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Roker Roundup: Stern John becomes national team manager & ex-SAFC defender on his bullying hell

Former Sunderland defender David Corner has spoken out about a lifetime of bullying he’s suffered after a costly cup final mistake; Stern John has taken up a post as manager of Anguilla; and a popular ex-SAFC loanee has hung up his boots.

Roker Roundup 20/21
Your daily reminder of Sunderland news!

The moment that changed my life

Former Sunderland defender David Corner at just 18 was the youngest player to play for the club in a Wembley final, the 1985 Milk Cup Final, but unfortunately that experienced turned sour for the player after an error led to Norwich City’s winning goal.

That error has followed Corner throughout his life and his experiences were eventually turned into a play ‘Cornered’ written by former BBC presenter Jeff Brown. The play has now been turned into an audiobook that will be released during National Anti-Bullying Week (16-20 November), with all proceeds going towards the Foundation of Light.

Ahead of the launch, Corner spoke to the Guardian about how that one error changed his life and the verbal and physical abuse he has suffered since.

Corner would eventually join Durham Police and explained that even in horrific circumstances, he would still be asked why he could not have kicked the ball out of play:

I was just out of probation, we heard there was a fight in a house. I got there first and there was a bloke outside with his top off, covered in blood, high on I don’t know what. ‘I’ve killed him,’ he says. ‘I’ve killed him.’ So I cuff him and get him in the back of the car.

But I’m curious. So I get somebody to keep a check on him and walk into the house. There’s a fella sitting in the corner, surrounded by police and paramedics. He’s got a cut across the top of his head from one side to the other, covered in blood. The bloke outside’s gone for him with a samurai sword. His eyes are wide open, but he’s not saying anything, won’t talk to the sergeant or the doctor, just staring into space. But his eyes lock on to mine and follow us as I walk round the room.

Then suddenly he speaks. ‘Davey?’ he says. “‘Hello, mate.’ I’ve never met him, no idea who he is. “‘Davey,’ he says. ‘Why didn’t yer just put it oot?’ And this is 12 years on.

You can read the full interview with David Corner in the Guardian HERE.

David Corner of Sunderland

Onuoha retires

Ex-Sunderland loanee Nedhum Onuoha played the final game of his career last night, as Real Salt Lake took on Sporting KC in the MLS.

Onuoha has decided to hang up his boots after more than 400 senior appearances, 31 of which came during a loan spell at the Stadium of Light during the 2010-11 season.

The 33-year-old is probably best remembered for his opening goal in the 3-0 away win at Chelsea, a solo effort that you can relive in the video below.

Speaking ahead of the game, Onuoha said that it was tough knowing he would not play another game but was hoping he would be at least be able to go out and enjoy his final game as a professional:

It’s strange, I’ve been thinking in the past six months I was wondering how I’d feel and now that it’s here, it’s difficult to describe. Just knowing there’s nothing after this game, that’s tough. But the mentality is to try to enjoy it and I think I will.

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images

John set for World Cup bid

Stern John is set for a bid at World Cup qualification after agreeing to take charge of the Anguilla men’s national team, according to wired868.

Anguilla have yet to score a World Cup qualifying goal from open play, a record dating back to their first attempt in March 2000 and the AFA have now agreed terms with former Sunderland striker John in an change that record.

John will have a big job on his hands, as out of FIFA’s 210 active member associations, only San Marino are ranked below Anguilla.

Birmingham City v Sunderland - Barclays Premier League Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images