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On This Day (17 June 1983): Procter deal with Sunderland agreed but Cummins dispute rolls on!

Alan Durban hammers out a deal with Brian Clough to bring Mark Proctor to Roker, but Stan Cummins fights on to leave Sunderland on a free transfer…

Photo by PA Images via Getty Images

On this day 38 years ago, Mark Proctor arrived at Roker Park to seal the deal to make the move from Nottingham Forest.

The midfielder agreed to travel to Wearside after the two clubs agreed a fee of £100,000, to sign the contract with manager Alan Durban and Sunderland chairman Tom Cowie. Sunderland’s manager Durban spent the day in Manchester with his former manager Brian Clough to negotiate a fee, but he hinted he had an idea of what Clough was looking for.

We knew what fee Forest wanted. Generally, it’s not fees that are the problem these days - it’s getting the player fixed up. I bumped into Cloughie and we smoothed one or two things out. He has given me permission to talk to Mark Proctor which is a start.

Mark Proctor

Proctor was eager to sign permanently after spending a month on loan the previous season.

If it all goes through I will be delighted to be back home in the North-East. I’ll pick up my career from where I left off after my time at Middlesbrough. I just hope that things will start happening for me again after the last couple of years.

I have no regrest about going to Nottingham Forest. In the same circumstances, I’d probably do the same thing all over again. The experience has done me good and although it probably has not shown through, I feel that I’m a better player for it.

As Proctor signed, one player was confirmed to be leaving as Frank Worthington’s move to Southampton was complete after further talks between the player and Southampton manager Lawrie McMenemy in Nottingham.

Stan Cummins

Also on the agenda on a busy day for the Sunderland manager was the next chapter of the ongoing dispute between the club and striker Stan Cummins. The player claimed he was due a free transfer due to the fact the clubs new contract offer is inferior to his current deal.

The Football League’s commission met in Manchester to hear the arguments of both sides but deferred their decision for 10 days. Stan Cummins was in buoyant mood after the hearing.

It’s been a good day but I got a good hearing and PFA secretary Gordon Taylor spoke very well on my behalf. He put forward the facts which the club did not dispute. They claimed they had never intended that I should leave on a free transfer, but I’m still confident I’ll win the case. It’s certain that whoever loses will appeal so the dispute will carry on for more than 10 days.

When Alan Durban was asked if there was any chance of a reconciliation between the club and player he simply replied “No”.

On a day of discussion over his pay, Cummins was later forced to shell out when his clutch went on his drive back to Durham and his car was towed to Leeds forcing him to find alternative transport back to the North-East.


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