Using the goals per game ratio to make the list, the only rules are that each player must have made a minimum of thirty-five appearances and if two players have the same ratio, the player with the most appearances is higher in the higher position. Also to qualify, they needed to have played for Sunderland from 1980 to the present day.
Here is our first countdown looking at positions 20-11...
20. Eric Gates 1985-1990 (Goals per Game = 0.25)
Having spent most of his career making openings for others rather than being the main goalscorer, Gates came into his own for Sunderland when paired up top with Marco by Denis Smith. His record was 55 goals in 220 appearances as he helped the Lads rise back to the First Division in 1990 to pip Keith Bertschin to the first place in our top 20.
19. Don Hutchinson 2000-2001 (Goals per Game = 0.26)
Big Don surprised me how good he was during his all too brief time on Wearside, especially considering he was deployed mainly on the right of midfield. The replacing of Hutchinson with McAteer was for some the beginning of the end for the end for Peter Reid. Ten goals in his only season with the Lads puts Hutchinson in 19th place.
18. Stephen Elliott 2004-2007 (Goals per Game = 0.26)
Edging in front of Hutchinson is Stephen Elliott with a record of 23 goals in 88 appearances over three years. The £175,000 bargain from Manchester City was also capped 9 times for the Republic of Ireland. He had an eye for a tap in as much as the spectacular… especially at St James Park.
17. Clive Walker 1984-1985 (Goals per Game = 0.27)
Signed from Chelsea, Walker then went on to inspire us in the League Cup campaign in 1984/85, especially against his former club in the semi-final... only to go and fluff his lines and miss a penalty in the final. Seventeen goals in sixty-four appearances has the centre forward in 17th place.
16. Aiden McGeady 2017-2019 (Goals per Game = 0.27)
Our current talisman occupies 16th place by virtue of playing more games than Clive Walker. He still has the opportunity to improve on his current 21 goals in 78 appearances and fire us back into the Championship... wouldn’t that be nice.
15. Kenwyne Jones 2007-2010 (Goals per Game = 0.28)
Described as unplayable on his day, he would flit between mediocrity and greatness within the same 90 minutes. Frustrating and brilliant with an impressive celebration, Jones scored 28 in 101 games on his time at the Stadium of Light… considering his talent at times, maybe should have been more.
14. Djibril Cisse 2008-2009 (Goals per Game = 0.29)
A season long loan deal and just scraping in with thirty-eight appearances, Djibril Cisse takes 14th place from Kenwyne Jones. Another frustrating player who obviously had the talent, unfortunately a horrific injury in 2004 meant he was never quite the same player. Cisse scored 11 goals for Sunderland, including the opener against the mags at the Stadium of Light to set up Richardson’s free-kick in 2008.
13. Asamoah Gyan 2010-2011 (Goals per Game = 0.30)
Only on Wearside for thirteen months, Asamoah Gyan managed 11 goals in 37 appearances to pip Cisse into 13th position. A big signing at £13 million after big things at the 2010 World Cup for Ghana, Gyan had a good first season at the club in a year that we also had Welbeck and Bent on the books… it seems like an alternate reality.
12. David Connolly 2006-2008 (Goals per Game = 0.31)
Always seemed to have a decent record at all the clubs he represented, the Republic of Ireland international finished as top scorer as Roy Keane’s Sunderland won promotion to the Premier League in 2007 with thirteen goals in forty-two appearances.
11. Phil Gray 1993-1996 (Goals per Game = 0.31)
Phil ‘Tippy’ Gray just misses out on a top ten finish by virtue of playing fewer games. The Northern Ireland international was Terry Butcher’s big £800,000 signing in Butch’s car crash littered spending spree of 1993. A talented player on his day, he would score 41 times in 134 appearances during his time at Roker.