in Sunderland’s history: Part I - 11-20!

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I’m sure that most of us know who the top goalscorers are in Sunderland’s long and storied history, but who are the most prolific? We take a look at the top twenty, starting with 11-20 in Part I!

Marco Gabbiadini Scores Photo by Mark Leech/Getty Images

Using the goals per game ratio to make the list, the only rules to making the list are a minimum of forty appearances and if two players have the same ratio, the player with the most appearances is higher in the higher position.

Here’s our first countdown, looking at positions 20-11...


20. John Goodchild 1957-1961 (Goals per Game = 0.47)

Just making the appearance threshold with 45 appearances, Goodchild scored 21 goals to make our list. Gateshead born, he scored on his debut for Sunderland whilst still a teenager and scored most of his goals in Sunderland’s struggle to get back to the top flight after our first relegation from the top flight in the club’s history.


19. Marco Gabbiadini 1987-1991 (Goals per Game = 0.47)

Marco sneaks in the top twenty virtue of his total of 87 goals in 185 appearances. This came over four years and three divisions (only one of six to score for Sunderland in the top three tiers of English football), which included 21 League goals on our way to winning the Third Division in 1988. What we wouldn’t give for someone to do that for us this season.

Marco Gabbiadini Sunderland AFC
Marco celebrating one of his 87 goals for Sunderland at Roker Park Vs Everton in 1990.
Photo by Mark Leech/Getty Images

18. Johnny Crossan 1962-1965 (Goals per Game = 0.48)

Edging in front of Marco is Johnny Crossan, with an impressive record of 48 goals in 99 appearances over three years. Capped 24 times for Northern Ireland, he had an eye for an assist as much as an eye for a goal. Most of Crossan’s goals would come as Sunderland fought to get back to the First Division in the early sixties.


17. Jimmy Leonard 1930-1932 (Goals per Game = 0.50)

James ‘Hookey’ Leonard sneaks into the list by just making the 40 appearance cut-off by making 42 appearances for Sunderland that enabled him to score 21 goals in the early 1930’s as Sunderland were achieving a spell of mid-table mediocrity in the top tier.


16. Benny Yorston 1932-1934 (Goals per Game = 0.50)

Benny was said to have been the inspiration alongside Bobby Gurney during 1931-32 to lift Sunderland away from the drop zone and up to the safety of mid-table. A total of 26 goals in 52 appearances will see him a very respectable 16th.

Soccer - Football League Division One - Arsenal v Sunderland
Johnny Crossan ahead of an away game Vs Arsenal.
Photo by Barratts/PA Images via Getty Images

15. Jimmy Millar 1890-96 & 1900-04 (Goals per Game = 0.50)

His first spell at Sunderland would see him as part of the ‘Team of all the Talents’ and his debut would coincide with Sunderland’s first ever Football League match. After his second spell he would join Ned Doig in being the only Sunderland players to win four League championship medals with the last coming in 1902. With 129 goals in 260 appearances, Jimmy Millar makes 15th in the list.


14. George Holley 1904-1921 (Goals per Game = 0.50)

Sunderland’s all-time fourth top scorer comes in at 14th on our goals/games ratio. Nearly a double winner for Sunderland after picking up a League championship winning medal in 1913, but Sunderland would go on to lose the FA Cup final by a single goal to Aston Villa at Crystal Palace in front of a reported crowd of over 120,000.


13. Don Kitchenbrand 1958-1959 (Goals per Game = 0.52)

Donald Basil ‘Rhino’ Kitchenbrand was South African born and joined Sunderland after impressing in Scotland. Despite his effort of scoring 6 goals in 10 games he couldn’t prevent Sunderland suffering our first ever relegation in 1958. Kitchenbrand would end with a total of 28 goals in 54 appearances.

Paul Days Collection
Ian Lawther in action for Sunderland.
Photo by Topix/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images

12. Jock Paterson 1922-1924 (Goals per Game = 0.52)

Despite being wounded in World War I, Paterson would return to become a big name in the football world, resulting in Sunderland paying big money to Leicester City. A total of 40 goals in 77 appearances means Paterson misses out on our top ten due to playing fewer games.


11. Ian Lawther 1958-1961 (Goals per Game = 0.52)

Lawther contributed 43 goals in 83 games in Sunderland’s efforts to get back to the top flight after relegation in 1958 which meant all his goals came in the second tier. Ian Lawther is our second player to miss out on the top ten due to number of appearances.